The Strain ‘The Third Rail’ Recap: Episode 01.11

The Strain
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Eph, Nora, Abraham and Fet head off to kill The Master in the subway tunnels of New York City on this week’s episode of The Strain, “The Third Rail.” If that sounds like a really bad idea to you, then you might be right.

Heading into The Master’s Layer

Look, there are bad ideas (trying to trap Eichorst in the New York Subway Station) and then there are ludicrous, suicidal ideas. The plan in this episode ranks as a suicidal and stupid plan. Abraham has the idea that he will head into the subway tunnels with Eph, Nora and Fet, armed with nothing more than the UV lights, some guns with silver bullets and some knives, and take on The Master one-on-one.

This is even after Fet tells everyone who many vampires he encountered the last time he went underground.

Well, the first thing that they find is an entire hoard of vampires sleeping in an underground cavern. See, when vampires are freshly turned, they head to the tunnels and have to get a lot of rest before they are at full strength. This is good because it means that our heroes can walk right through them and never wake any of them up. However, that doesn’t account for the vampires that have been turned for a few weeks now that are able to move and trap the team in the tunnels.

Well, they found The Master, but not before Eph does something really stupid.

Eph is Really Stupid

Look, Eph proved earlier in the episode how stupid he was when he left his young son to watch over Nora’s mother, who suffers from dementia. That is a plan that will never have a good ending, and we’ll come back to that later. However, for now, let’s look at how stupid Eph is in the subway tunnels. There is a SMALL tunnel dug through a wall that is just big enough for a human to shimmy through. Eph goes first, and when he comes out the other side, he hears his ex-wife’s voice calling for help.

Instead of waiting for Nora, Abraham and Fet, Eph runs off to find her on his own. He is in the subway tunnels and just walked through an entire room of sleeping vampires, and he feels like he can run off on his own to save his ex-wife. This, of course, leaves his companions to fight for their lives without him when the vampires closing in on them attack.

Well, this also means that Eph is the first of our group to come face-to-face with The Master. Well, it looked like The Master was faking Kelly’s voice and doing it just to lure Eph to him. This really makes no sense, because out of all the people in the city, even if you just look at who is hunting him, why did he choose Eph to torture. He basically tells Eph that he will kill Kelly (already done) and then kill Zach, before turning Eph himself.

That is when Abraham tries to kill everybody.

Abraham is Suicidal

Abraham, Nora and Fet fight off the vampires that trapped them by the hole and made their way to save Eph. The UV light plan worked when Fet tossed it and then turned it on, where it worked in a strobe light effect to keep the lights from just burning out in a matter of seconds. This pretty much fries all the vampires in the rook except The Master, who escaped.

Well, Abraham wants to chase The Master and kill him once and for all. Fet even knows this is a bad idea since they just lost the element of surprise. Abraham doesn’t care and just wants to throw caution to the wind, making me wonder how Abraham lived all these years. Finally, Abraham just throws a tantrum and destroys the coffin home of The Master, a symbolic gesture since he is the man who decorated it in the POW camp.

Zach is Very Lucky and Could Use Better Supervision

Heading back to the Zach problem. How the hell can you leave a child to watch over an old, stubborn woman with dementia? Things went bad when Mrs. Martinez stood outside the pawn shop and screamed for anyone to help her escape. That was a perfect opportunity to get their entire hideout and all their necessary weapons and tools discovered. Luckily, Zach shut her up, but realized that she wouldn’t stop unless she got some cigarettes.

Then, Zach “pulled an Eph,” and did something stupid. The thing here is that he had no choice if he wanted to keep Nora under control. Zach left to get her some cigarettes. When he reached a convenience store, he went to find the cigarettes, but hid when two looters came in. When he realized that a vampire was waiting in the basement, he raced to escape as the vampire killed the two looters. Lucky for Zach, Gus showed up with an axe to save him.

Gus Starts His Work as a Hunter

Gus’ journey to the convenience store was a sad one. He returned home, after escaping from the police during a vampire attack. He found his brother infected and had to kill him. He found his beloved mother infected, but refused to kill her and left her alive. He then went into the hall, and found the landlord who verbally abused his mother was also infected. This allowed him a feel-good moment as he lopped off the landlord’s head with his trusty axe.

Hopefully, this leads Gus to the vampire militia team, because it has been four episodes since they were introduced and that is too long of a wait for a follow up. Also, whatever happened to Gabriel Bolivar? This show leaves too many key characters absent for too long of a time. Overall, this was another fun episode, but there are just things that are hard to ignore when it comes to any semblance of smart decision making. Two more episodes to go before season one ends.

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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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