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Recaps

The Strain “It’s Not For Everyone” 

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/FX

Have you ever had aspirations for being a vampire hunter? If this sounds like you, send your resume to Abraham Setrakian, Knickerbocker Loans and Curios. Only serious applicants need apply. But, be warned — it’s not for everyone.

Yep, I think we’ve passed the point of no return and it’s time to start forming a group of vampire hunters. Last week’s episode ended with the fully-turned Redfern (Jonathan Potts) attacking Drs. Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and Martinez (Mia Maestro) and Jim Kent (Sean Astin), with Eph stepping up and saving the day by bashing in the creature’s skull. Jim and Nora are too shell-shocked to do much of anything and Eph is the only one who is still thinking like a doctor when he decides that this is their one shot of finding out exactly what they are dealing with. An autopsy is the only way they’ll get any answers and they have to do it now before the government swoops down and take their body, down the rabbit hole and never to be heard from again.

I hope you guys didn’t eat dinner right before the show because this is some seriously disgusting and disturbing stuff. Basically, most of Redfern’s organs had atrophied and become completely necrotic, simply because they weren’t needed anymore (much like Bolivar’s genitals rotting and falling off in last week’s episode). The lungs had dried up, the heart shriveled and the only functioning tissue were some new tubes leading to the creature’s stinger, which also helped to propel it. As Dr. Goodweather put it, “human biology has been re-written” to support this new creature and to help it reproduce.

After the autopsy was done and the team realized all of the mistakes they had made Jim Kent finally comes clean about his involvement. He was the one who let the coffin through security at the airport and he did it all for the money to pay for his wife’s cancer treatments. We all knew this time would come, but it was still so painful to watch! Poor Jim, what a mess you’re in, but we still love you! Of course, Eph reacted exactly how I knew he would and was a royal asshole (I can’t be the only one out there who can’t stand this guy!). He seemed to have forgotten that he, too, had made some mistakes, including not listening to Setrakian (David Bradley) and his warnings. But, that didn’t matter. He now had his patsy to help him sleep at night and that was Jim Kent. What pissed me off even more about this scene was that Eph didn’t seem to give a damn about Jim’s wife and he couldn’t see how someone would be driven to commit such a huge act of dishonesty even if someone they were in love with were dying. Hmmmm, I wonder if this is some kind of omen? Dr. Goodweather doesn’t know what it’s like to lose someone he loves. But, remember he has a wife and a son and I wonder what he will do if/when the day comes when their lives are threatened by this new vampiric virus. I have a feeling he may react very differently once the tables have turned. In the meantime, f**k you, Dr. Goodweather.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/FX

While Redfern and Bolivar went through their transformation in the final moments of last Sunday’s episode, the same thing was happening to the third survivor, Ansel Barbour (Nikolai Witschl). However, instead of relishing his new identity and embracing it like Bolivar did, what he is becoming frightens him and he begins taking steps to protect his family. He insists that their two children be taken to his sister’s house in New Jersey. Now, while his wife is away he does have a moment of weakness and kills the family dog (we knew that pooch was toast from the very beginning and so, this shouldn’t have been a huge shock!), but there was no way he was going to let himself hurt anyone, especially his wife and kids. So, he takes the chains that they normally used to bind the family dog in the shed and uses them to tie himself up. This is so heartbreaking and probably the best scene of the entire episode. It’s heartbreaking for Ansel. It’s heartbreaking for his wife Annie (Alex Paxton-Beesley). And it’s heartbreaking for their children. The only person it wasn’t heartbreaking for was their jerk-off neighbor, Trip Taylor (Darrin Baker). He’s the snooty asshole who is constantly complaining about their dog and the noise it makes. Annie’s entire life had fallen apart in a single day and this was definitely not the day for Mr. Taylor to show up and get in her face. So, she happily obliges him when he volunteers to teach their loud dog a thing or two and shoves him into the shed with her newly-turned husband. And she doesn’t even flinch. Good for you, Annie. This show is all about gloom and doom and rarely has a funny moment. But this was absolutely hilarious and reminded me of myself if I were in a similar situation.

