The lucky survivors don’t start feeling so lucky and an old, old, acquaintance from Setrakian’s past comes to visit as The Strain goes into its second chapter here on Tube Talk!
The Strain: Season 1: Episode 2: Night Box: GRADE: B+
The Strain continues on with its second offering in a stronger installment.
Mystery and intrigue continue on here as Eph and the team try to figure out where the tomb went when Gus (Miguel Gomez) took it last episode with the help of Jim Kent (Sean Astin) of Eph’s team, but nothing is advanced on that tonight, but hey maybe last week.
Here we do get some insight to David Bardley’s Setrakian when he’s visited Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) shows up and addresses Setrakian by the number he was given in the Holocaust and well it seems his reappearance in Setrakian’s life might not be a coincidence. This scene was really good and an early highlight for any of Bradley’s acting which is great here still, but also Sammel who pulls off evil well, he seems like he is in league with the vampires and has great dialogue, as well as give us insight into Setrakian as Eichorst killed Setrakian’s love personally. Well there’s some good setup there.
As for the disease itself, we see the survivors go off on their own ignoring Eph’s orders with focus really on Joan Luss (Leslie Hope) who will lead a lawsuit against the airline being a lawyer and that’s about as much character development we get from her here and Gabriel Bolivar, the aforementioned Jack Kesy from last week, who both start to show signs of weakness from the strain. More so Gab as he bites into a lady’s neck deeper than he should when getting his sex on in a fourway. Joan just gets sick as well as the pilot towards the end of the episode who shows real signs of being sick. Good idea showing us them getting back into human life this early, though I would have expected that with say episode three. Though I think in someway we do need to see them right now out there to get the plot going and of course the infection spreading.
Our only true scare comes from episode’s end with the little girl killing her naive as hell father in a legitimate jump scare moment that is effective and creepy. Its an honestly great scene that carries on the heightened pacing and atmosphere set up from the pilot last week, pacing here was a bit of an issue feeling slow in a few places, but we’re more focused on characters and story in the follow up episode which you have to be in this case cause you can’t have as many scares this early on as you did in the pilot to entice people, because then a lot of other things would fall to the wayside.
Mostly characters, like Kevin Durand’s Ukrainian rat exterminator, Vasiliy Fet. He has an okay opening to the episode and has a good and honestly funny scene with a restaurant.
I just mentioned that cause I enjoyed it, we do of course find out that Eph falls into the alcoholic trope, but again its Stoll’s acting that can help sell this and make it really good, having done that bit on House of Cards. Stoll still does great work, especially, with that and the family stuff, and grows in his character’s occupation with taking charge in trying to understand this whole thing and the mystery of the vampires.
We get a look into the vampires and their plan and they are gonna be some admirable foes for us humanfolk. Its not much a look, but again, we got 11 episodes left so we’ll get there.
The Strain does a good job slowly getting us where we need to go, but too slow has hurt some shows in the past. Pacing should tighten up soon but what we got here, very good stuff and a slight improvement over the pilot.