The Strain: The Third Rail

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Vasiliy still the MVP. Abraham gets fed the fuck up. Zach proves he’s actually better than Season 1 & 2 Carl Jr. And Eph and Nora remind us how horrible they are as parents/responsible adults. Gus loses his family. That pretty much sums up this episode. Oh and the Master….The Master lives up to his name and apparently has one hell of an “army” building up. As if NYC wasn’t already a fucked up place at night, it’s about to get exponentially fucked.

the-strain-s1e11-noraSo much happened in this episode. First and foremost this episode is a nice reminder in case you forgot about how horrible Eph and Nora are as people. They leave Zach, a young boy, with Nora’s mother who is CLEARLY suffering from Alzheimer’s. Both of them didn’t need to go. I thought Nora should have stayed behind but not because she’s a woman but because she’s clearly not built for this life. I think Nora only went because she’s so in love with Eph she’s not even thinking straight. Nora’s exhibiting clear sidechick thought processes. Her mother clearly shouldn’t be left alone yet she was going to follow Eph into what really could have been their deaths. Which brings to Eph and how terrible of a father he is. It never crossed his mind that if he died, there would literally be no one left to watch over Zach. This episode actually made me appreciate the episodes earlier in the season with Eph trying to get custody. Why? Because it shows how RIGHT Kelly was.   Eph puts his job (or mission) above everything else and while he DOES love his family, he doesn’t realize how wrong some of his decisions are. I know he wanted to go on this mission to try to destroy the Master but he should have told Nora to stay behind. Not because he was worried about HER safety but because he was worried about his son’s.   Eph’s gotta be related to Lori Grimes. That’s the only explanation here. He’s really running in the lead right now in the race for Worst TV Father. Only person I can think of that is worse is Will’s dad from that episode of Fresh Prince.

The-strain-s1e11-zachDespite having a shitty father though, can we give it up to Zach? I usually hate kids in shows like this but he’s proving to be more likable than Eph and Nora by a long shot. The kid is smart. He used his iPhone to see around the corner in the shop and that might be one of the smartest things I’ve seen a kid do in a situation like this. But it’s also very real. Look, I’m the first one to say how stupid kids are. But the fact is, kids these days are very savvy and can be more aware than adults. And The Strain is proving that with Zach. He actually took control of the situation with Mrs. Martinez, left the shop, got her some cigarettes and calmed her down. Even managed to avoid getting bit by a vampire unlike the two other looters (Shoutout to them making some looters white) in the store. Ben Hyland has been doing a great job as Zach. He’s not annoying, he’s a very smart and aware kid and it’s been a joy watching him. I’ll be honest, if something happens to Zach I’m gonna be pretty emotional because this kid’s got potential. He’s all in on the vampire hunting. He wanted to go with the group and when he didn’t he stayed around practicing with the weapons. Yeah, don’t let anything happen to Zach please.

Poor Gus. First he had to kill his vampire brother with a baseball bat in one of the most horrifying ways possible. Then he found that his mom was turned too. We know Gus isn’t exactly citizen of the year but you can tell he loved his mom and how much that hurt him. He couldn’t even kill her, just left her there.  I'm interested in seeing where Gus goes from here.  Part of me wanted him to go with Zach after they crossed paths at the store but maybe that's something that will happen later on down the line.  Right now Gus is going around with that fireaxe and is

the-strain-s1e11-abrahamVasiliy and Abraham are the dynamic duo of Vampire Hunting. Vasiliy still got them bars and is all in on trying to wipe these things out. He built a UV light bomb man. Rookie of the Year. He also has a moment in the tunnels when he said after Nora was getting all philosophical, “I hope I’m defined by more than my wallet.” It just further showed to me how much Nora hasn’t come to terms with what they’re facing. Vasiliy has pretty much reached the point where, he’s seen some fucked up shit happen, so whatever Abraham says, he’s just going to believe. Eph is starting to come around to that but he had a huge relapse this episode when he started following Kelly’s voice. That was pretty much the final straw for Abraham. He’s fed up because he TOLD Eph this would happen. That the Master would use those close to Eph to hurt him and Eph almost died because of it. And they definitely just lost their best chance at getting the Master. But I also think this shows how ill prepared and unorganized this group is. As much as we say Eph should just “listen” to Abraham, the truth is, Abraham’s plans aren’t all that great. Remember, Abraham has tried to kill the Master before and failed. Abraham’s plans are to just show up, kill the master and then go home. But there’s a lot of details that aren’t thought out. He almost walked them right into a HUGE group of vampires nesting. Abraham’s pretty much become Captain Ahab and The Master is his Moby Dick. I honestly think Abraham would let everyone single one of them die if it means he gets to kill The Master. I don’t think that’s a great strategy to be honest and at some point, just like he wants Eph to listen to him, he’s going to need to sit down with the group and come up with an actual plan for this to work. Right now it feels like The Master is one step ahead of them all.

As we get close to the end of the season (only 2 episodes left) I feel like we’re in for some pretty intense episodes. This episode packed in a lot but it was all quality. I wasn’t expecting to like the moments with Zach but they turned out to be very good. I also think that now that Eph and Nora have finally come face to face with The Master, they’re going to be a lot less skeptical about what’s going on here. I don’t think I have anything really negative to say about this episode. I do want Nora and her mother to die but that’s more of a personal preference than an actual issue with the show. I’m just glad this show is already renewed for a second season.

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Charles (Kriss)

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    terxav 27 September, 2014 at 15:17 Reply

    The thing that is getting frustrating is having two scientist on this team is not benefitting it in any way.

    I mean if Eph or Nora actively helped in planning or creating weapons or proving to be useful instead of anchors.

    I wish that Nora’s mother was never introduced as a character . I know it is wrong, but I wish that mother and daughter get taken out. Not made into vampires but being removed from existence .

    It would be cool for Dutch and Gus to become a team. This would toughen Dutch up, the next time she meets with Eph telling him where to stick (Nora stop being so damn thirsty) his attitude would be refreshing. Oh, what if Dutch & Gus hook up (yeah I know she is a lesbian) with the Vampire SWAT team.

    I hope Abraham and Vasilly begin to train Zach in the nuances of hunting vampires. The kid has an interest that his father would benefit from.

    Nora and Eph could be much more interesting if separated. They feed off (maybe not the best phrase to use in The Strain) each other. Backing up whatever stupid move made by one another. Perhaps Nora could have come to terms earlier if she was not following Eph all over New York. And Eph would work better in the group without his needy cheerleader boosting his rather large ego.

    I have heard and read about the possibility of Nora & Vasilly getting together . But how about Nora & Gus, a Latin connection (yeah I know it sounds corny) that could be a nice touch.

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