The Strain: Fort Defiance
July 27, 2015 10:45 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Gus and Vaun wage an attack on Palmer as Eph struggles to connect with Zack. Councilwoman Justine Faraldo vows to bring her extermination policies to the other boroughs.

A.V. Club's Kyle Fowle writes about the best scene from this episode:

"As dreadful and ham-fisted as everything else in this episode is, there is a lone bright spot. With Gus now officially trained by the Strigoi SWAT, he’s ready to be included in their mission to kidnap Eldritch Palmer. The attempted (but ultimately fatal) kidnapping is a legitimately exciting scene, mostly because it subverts expectations and offers up some cool visuals. When Gus sneaks in under the guise of being an elevator repairman, the Strigoi SWAT catching a ride on the bottom of the elevator, the assumption is that a big shootout is about to take place. Instead, Palmer is notified of the intruders and calmly makes his way into a secured room. From there, he watches the monitors with his new assistant Marchand and sees Gus and the vampires storm his office. That’s when Palmer activates a set of UV lights that drive all the strigoi to the center of the room, where the floor falls out and leaves the strigoi laying in a pit of UV rays. It’s a scene that’s so ridiculous (isn’t Palmer, who’s part vampire and mainly deals with the strigoi in his office, worried about something malfunctioning?) that it works. The rest of “Fort Defiance” is dull and contrived but this scene is fun and inventive. That’s when The Strain is at its best."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I must have very bad taste in TV shows because the excellent Kyle Fowler calls this episode ham-fisted but I loved every minute of it. (How awful was the mom? Sheesh.)

The writers are finally injecting some humor back into the show, with Setrakian enthusiastically eating a plate of spaghetti.

Loved the idea of the vampire-killing training, but Gus pulling the worm ('stinger'?) out of a vampire was so viscerally gross that I was shouting at the TV. (that whole long body with the fat part of the earthworm-like creature? ugh). Parasite-gore throughout this episode with Setrakian carefully taking a worm or two for his lab sample. These scenes tap into our natural revulsion at parasites so well.

I know people make fun of this show but it does offer a lot of visceral thrills, great makeup/costuming, stunning action sequences, and the acting is actually pretty good - on the whole. What did you all think of this episode?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:51 PM on July 27, 2015

‘The Strain’ Gives David Bradley a Rare Chance to Battle Evil - Comic Book Resource (CBR) from 2014 - pretty interesting interview. Snippet:

"Tell us about how the character was initially defined or maybe what initially appealed to you about him?

David Bradley: Well, I didn’t have much time to think about it because of the circumstances, but the magic words ‘Guillermo del Toro’ and when I knew it was him I didn’t really didn’t need to see a script, I just wanted to work with him, as most actors would. I mean Pan’s Labyrinth, one of my favorite movies. And Pacific Rim — I mean, in this particular genre I remember seeing a lot of vampire movies when I was a kid with Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee and all those people, but in a way compared to this they’re quite camp. There’s a kind of twinkle that they’ve got in the kind of knowing we know this is ludicrous but with this it’s another world but it’s got a kind of truth to it and it’s all in the quality of the writing. ..."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:01 PM on July 27, 2015

Ross Bonaime, Paste: "Instead of continuing to add depth to this world, “Fort Defiance” spends most of its time focusing on characters that could not matter less."

Eldritch's vampire-killing pit was a good kicking-over of the heist trope: the strigoi's plan casually collapsed at the flick of a switch.

Like the AV Club reviewer, I wonder about Eldritch's new assistant and how unconcerned she seems apart from a "these seem like bad men" expression. Is she going to turn out to be a plant?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:19 PM on July 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

I was a little surprised that those vamp ninjas didn't put their hoods up. I expected them to be way more badass than they were.

And Eph's kid just has got to die. Please.
posted by Catblack at 11:29 PM on July 27, 2015 [6 favorites]

Even with this episode I feel like Trump's Palmer's storyline is dragging a bit. I want to see him plotting moar evil. I hope now that Gus is all, "Oh Hell no!" he'll join up with out rag-tag group of zompire hunters. I think Gus is the most nuanced character and I'd love to see him get a fuller arc. I also think it would be fun to see Gus and Fet together as very, very different types of Alpha males.

Random thoughts:

Hey, Nora! Remember that time you found a dying Set and totally didn't notice the giant blood stains around his eyes? That happens to me all the time.

The Holocaust timeline seemed a little strange to me. My dad (who has been dead for 20+ years) was a Holocaust survivor, and my mom could have been had she not been hidden by some nuns. Both would be under 90, and Set doesn't seem that far out of range of some of the heartier elderly people I know. Honestly, if his real life were a little less cushy could see Norman Lear (who is 93) kicking some zompire butt. I guess what I'm saying is, yes, Set is well-preserved, but I'd expect more from eye-worms.

O hai Art! I wonder what your brother is planning....

The whole Staten Island thing was hilarious! "This is Staten Island!" I'm not gonna argue with you, lady! Although I bet it was pretty easy to clean up SI, what with all the, er..., waste management resources. I thought the line about her late, firefighter husband dying in Tower 2 was a nice touch, too.

I guess there was a lot going on actually, because I didn't even get to he Dutch and Dutch/Fet stuff or Bolivar wigging out.

The writers are finally injecting some humor back into the show, with Setrakian enthusiastically eating a plate of spaghetti.

Yes! I was taking notes and just wrote "Spag. Of course."

And Eph's kid just has got to die. Please.

I'd been, um, straining for a Korl-related nickname for him but I'm stealing "Carl's Jr." But yes, he needs to go ASAP. But he won't, because we're worm-deep in his mom's story.

Oh, and before The Master commandeers Bolivar's body I hope he remembers that Bolivar cut his weenie off.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:22 AM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

"I am never on the schedule."
posted by Room 641-A at 7:43 AM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

That was a great line - I was gobsmacked the bus was still running. Do the writers think that bus drivers operate on some kind of high moral plane? NOTHING STOPS THIS BUS I WILL CARRY A BASEBALL BAT IF I HAVE TO.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:48 AM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

PS: Nice call, JCIFA!

(Note to self: do not sit down to a bowl of spaghetti during The Strain. That opener - with the wormapocalypse? Ugh. Yelling at the TV!)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:15 AM on July 16 [3 favorites +] [!]

posted by Room 641-A at 8:21 AM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I tried, I really did. I watched the first episode of season 2 with idea of recapping and reviewing, but something died in me and everything just stopped and I dozed.

Felt really good in the morning though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:15 PM on July 28, 2015

Yay! At least watch and comment here. :)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:13 PM on July 28, 2015

"People's eyes don't just bleed. What was in the eye dropper?!"
posted by Flashman at 9:32 PM on July 28, 2015

Yeah, Setrakian is like the world's worst liar there: "my eyes are old, they bleed".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:57 AM on April 3, 2023

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