The Strain: The Assassin Review

The heroes' victory is short-lived as Eph shows a killer side. Here is our review of The Strain season 2 episode 10.

Last week, we saw the people of New York stand up and defeat Eichorst’s horde in the Battle for Red Hook, but this week, our heroes’ victory was short lived as all plans went awry on another gripping episode of The Strain.

Just about all our cast was covered this week (except, no Gus, no Quinlan and no Angel de Plata boooooo), as Eph tried to execute his plan in taking out Eldritch Palmer while Setrakian continued his hunt for the Oxido Lumen, the ancient book that could be the key in taking down The Master. Both plans failed, and Eph’s plan caused a shit storm of trouble for our favorite team of vampire hunters.

First Eph. Eph hadn’t gone the way of Captain Ahab like Setrakian has but he still executed his plan to take down Palmer. With good reason, Palmer is the key to the Master’s plan. So Eph set  up shop and staked out Palmer, waiting for his time to put his newly acquired sniper rifle to use. Along for the ride with Eph was Dutch, and make no mistake this was truly Dutch’s episode.

In Dutch we had a very rare thing, a polyamorous character who wasn’t portrayed as a Larry from Three’s Company type swinger. I can’t remember a positive portrayal of a poly character on TV in like, well, ever. The show spelled out how she is a woman overflowing with passion who just wanted to share that passion with those that she loves. And loves she does, both Nicki and Fet, intently, profoundly, and truly. Dutch loves both her chosen and did not appreciate that society must make her choose. In her moment confessing all this to Eph, Dutch’s character was scaffolded from brave femme fatale genius to a well rounded, complex character that represented the poly community, a community that really doesn’t get much understanding or coverage in popular media.  Bravo, Strain, breaking new social ground is always good.

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So this episode Dutch supplied Eph with the equipment he needed to kill Palmer, she talked him through the moral quagmire killing a mortal human brings, and she bared her soul. In truth, Dutch and Eph hadn’t shared many scenes and the focus on the difference between the characters really made both individuals shine. As for Palmer, he was called by the scumbag mayor to meets with Councilwoman Feraldo and talk her out of charging New York’s rich one percent of their income in order to fund her vampire cleanup project. Of course the rich being the rich want no part of it. Palmer was convinced to plead with Feraldo to allow the poor rich newcomers to keep their earnings. Eph overhears this thanks to Dutch’s equipment and he takes his shot.

Palmer has his own problems with Coco. You know, the subplot that never ends? Yeah, it continued. Palmer went to beg Coco to come back to work because Mrs. Drummond misses his sexy French Mrs. Garrett (ugh, I think I just unintentionally wrote slash fiction.)Coco reluctantly agreed and accompanied Palmer to the meeting with Feraldo. I think you see where this is going.  Of course, Eph was perched high on a rooftop and took his shot. The whole thing was a rather gripping scene that reminded one more of a Bourne movie than it did of a vampire drama, but there you have it. With one bullet, Eph almost ended the world’s most endless subplot because the shot hit Coco instead of Palmer.

Dutch and Eph tried to make their escape but were caught by the cops as Coco lay bleeding and broken on the sidewalk.

Where were Setrakian and the rest of our cast? They were still trying to find the Oxido Lumen. Fet and Nora accompanied the good professor on his quest around the five boroughs until Fet got wind of Dutch’s arrest. Fet went to try to save the day and Setrakian continued his search. A search which brought him to a small home where he found the book that everyone has been breathlessly waiting to see! The Winds Of Winter by George R.R Martin!! OMG, what’s going to happen to KHALEESI!!!

No of course it was the Lumen and Setrakian even got a chance to glance at a few pages before he was knocked the F out. Sigh, poor guy.

As for Dutch and Eph, they were arrested and taken into police custody until a horde of vamps attacked. Dutch was already removed from the cell when the entire station was slaughtered. Eph would have been chopped liver if not for the timely arrival of Fet and Nora. As for Dutch, oh poor Dutch, our little poly amorous princess was in the clutches of Eichorst. Oh, that’s just not good at all.

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And our endless subplot became a little more endless as the Master arrived (after Palmer gave Eichorst an ultimatum) to gift the dying Coco with his blood. Now Coco had a taste of the life giving ichors of the Master and that should shakes things up in Evilville. Seriously though, I am intrigued by the power structure of the villains in this series. You have the almost omnipotent Master but he needs the wormy Palmer and will even do his bidding when threatened. You have Eichorst who is even viler than the Master but he acts as the Master’s sycophant. You have Bolivar who acted as muscle last season but has now transcended everybody and became the Master. Watching the dynamics of the villains is almost as fascinating as watching the heroes struggle to survive.

It’s going to be a long week as we wait to see if Dutch will survive her time with Eichorst but at least this week we had a tense episode to keep us happy.

And there was not even a single scene with that old fart smeller Zach. Let’s call that a win as we pray for Dutch.


3.5 out of 5