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
Another week, another recap! I feel antsy to start off with the newest member of the cast, Quinlan, because he’s just so dang cool. Although I already miss Stephen McHattie, this new badass vamp is a great substitute. Riding into town in a refrigerated truck is pretty baller, and probably the most badass-affirming moment is when he’s the first character we’ve seen that’s not supplicated themselves before the Ancients. He tells them that they’ve been to lenient with The Master for centuries, and it makes me so itchy to see more ancient (*sigh) history like the Sardu story that kicked off this season. I’m loving every little bit we learn about these creatures, and Quinlan seems like a perfect entry point into that stuff. How did you feel about our new bonesword-wielding strigoi hunter?
Quinlan immediately calls bullshit on the Ancients and the way they have allowed The Master to live this long. That’s pretty hardcore. He doesn’t hesitate to tell it like it is and from what he’s saying, we should expect to see him pick up right where Vaun left off. I’m really hoping to see Quinlan and Fet in the same room at some point. If anything, we now know that the hunt for The Master is on and the game haas changed. And damn if I’m not itching to see that sword in action. So let’s get to the real moment of this episode that changes everything and we’ll talk about Eph and Kelly and Reggie Fitzwilliam along the way. Let’s talk about Bollivar. Holy shit.
Drew: If Quinlan and Fet don’t team up, I will be immensely disappointed. If Dutch does end up biting the dust, Quinlan would be a great pairing for Fet while he doles out some rage-fueled vengeance.
I’m the first to admit my own ignorance and stupidity: I did NOT see that coming, and in hindsight it makes perfect sense. The Master choosing Bolivar over Eichorst will definitely be a season highlight, especially seeing how great Richard Sammel sold his feelings of betrayal. Although I’ll miss The Master’s giant form, I’m really happy that Jack Kesy will be taking center stage as the baddie. He’s been thoroughly enjoyable as Bolivar, but now that he’ll get to really let loose as the big bad, I can’t wait to see what’s in store. I also hope it means we’ll be seeing more of The Master in the coming weeks.
Your turn! How awesome was that scene?
Hawkins: One thing I absolutely have to give credit to Guillermo for is knowing how to combine elements of religion and gothic horror. The man is a goddamn alchemist. Just the dialogue itself is completely jaw dropping, let alone the whole baptism by worms that we see brought back from the origin story of Sardu becoming The Master. There was no way this scene could top the season’s opener, but I will definitely say that this episode is the absolute best we’ve seen since then.
While we’re on a high note, I wanna talk about more religious iconography. Every time I see a film that features a showdown in a church I get an odd sense of adrenaline while watching. Something about the sanctity of holy ground being violated by evil forces works incredibly well in horror stories as long as it’s done right. The hunt for Zach got very real this episode and now Kelly is directly responsible for the death of a member of the group. Everything about this sequence worked for me from the hide and seek inside the chapel, to the arrival of the cavalry only to have Mr. Fitzwilliam bite it.
Drew: I was bummed that we lost Fitzwilliam so soon after his initiation into the group (I would have loved to have seen more scenes between him and Fet), but he fulfilled his purpose and went out in an honorable but brutal fashion.
The church scene was great, although I must admit some frustration over Zach not biting it. I’ve been hoping Kelly’s crusade would end with Zach’s strigoi-ification, and I still pray for that, but this was a great confrontation. It feels like the season is ramping up in the back half, and I couldn’t be happier.
Hawkins: Absolutely. Now that the show has gotten past some of the sluggish exposition to set up this next part of the story, we’re seeing events unfold that have been a long time coming. Eph is bringing death everywhere he goes now, and his short lived stint as an international man of mystery has me its end. Setrakian is getting closer all the time to reaching his goal and Gus and Angel have now fought together and survived. Let’s see how our heroes hold up now that the game has changed. I just can’t wait to see how Eldritch Palmer reacts to the news.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Next week: Episode 7 – The Born