The show this week gets really good, but also really, really stupid.
The Strain: Season 1: Episode 11: The Third Rail: GRADE: B-
This week we once again have the ongoing battle to stop The Master and his plan and Gus.
Yeah once again he’s here and I have to say again, I do not care for him. Much like last week with Kelly, we’re suppose to feel for a character suddenly that we haven’t had any proper development of at all. Kelly was just Eph’s ex-wife and Gus honestly was just the person needed to help further get the plot moving in action. I’d been fine with Gus if that’s all his role is, but there’s nothing much to him
He’s sprung out and comes home to find brother and mother turned into vampires. Him and his whole family have been severely underdeveloped and we’re suppose to have this strong emotional reaction to him having to kill his brother and his landlord, which by the way big sidenote to Justin Britt-Gibson and Chuck Hogan who wrote the episode, the landlord killing moment? That was not as cool or cheerworthy as you think. He’s not an important character but only there to show how tough and serious Gus was and all he said the last time we seen him was that he made a simple request of a tenant to make living in his building and that rent be on time. Why the build up for that? Unless we seen him kicking puppies or punch kids randomly out on the street or being a corrupt landlord, then that moment is earned. Here? Not at all earned.
Also Gus is a piece of shit for NOT killing his mother. He can do it to his brother no problem but when the time comes to axe off old momma, he can’t do it. Gus, you’re an asshole. You just allowed for her to go out when the sun drops and turn more and more people into fellow vampires. You could have saved plenty of more people, but you can’t do the right thing. She’s dead anyway when The Master bites it, so its pointless that whole scene, as pointless as this whole subplot for the episode was. I haven’t read any of the books or comics, so maybe Gus is as important a character as the show seems to think he is, but man I kinda hope he’s not around next season or at best, think of something else for him to do.
Also Eph’s son goes to get Nora’s mom some cigarettes while coming across people looting and almost becomes vampire chow because he dropped Kelly’s iPhone and doesn’t want to lose the last bit of his mother he has left and leads them to be vampires while coming across Gus. Much shorter and had somewhat of a more emotional connection to the centralized character of that
Alright now let’s get to talking about something that matters into the damn plot of this show!
Eph is a flawed character and at points not the best guy. He prides himself on his knowledge and intelligence, even just has to have the last word. Like when he and Vasiliy get into in the subway tunnel. He’s asked how it feels to have a pawnbroker and a rat killer know more about him after Eph tries to humiliate Vasiliy about being wrong on a skill of his. He even doesn’t believe things have fully changed as evident by the dialogue from his first scene with Nora in the episode, still can’t believe this insanity is around him that the world is upside down, but he’ll totally buy into the notion that killing The Master is the cure all to vampires. That’s a slight inconsistency that would bother me, but since I’m really enjoying Corey Stoll’s performance here on the show and he’s giving this role his all, I can buy into wanting to follow this character as the hero of the story.
He isn’t the single highlight here as he, Setrakian, Nora, and Vasiliy go to take down The Master and the tension, build up, and conclusion to this, is great. Obviously they don’t get the job done but what is seen is exciting. Especially when Setrakian and Vasiliy each get stuck in a very tight space trying to get The Master and they are just stranded there ready to be vampire bait, the pacing, shots, and editing tighten it up so well I kinda was fearing for them, even know I know they are gonna make it out of that situation.
We see The Master in full light again and its still amazing. He and Eph have a memorable confrontation having lured Eph to him by using Kelly to toy with him. Its nicely done. I loved just everything about this section, it almost makes up for how stupid everything involving Gus was. Keyword: almost.
We do get a very cool strobe UV light bomb out of it. Yay new weapons!
Two episodes left in the season and it loos like things are heating up, but the show really, REALLY needs to know where to put the majority of tis focus.