How to Infect Vampires and Influence People
The Strain: Season 2: Episode 4: The Silver Angel: GRADE: B
So our episode this week opens with a black and white movie of a luchadore wrestler wrestling then fighting a horde of vampires. Instantly I’m loving it. Wrestling and vampires, two things I enjoy together (again)! The movie within the show is the star of it, The Silver Angel himself, Angel reliving some of his glory days here played by Joaquín Cosío. His story is good which sadly intersects with Gus’ ongoing this week as they cross paths when he comes into the restaurant that Angel works at with his family. He’s obviously lost his way since a very noticable injury ended his career, but still has an admirer in Gus. Not much is made beyond someone who at the beginning was reliving his glory days and might soon find his way again as setup, but the possibility of a former wrestler fighting vampires, that’s pretty cool.
Now to Gus, still not interesting in the slightest. I have some strong feelings as to how Gus left his infected mother last season and this episode came around to remind me how much I disliked that about Gus. The Master talks to Gus via his mother about their past and scolds Gus, calling him a coward and tries to attack him via his mother and I seriously found this as bad as it was before. The whole way of execution and setup of that and well now just doesn’t work since Gus hasn’t given me much to care about him. I’d love to feel something with how he just now locks the door to his former home, which he didn’t do before so hey way to risk more infected people, and symbolically leave his mother and his old life behind, but I feel nothing. Its just nothing. Also Gus and Angel’s daughter are gonna be a thing, next!
After the detour last week we are back to story and mythology building with Setrakian and Palmer’s past together which was interesting thanks to the appearance of Eichhorst. They both followed a lead to where the Occido Lumen was at a nunnery, but it was for naught. As Setrakian took care of some vamps in the catacombs Eichhorst appears and sways Palmer over to the dark side. The brief scene of the two is nice to see a young and obviously vulnerable Palmer have his emotions played with by such an offsetting man. We don’t see what was said, but you seem to get enough from how Eichhorst presented himself. Setrakian gets back and Palmer abruptly ends their partner ship. This has effects today as Setrakian and Dutch find Fitzwilliams on Staten Island with his brother, hi Kevin Hanchard from Orphan Black, and convince him to join along since Setrakian knows Fitzwilliams’ father from his time with Palmer.
Speaking of Staten Island Councilwoman Feraldo’s successful clearing of Staten Island has works she’s imposing martial law on Red Hook. For a new character, she’s making quite the mark for herself and Fet appreciates her efforts. Well that is until Fet is over at Red Hook and finally blows the subway up and finds himself at the hands of one of Feraldo’s curfew enforcers and is detained. Also Fet says how he hates cool people walking away fro explosions in movies and that is how he further won my heart.
On to bigger and better things, in the infection is working. Eph and Nora’s test subject is proving to be very successful as its taken out some vamps and is causing The Master to panic. He’s communicating to some of his flock to kill themselves rather than spreading. I’ve heard of fast results but goddamn. Eph’s adrenaline is getting the better of him as he wants to go right to Washington with this, but Nora isn’t too sure and wants to take some few key steps as to further seek out its effectiveness. Meanwhile Eph takes Zach to the batting cages to remember better times at the behest of Nora to relax. Zach really just remembers the fun time he had with Eph and Kelly before shit went down and well its an awkward exchange that thankfully doesn’t end with Zach yelling anything like he has in previous episodes. Speaking of Kelly, she’s hot on their trail since she and the feelers have found them and are tracking them from the batting cages Promising stuff.
Finally Palmer calls together the leading investors and big wigs of the world to help get the market back on track, but Palmer has set it up for Bolivar, Zach’s favorite artist, and a nest of vampires to attack them as they exit and Palmer gets away scot free as the markets crash and panic gets spread even further. Now that’s a nice touch to the proceedings to make things exciting.
Moving away from the missteps of last week proved helpful for The Strain this week as it gets firmly back on track to continue a fairly strong second season and amp things up to give some hope, but not too much since many are still left in peril by episode’s end. But never fear, The Silver Angel is here!
Masters of Sex: Season 3: Episode 4: Undue Influence: GRADE: A-
Without a doubt the biggest surprise of this latest episode was the return of Allison Janney as Margaret and she seems to have made something for herself with a new man in Graham played by Tate Donavan and they visit Bill’s office for Graham’s premature ejaculation and seeing Barton walk through the door, congrats on the new job, and Margaret starts to think about how her life has changed. Margaret is a woman who has been robbed of intimacy from the man she once loved because of Barton’s closeted homosexuality and feels like she might be from Graham’s premature ejaculation. She feels as if she might be the problem, that she might never feel the great release of orgasm or the joy of sex ever again with just Graham, and not Graham and another one of the women in their polyamorous. She needs sex to be important to her again and can’t seem to fess up to Graham about why her marriage ended as much as Barton can’t confess to Judith that he’s gay. Seeing Janney and Beau Bridges acting together again was a treat and proved to be the highlight of the episode itself. They both gave incredible performances.
Now on to business at hand, Bill sucks at interacting with well almost anyone. This is an already noticeable character trait of his but its put under a spotlight this week when he purchases How to Win Friends and Influence People after spying at the local bookstore about the sales of his book. He seems to be honestly influenced by the book, whom Betty seems to know, and is aware of the troubles plaguing Virginia with worrying about Henry at Vietnam and dealing with a suspended Tessa around the office. Bill gets a fur coat for her out of genuine show of respect, love, and hoping to help coax her into a book tour, but pulls out of it for the sake of her and all the plates she is currently spinning.
Bill and Virginia this episode seem to be somewhere on the same page yet on different chapters. Sheen and Caplan’s performances continue to dazzle as they hold command of the screen whenever they are on.
Speaking of Virginia, she and Daniel Logan get a bit chummy this episode as he helps her out where Bill mostly couldn’t in calming her down and further building a connection together. His days in the army and connections from it help give Virginia a piece of mind.
Oh and Bill and Virginia are discovered by Libby and Tessa. Libby sees the fur Bill got for Virginia and Tessa sees the bottle of aftershave that Bill uses at her mom’s and in Bill’s desk. Each seem to react different. Libby is to throw herself into the middle of Joy’s predicament and well I’m not finding too much stake in that since she is using this as a way to distract her.
Tessa meanwhile just seems to have had enough and is saying just fuck it and going to Matt who now gives him a blowjob with full consent. This I’m not sure how to really feel considering what we saw last week. I mean Matt is the one boy who seems to honestly care about her at the school, but this is a bit icky as to put it, but for the character its the one connection that she has now that her brother is off fighting in Vietnam. Now its about where it goes from here.
Masters of Sex this week builds up and furthers relationships which is one of the cores of this show, the interactions among these people given such a delicate topic of sex itself. Thank you Josh Charles for coming on because you are a breath of fresh air.