The Strain: The Traitor
September 12, 2017 6:25 PM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Zack and Eph's reunion goes about as well as expected.

So, here we are: almost to the end of the line. I'll admit I've nearly given up on the show over the course of this season, and it's mostly been about Zack: I've been wibbly here since Tainted Love, basically. This episode takes some steps to mitigate that harm, and leave me (sorta) hopeful about the series finale.

Stuff that happened:
* Nobody gave Zack a pass, not even Eph. This was good. I appreciate them going ahead and pointing out that the cut was too convenient, and that he'd been in the Master's custody for way long to trust him with stuff like their location. I thought Eph putting a gun to his head but being unable to finish the job was just about right for a change.

* Desai folded. It was pretty hard watching Quinlan threaten his wife, and harder watching him let it get that far. It was also hard watching him throw his wife under a bus when the Master arrived. Good riddance, looking forward to seeing Cas Anvar back on The Expanse instead.

* Dutch had a big crisis of faith about this that was positively eye-rolling for me. I think it was put there so Fet could console her, and was completely put off by the entire scene. It was more fun watching her punch Desai.

* Gus and his crew went to help secure the nuke, which was decent all around.

* Our intrepid team deliberately walked into the Master's trap, which was pretty silly and left us with a cliffhanger.

AV Club review is here.
posted by mordax (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I didn't understand anything about them walking into the trap they knew was an obvious trap.

Then again, I'm not sure why the Master showed up in person to Zack's location. It seems like there was at least a chance the nuke would be there, and if our heroes were cornered, set off with him right in the blast radius.

Why is he even still in New York for that matter?
posted by Pryde at 9:01 PM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also good points. Their base was the likeliest place for them to be keeping the nuke: he should've sent proxies instead of going personally. He also definitely should've hit the road after sending Zack back to Eph.
posted by mordax at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2017

Anyone remember Zoo? The first season cliffhanger was the crew in the middle of a street, downtown, with pseudo-intelligent animals appearing from all directions to menace them.

Kurosawa's ghost is probably pretty pissed off right about now.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 4:56 AM on September 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Heh. Yeah, I remember that.

I'm much more inclined to give Zoo a pass though, because of how creative it is most of the time. (Disclaimer: I'm not caught up on S3 yet. S1-S2 were levels of batshit madness I can only describe as 'inspiring' though.)
posted by mordax at 7:40 AM on September 13, 2017

Huh, they made Desai even more loathsome.

The Zack plot: I got the impression that Quinlan was (somewhat impatiently) waiting for Eph to finally get on the "he's the worst" train.

Of course the Master's not going to be at the Empire State; Zack willingly told you where his lair was. I did not understand at all Quinlan's "we can turn this trap against him" rationale: how?

I assume Gus's haul of silver is going to be used significantly in the finale.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:58 AM on September 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Mordax I don't know, I thought this would be the last episode!!! My local station even said "next week on the finale" like... TWO EPISODES AGO. WHY YOU DO THIS, F/X?

I'm so tired of defending this garbage and just want it to end now.

If the silver heist pays off like I think it will, I'll be very very happy. No speculation posting, because if I'm right it will totally ruin the only thing I'm still looking forward to in a totally unnecessary two-part finale's conclusion.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:33 AM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm so tired of defending this garbage and just want it to end now.

Yeah. :(

I had pretty high hopes when the season started: thematically, I really enjoy 'the good guys lost badly, now things are worse,' especially if it leads to a post-apocalyptic, changed world. I was pretty on-board.

Then... well, this. And so many choices are just baffling: like, I'm not sure why Dutch really needed to be in a rape camp. I don't know who thought showing us an entire episode focused on Zack was worth the time. Gus rejoining the fight involved a ton of wheel-spinning. I have no idea why the Master was still shilling Eph as the real threat while Setrakian still had people nuke-hunting. I...

Yeah. I got nothin'. Sometimes a story sucks and you see what they were trying to do - like, I loathed Independence Day, but it's totally obvious what the authorial intent was. Here, I don't even know what they're trying to do, apart from 'I guess we better kill some time.'

I do think we should have a book spoiler friendly discussion after the actual finale, (hopefully the next one), so we can talk about what should've happened in some detail. (I only read the comic adaptation rather than the whole book, and I'm still pretty weirded out by what they chose to skip or add.)
posted by mordax at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2017

Totally agree!!! I've considered buying the comic adaptation, but now... eh, I'll put it on my Amazon wishlist for the holidays. No need for me personally to give more of my own money to this franchise.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:16 AM on September 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, completely understandable. It's especially painful with something niche like this: if a Star Wars movie sucks, we're still getting another one because there's gold in them there Jawas.

This was probably everybody's one shot at seeing a good adaptation of The Strain, and... well. There went that.
posted by mordax at 12:52 PM on September 14, 2017

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