The Strain keeps on going along smoothly in its latest episode here on Tube Talk!
The Strain: Season 1: Episode 3: Gone Smooth: GRADE B+
Well The Strain makes a considerable progress in story terms with the survivors starting to get more vampirey and all that.
We get an excellent cold opening tonight by seeing Eichorst put his human appearance together as we see his true self, a broken down, aged, decrypted vampire that’s shot and scored so beautifully. This was honestly great work. As great a work as the scares on tonight’s episode was. Again the show has a couple issue writing wise, but when it does come down to the horror, its excellent in that regard.
The show keeps up its consistent scary atmospheric tone and pacing very well and tonight’s ending is no exception where Eph and the group find Captain Redfern sucking up bags of blood before a surgery and man the camerawork on that, the pacing, the movement, and most importantly, the special effects. The way these guys are starting to look feels like del Toro’s creations and very similar to the vampires of Blade II with the spilt tongues feeling like how the mouths of those vampires split open and of course, the tonguework.
The show’s building mythology on vampires and the disease is going on greatly. They are doing great work with a slowburn on the disease effects suck the bloodlust and teeth loosing of Ansel and Gab becoming as anatomically impaired as a Ken doll. Not gonna lie, that creeped me out.
Horror is the name of the game here with the show and its fitting in fine with the strong caliber of programming that FX has built up over the years and makes a case for FX even cornering the much lauded Sunday night market for TV as they mostly have stuck to weekdays.
Eph here has his custody hearing and well Zach goes with Kelly and man Stoll does get to stand out yet again here with a nice dialogue with Kelly about how Zach is the most important thing to him. Slowly but surely, Stoll keeps getting better and better with his stuff here on the show, proving he’s worthy of the lead role. Hell he’s prove to be a good leader when it comes to his team and the case at hand, always wanting those answers.
Even just as good here is Sean Astin who gets to have a light shine on him as we see why Jim let the coffin through, to get enough money to get his cancer ridden wife into a special treatment for her disease. Its a a bit of a exposition dump when revealed, but his scenes with his wife are very good and have some really good emotion to them.
Though once again, David Bradley is the standout with his court scene and finally getting the CDC team to believe him. He spends most the episode with Nora trying to help each other out with information. They have a good chemistry that really works for both actors benefits as we inch a little closer to answers as to the vampires and they really do start helping shape up the character work of the show since Gus isn’t around this episode, which I find good as he is still one the weaker aspects of the show here. Kevin Durand shows up, doesn’t have too much to do. Hope that changes. Though I did like the follow up on the survivors this week, more so Redfern and Ansel, still have no care for Gab.
There seems to be a pattern here with the reviews, and much the show itself. Its divided up into the acting and the scare which are both hindering on the writing here. I wish there could be some more expansion with that, make the show really something else, but as it stand right now, its still a solidly entertaining show that needs to find its perfect balance to stay afloat.