The Strain: The Master
October 5, 2014 9:12 PM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Eph and Fet recon for an all-out assault that Setrakian assures them will finally kill the Master. Gus aligns himself with a strange new force, one that may swing the fight in an unforeseen direction. Palmer gloats.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (23 comments total)
Know your enemy. Especially if you spend decades chasing him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:41 PM on October 5, 2014

Ugh, I don't know. It started so strong but then it did nothing for the next 40 minutes.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:01 AM on October 6, 2014

no. he did not just say it's a small world after all.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:37 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dear Writers of The Strain,
I do not think the phrase "exciting and satisfying season finale" means what you think it does.

You're (almost*) the worst.

K Thx Bye

*That honor goes to UtD.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:07 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

When you know there's a vampire apocalypse, never have private conversations out on the balcony of skyscraper.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:25 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Recap of this episode is up. Follow along as we put this party to rest, until 2015
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:35 AM on October 6, 2014

Eh, it had a few good moments, like the climactic confrontation, but it also did a lot of what the show has done all season (mull over stuff that nobody cares about). Making this a tighter 10 episode season would've done wonder for it overall.

That said, I'll probably stick with it next season. The final payoff of the Zompire SWAT team actually was pretty cool, and I think I can probably put up with the show given enough of a break from it.
posted by codacorolla at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2014

Most of that was not very good, including the old "monologuing when you should be finishing the villain" cliche, the godawful melodramatic dialogue between Fitzwilliam and Palmer, and the clunky plot device of faking asthma so the Bread Truck Gang would drive all the way to Zach's house to get his spare inhalers. (Instead of, y'know, looting a pharmacy like half of Manhattan seems to be doing.) However, I am always down to see more of the Crossbow Squad, and that last scene in their headquarters was pretty impressively creepy.

What really made the episode for me, though: Fet having an encyclopedic knowledge of 1920s New York, carrying dynamite, pulling off the sunlight-through-the-manhole thing perfectly, and quoting Marcus Aurelius. TEAM FET 4LYFE
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:04 AM on October 6, 2014 [11 favorites]

It was very 'meh', wasn't it? I mean, this is the quintessence of meh. It was filled to the brim with mehmosity. Nobody meh's it better than "The Strain", makes me feel sad for the rest.

We need more episodes like "For Services Rendered" in the next season (which was a corker of an episode - FanFare post here).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:11 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

It was very 'meh', wasn't it?

I really intrigued by the Master not being killed by sunlight, the "white" vs the worms, the German, Vampire Commandos, Ratman, Hackergirl and Gus.

I'm somewhat intrigued by the OldMan and Eph being painted as fools, from a storytelling perspective, but makes them hard to root for. By hard I mean impossible.

Back to sunlight not killing the Master: the deadly effect of daytime always struck me as a weak and archaic trope of vampire related fiction, one that makes little rational sense, though it works thematically. But we're no longer afraid of the dark in the same way when cheap and save nighttime lighting was virtually unheard of.

A vampire that is bothered by sunlight, but not killed by it is a great modern take on the trope. I hope The Strain will explore that a bit. Especially if humanity thinks sunlight does kill them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

A largely disappointed take on the finale, and the show as a whole.

I'm sort of inclined to agree. This never turned into the unapologetic schlock that I wanted, and it just muddled along with a bunch of stuff I didn't care about. Wasted potential, really.
posted by codacorolla at 5:40 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Brandon Blatcher: Yeah, okay, they had some good stuff in there, I'll give you that.

I was hoping for a bigger finale, a real grand-finale that would leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more. That's what "For Services Rendered" did to me. That's NOT how the finale left me.

"A vampire that is bothered by sunlight, but not killed by it is a great modern take on the trope."


Weirdly I like Fet a lot (I recall he played a very dislikable character on Lost so I had those leftover associations with that actor), as he is one of the more relate-able characters, and also someone the team needs the most. Since he's willing to do the dirty work the "good" characters won't do.

From codacorolla's Grantland link: "Shouts to Mr. Fitzwilliams, who last night delivered his long-overdue cry for independence without moving a single muscle in his body. 'Yes, I am complicit,' he droned, with all the emotion of a Tandy 1000." :D I like that Tandy 1000 reference.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:11 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's frustrating; it has SUCH MOMENTS -- Eichorst side-eying the CDC guy, "this is just a vampire turf war, isn't it?" -- but yet it's not quite able to pull them together into a compelling whole.

I hope it comes back stronger next year.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:17 PM on October 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

The trailer for Season 2 is wandering the streets and looks good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 PM on February 5, 2015

I've been seeing this during Justified and The Americans and I'm still pleasantly surprised when I realize it's for The Strain. I actually miss the show (but mostly talking about it here.)

Now, about FX's promo for all their great shows: FX, when historians look back at this current "golden age" of television you and Justified, The Americans, Fargo, and other shows can stand proudly next to other networks like HBO and AMC. But don't try to sneak The Strain in the montage! Come on!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:53 AM on February 6, 2015

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on this particular series, but I just finished binge watching Season 1 and HOOOOO BOY. I thought it started out pretty dang well, but barely managed to crawl across the finish line at the end.
Random thoughts:
1) YES to the Vampire Swat Team. Turns out the leader's name is Mr. Quinlan.
2) It was weird at the beginning to see Mr. Filch, Vampire Hunter without Mrs. Norris, but I am grooving on his character.
3) I refuse to take Dr. CDC seriously until they let him go bald. Corey Stoll looks so much better (see: House of Cards) and look what it did for Captain Sisko.
4) SO disappointed in The Master reveal. He's like the UGLIEST MUPPET EVER. I know he's supposed to be somewhat of a giant and the alpha, but it just harshes my horror buzz whenever he's onscreen. I'd love for them to dial that back to someone more humanoid looking.
5) As someone said before, Zack is NO Carl, so that, and the rule against killing kids (already broken with French girl) should not stop us against doing away with Zack.
6) Love me some Kevin Durand, love me some Fet, but please stop with that HORRIFIC monochromatic dye job.
7) What the hell, give everyone makeovers. Maybe Setrakian can shave and rediscover his younger, dapper self.
8) What the hell, get rid of Dr. CDC, his kid, his wife and his workplace squeeze.
9) Is there any way that we could get this retconned into the Marvel Universe and have Wesley Snipes bring back Blade? I hear he's looking for money and projects.
10) Yeah, I'll still watch Season 2, as this scratches my vampire itch, even in a lackluster sort of way.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:17 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was way too excited to see The Strain back in my Recent Activity.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sorry it was just me, Room 641-A!
I must say that the teaser trailer looks wonderful, and I have high hopes for Season 2.
Okay, moderately high hopes.

C'mon, Bald Eph!
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 3:25 AM on May 15, 2015

When does stupid Eph return to torment us?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 3:32 AM on May 15, 2015

They haven't nailed down a date yet, they just keep saying SUMMER, which is annoyingly vague.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:22 AM on May 15, 2015

I would be surprised if something related to The Strain wasn't annoying.
posted by codacorolla at 8:28 AM on May 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

I just saw a non-teaser ad and we have a date: July 12! Looks like there's lots of zompire action to come.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2015

Ugh, I'm probably going to keep watching this. At least Eph has the potential to be an interesting character this season.
posted by codacorolla at 11:56 AM on June 25, 2015

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