The episode ends right back where the previous two episodes had left off, and that’s at Emma Arnot’s house. Eph wanted to talk to the old man now that he believed him, but first he wanted to find another survivor to add to his case before presenting his findings to Barnes at the CDC. When they arrived at Arnot’s house they did not find Emma though. They found the turned Emma, as well as her father and to their surprise, Setrakian was there as well. Both Eph and Nora froze at what they were seeing and so, Setrakian had to step up and finish the job, decapitating both newly-turned vampires while sputtering some German (I think) that I did not understand.

Eph is in shock. Nora is in shock. But, Eph snaps out of it and realizes that no matter how crazy it sounds, Setrakian has all of the answers and humanity’s best shot lies in the hands of this old, broken man. But Nora doesn’t buy it. She’s still thinking like a doctor and refuses to take lives when she had taken an oath to save them. So Eph and Setrakian are on their own, at least for the time being.

ItsNotForEveryone6
Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/FX

All in all, another excellent episode and probably the best one so far in the series. Great acting, great character development and, of course, plenty of gore to satisfy the horror fiends out there. The only ding I give this episode is some of the cheesy lines given to a few of the characters, especially Dr. Martinez (she also had several such lines in the pilot).

Label this — Eph
Label it with what? — Nora

Really? Dr. Goodweather is the smartest one in the bunch and there’s no way he would have handed down a stupid one-liner like that. Regardless, putting these little annoyances aside, I loved this episode and really love this show.

So, what does everyone else think? Jim is off the team. Nora has left the team. Will Dr. Goodweather’s group reconcile and will it be in time to help fight this epidemic? And what about the fourth survivor, Joan Luss (Leslie Hope)? So far, we haven’t heard a peep from her since she left the quarantine area. I assume she went through a similar transformation, but you never know…

Most memorable quotes and random thoughts

  • Anything is possible if it’s motivated by enough hatred, Mr. Palmer. But it’s got to be someone who’s really smart, to figure out how to drown the servers. Takes time and patience. But the story is the group came to me. I’m the only one who can slow the internet down to worse than dial-up. And if there is someone else that can, I taught them — our lovely female hacker, Dutch Velders, (Ruta Gedmintus, The Borgias) to Palmer
  • It’s much harder to hide evil shit these days, isn’t it? –  Dutch Velders to Palmer
  • Is that the technical term for this now? Stinger?! — Jim Kent
  • This thing just shot a six foot python out of its mouth, its dick is gone and it just squirted a shitload of shit all over the table. And you got your hands everywhere! — Jim Kent to Eph
  • Go to your wife. Call Barnes, call the police, I don’t care. You’re dead to me. — Eph to Jim
  • Have they already forgotten how much they need me? Why are they doing this? I was promised a miracle — Palmer. So, I guess Palmer is finally getting the memo that Eichhorst and Co. is leaving his old, wrinkled ass behind now that they’ve gotten everything they need. You think? How did Palmer get to be so rich but be so naive.
  • Some brains can’t adjust. I can see how you love her for that, but you have to let her go. Get the gasoline. — Setrakian to Eph
  • Yeah, Nora was very annoying in this episode. Her calling the turned “sick” and wanting to find a cure reminded me of Hershel Greene from The Walking Dead, hoarding up walkers in his barn and waiting for a miracle.
  • My childhood memories have been permanently tainted, because I don’t think I can ever listen to “This Old Man” again without seeing sweet Emma and that giant thing coming out of her mouth.
  • Jim asked where all the worms went but Eph didn’t know. Very good question. I hope no one inadvertently got infected!
  • We are introduced tonight to Gus’ best bud, Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce).  Big guy with a big heart, but a very small brain.  If they follow the books closely, then a major arc involving Gus and Felix should be coming up fairly soon.

The Strain airs on Sunday nights at 10/9c on FX.

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