Here’s the thing about The Strain, it mixes interesting character development with plot excitement. Yes, of course it does, Del Toro is good at that isn’t he?
This week, we checked in with our minor criminals, uh oh- one has a real bad case of worms! One gets mad at everyone for not paying any attention to his friend. And then a bunch of criminals escape. Also the police force is down by two more. Is anyone tracking the team numbers? Eventually Team Vamp is going to run out of island food and Chez Manhattan is going to have too many cooks and not enough soup. Perhaps they’ll head out to the suburbs to go grocery shopping.
Eph, Nora, Hacker Chick, OldManFormerlyKnownAsLordFrey and RatMan go to pick up Eph’s kid. Of course, we knew Matt had a bad day at work. Turns out it was really bad. Eph’s kid is dropped off at home by Eph’s ex-wife’s friend, despite the ominous shadows skittering behind the curtains. Luckily, the Kid gets there only a moment before his dad’s crew and Matt doesn’t eat the Kid. Instead, Eph goes digging for vampire brains in one of the most awkward father son bonding moments ever. The Kid is quick to pick up on the vampire concept and everyone wonders who fucked up Matt’s face before they got there. Perhaps the former Mrs. Eph checked in earlier? Why didn’t she hide out in the bushes in the front of her house and wait for her kid? Or did she go to her cranky friend’s house to find her kid? Also, how to did Matt get home from work, can baby Vamps drive or use subway tokens?
Now that there’s a dead body, the team splits up. Team A, Eph and Nora, stay to burn the body, which they insist on wrapping first. Team B escorts Hacker Girl home and then returns to OldMan’s pawn shop! MamaNora is a bit peeved and in a moment of hilarity, lets it be known she won’t be cooking for everyone. Never make the team chef angry. So was HackerGirl’s girlfriend, who stole all of HackerGirl’s money and computers (don’t have roommates y’all). RatMan kills HackerGirl’s neighbor and they hightail it back to the bread truck, ’cause trouble, uh, is rising!
They get back to the pawn shop/Old Man Bat Cave, RatMan decides to go home and fetch a few things for the next hunt, because running around at night is the best plan. OldMan makes the kid feel better (he has a heart y’all! And it’s still in his chest!) And, oh yeah, HackerGirl confesses to OldMan about the hacking AND WHO PAID FOR IT! She even mentions the plastic faced creepy German! Old Man digests the information, but doesn’t kick her out, ’cause he has a plan, see? Evidently the Master is nesting, making himself comfortable and decorating his lair while getting take out occasionally.
Speaking of the German, our origin stories are complete! We see OldMan as YoungMan in Poland meeting the Master, who let’s him live, out of artistic respect. Then after nearly dying in a Nazi execution, he escapes when some Allies roll into the camp at the perfect plot time.
Even better, we see the German’s escape and get the promotion he’s been working for, a transformation to the vamp. AND OHHHH YEAH, we get to see the Master take his hoodie off and show his bad ass, only a mother could love, ugly self.
Meanwhile GoldHeartedCriminal’s friend finally transforms into a baby vamp. Unfortunately it’s in the back of a police van while it’s moving. Dude, never ever eat the driver. Mayhem and chaos ensue as the LargeFriend alternates between snaking and sleeping. Finally, one of the police officers opens the back of van, also gets eaten, but luckily has the handcuff keys and a gun on him. GoldHeartedGriminal frees himself picks up the gun and then shoots LargeFriend in the head. Then remembering rule#2 from Zombieland, seals the deal.
One of the reasons we love The Strain, is the fascinating contrast between the little bits of life and the complete world ending pandemonium. On one hand, the two criminals are waiting for due process and doctors, while the police are battling a vampire war on the streets.
OldMan is ready to kick ass (especially with new head bashing soulmate, RatMan) but can take the time out to console Eph’s kid. Heck, even ‘regular’ Nazi life is going on, while a horrifying monster wanders the camp eating all non-artistic prisoners. Bet you won’t laugh at art degrees now!
And if we learned anything from Morgan Freeman’s explanation of evolution in Lucy, it’s that in times of horror, DNA wants to make more DNA containers, which explains why the hell Eph and Nora slowed down, throw each other around the bedroom and then have sex. No wait! That’s not what we learned from Lucy! Which is why the obligatory sex during a horror catastrophe, by the main characters, is the 2nd disappointment of this episode. The 1st, being, we didn’t get to play with our new friends, the Vampire Hit Squad, again! Still Nora and Eph’s little scene does provide yet another reminder of life going on, even in terrible events.
We are learning many lessons, best school lessons ever!
Always steal bread trucks- they’re big and come with food! When the apocalypse comes, steal any food truck.
Exterminators are cool headed and observant- make friends with them!
Don’t have roommates.
Kill your Annoying Red Shirts early- it’s more satisfying! (Sorry Matt, you know you had it coming)
Have a BatCave. With Weapons, lots of weapons.