Monday, September 21, 2015

'The Strain' Recap: 'Dead End'

Photo courtesy: comicbook.com
BY DAWN FEAKES

Last week, Dutch ended up in a world of trouble, Coco was shot then saved by the Master's worm juice and Eph continues his reign of incompetence. Let's do this.

First and foremost, massive TRIGGER WARNING.

Dutch is locked up, chained in a padded room when Eichhorst appears, bringing a friend. After forcing some schnapps down the guy's throat, he drained him and broke his neck. Nothing like a human cocktail occasionally. It relaxes him. If you were trying to shake her up man, it worked. When asked what he's going to do to her, the response is an enigmatic 'everything.' Eichhie, Eichhie...that's so broad. I'm going to have to ask you to be a bit more specific. Also not having a good night? Setrakian who after being knocked out by the one-eared Fonescu, ended up being restrained himself. Shall we make it three for three?

Eichhorst for some reason feels like engaging in small talk with Dutch. You know, what's your name, where're you from, what is something about yourself that no one else knows.... Uh, what? After taking a good long sniff, he goes first - well 70 years ago I was a nobody and then came to fame in fortune in the Nazi party. You? Wait, you became a Nazi because you couldn't get laid? Ooooh girl, you struck a nerve right there.

Flashback! Eichhorst was a door to door radio salesman. He's a nice enough guy, no real fire and almost gets a sale when the woman's husband arrives home and worried about having a job, rips up the contract. No sale for you! Back at the office, he's the 98-pound weakling and is mocked for basically being useless but still makes eyes at the secretary. Yeah, she'll get right on that. Shockingly enough, she's into wussy boys so he scores a date with the radiant Helga who is convinced that 'Tommy's' destined for great things...if by 'great' you mean 'psychopathic vampire' then yes, I agree.

Aanya packs up before heading out with her family to 'safety' and is very sad that Gus won't be joining them as he's going to save the city for her. Sure. But first, let him give you something to remember him by. Wait. And we're supposed to believe that Ma and Pa Gupta have no idea what's going on here? Right.

Fet, Eph, and Nora track Dutch and Eph, with his 'Ephness' almost gets recognized, jeopardizing the entire mission. So how are we going to do this, the place looks empty. Okay, here's the plan: Eph, you go in the front and 'Eph' it up while Fet and Nora sneak in the back to do the actual saving. Meanwhile post Aanya/Gus sexytimes, it's time to go. Angel, stick with them and see them to safety. I'm a rebel Angel; I work alone. And with Quinlan but that's besides the point. Scouting the building, it appears to be abandoned but never fear, Fet and his architectural fetish is here, something about the rear, blah blah blah. That so has to be a new 'The Strain' bingo square: Fet knows an important architectural detail.

Abe still tries to bargain for the Lumen but really man, you are not coming from a place of strength right now, being tied up and all. Fonescu will sell the Lumen to the highest bidder, Abe saving him lo these many years ago be damned. Oh goody, he's got an enormous chip on his shoulder from being underestimated his whole life and Abe's delicate touch of berating and shouting is just the thing to tip the balance in his favor. Peace out, old man. It's all about the Benjamins now.

We interrupt this recap for an important announcement: It's the middle of the vampire apocalypse; do you know where your children are? Do you care? We don't. Moving on.

Gus gets the Guptas to the checkpoint but whoops, he has no identification and he's not on the list. A problem but not insurmountable as Mr. Quinlan's driver Eve arrives to smooth the way. When this is over Aanya, he'll come for you. You may take that anyway you'd like. At the last moment, Angel heads back to Gus. Time to meet the rest of the team then big guy.

Fondly reminiscing of his past, Eichhorst slices a pineapple and everyone takes a collective step back. On his date with Helga, he's absolutely smitten with her and we have no idea what she sees in such a weak, whiny, pasty little man. She dreams of going to Vienna to study and he encourages her which makes her light up and kiss him. Uh, okay. He though, has no plan or great calling. It's okay Boo, some people are late bloomers. Or waiting for the Third Reich to come knocking as an officer commands everyone's attention on a recruiting mission. 'Tommy' likes what he's hearing about 'German pride' and 'yay team' while Helga looks more and more uncomfortable. By the merest chance of fate, as the officer points around saying 'Germany needs YOU!', he of course got who was overjoyed about being needed and 'chosen.' This will not end well. On the way home, he chatters excitedly about the wonders of the Third Reich and how everything is the Jews fault, that they are parasites and leeches. Tommy, *I'm* a Jew; does that make me a parasite or a leech? Ooops. You stepped in it now Eichhorst. She doesn't buy the whole 'not your family, it's the Russian ones I mean' line and basically tells him that nope, bottom of the barrel is where you belong. Thanks nameless SS officer; the future citizens of the world really appreciate what you've done here.

