The Strain is worth taking a look at; especially if you like vampire stories. And I mean real vampire stories — horror stories — not teen romances or meditations on eternity. Vampire stories that are meant to make you squirm and feel a little sick rather than aroused. It’s not a perfect show by any means, but it’s starting to get really interesting, when it can avoid slipping into overt melodrama. The show is at its best when it focuses on the characters just dealing realistically with the situations they’ve found themselves in. Which, this episode, means Eph (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mía Maestro), and Jim (Sean Astin) have just bludgeoned a monster to death in the hospital basement and need to figure out what to do next. Naturally, that means they autopsy the body of the beast. Before we get to that, however, we must check in with the other characters and their storylines — none of which are all that interesting at the moment. Granted, Ansel (Nikolai Witschl), the fourth airplane “survivor” is intriguing, given his family situation and apparent momentary grasp on his sanity. If there’s a storyline in this show that owes a debt to Stephen King’s classic ‘Salem’s Lot, is this one. Delicate religious Ann-Marie (Alex Paxton-Beesley) has enough sense to get her kids to safety, but returns to find the dog dead and her husband chained in the shed. In classic Stephen King style, the shitty neighbor comes over to complain about the horrible animal noises coming from the shed, and after casually revealing he had beat her dog earlier, Ann-Marie feeds him to her husband. It’s a funny moment, if only for how over-the-top Darrin Baker plays the neighbor, Trip Taylor. With a name like that, he was born to be fed to monsters for being a douche (apologies to any Trip Taylors reading this, but watch your back). This moment of domestic heartache and petty revenge, while entertaining, isn’t really all that memorable. Instead, what people are going to remember about this episode is the vampire autopsy. Believe me. I had to watch the episode again to remember what every other character had done. All I could remember was Eph pulling the six foot stinger, like an anaconda, from the shattered head and throat of the vampire; and then as it slit out with a horrific, wet sound-effect, the dead monster sprays ammonia-guano from its sole waste hole. Yeah, the genitals are gone and reformed into a single hole for excreting both urine and feces. Or the unholy ammonia concoction that is vampiric waste. Meanwhile, Gus (Miguel Gomez) returns the clock his brother stole to Abraham’s (David Bradley) pawn shop, then steals a car and sells it, and Eldritch (Jonathan Hyde) gets a liver transplant after suggesting to Secretary Pierson (Maria Ricossa) that the deaths on the plane were a secret military germ warfare experiment gone wrong. The show ends with a turning point moment. After Jim admitted to Eph and Nora that he’d waved the Master’s box through at the airport, they are done with him. So the two go to the Arnot home, since Gary Arnot (Steven McCarthy) had called last episode to let them know his daughter was alive. Guess what they find in the basement? It’s an effectively creepy scene, but isn’t staged all that well, as little blood-covered Emma (Isabelle Nélisse) snaps at them with her stinger before Abraham appears out of nowhere to chop off her head with his silver blade. Oh, and he kills her dad too. All of this is too much for Nora who bails, leaving Eph and Abe to clean up. With gasoline. All in all, things are moving at a brisk pace and with two-thirds of the season still to come, things are going to be getting darker and darker. This isn’t like ‘Salem’s Lot, where the monsters are confined to a small North-Eastern town. This is New York and the opening volley of vampiric intrusion is already well underway. No matter what Eph and Abe do at this point, it may just be too little, too late. The Strain 1.04 "It's Not for Everyone"3.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.