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
Drew, is it just me or was this episode entirely about Eichorst?
Eichorst owns this episode. I loved the cold open with him playing makeup artist with Kelly. It’s a perfect example of how The Strain can achieve nice character bits with an air of eeriness about them. I kind of hope a little romance is in the works for Eichorst and Kelly because they now seem like great matches for each other. And Eichorst’s little talking down from Eldritch was probably one of my more enjoyable moments from that character. Richard Sammel’s ability to mask seething hatred is so fanatstic to watch. Throw in one of my favorite little cliches of “bad guy asking for God to prove his existence” and you have to give this hour of television completely over to one character.
Hawkins: I completely agree with you that Richard Sammel was on fire this episode. He has this way of mugging that is subtle and entertaining as hell. I’m glad they are using him to position all of these interconnected storylines. He’s practically a puppet master at this point for The Master and I freaking love it. That dialogue with Eldritch had me reeling. The “What do you do?” comment was just a straight jab at Eichorst’s integrity and Eldritch basically called him out as being The Master’s lapdog. I can’t wait to see how Eichorst deals with that situation once Eldritch is no longer useful.
Drew: I hate to say this, because I adore Jonathan Hyde and everything he’s doing on this show, but I’m kind of hoping that Eldritch outlives his purpose sooner than later. The character has felt very diminished this season, and the entirety of this episode’s atypical romance storyline with Coco (I still can’t get used to how odd it sounds when Hyde says her name with pure sincerity) was so unremarkable next to just a few seconds of Eldritch and Eichorst squaring off. I want that Eldritch Palmer in the show. Are you doing better with Eldroco than I am?
Hawkins: That scene in Eldritch Palmer’s bed had me feeling like worms were under my skin. Gross. I’m right there with you that we need to get past this point in the story. We have very little info about what’s going on with the buildings that are being turned into part of The Master’s plan, and the sooner we get the ball rolling on this, the better. What gets me now is Dutch has left with Nikki and god knows what they’re doing, and now Nora knows what happened with Eph in Washington.
Drew: The absence of Dutch probably means we’ll be getting some focus on her next episode, and I hope that means her and Nikki finally confront Nikki’s transgressions. Is it me or does it seem like Nora might be getting prepped to be the person we lose from the group this season? She’s felt kind of peripheral after her role in the “make a vamp virus” story wrapped up, and if they aren’t going to turn Zach (GODDAMNIT WE WERE SO CLOSE!), I think she’d be a heavy enough member to lose without completely breaking the show. And any excuse to heap more misery on top of Eph seems dramatically appropriate.
Hawkins: Eph is a walking tragedy. His flaws become more and more obvious with each episode and we are definitely building towards his eventual downward spiral right to the bottom. Whether that’s the bottom of a strigoi pit or a whiskey bottle has yet to be seen. Nora is on the chopping block and we almost lost her in the chapel. She would have been turned if it weren’t for Fet and Setrakian. I highly doubt that her luck will continue much longer. Now with that said, you mentioned earlier that you had a great time with Kelly’s makeover. Are you familiar with Coraline?
Drew: Is there an Other Mother correlation you’re wanting to make?
Hawkins: You know it! Kelly at this point is the stuff of nightmares. She looks like Zach’s mom, she sounds like Zach’s mom, but much like Boy in Little Monsters, just under the surface of a thin layer of cosmetic skin lies a monster ready to kill. It is terrifying. The feelers seem to be dropping like flies with every attempt Kelly makes towards retrieving Zach; but even after this defeat in Red Hook, everybody better be aware that she’s infiltrated the fortress once and it definitely won’t be the last time.
Drew: The season has definitely started to pick up steam in the back half, and though there are a few storylines that feel a little laggy at this point, the water seems to be coming to boil on a lot of fronts.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Next week: Episode 9 – The Battle for Red Hook