First Aired August 28th, 2016.
Abraham (played by David Bradley) narrates that the Strigoi invasion will be the biggest test of humanity’s strength. Vasiliy (played by Kevin Durand) works with a team of commandos who are searching for Bolivar/The Master (played by Jack Kesy).
Ephraim (played by Corey Stoll) stakes out his old house hoping for a sign of his son Zack (played by Max Charles) who was kidnapped by his Strigoi ex-wife Kelly (played by Natalie Brown). He is also working on a bioweapon with the help of Councilwoman Justine (played by Samantha Mathis) but refuses her pleas to join her staff. Abraham and Quinlan (played by Rupert Penry-Jones) examine the Occido Lumen for clues to defeating the Master but struggle to comprehend it. While siphoning gas from cars in a parking garage, Ephraim is attacked by Strigoi and barely escapes. Augustin (played by Miguel Gomez) is keeping his turned mother tied up and gives her his blood for food. Quinlan meets with the Ancients who are worried that Abraham’s research to decipher the Lumen and kill the Master would mean their deaths as well. Driven by his lifelong mission to kill the Master, Quinlan decides to continue helping Abraham.
The premiere opened strong and established the storylines of the season (finding Zack, creating the weapon, etc). Justine is a great addition to the main cast. She was a standout character in season two and with the death of Nora (played by Mia Maestro) the show needed another strong female character. However, The Strain continues to underuse characters in part because there are so many. The scene with Agustin would have played better if he had more than one short scene, and instead was filler that detracted from the episode’s main story. The Ancients are scary to look at but since they can’t move or speak they don’t add anything to the story. Since this season was shortened to only ten episodes there needs to be an improvement with how characters are used. But with that said, the action scenes were fun and made the episode more exciting.
Vasiliy attempts to strategize with Abraham but Quinlan’s presence creates tension before he leaves to meet with his team of commandos. He’s told that they will only stay a few more days to hunt the Master and that, in the eyes of the government, New York City has been written off. While searching a subway tunnel, the team stumble upon Eichhorst (played by Richard Sammel) who leads them into a church where they’re ambushed by Bolivar/The Master.
Bolivar/The Master uses high-pitched screams to incapacitate the team. Vasiliy runs in and manages to save a few but most of the men are killed. Kelly visits Zack in a makeshift bedroom created for him and he helps maintain her human appearance. She tells him that Bolivar/The Master has allowed them to be together but cryptically says it’s because she agreed to do something for him.
Doesn’t seem likely Quinlan and Vasiliy will end up bonding over drinks anytime soon. The remark about the government writing off the city felt like a prescient warning. If the city is deemed gone, what’s to stop them from bombing it? The main action scene at the church was great because Bolivar/The Master was there, and although he’s the main villain in the past he played almost no active role in the plot. Sadly, we only got a glimpse of Eicchorst who I’m sure will continue to be an enigmatic villain. It will be interesting to see how the dynamic between Kelly and Zack changes over the course of the season. Will he finally realize his mother is a monster or decide to be turned and remain her little boy forever?
Kelly gathers her Feelers (the turned blind children) and goes to see Ephraim at their old home. She tells Ephraim that Zack is still alive and tells him that to get Zack back if Ephraim has to steal the Lumen. It’s obvious Kelly isn’t giving up Zack. The real question is will Ephraim be stupid enough to give her the book thinking she will keep her end of the deal? Overall, this was a good start and if the rest of the episodes continue like this we’ll have a great season.
“If we don’t stay ahead of these things, we’re done. It’s not a question of if we’re going to fail, only when.”
According to the narration, it’s been less than a month since the Strigoi invasion started. It feels like much longer.
“I’ve had this disease ever since I was young, makes me speak my mind.” “Don’t you ever take the cure.”
People are saying the Strigoi are getting smarter but they’re just as mindless as before.
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