The Strain: Identity
August 18, 2015 11:55 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Eph concocts a plan to make and distribute a bioweapon. Gus realizes Angel can be an unlikely ally, and Kelly comes after Nora and Zack.

Kyle Fowle (AV Club) slammed the episode, giving it a C- grade and saying that the show "...too often forgets that its best stuff comes from embracing horror tropes both campy and insightful, not peddling empty personal drama."

Jesse Schedeen (IGN) was more charitable, noting the significant strigoi scenes in the episode:
"This episode was bookended with key, strigoi-centric scenes, as it culminated with the Master's latest transformation. This is something that was teased way back in the season premiere, as it was made clear the Master was mortally wounded from his showdown with Setrakian and the others. That led to a great scene where Eichorst basked the honor he thought was about the be bestowed upon him, only to realize Bolivar was selected for ascension instead. Considering that Eichorst just got done gloating to Palmer earlier in this episode, this was a real humbling experience for the ageless Nazi."
Marc Buxton of Den of Geek notes an infuriatingly stupid moment:
"And protecting Zach wasn't easy. Yeah, Nora had police protection courtesy of their new political pal Justine Faraldo, it was just too bad that they were protected by the single dumbest police officer in the tri-state area. Old window licking Barney Fife hit a pedestrian in his cruiser. Now, what does dummy do? Does he think, 'Crap, I hit a vampire, because you know, vampire plague,' and get the heck out of there? No, old TJ Hooker gets out of his cruiser, with Nora and Zach in the back, and tried to help the stricken pedestrian WHO WAS CLEARLY A BALDING, PALE WHITE VAMPIRE! So good old Serpico was taken down and Nora and Zach were in deep shit and it wasn't just any vampires after them, no, it was Kelly Goodweather and her Feelers. Nora ran into a church and smartly evaded Kelly and her brood for awhile but she needed help."
RIP Fitzsimmons - it seemed the show introduced you only to have you become a red shirt in the church.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Eph took about a half a second to decide to sleep with Leigh, deciding he could trust her (I was waiting for the shoe to drop where we find out she's 'one of them').

Still can't get used to the bald Eph but I'm tryin.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:58 AM on August 18, 2015

That was the worst hitman I've ever seen on television.
posted by detachd at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2015

I was way too excited that somebody shot Eph and then felt disappointed it wasn't fatal. He really is Papa Worst and NuZach is just following in Eph's footsteps.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:00 AM on August 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't know why but this show is one I really look forward to every week, in the same way that I enjoy Grimm: it's sort of straight-forward 'kill the monster(s)' with some special effects and semi-well-rounded characters, some that are especially fun to spend time with (not Eph; I'm not an Eph fan *cough cough*).

This one is way better than Grimm (also on FanFare) IMHO but even so it gets its fair share of mockery (deservedly so).

I don't recall if it was "Occulation" or "For Services Rendered" from Season 1 that was a high point for me as a viewer, but I'm hoping we get another "A" episode this season.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:17 PM on August 21, 2015

Oh, and Natalie Brown is killing it as the vampire mother - with our without those little clicky-clacky creep kids. I enjoyed the church showdown scene (except for Fitzsimmons getting infected and having his head unceremoniously lopped off mid-sentence).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:19 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

I liked the episode overall, but the hitman. Was his phone's wallpaper seriously the Stoneheart logo? A little discretion, dude, damn!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:54 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

RIP Fitzsimmons - it seemed the show introduced you only to have you become a red shirt in the church.

That bugged me SO MUCH. The show's done a pretty good job of building a diverse cast of leads and then they play out the "newly (re)introduced black character gets arbitrarily killed" trope? Bleh.

But yes, this is hitting the "cheesy fun" button in the same way that Grimm does, and that The Walking Dead increasingly hasn't.

I'm hoping Todd VanDerWerff makes good on this tweet; not many critics talking about the show.

(And the reviews/recaps that there are out there are mostly pretty poor "this happened and then this happened and then it ended" jobs that recount the plot but don't provide any meaningful criticism. Again, bleh.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:46 PM on August 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

On rewatch: Fitzsimmon's getting summarily offed still burns; were they going for a dramatic HEY LOOK ANYONE CAN DIE ANY TIME thing? did they realize having a Stoneheart insider in the gang would have been too convenient plotwise? it's just, ugh.

The Master reeeeeeally likes stringing his followers along with "sure, I'll turn you" hopes: first Palmer, now Eichorst.

There seemed ... a lot fewer worms vomit-transferred this time than in the previous flashback transferral?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:09 PM on April 3

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