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TV Review: The Strain: S3E5 Madness

the strain s2 imageNew information surfaces from the Lumen, forcing Setrakian to seek out lifelong rival Eldritch Palmer for help. Also: Eph’s new experiments take him to the brink of sanity and Fet tries to unearth strigoi movements in New York City.

The Strain really emphasizes how much things have spread and changed in this episode. The first few minutes tell us that as Setrakian in a voice over tells us how much things have spread and how much of a losing battle it is… and this episode is just eight days since the last, so yeah.

Things are falling apart, but this episode also gives us a lot of hope in what Setrakian and Eph both discover.

The Lumen reveals its secrets as Setrakian finally figures out the secrets it holds as to how to defeat the Master. The discover is a “no duh” moment once you see it. I kind of feel like an idiot not thinking it through. The actual how to defeat him too is a bit of a “no duh.” But, now there’s at least a goal in a way.

Eph’s discovery is more scientific and interesting. Through some experiments, and accident, he learns some of the weaknesses of the strigoi, and this one was really interesting. How it’ll all be used will be interesting, but it’s a new weapon to use in the war.

Then there’s Fet who is down in the tunnels of New York and makes a rather grim discovery. That’s the holy shit moment of the episode where you know some epic battle is coming.

What’s interesting is this episode sets up an endgame in many ways. We now know how the enemy can be defeated, so, if the series is wrapping up this season, we now can see how it’ll happen. I hope we get another season, but if this is the beginning of the end, it at least looks like it’ll be a hell of a battle to come.

Overall rating: 8.15

TV Review: The Strain: S3E4 Gone but Not Forgotten

the strain s2 imageA new phase surfaces for the infection and Justine builds a new army while Eichorst plans a counter attack.

The Strain is an interesting one tonight. With the Master out of commission for now, Eichorst has taken control and has decided to make a move to strike back at those who have attacked him.

One can’t help but see some parallels in this episode between the vampire infection/world and that of religious extremism. There’s a mention by Eichorst of 70 virgins and the use of suicide bombers in the episode that makes it pretty clear one can make an argument that this series is a veiled allegory.

In both religious extremism and in this series we have individuals who have perverted a system for their own good, gathering devout followers who don’t question and are willing to give their lives for the cause. In both we see a clash between the factions and modern society. Both, it’s a battle over a book and what it says. In both the actions are unflinching and focused on a goal, while a few perversely gain from it all.

The episode is one that shakes things up a bit too. The infected are acting differently and Goodweather is a bit more focused on what he has to do. Justine too seems to finally come around.

This is a bridge episode, but one that really does a good job of getting things focused and exploring the bigger picture of what this series might be trying to say.

Overall rating: 8.35

TV Review: The Strain: S3E3 First Born

the strain s2 imageThe Occido Lumen is stolen and Strakian and Fet search for it; Gus and Angel try to keep a secret houseguest from a police sweep; and Quinlan’s reasons for vengeance is unearthed.

The Strain gives us the answer as to who Quinlan is and why he wants to destroy the Master. The information makes the character much more interesting as there’s one aspect in particular that makes the character and his mission that much more fascinating concerning the outcome if he succeeds.

The episode is interesting, packed with action and with solid pacing as Quinlan and Eph gamble to stop the Master… and it’s a big gamble.

Then there’s the story of Angel and Gus. I love Angel. I seriously want a show just about Angel. This aspect is much more grounded in that it has a lot to do with Gus and seeing our loved ones turning and suffering. It humanizes the show in a lot of ways.

The episode ends on a shocking moment and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the season goes as something happens I wasn’t expecting at all. Three seasons in and the show continues to surprise me.

Overall rating: 8.65

TV Review: The Strain: S3E2 Bad White

the strain s2 imageThe Master plagues Eph when he offers to return Zack; Dutch rejoins an old group of friends, but wonders if it makers her safer; and Palmer seeks answers for Setrakian’s secret strigoi blood treatments.

The Strain has an interesting second episode where some revelations come out into the open and there’s a lot of jockeying of characters.

First, we catch up with Dutch who’s with a group figuring out her place in it all. It’s an ok segment and brings the excitement for the episode. It does seem a bit out of place and out of nowhere, but it also feels a little vital for us to at least know what she’s up to. It also reminds us she’s more than a hacker and can handle herself in a fight.

The big segment is Eph meeting Setrakian’s part-vampire partner and the revelation about what he’s been taking, “the white.” It’s out in the open and it explains what’s up for new watchers and clears some things up for those watching the two previous seasons.

The biggest thing in the episode is Eph and his family. He’s of course focused on getting his son back, at any cost, and his son is being held captive with some interesting developments there. All of that is setting up some interesting things between Quinlan and Eph in stopping the Master.

This is a much slower second episode, but a good one that sets up a lot that’s going on this season and also where loyalties lie with everyone. Things definitely don’t feel settled, though they shouldn’t and of course there’ll be betrayals (one is obvious), but we now know where things will be going this season.

Overall rating: 8.6

TV Review: The Strain: S3E1 New York Strong

the strain s2 imageIn the third season premiere, the strigoi become faster and smarter; Eph’s son is abducted; Setrakian and Quinlan try to unearth the Lumen’s deepest secrets; and Fet helps the Navy Seals on a deadly mission through the underground tunnels of New York.

If you haven’t been keeping up with The Strain, you might not have to as the third season jumps ahead a bit time wise with the strigoi gaining a greater foothold in the United States.

When the second season ended, I wasn’t sure if we’d be getting a third, and with this beginning it’s clear the creative team has regrouped and decided the best course of action is upping the action and horror a bit.

This first episode is full of it with Seals running around, gun battles, really tense action. It’s really good and a righting of the train so to speak, though the previous two seasons were never bad, just not exciting and great.

We’re getting closer to that great as this first episode kicks us off in a whole bunch of directions, but keeps up the tension and action throughout. There aren’t as many quiet reflective moments, instead bouncing around full of adrenaline.

The episode is also a decent beginning for those who may have missed the first two seasons, something that’s pretty impressive to do. It explains early on where things are, it’s not quite a revamped series, but it’s clearly shifted its focus a bit for the better.

I was hoping we’d get a third season of the show and after this first episode, I can’t wait to see what’s waiting us.

Overall rating: 8.6

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