Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain is now in its second season. To keep up with what’s happening with the show each week, Drew Dietsch and Andrew Hawkins will be putting their words together to cover only the most important of events from each episode. Strap in and enjoy as we recap, analyze and occasionally riff The Strain.
Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead
Andrew Hawkins: Hey Drew, do you like Mexican wrestling?
Drew Dietsch: I can’t explain the dumbfounded glee I experienced when this episode started up. The fact that Del Toro & Hogan have managed to incorporate a homage to the legendary wrestler/actor El Santo in their vampire outbreak story makes me unfathomably happy. The only downside to this opening is that I knew the rest of the episode couldn’t match up to its bizarro greatness. Once you show a Mexican wrestler fending off vampires with crucifix-shaped brass knuckles, you’ve set the bar way too high.
Hawkins: I could have watched an entire episode of just that movie by itself and goddamn I hope the full version makes it into the special features of the Blu-ray. The rest of the episode never had a chance of living up to that, however I do think the introduction of Angel was done very well. I can’t wait to see him get more involved as the story continues. So we got quite a bit more Gus in this one, how is he holding up for you now that he is completely alone following the events from last week?
Drew: I just don’t know about Gus. I’m not ready to give up on him, but there’s this aimlessness to his character that doesn’t feel intentional. While I really dug the scene between him and his strigoi-ed mom (I can’t get enough of those red eyes when The Master takes over), there doesn’t seem to be a plan for Gus. As you’re someone who has read the source material, I’m sure you have a lot more insight into this. Obviosuly, the show may not stay true to the books, but if you can drop some non-spoilery hints, I wouldn’t mind.
And yes, in the course of one episode, I have become utterly endeared to and intrigued by Angel. When he made his wrestling stance in the alleyway, I smiled. I’m liking him more than some characters we’ve known from the start. *cough*Zach**cough*.
Hawkins: I’m just gonna say I’m glad Angel is finally here and I cant wait to see him kick ass. Gus at this point is the only one who is really lost without a direction. Dutch and Setrakian are still moving forward towards finding the Lumen, Eph and Nora are still monitoring the effects of their counter-virus and Eldritch is still being Eldritch. The real turning point of this episode was the reveal that Ferraldo’s plan to “clean up” is more than just a vamp hunt. What are your thoughts on what happened to Fet, and also, how about that final moment in the batting cage?
Drew: Every week, Kevin Durand kills it as Fet, and his cute observation about explosions in movies just further cements his excellence. NOTHING BAD BETTER HAPPEN TO HIM. I’m getting a little bored of the Eldritch/Abraham flashbacks, especially since this week amounted to a very deflated first meeting between Eldritch and Eichorst. As far as he final scene with Kelly goes, I’m glad that the show has reminded us that she’s out there. She hasn’t made any progress (or even an appearance?) since the premiere, so I’m hoping the next episode shows her even closer to Zach.
I’d honestly rate this episode pretty low due to some serious wheel-spinning this week, but the introduction of Angel and that fantastic opening saves it. Let’s hope this is the calm before the storm starts to break open.
Hawkins: Yep. While I give the intro 5 Stars, I have to rate the overall episode low due to the pacing and the lack of any real progress. This one was more geared towards setting up future events. It’s high time we get to the good stuff.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Next week: Episode 5 – Quick and Painless