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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Setrakian Reveals His Strigoi Secret in The Strain “Fort Defiance” 

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

[Warning: Episode spoilers ahead.]

Setrakian has always been a little bit of a puzzle, doling out tidbits of his life on a “need to know” basis, and tonight we found out his biggest secret (so far). He’s been hunting Strigoi, harvesting worms, and distilling them into eye drops as a sort of immune booster so he can keep fighting the Master.

The way this unfolds onscreen is interesting because we don’t really have a bead on exactly what he’s doing. We see him out on the waterfront, stalking and killing a random Strigoi and collecting a few of the worms, which on the face of it might seem like an errand for the McGeever experiment (which is officially awful to witness). But then he takes them home, lights them up in some sort of cocktail on a Bunsen burner, and siphons the liquid into a medicine dropper, from which he puts a few drops into his eyes.

Nora is the one to question him when she encounters him collapsed and bleeding from the eyes and then miraculously restored the following morning. She demands the truth, reminding him that she was his champion–the one who got him onto the team– and his friend. He tells her hasn’t told anyone his secret, and before he says it out loud, she must promise not to tell anyone, including Eph, because he knows it’s flagrantly at odds with killing the Strigoi, and she pledges that she won’t.

He admits that he consumes the worms because he needs them to maintain his health. He shows her his concentration camp stamp and asks her if she’s never wondered about his age. He tells her he’s 94. When he’s done confessing, she thanks him for telling her, and then she quietly walks away, and he’s aggrieved that she knows. David Bradley is so good.

It’s an intriguing conundrum that the thing he needs most is also the thing he hates, sort of an extremely perverse take on addiction. I take it to mean the he can bargain with himself about that because it’s what is required to beat the Master, and when he’s annihilated all the Strigoi, he won’t need the worms anymore because he’ll finally accept death. He says as much to Nora, telling her, “I will win or die…I will not fade away as a weak, old man.”

I like that he’s two for two on heart-to-hearts with Nora, and that he didn’t tell Fet yet–a conversation that will be hard because of the way Fet reveres him.

Also in this episode, we saw Vaun and his team presumably perish in Palmer’s lair trap (I’m betting Ms. LeMarchand is wondering if her old job is still available), so does that mean Gus will soon be calling on Setrakian for back up? And who will now be their conduit to the Ancients? Do the Ancients somehow know that Setrakian is dosing himself?

I love seeing Roger Cross again. Curious where that is going, with him now ensconced in the Staten Island “safe zone.” Having Orphan Black‘s Kevin Hanchard come to play as his brother is fantastic, too. More of that, please.

Oh, and Eph basically pokes the bear when he threatens the Master, through Mr. McGeever, to just try to take his son.

The Strain airs at 10/9c Sundays on FX.

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