The Strain: The Silver Angel
August 3, 2015 7:32 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Angel de la Plata is introduced; Fett says "boom boom" and means it; a TV reporter files their most memorable report yet; and this episode's ambitious cold open of B-movie footage is both a send-up and fond depiction of the vampire genre.

Kyle Fowle comments on the show's strengths, and states that the narrative feels urgent in this episode:
"The Strain turns into a fun, loose show when it engages its mythology, perhaps because that’s the only way to make a story about the search for an ancient book entertaining. In all seriousness though, the story of how Palmer and Setrakian cross paths and then diverge from one another is some of the episode’s, and the season’s, most fascinating storytelling. The writers, and the cast of actors, seem at home in this other time. Where the contemporary version of New York necessitates some sort of reality and seriousness (there is, after all, a horrible plague spreading through the city), the flashbacks allow for a brand of storytelling more in line with traditional vampire fiction, and that means more fun with architecture, mythology, monsters, and history."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (10 comments total)
The White Angel > Der weisse Engle > Joseph Mengele > NAZIS ??
posted by Room 641-A at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought the scene with the master speaking through that guy's mom was something the show needed to do last season.

And the opening to this episode was just so, so great.
posted by Catblack at 11:15 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have to say, the show is much better this season, and I loved the luchador movie opening. Now they just need to work on getting some kind of consistent feel for how New York is reacting to the whole zompire plague thing. Is it a city where you find abandoned blood-smeared mental hospitals with nests of the undead inside, or is it a city where people inexplicably still keep restaurants open after dark?

All I know for sure is that it's a city where people apparently have really, really bad pattern recognition. "We had a meeting that let out after dark in the middle of a plague of blood-draining creatures that only come out at night, and now we're getting our blood drained by undead nocturnal beasts? I CAN MAKE NO EARTHLY LOGICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE CLAUSES."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:47 PM on August 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yeah, the second Palmer said, "all gathered together in one place" at the meeting I knew they were dog meat. Er... vampire meat.

And the scene that immediately followed with the reporter and TV camera POV was so thrilling it reminded me of how good this show can be: watching the group of businessmen walking in the plaza as vulnerable as sheep, and the second that first black vampire drops down from a great height, was fun and horrifying, even if we've seen it before in other films/tv shows. (I'm not sure the camera operator would've hung in that long but it doesn't bear close scrutiny - the scene works.) THIS is why I tune into the show.

The other two great scenes were Fet blowing up the subway tunnel and the dialogue was particularly well done there (a bit of meta-commentary to go with the cold-open, I suppose; amusing). And the flashback scenes where we get to see the turning of Palmer by Eichorst (who of course looks just the same). Nice camo from that little kid.

Other nice bits: releasing the guinea-pig vampire into the wild and observing what it does (wheee! we get to tag along on some field work!) and the restaurant scenes with Gus that introduced "The Silver Angel" and his daughter, which Fowler didn't really groove on but which I enjoyed because of the human interactions (it cannot be All Vampire-Slaying All The Time, dammit). Plus it gives Miguel Gomez a chance to show his range - the scenes where he's interacting with the daughter showing a new side of him.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:38 PM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

That videotape opening was a whole lot of fun.

Fet getting arrested reminded me of something I'd noticed: given that last season was mostly about getting our gang together to confront the Master, there's been an awful lot of hey-lets-split-up-and-do-our-own-thing stuff happening in the last few episodes.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:18 PM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't believe she's the silver angel's daughter. He's just the dishwasher.
posted by gryftir at 8:46 PM on August 4, 2015

I can post here why the old wrestler is called the Silver Angel if they don't explain him better in the next episode, but he has zero to do with Josef Mengele.

Partly it's his silver mask, but those crosses they showed in his old black and white clips are actual silver rings he would use sometimes to finish off his opponents. Angel has a lifelong affinity for silver (as in, My blade sings of silver, Strigoi!).

When his wrestling career ended, he converted any wealth he had into silver. However, we did not see his most significant talent/weapon yet in the show...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:03 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can post here why the old wrestler is called the Silver Angel if they don't explain him better in the next episode, but he has zero to do with Josef Mengele.

Upon rewatch: D'oh! Silver, not white. (I really love Marathon Man.)

Random thoughts:

This season is scarier! Yay!

I loved the cold open. It was a clever way of covering a lot of backstory and I liked the "Vamfibrilator" silver crosses. Plus it reminded me of Better Call Saul. Also: "Vamps!"

I loved the scene with Palmer and Eichorst. "Everything."

Poor Gus :( I don't know if this is a common trope, but the scene with his mother reminded me of The Exorcist.

Ooh, you know that clicky-creaky sound the zomps make? It freaks me out so much. The spiders in Minecraft make that sound, too. *shudder*

Eph and Nora: on? Off? ZWB?

I've changed my mind about Zach, he's a good kid. Just kidding. Feed him to Bandolier.

I totally didn't see the trap coming! I also didn't know what to make of Palmer and Babalu exchanging glances, because I thought Palmer had kicked him far way. It makes sense, though, if they planned it.

Subway 1: How are the subways even running? Wouldn't they be filled with zomp nests? Or have parts looted/destroyed?

Subway 2: Were those guys like the Guardian Angels? I'm mad they made Fet a) waste his time talking to them, b) without kicking their collective ass, and c) going along with the arrest. One, maybe two of those things but not all three. Not Fet.

Nora and Eph running around alone at night. Sure, okay. I also didn't see The Master's lemmings plan coming, but I like to let the show think for me.

I love the creepy feelers!

Oh and of course Zach was listening to Brannigan on his iPod. Does Eph remember he was in quarantine?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:02 AM on August 7, 2015

Gus is rapidly becoming my favorite show character after Setrakian and Fett thanks to Miguel Gomez's great acting.

He could be such a one-dimensional joke -- hey, it's yet another gangbanger with a heart of gold who loves his mama! -- but Miguel's facial expressions alone convey a depth of character and emotional conflict far, far deeper than what's written for him in the script. Love it!!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:21 PM on August 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh I loved Gus and that opening! And no one lay a hand on my boy Fett!

You'll have to forgive. I quit watching last ear after a break up with my then bf. Now I'm catching up so I can watch the new season.

Room 641-A I think those guys started as guardian angels and then were invested with power by the SI politician (forget her name) and have become brown shirts. I believe they had arm bands.

But how Fett could trust they wouldn't turn on him....doesn't seem like him at all.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:59 PM on August 30, 2016

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