Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Here’s to surviving — Gabriel Bolivar
Cheers, Gabe, and under normal circumstances being one of four survivors on a plane of 210 passengers would be a call for celebration. But, sometimes, as these four “lucky” people will soon find out, death is the better option.
As we saw at the end of last Sunday’s premiere, the dead passengers of flight 753 were not really dead, with all 206 of them now on the loose in Manhattan. This is still unknown to Dr. Goodweather (Corey Stoll) who continues to concentrate on the survivors and insists on their remaining quarantined even though Regis Air releases documents pointing to a faulty air system as the culprit. Â But, with Director Barnes (Daniel Kash, Orphan Black)Â being more political than logical, he allows the four surviving passengers to leave and orders Drs. Goodweather and Martinez (Mia Maestro) off the case.
Of course, with Eph being “passive-aggressive, and actively aggressive, as well as controlling and self-centered” (in his own words!), they continue to investigate. Knowing full well that neither the snobby lawyer, the self-involved rock star, nor the pussy-whipped computer geek will help, they turn to Captain Redfern (Jonathan Potts). Unlike the airline and even his own union who are only concerned with covering their own asses, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to the truth. So, he takes Dr. Goodweather’s advice and checks himself into the hospital to try and uncover the true origin of the outbreak that wiped out nearly the entire manifest of his plane.
His timing could not have been more perfect, because almost immediately he takes a turn for the worse. His temperature begins to spike, tests reveal that his cellular structure is actually changing, and upon examination by Dr. Goodweather under UV light, the same worms they found at the airport are seen crawling under the Captain’s skin. Obviously, the survivors were infected just like everyone else, the only difference being the remaining passengers were put into some kind of hibernation before the virus actually activated. Â Perhaps the survivors were only a diversion while a much bigger threat, the 206 dead bodies, were released without question? Â Probably so. It looks like you should have listened to the old man after all. Oops. Dr. Goodweather screwed up, and from the look on his face, he knows it already.
Lots of plot development and lots of action in this episode, but sometimes the more quiet, subtler scenes turn out to be the best. This was the case of the introduction (or should I say, re-introduction) of Eichhorst (Richard Sammel) and Setrakian (David Bradley). We knew from the premiere that these two had a history, and we knew they would meet again, and tonight, it finally happened. While David Bradley may have shined last week, Richard Sammel definitely stole the show in this episode. Wow. The Master may be big, taunting and terrifying, but this guy sends chills down my spine, and yes, Abraham, I think you should be worried:
The great game is over, Jew. Amazing. Despite evidence to the contrary, you cling to the delusion that you will prevail. Don’t tell me you still believe in that God of yours. So, where is He? Why has he done nothing? Face the truth, He’s nothing but a figment of your imagination. Your arrest report says you were apprehended with an antique sword. Is it Sardu’s? — Eichhorst
Don’t worry, I will give it back to your Master in due time — Setrakian
That is amusing. And her heart? Do you still have it as well? Oh, you are such a sentimentalist! You might like to know this, she struggled at the end but she never cried out. Â Only a single word — Abraham. Â But you were not there to help her. —Â Eichhorst
I will avenge her –Â Setrakian
You won’t avenge anyone. Â You’re not a hero or a savior. Â You’re just a number, I gave you that number. Â I want you to watch it unfold, unable to do anything to stop it. And, when you die, it will be the Master’s eyes that you see last. Until next time, 8230385 — Eichhorst
This was outstanding not just because it was so creepy but also because it revealed that these two have a very personal vendetta. Â VeryÂ personal.Â Even though it was not explicitly stated, there were strong hints that the beating heart in Setrakian’s basement was that of his wife, and Eichhorst was the one who killed her. And, in retaliation for her death, Setrakian killed someone close to Eichhorst and dumped his remains in the North Sea. But, it is far from over. Â Almost like a trophy, Setrakian stole Sardu’s sword (in the books, Jusef Sardu is the man from ancient times who was infected, turned and became the Master), and Eichhorst is hell-bent on Setrakian watching everyone around him die at the hands of the man/creature that he has tried to but cannot defeat.
The episode ends by wrapping up a storyline that ironically began in the final scenes of the previous episode. We all knew that sweet Emma showing up on the doorsteps of her grieving father would not end well. But, after a full day and as night fell on the first night, our fears were confirmed. Â With the Master now in Manhattan and able to control his new acolytes, Emma has turned and takes down her father as her first victim. Of course, we know the exact same thing is happening with the other 205 dead passengers, and so, the epidemic has officially begun. I can almost hear Eichhorst saying to Setrakian in that soft raspy voice, “Check and mate, 8230385”.
As an added bonus to an already fantastic episode, we are finally introduced to the Vasily Fet character that all of the Kevin Durand fans have been waiting for. And, this guy is one strange dude. He’s an inspector for the New York City Pest Control, and his specialty is rats. But, at the same time, if you take a look around his loft in the opening scenes of the episode, you will see a couple of swords and various other weapons, not to mention the guy is very tall and overbearing (the actor stands at 6’6″). The times are changing, and a New World is about to be born — and something tells me that this guy may be one of the few who has what it takes to survive. We shall see.
Most memorable quotes and random thoughts
- Good job, little killer. Now, Poppa is going to go to do some killing –Â Vasily Fet
- Yo, waxy boy, I got your box!Â — Gus
- Where’s his head! –Â Jim Kent
- I need my pipes cleaned. Â Pick a couple of hot ones –Â Bolivar
- He’s chosen you to bear witness to his glory –Â Eichhorst to Palmer
- You’ve brought me all this way, aren’t you even going to look at me –Â The Master to Palmer
- The look on Palmer’s face after he glanced at the Master was priceless. Â Was he thinking,Â “What have I done!?”. Â Yeah, probably.
Next time onÂ The Strain…
Next week we see the metamorphosis has been completed for at least 3 of the survivors, and we finally learn the reasons behind Jim Kent’s (Sean Astin) involvement with the Stoneheart Group and Eichhorst. Â But, be sure you have your tissues handy because Jimbo’s backstory is a real tearjerker. Â Melanie Merkosky guest stars as Sylvia Kent. Â Episode 1.03 is titled “Gone Smooth” and airs next Sunday at 10/9c on FX.
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