For Dr. Peter Weller’s second time in the Strain director’s chair, we get a good looking episode, but the script could have used another couple of passes. There are times when there really is nothing that can be done to fix the problems and the performers just have to give it everything they’ve got and hope for the best. But before we get to that, we have a very disturbing opening scene as Eichorst (Richard Sammel), in his full bald and noseless Strigoi glory, enters some sort of feeding chamber where he has a man chained by the neck. While the victim struggles and begs, the vampire slowly turns the crank, dragging his prey across the floor until his neck is planted firmly against an altar. With that, Eichorst feeds. There’s a twisted decadence to the scene and bodes well for stylistic things to come. Unfortunately, we have to get through the rest of the episode… … which picks up the next day, after a night of vampire attacks, including what I would imagine would be the extremely high-profile attack at the nursing home we saw at the end of last episode. However, nobody seems to have heard about it or any other possible attacks. The news is still broadcasting, but no word on monsters murdering people in an old folks’ home. Instead, the FBI is hunting for Eph (Corey Stoll) for reasons that aren’t really very well-defined or explained. In fact, all of the FBI elements of the episode are pretty much ridiculous and take up way too much time while adding up to absolutely nothing. Although when they come knocking on Dr. Marinez’ (Mía Maestro) door, she gets scared enough to pack her mom (Anne Betancourt) up and head for Abraham’s (David Bradley) pawn shop. Abe, meanwhile, heads off to kill some vampires on his own, but is nearly killed after he (of course) has a heart episode in the middle of trying to nail gun a nest of vampires. He barely makes it out alive, and after setting fire to the home, catches a cab. In an act of desperation, he even tries to recruit the taxi driver to his cause. In other news, Gus (Miguel Gómez) is summoned to a meeting with Eichorst, who has a job for him. Gus and Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce) step up, but are immediately put in their place by the vampire and agree to do this one last job, which is basically just picking up Redfern’s body from the hospital, with the help of Jim (Sean Astin), and dumping it in the river. But before they can get rid of the corpse, the hideous tongue flops out of the body bag, grossing everybody out. In the only storyline that was interesting this week, Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand) shows up for work and discovers a seemingly empty office. After a little looking around, however, he discovers his boss and the office secretary in a supply room turning into vampires. There’s a brief struggle before Fet is able to open the blinds and kill them with sunlight. This inspires a trip to visit his father’s apartment in order to warn him to get out of the city. As it turns out, Fet’s father isn’t very happy with his son, ever since he turned down a graduate scholarship to Cornell in order to go work in pest control. Needless to say, the meeting doesn’t go well, and Fet leaves just hoping that his father will take his advice. There’s a tired fatalism to both actors in this scene that really makes it work better than just about every other scene this episode. So there’s that. This is the point in the episode (and the season) where the titular occultation occurs. That’s the eclipse, to you and me; which means that we then have a series of daytime vampire attacks all over the city. For example, while traffic is gridlocked, the missing now-vampiric medical examiner, Bennett, wanders from car to car trying to pull victims out and eat them in front of everybody — including the FBI officers who have Eph handcuffed in their backseat. When the agents intervene, they are killed and Bennett wanders off only to handily reappear where Gus and Felix just happen to be walking by. After attacking them, the police suddenly show up from out of nowhere and (of course) arrest Gus and Felix despite the fact that there is a monster right there in front of everyone. I suppose this could be a bit of social satire slipped into the scene (I wouldn’t put it past the director, to be honest), but if it is it’s out of place. If it’s not, it’s another example of this week’s generally sloppy writing. One thing the writing is actually effective at this week is eliminating supporting characters. Not only is Felix infected after their fight with Bennett, but across town, Eph’s rival for his kid’s affection, Matt (Drew Nelson), is attacked in his workplace, and if we count Fet’s co-workers, this show is very quickly reaching the point where we have just our core heroes vs vampires. And as the episode ends, we have Eph, Abraham, Nora, and her mom all huddled in Abe’s secret basement trying to figure out what their next move will be. Honestly, the quicker they get to a full-on Vampire Apocalypse, the better. The Strain 1.06 “Occultation”3.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related 2 Responses Dignan August 30, 2014 Definitely agree with all your points re the sloppy writing and illogical reactions to what is happening. For example, what was the big deal with dumping/hiding that one specific body when there are vampire attacks happening all over the city (and the sewers are apparently crawling with them)? And I also don’t understand why the FBI/CDC is so hot to arrest Eph….this never seems to be clearly explained. Still enjoy watching it though, but I feel if you’re going to set your story in a supposedly realistic setting and universe (NYC instead of the Transylvanian countryside), you should keep the inevitable reactions to events happening in the story realistic also. As it is it sometimes feels like it could just be somebody’s dream, taking place in a detached version of reality. Too bad it’s not better, but I did see where it got a second season, so there’s always hope it could improve. The episode after this one was an improvement IMO. Log in to Reply Paul Brian McCoy August 30, 2014 Yeah the next episode is better, so I have hope. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.