Wait, this is a Disney show? A history lesson? I’m confused… Channel Surfing: The Strain – The Master

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It is a small world after all – we made it that way.”

~ Abraham Setrakian ~

The season finale of The Strain had the usual mish-mash of storylines going on:  there’s Eph and Co., Gus and his new friends, and Eichorst and Palmer making the rounds.

We find the Scooby Gang in Vasiliy’s apartment where they are strategerizing for what comes next – here is where they determine that something must be happening at Bolivar’s place, so Eph and Vasiliy set out to do some recon.  Here is also where Vasiliy’s character grows as one of my favourite characters (also throughout the episode) – he knows way too much to be just an exterminator: his knowledge of history, the city – speakeasies most importantly, and architecture (something addressed with his father in a previous episode) are something that should all be explore more in-depth in the coming season.  Making their way to Bolivars, they think the Master may be inside – wanting proof, Vasiliy finds them a way in via secret tunnel; there they discover the Master has assembled his personal guard there and is in the process of putting his giant box back together…  He needs it, I don’t think they’ve ever entirely explained why – he seemed to be doing just fine before Abraham built it for him.  Something else they should explain.  Just saying…  they spent how long this season on stupid side stories when they could have covered stuff like this?!   Good grief, Charlie Brown – put me in contact with a producer or writer!  I’ll tell them what the people want.

“‘The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious’, Marcus Aurelius.”

~ Vasiliy Fet ~

While the guys take their recon info back to the rest of the crew, Gus is in the middle of discovering he’s deep, deep, deeeeeeeep underground with our strigoi strike squad.  When their leader, Quinlan, unties him from the chair he’s been tied to, Gus decides to take a few swings and proceeds to get his ass handed to him… repeatedly.  We’ll come back to him later.

On the other side of town (?  I don’t really know if it’s the “other” side of town, but it certainly isn’t where the rest of these guys are) Eichorst and Palmer are confronted with the problem of a US government official that may actually take action!  Because they haven’t until this point…  Because it’s the government and they suck at doing things well.  But, before they can act, Palmer puts an end to their plans with a rather untimely death for the official.  And… we’re stuck with an even more incompetent government than before.  Yay!  There’s no chance we survive this vampire outbreak with these guys in charge.  We’re screwed, let’s just pack up and move to the middle of the Canadian wilderness where they’ll never find us.  On a brighter note, Palmer lost his doctor/bodyguard along the way as he found his conscience again.

Back to the Scooby Gang – they’ve decided to launch an all-out attack on the Master’s lair, kid included.  Going the same route they took earlier that day, they make their way into Bolivar’s building only to be confronted by a swarm of vampires; along the way Vasiliy amuses with such gems as “Munchers are going ‘Boom Boom'” and “Fire in the hole, vermin!“.  There’s a pretty intense fight scene, and old man Abraham and Eph and Zach end up forcing the Master into the upstairs compartment where they then force him outside into the sunlight.  You’d think that would be the end, right?  But then where would we go with a second season?!  So he escapes leaving a trail of evaporating dust behind him, and everybody is left wondering “WTF?”  That’s only compounded by the fact that the rest of the vampires in the building immediately started speedwalking backwards to who knows where.

After the big fight, the crew makes their way back to Vasiliy’s but has to make a quick stop at Eph’s old house for Zach’s inhaler – there they run into Kelly: forcing Zach to confront his mother’s turning, and Eph to turn to the bottle.  Am I the only one who thinks that maybe alcoholic Eph could be a better character than all of Season 1 Eph?

And finally, the scene that most intrigued me and holds the most promise for the coming season happened: Gus tries to run from Quinlan, but only runs right where they want him to.  Where he meets The Ancients: three really old vampires strapped to chiropractic chairs who have “great honor, dignity and power” I guess.  Quinlan proposes that Gus join their forces and fight the Master, as they need a human that can move about in the daytime.  This is a centuries-old war apparently that had once had a truce that the Master has broken.  Now…  I just have one question about this whole thing…  Quinlan tells Gus that he’s proved himself.  I don’t see it.  Where are they getting that from?  He delivered a box across a bridge.  This makes no sense to me.  But, y’know what – I’m okay with it!  Gus is a much cooler hero character than Eph has shown potential to be, so bring on Gus: the Vampire Slayer!

Now, we only have to wait until next summer to find out what happens.  I hope that in the time between the writers and producers will find a way to make the show flow more smoothly and focus more on important story-arcs than filler scenes that go nowhere.  They’ve set themselves up with some quality content moving forward, and I’m looking forward to next season.

Till next time… remember it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all…

The Strain will return next summer!

~ J.T. Riles ~

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Categories: Channel Surfing

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