The Strain ‘Gone Smoother’ Recap: Episode 01.03

The Strain
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The Strain started off nicely with its premiere episode but then faltered some in the week two followup. The second episode introduced the awesome exterminator Vasiliy Fet, but little else except for some setup. The third episode was missing some key characters, including Eldritch Palmer and Gus Elizalde, but really started to move things forward and had two very intense disturbing scenes.

The Charade

The third episode of The Strain starts with Thomas Eichorst, the Nazi vampire, putting on his face. Basically, he looks normal every time we see him, but here we learn that without makeup and prosthetics, he looks like Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. It was a nice scene to show how the vampires really look, even if they are smart enough to make business decisions.

Jim Kent

Which is where we return to the life of Jim Kent, two episodes after he betrayed humanity (unknowingly), we learn it was for the money he needed to help his cancer stricken wife. Not only that, but Eichorst promises Jim that, if Kent continues to help him when needed, he will get Jim’s wife into an experimental cancer treatment program to save her life. What we have here is one of the most difficult moral decisions on the series.

Eph and His Family Problems

In Week 1 of The Strain, it was easy to feel sorry for Eph and hate his wife and her new boyfriend. In the second episode, it seemed he was making nice with the boyfriend and doing what he could to work things out. Then, here, we get the child custody hearing where his own son says maybe it would be better if his dad just got a couple of weekends a month visitation instead of joint custody. It was harsh and his wife then rubbed it in. This is one very complicated relationship.

Gabriel Bolivar

Gabriel Bolivar becomes a very important part of the story over time in the books, and here he starts to transform. While his is not the biggest shock of the episode, what happens to him will really start to change him into the villain he will become. Basically, he is noticing his hair is falling out and his eyes are blood red. Then his dick falls off and we get a full frontal of the now asexual vampire rock star.

Vasiliy Fet

Vasiliy Fet has gotten the least amount of screen time, but is easily one of the most interesting characters. Last week, he shut down an expensive restaurant with a rat problem and this week he caught a rat in an upscale apartment. His demeanor is just awesomely confrontational. His arc on this show ended with him seeing hundreds of rats fleeing the underground tunnels. The rats are running while the humans have no idea what is coming.

Abraham Setrakian

Wow, this was just a pitch perfect moment. Setrakian went to court to answer to the charges from the first episode and perfectly played the sad old man. The judge dropped all charges against him. When he left, Nora caught up and asked for his help but he informed her that he didn’t think she was ready for what needed to be done. He later got all the addresses of the dead from the plane and is about to pay them all a visit, with sword in hand.

Speaking of the dead, Eph almost had a one-on-one with the dead girl, but got a lucky phone call at the last minute.

The First Vampire Attacks

One of the best moments of a horror movie or TV show is when the purest and best person ends up corrupted. In this case, there were four people who survived the plane. While they did not return as mindless vampire zombies, they are all turning into vampires. We saw Boliver lose his dick, know the lawyer is changing and watched as the neurotic one is drinking steak blood.

However, the one who believed that they needed to learn from this and stop whatever was coming was Doyle, the pilot. That makes it ironic that the one person who thought he needed to help would be the first to turn into a full fledged attacking vampire.

This episode of The Strain ended with Doyle disappearing from his hospital room and heading the kitchen in the basement. Jim is the first to find him and Doyle is now completely transformed and attacks. Nora comes to the rescue but they are no match for Doyle. When Eph joins in, Doyle uses his monster tongue to try to strike but Eph gets a fire extinguisher and smashes Doyle’s head into the floor in grotesque fashion.

And with that moment, the war is on.

The Strain airs on FX on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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