Well, with one season still remaining, did we really expect our heroes to save the day for good? Since the announcement next year’s fourth season would be The Strain’s last, the hope has been there would be a sense of urgency in the storytelling and a strong push towards the endgame. While the last few episodes have taken a drastic step in the right direction, “The Fall” seemed to be following suit and advancing the plot — before ultimately ending in an all-too-predictable way.
Before developing and serving as showrunner on The Strain, Carlton Cuse was half of the duo behind one of television’s greatest dramas of all time: Lost. While you wouldn’t think The Strain and Lost would have much in common besides the occasional monster, the last few episodes of the FX series have seemed to adopt some of the Lost DNA.
Last week provided some much needed victories for our team of heroes and villains (looking at you Palmer), but in “White Light,” everyone seemed to come up just short, unless you’re Eph and Dutch shippers (Etch doesn’t quite have a ring to it). Still, the combination of character development and action, has the show riding a hot streak.
During the first three seasons of The Strain, there have been plenty of mistakes made by our central characters. As incredibly crucial as they have been to the battle against the strigoi, Eph and company aren’t devoid of blame. In tonight’s episode, “Collaborators,” which may have been the best of the season, many of the characters face the mistakes of their past and hope to make things right (or left for Eichhorst considering his hand situation).
It’s safe to say things did not go according to plan on tonight’s episode of The Strain. Titled “The Battle of Central Park,” the hour chronicled what was supposed to have been a decisive blow against the vampires in the continued quest to wrest back control of Manhattan. There’s no question the humans did score some small victories against their supernatural opponents, but by the installment’s conclusion, the vampires still appeared to have the upper hand (well, except maybe for Eichhorst…).
Madness makes men do strange things — it’s an obvious truism, and it was the overriding theme of tonight’s episode of The Strain. Dutch and Eph undertook some unusual experiments in the continued hunt for a means to disable the strigoi’s telepathic network, while Fet, seemingly for fun, tagged a couple of vampires in the street in attempt to root out their nest. What he discovered, a massive swarm of sleeping strigoi huddled beneath Central Park, would be enough to loosen anyone’s grip on sanity.
So, it would seem reports of the Master’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
A centuries-long hunt drew to a staggering close in tonight’s episode of The Strain, appropriately titled “First Born.” Quinlan finally confronted his evil father in the unlikeliest of locations (Coney Island?!) and left the Master lying on the ground, headless. But mere decapitation isn’t sufficient to stop the big bad vamp, who is sure to be reborn in a new physical form. However, the face-off might have spelled the end for Quinlan, whose fate by the hour’s conclusion seemed grim at best. Without some supernatural assistance, Eph and his allies could really be in trouble.
At the end of last week’s season 3 premiere of The Strain, a distraught Eph was facing a terrible dilemma — should he deliver the Occido Lumen to the care of the Master (who surely would use the text against his human enemies), and in return, be reunited with his still-living son? Or should he prevent the chief vampire from gaining hold of the book and risk never seeing Zack again? At the conclusion of tonight’s episode, “Bad White,” it’s Quinlan who steps in to offer another path — ally instead with the Born, steal the ancient book, and use it to save the world.
When FX renewed its apocalyptic vampire series The Strain for a third season of 10 episodes (rather than its traditional 13), showrunner Carlton Cuse assured viewers the compressed schedule would help accelerate the pace of the storytelling and give the show a stronger sense of urgency. He wasn’t kidding. Tonight’s premiere felt a little bit like a reinvention, if not a wholesale reboot, with some sleek opening credits that seemed designed to shift the prevailing mood from slow-burn horror to James-Cameron-style action.
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