Well, we knew that after Matt was found fully turned last week that things probably weren’t going to play out very well for Kelly (Natalie Brown). But I also believe it didn’t end like we thought it would with Eph (Corey Stoll) having to off his ex-wife. Instead, I have a feeling we may be seeing the Kelly Goodweather character for a good while longer. In the meantime, Dutch and Vasily (Kevin Durand) hatch a plot to retaliate against Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) but with unexpected results.
With the addition of Dutch Velders, we have a supposed computer genius in the house, but I now know that if I have any technical issues, I should go to Zach Goodweather(Ben Hyland) instead. After all, he’s the one who comes up with the idea of tracking his Mom’s cell phone via the Internet. After scouring through Setrakian’s (David Bradley) assortment of laptops in his pawn shop, Zach finally finds one that can hold an Internet connection, even if only a faint one. He is barely able to connect but it’s enough to obtain the location of his mother’s cell phone — and the phone is moving. Armed with this new information, Eph heads out to find Kelly knowing full-well that it’s probably not going to have a happy ending.
However, before Eph is even able to find her phone, the audience is clued in to Kelly’s fate through a series of nicely-played flashbacks, starting all the way back to after Kelly and Matt had their big early-morning kitchen brawl. I particularly liked this aspect of the episode since it made it interesting, allowing the viewers to walk in Eph’s footsteps while at the same time watching it all play out from Kelly’s perspective.
In the first flashback, we learn that Matt returns home and judging from the clicking noises in his throat, he’s already fully-turned. He has the chance to turn Kelly right then and there while she’s asleep in bed, but the man shows that he does have some compassion because instead, he locks himself in the bathroom. Of course, Kelly is clueless and storms off to work very angry, thinking Matt is still steamed from their fight the day prior.
When Kelly returns home a few hours later, Matt is still there. Except now, he hasn’t fed in hours, he’s hungry and this time, he attacks. She puts up a pretty good fight and is able to dodge Matt and his stinger for the most part, but not without splashing some infected blood on her face, making way for hands-down the biggest gross-out moment of the season thus far.
You know, I was beginning to wonder why in the hell the show’s marketing team went through the trouble of posting that controversial worm-in-the-eye billboard if there wasn’t even a scene in the series that depicted that. Hehe, well, we got that scene tonight with a single bloodworm making its way into Kelly’s left eye. Ewww!!! She is able to get out of the house and away from Matt, but by the time she makes it to her car, the worm has already replicated and we see numerous new ones crawling along her hands and arms. Yes, Kelly has officially been infected.
Like any newly-turned strigoi, her first order of business is to find her loved ones, which in this case is her son Zach. Fortunately, she blacked out after her initial infection, making her late in picking up Zach at school and thus, prompting her friend Diane (Inga Cadranel) to pick him up instead and take him home. This is very fortunate for Zach but not so much for Diane. Kelly heads straight to Diane’s house and even though she doesn’t find her son, just like Matt she needs to feed and Diane and her son happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Not too long after, Eph is finally able to retrace all of Kelly’s steps and finds Diane and her turned son in the basement of their home. Very, very painful scene to watch. I’m sure putting down Diane was no big deal since he didn’t like the woman to begin with, but he also had the chore of doing the same for her son. That’s rough, as I’m sure it reminded him of Zach and what he might eventually have to do to his own son. But, the real moment of truth comes with what he finds clutched in Diane’s hand — Kelly’s necklace and with the chain broken as if there had been a struggle. At this point, Eph knows and we know that he knows. It’s the first time we’ve seen Eph cry — and it will probably be the only time — and even though I don’t like the guy, I truly felt sorry for him.
In the meantime, Dutch and Vasily concoct what I see as a stupid-ass plan of reversing the damage she did to the communications systems and at the same time, attempting to take out Palmer. Of course, they are caught as expected, with Palmer gloating in his success and ordering their immediate executions. The only surprising thing that comes out of all of this is Mr. Fitzwilliams’ (Roger Cross) decision to defy his boss’ orders and let them go. Yes, Mr. Fitzwilliams may be a loyal employee, but even that loyalty has limits, as he admits how “misguided” his employer’s actions are. I do actually like this guy and I really hope this betrayal won’t end up getting him killed.
The episode ends with one of the biggest surprises of the season (well, for those who have read the books, it is not a real surprise, but for all of The Strain virgins out there, I’m sure it is). Kelly isn’t killed by Eph like we thought she would be. Instead, it’s revealed that the Master has bigger plans for her. Using the strigoi’s telepathy, the Master leads her down an abandoned subway tunnel and directly to him. What exactly are the Master’s plans for this recently-divorced schoolteacher and mother of one? Only time will tell.
I absolutely loved this episode and I especially like the direction they seem to taking with the Kelly Goodweather character. Regardless of how I and the rest of the viewers feel about her character and how annoying she can be, I thought Natalie Brown did an exceptional job and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do, as well as seeing her in full make-up and all vamped-out.
Next week, the fight is officially heading underground and into the subway tunnels. As we saw early in tonight’s episode, Vasily’s theory is the majority of the strigoi are nesting in decommissioned subway tunnels and it looks like Setrakian may believe his young protege because that’s exactly where they’re heading.
Episode 1.11 of The Strain is titled “The Third Rail” and airs next Sunday at 10/9c on FX.
Most memorable quotes and random observations
- Okay, so where in the hell is Bolivar? It’s been four episodes since we’ve seen the guy and given his central role in the books, I think it’s about time he shows back up.
- It’s also been a while since we’ve seen the mysterious hooded vigilante, Mr. Quinlan. Chuck Hogan said at SDCC that he should be returning in episode 11 (next week’s episode) and will be featured heavily in the final three episodes of the season. I sure hope so because I’m ready for Quinlan and his swat team to kick some serious strigoi butt!
- So, how long do you think Dutch will last now that she’s out there on her own? Probably not long unless she decides to stop being a dumb-ass and comes back.
I could be your boss — Dutch
Assistant — Vasily
Boss — Dutch
Details… — Vasily
- I wouldn’t dream of wasting your time — Dutch to Vasily
- I’m on the verge of the ultimate hack — cheating death — Palmer
- Kelly, come to me. Rejoice and raise your glorious fate — the Master to Kelly
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