The Strain: The Strain review thread, book friendly   Books Included 
September 18, 2017 11:51 AM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Now that the show is over, time to compare plots.
posted by mordax (4 comments total)
So, I only read the comic adaptation rather than the novels - the show didn't really encourage me to stretch, here.

Some stuff I noticed:
* Nora is just replaced by Dutch, straight up, down to the happy ending with Fet. What was up with that? Anybody know if the actress just wanted out?

* I'm a little fuzzy on this, but it seems to me that the strigoi were the product of a fallen angel in the comic, while no explanation is given for their existence here. I wasn't too big on the angel thing, but this makes even less sense without it. The strigoi should've conquered the world eons ago. The Master always had the tools to win, and humanity only recently developed weapons that could stop him. So the TV show makes less than no sense, while the comic had some implied reason for limits or equilibrium, (the Abrahamic God could literally be assumed to have a hand in this on some level).

* IIRC, the comic ended on Zack being infected with the Master's boss worm, not Eph. I definitely would've preferred that - Zack's redemption on the show was incredibly offputting to me.

Anybody else wanna vent?
posted by mordax at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2017

Okay, sorry, I was offline for a bit due to a major health issue cropping up. Let's talk!

I was REALLY disappointed that we missed the following story beats in the show:

- Silver collars and other armor-like coverings smelted from gang members' stolen goods, which really solidified the Creem/Gus power couple dynamic

- Seeing gangs rise up against the Master's tyranny over and over again, led by Gus and his two main henchmen, Angel and Creem (you know, instead of cops, the military, etc.)

- The whole fallen angel/Ancients origin storyline, including the Chernobyl fake-out because of the naming similarity to the Occido Lumen (don't @ me, linguists, but in the books, both loosely translate as "Falling Light")

- The fact that the Master got his name because he was the angel Ozyrel's head and fell to earth last, while the other Ancients were similarly lopped-off body parts initially scattered across the whole world

To answer your question, Mordax, I think Dutch/Nora happened because there were just way too many white men in the original storyline, and the showrunners were trying to add more casting diversity. See: Swapping Eph's boss, Barnes, with Cas Anvar's Desai character in the Partnership's human leadership role.

Also, what the F happened with Gus' not-quite-girlfriend? I confess I sorta forgot some things, so maybe I missed her death or whatever. Same for the remaining Ancients. It's like, whooooo, humanity is saved! oh shit wait, aren't there still more vampires? I can't remember.

I'm not sorry to see this end, for sure. Not sure why Del Toro's work is so terribly uneven, because I'll always watch or read his stuff... but it's really hit-or-miss.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:05 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, what the fuck? They had the Lumen on the show, they talked about nukes (which were then used, twice!) on the show, and still no "big reveal" that Setrakian discovered that the Ancients and the Master could only be killed with nuclear fire?

I mean, yeah, that's a really important reason why Setrakian was so obsessed with it. It absolutely held the key to destroying the Ancients, and it took nearly his whole life to find the secret. But in the show-only thread, it's obvious that there was no connection for viewers. So the Lumen just looked like a big nothingburger of wasted time in the end.

I'll admit I snickered the first time that the show credits rolled and we see the biohazard symbol. To me, it was like klieg lights screaming OH HO, SECRET WEAPON HERE! but like most of the actual series, it was a nod to an idea that didn't get explained or fully explored enough to make sense.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:24 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Show only here -- are the books worth the effort? if so: where to start?

Also, what the fuck? They had the Lumen on the show, they talked about nukes (which were then used, twice!) on the show, and still no "big reveal" that Setrakian discovered that the Ancients and the Master could only be killed with nuclear fire?

That ... would have made a lot more sense than the "Setrakian saw something in the Lumen immediately before his death, but we'll drop that thread with two episodes to go" that the show went with. And the Master actually used the first nuke to destroy the Ancients -- Eichorst placing the suitcase to bomb the meeting between the Ancients and Quinlan -- so there's definitely a connection that the show could have made.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2017

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