In the present, he presents Dutch with the carefully sliced pineapple to season her up a bit and she rejects it most violently. You will respect his authoritah now eat the pineapple. Say 'I will eat the pineapple.' She repeats it and he feeds it to her and holy cow this is intense. It eats the pineapple or else it gets the tongue. Of course, schnapps and pineapple are two tastes that I never thought would go well together and I'm going to have to give careful thought to ever having either one again. Oh, who am I kidding, I could never stay mad at beer.

Abe tries to get free and finally does but the book is long gone. Again. His frustration is almost as palpable as Dutch's as she gets an idea and struggles to remove something from the dead cop with her feet. Fet would be so turned on right now. Eichhorst returns and finds her eating the rest of the pineapple, properly cowed.  Or so he thinks. Good girl. Now, take off your pants. What? Uh, your dick fell off 70 years ago, what exactly do you think you're going to be able to do? Oh my dear, you'd be surprised. It's makeover time as he slathers red lipstick on her. He tells her to turn around, spread her legs and bend over as he takes a seat behind her and holy God no he isn't going there. He's got the stinger but she's got the Mace which will mess his night right up. Sloppy Eichhorst, very sloppy. She's able to find the key to the collar and runs while he writhes on the ground. Unfortunately she doesn't close the door so we know that the chase will be on now. Dutch hasn't been my favorite character but you know what? Mad respect right here: screw you guys, I'll save myself.

This is getting intense. I think we need some eye candy, no?

Photo courtesy dailydead.com
But as she runs, she steps on a nail and cuts her foot because of course. I guess we're just grateful that it wasn't a sprained ankle. Fet et al are in the basement looking for a way in so now it's a race against time: who will find Dutch first. Eichhorst does remember the first rule of eye injuries: flush with water for 15 minutes and remove your eye. He's got all he time in the world to track her back down as they're on his turf. Finding a stairwell, she heads down with him taunting her all the while. At the same time, Team Bread Truck runs up a stairwell; is it the same one? Nope, dead end. She gets to the bottom and finds the next landing turn has been bricked up. The chase has been fun but now it's meal time. He drags her back up the stairs and Fet gets to work on the brick. Mr. Fet: tear down this wall!

Any word about Zack? He's still hanging out somewhere by himself? We don't know and really don't care. Back to the story.

He's through! And has dynamite because of course he does. Charging up the stairs they find her and setting off a flash-bang, Eichhorst drops her and she gets away. It's the story of his undead life, he roars with impotence at a subway tunnel. There, there. Let it all out. Flashback! He's feeling good in his SS uniform when he's called to an office as a dirty Jew said she knew him. Three guesses who it is and the first two don't count. Helga begs for her life and that of her family's and he's questioned if he had a...relationship...with her. Nope, mostly because he royally screwed up their first date. But he deflects, saying that they worked together but she was suspected of stealing. Placated, he's free to leave as Helga sees her last crumb of hope fade away with Eichhorst's cold smile. He has power now and is feeling pretty swole when he rounds a corner and sees Helga and her family hanging. His commandant is watching but Eichhorst gets it together and flicks a cigarette at the corpses, smirking and turning away. He played it right with them but he's dying inside and do NOT even think about trying to make us pity him because NO.

In present time, Dutch is completely traumatized and the mean part of me wonders if Fet will have more compassion for her than he had for Nikki. I'm not sure there's a therapist in the world who will be able to help her deal with this ordeal. Over on Roosevelt Island, Fonescu requests an audience with gang leader Alonso Creem. The Cardinal said you could help him and as Creem is clearly knowledgeable about old, silver-backed, vampire hunting texts, as gang leader arms dealers typically are, he thinks they can do business. It was not-so-nice knowing you, Fortescue.

So that was an intense and disturbing episode what with Eichhorst dealing with being passed over for hosting The Master incredibly well. Looks like we get more Quinlan (and Gus) next week and if we're really good, might be Zack-free for three weeks in a row. Join us on FX next Sunday, September 27 at 10 p.m. ET for 'Fallen Light.'

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