Co-creator Chuck Hogan returns to scripting this episode and crafts the best installment of The Strain so far. The biggest reason for this is that we don’t really have any side-plots to follow, allowing director Guy Ferland to concentrate on getting the band together and putting them in a pressure cooker situation similar to strongest Walking Dead episodes. In fact, except for a brief aside where we see that the bullet wound to Eichhorst’s (Richard Sammel) leg hurt him more than we might have thought it would, this episode is all heroes all the time. It’s a rare moment of weakness for the monster and although none of the characters are aware of it, I think it helps to at least give the audience a breath of hope. Before the rest of the episode makes plain just how fucked they are. The episode picks up immediately after the previous one ended, with our heroes in the subway station, where Eph (Corey Stoll) notes that simulated sunlight might be an effective weapon. It’s good to see him finally buying into the situation completely — or as completely as he’s capable of at this point. This motivates the gang to raid a medical supply store to clear out their inventory of UVC lights, but someone has already beat them to the punch: Our main man, Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand). Durand’s Fet brings much needed wit and swagger to the group, as everybody else is deathly serious at every turn (not counting Abraham’s (David Bradley) occasional crotchety sarcastic snipes). It’s also good to have someone who is charismatic and a clear-cut hero. I understand the need to put Eph through a heroic meat-grinder to allow him to grow from a self-centered egomaniac to a self-sacrificing hero, but right now he’s kind of an ass and difficult to get behind. Abraham is almost there, but the one-two punch of Abe and Fet gives us the leadership we need as viewers to get fully behind the show. It’s nice to see them gelling as the episode goes on. After loading up on UVC lights, the gang decides to hit an all-night convenience store to stock up on supplies and that’s when we get to the heart of the show as they are almost immediately under siege by a small army of Strigoi. This wouldn’t necessarily be something they couldn’t handle, but the Master — seeing through the eyes of his lapdogs — recognizes Abraham, so in standard zombie movie form, more and more vampires begin appearing over the course of the episode with the specific intent of getting in and taking out the old man. The shop setting provides a number of positive elements, not the least of which is warm bodies to be sacrificed to the monsters outside. It’s a very effective trial by fire that helps to pull our heroes together into a cohesive unit, while also conveniently allowing jaded computer hacker Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) to cross their path and join the team — however reluctantly. And from a pure numbers perspective, it’s a good thing she’s there, as not every member of our main group comes out the other end. Readers of the book will know who gets infected and must be sacrificed for the greater good, but it may actually surprise fresh viewers. Hell, I read the books, but my craptastic memory failed me again and it was a bit of a shock. And it’s not just a killing for shock value; instead it actually serves as a good opportunity for the gang to pull together and try to save the infected, before finally being forced to accept the fact that there’s no going back once you’ve got a worm in you. In other news, the UVC lights work really well, so long as you can keep their batteries charged. There was only one real moment where they took the easy way out, and it kind of bugged me at the time, but I forgot about it as soon as the show was over. They make a point about the credit card machines not working earlier, but then as they’re trying to fill gas cans to make their escape, they must scan a credit card at the pump and after a very short wait, are approved to pump gas to their heart’s content. It was a bit of a cheat, with the vampire horde closing in, but what are you gonna do? They gotta get the gas before driving off into the night. The Strain 1.08 “Creatures of the Night”4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.