This The Strain review contains spoilers.
The Strain Season 3 Episode 4
So last week, everyone’s favorite heroic vampire Quinlan finally destroyed the Master, but this week, our heroes must deal with a city filled with legions of strigoi who suddenly find themselves rudderless. Without the Master, all the strigoi are basically wormy free agents suddenly on their own to hunt and feed as they see fit. The vampire threat has now metastasized all over NYC. This adds an element of chaos to a series that was already pretty freakin’ balls to the wall and it also increases the importance of both Kelly Goodweather and Eichhorst, the only strigoi that still seem to have an importance beyond feeding.
Things kick off this week with Eph pulling slugs out Quinlan. Fett and Setrakian than realize that it was Eph that helped Quinlan steal the Lumen and your BFF strigoi hunters suddenly find themselves broken up. Setrakian and Fett want to take the fight to the suddenly directionless remaining strigoi while Eph wants to drink. And drink. And drink a little bit more. Didn’t Eph see Fear the Walking Dead a few weeks back where two dummies decide to get shitfaced and play the piano in a zombie infested hotel? Drinking and undead fighting, it never goes well together.
Anyway, Eph finds a drinking partner in the suddenly returned Dutch who was forced to abandon her friends a few weeks back. Actually, Dutch and Eph are kind of fun to watch interact because they both have been distanced from Fett and Setrakian and have nowhere else to turn. If you’ll remember, the most effective episode last season saw our heroes rescue Dutch from the clutches of Eichhorst and that trauma still affects the brilliant and beautiful hacker. As well it should because that bit of business was freakin’ harrowing. I still can’t look at pineapple the same way.
So with Dutch and Eph becoming vampire killing drinking buds, Eichhorst makes his move to prove that there is still life after the Master in the strigoi world. Eichhorst, complete and utter bastard that he is, creates a sickly ingenious death trap to fire back at the legions of vamp killers suddenly appearing all over the city. Eichhorst plants bombs under the skin of some of his strigoi and sends them into Justine Feraldo’s control centers. Make no mistake, this week’s episode of The Strain was Feraldo’s time to shine. She was at ground zero of a strigoi suicide bomb attack, and it’s not shrapnel you have to watch out for in these horrific attacks. When the bombs go off, thousands of strigoi worms blast outward turning anyone that is penetrated by these parasites. Feraldo ends up getting a worm to the eye and it looks like that’s the end of the bravest of politicos.
The rest of the episode sees Feraldo come face to face with her mortality as she must wait to see if she’s infected. With Feraldo’s predicament, the episode slows down to allow the viewer to really understand her fear and pain, to see Feraldo as a multi-dimensional human being forced to make impossible choices. This is the highlight of the season so far as The Strain allows some humanity to seep into the cracks between the video game inspired kill box set pieces. There are layers to people caught up in this story and by shining a UV spotlight on those layers, The Strain succeeds on so many levels.
Before we get back to Feraldo, let’s mention her kill squad again. This week we see Gus and Angel become a part of one such kill squad as the story brings our cast a bit closer together. Gus and Angel are forced to go on their first strigoi kill mission and frankly, the two hermanos don’t really mind. It gives Gus a chance to work out his frustration over losing his mama. It also gives Feraldo and her crew two expert strigoi killers. And listen, you know I love it when Gus and Angel spring in to action. Angle, former luchador man, swinging his silver crucifix brass knuckles and bashing in muncher skulls. Doesn’t get better than that.
Things end happily for Feraldo who now is rededicated to her fight. Thanks to Fett’s quick thinking, Feraldo is alive and well to lead the people of New York to victory. But when she confiscates that aforementioned reporter’s equipment and poops all over freedom of the press, we are left with the question: did Feraldo escape becoming a strigoi just to become a different type of monster?
And speaking of monsters, Quinlan met with the strigoi ruling council and discovered that the Master still exists in the form of a big red worm. Ewwww. So who will the Master inhabit? Eicchorst? It would seem kind of appropriate if the final battle came down to a Master infected Eichhorst versus Setrakian. Or maybe Kelly? How about Zach. I’m sure there’s shocks a plenty a coming as the big bad of The Strain is now a big, fat, blood red, parasitic worm. That’s a far cry from sparkling, ain’t it?