Monday, October 6, 2014

'The Strain' Recap: 'The Master'

Courtesy FX
BY DAWN FEAKES

Wowsers. We've arrived at the season finale already. Last week Gus was taken by the Vampire Hit Squad, Palmer was healed by The Master and Nora released her mother after Bolivar gave Mama Martinez a little tongue action. Let's do this.

What is the first thing one does when restored to health? Loot a vamp-ransacked pawnshop of course. Eldritch dear, your health is the least of your concerns if you are commandeering preserved hearts. Oh look, it's Eichhorst. You're looking well Palmer, but not immortal. Wait, what? Relax man, you are The Master's Chosen One...eventually. Ugh, think we'll get lucky and they'll kill each other?

Random gun shots and grown-ups arguing wake Zack from a really nice dream he was having about his mom and a bike. Abe tries to tell Zack the truth about the dangers they are facing but Eph shoots him down. Hey dad, when can we go home? Hm, how about half past never?

Gus is tied up, hooded and pissed. Mr. Quinlan reveals himself and assures Gus he won't drink him. Well, that's certainly a relief. I'll be honest though, I was expecting Quinlan to look different somehow. Now Gus, be a good boy and follow the nice vampire. As Palmer adds Miriam's heart to his collection of preserved organs, mostly from himself, Fitzwilliams can no long contain his disgust for his employer. The malicious meddling with the decision to put a full quarantine around New York City to contain the plague is the final straw.  The line Palmer, you have crossed it. You are an affront to nature and God; you can't fire me, I quit! Ah, Fitz, a noble gesture which would have been more noble had, you know, actually stopped him from doing well, anything.

Eph and Vasiliy are on the hunt for The Master's new lair and found a likely spot at Bolivar's theater. But how to get in there? Oh Eph, just stick with Vasiliy; he knows all, especially anything to do with booze or burlesque and a secret tunnel. So that's how they did it. C'mon Doc, it'll be in and out real quick. A sneak n' peak. Yup, we have vamps. And they know we're here. Okay Vas, we've reconned; can we go now? Sure, let me just pop a manhole cover to create a sunlight barrier. You know, until we return with serious firepower.

Dutch takes out her anger on the TV as all the channels are gone. Guess the pirate broadcast worked after all but not in the way you expected. Dump your drink hon, we've got work to do. Eph goes to ready Nora who's mourning her mother but he's not going on the mission. What do you mean you're not going Eph? Well, I have no one to watch Zack and Kelly's coming for him blah blah talkycakes. Don't give us that crap; bring the kid with us as you don't have the luxury of a choice anymore.

The Secretary of HHS plans a quarantine with the aid of Director Barnes of the CDC when Palmer and Eichhorst come to visit. So now they're best buds? Fantastic.  A full quarantine would stop their plan where it stands so something must be done. An appeal to her career won't work as she finally figures out that she works for the people and not Palmer. The nerve of her! I've got it! He should just throw her over the balcony. Hey Barnes, you interested in a promotion? What do you think we should do? Whatever you suggest Mr. Palmer. Sit Barnes, sit. Good dog.

Abe and Eph sit down to have 'the talk' with Zack where by 'talk' I mean of course how to kill a vampire. I now present you with your own silver sword. Happy Vamp Killing Day! Everyone ready? Great, so here's the plan: don't stop until The Master is defeated. Oh, is that all?  I thought it was going to be difficult or something. This is seriously the worst take your kid to work day ever. The vamps are stymied by the the sunlight but not for long. How can we be sure we can contain them? Blow up the tunnel of course as dynamite is a common exterminating tool. Now move! Fan out and let's get them.

Vasiliy, Dutch and Nora provide cover fire, er, sword swinging while Abe, Eph and Zack track The Master. Vasiliy wrestles with Eichhorst while Nora takes on Bolivar and Dutch is generally useless until she shoots Eichhorst. Oh well done dearie. Bless your heart. As Abe climbs the stairs, he hears Miriam's voice and knows The Master is near. I really hope your heart pills are strong enough for this showdown Abe. Shhh. Don't look now but he's right behind you. As Abe and The Master square off, Eph and Zack start breaking windows to let in the sunshine. They've got him on the ropes. Now finish him! Alas, the killing stroke never falls as The Master jumps out the window and climbs down the building, calling his army to him. You...you mean sunlight doesn't work? Bloody hell! If you can't count on the sun to cleanse the world of evil what can you count on?

Abe is despondent; he was wrong, sunlight won't kill him. Well, if that won't work, what will? Pretty sure separating his head from his body will accomplish much the same thing.  So what's Gus been up to? He's still trying to get the drop on Mr. Quinlan who is getting tired of the game. Son, do you know what was in the box you transported? Oh, I don't know...the demise of my whole world? Could I perhaps interest your in some revenge? You might, Mr. Quinlan. You might. Allow me to introduce you to the Ancients; beings of great dignity, honor and power who also manage to look like desiccated tattooed dolls.  An ancient truce has been broken; it needs a human soldier to use the power of daylight to massacre the unclean. You get payback and a rich pay day which just happen to be Gus's two most favorite things in life. All right Mr. Quinlan, you have his attention.

It's a despondent party returning in the Unmarked Bread Truck when Zack starts wheezing. Oh asthma, why do you rear your ugly head at such inopportune times as this necessitates a trip back home to get his inhaler. Chances of a vampire mother lurking? The forecast shows 100%. Wait, you're not wheezing - you faked an asthma attack to get a photo album?! And now Eph you're going to stand there and flip through it while the rest of the team waits in the truck for you guys? I think I'm on Team Kelly now. Speaking of Kelly, here she is! She calls to Zack telepathically and he desperately tries to get to her. Wonderful. Now the tracking device has been activated and she will never stop pursuing them for The Master. Well done Goodweather boys; do you two ever think of anyone but yourselves?

There you have it; the first season of "The Strain" is in the books. After a slow start the show really started to pick up steam but did it squander that build up? For fans who've also read the books, a lot has been changed - for better or worse? Hit us up in the comments with your thoughts and theories and we'll all meet back here in 2015 for season two only on FX.

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