'The Strain' Recap: 'By Any Means'

Photo courtesy tvfanatic.com

Last time, Kelly gets a new family, Eph and Nora do science, and Setrakian was even grumpier than usual. Let's do this.

Gabriel! You're looking rather...Goth...this evening which is good because you have been chosen for great and wormy things. I'll also say that the feelers are creepy as all get out but if you displease Mama Kelly, well, there is no place for you here. That's some tough love right there, Kelly.

Eph and Nora experiment on the older couple who got turned, you know, for science. Okay man, I get it but there's a fine line between science and butchery and you aren't a very good skater. Fet has no time for their shenanigans because Setrakian is cranky that he can't find a clue he knows is in the books about an ancient book from the storage unit. Might I interest you in the Dewey Decimal System perhaps? I hear it's very good.

Flashback to Vienna when a young Setrakian was an associate professor in Vienna. In the midst of class, a young Eldritch Palmer visits with a quest for the legendary cane of Jusef Sardu. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this partnership is doomed to not end well.

Eph's finally going to finally tell the couple the truth: you'll die in 15 - 48 hours then become one of those things. I see, Well, can you please kill us know and get it over with? We really don't want to donate our still living bodies to science. Eph proceeds to bore them all with the history of Yellow Fever and brave volunteers blah blah blah and they finally acquiesce just to shut him up. Yay for Team Science being useful.

Over at City Hall they still can't get their act together. This is evidenced by them just now noticing that the National Guard are pretty much invisible. Health and Human Services has finally had enough of the crap and basically says 'Eff you, Jobu. I do it myself.' And still, the rest of them sit. (Psst: vampires don't vote so you kinda need to have the humans around to keep you in office. Just saying.)

Coco Marshall accepts Palmer's job offer and he knows everything about her. That's not creepy at all. Welcome aboard, first order of business is to open a new distribution center and oh, write my speech. Rather than writing speeches, Fet and Dutch carry out Operation This Is Gonna Take a Helluva Long Time But Eh, So What. They break into a gym to find a vampire nest in the showers and holy poor gym etiquette Batman. See? Too much exercise can kill you. Lucky Dutch, she gets to be bait and we (I) hope she doesn't come back out. You can't get away with breaking the internet that easily Blondie. Ring ring ring goes the dinner bell and dammit, she survives. So of course she celebrates by taking a bath in the pool and good lord woman, you make terrible decisions. You don't know what could be floating around in there. Fet, I know she's naked but don't....too late. I'm very disappointed in you Vasiliy.

You've been a bad, bad boy.
Setrakian continues being cranky and someone needs a time out and/or a nap. I know toddlers better behaved than you old man. At any rate, Nora returns, really shook up over the research they are doing but more than that, the old couple being connected to The Master and knowing where they are. Setrakian comes out of his funk long enough to reassure her that they are 'safe' and while babaric, what she and Eph are doing is for a noble purpose, like an MLT where the mutton is nice and lean. Uh, thanks?

Flashback to Vienna and Setrakian meeting a German antiques dealer who's looking a bit 'Eichhorst-lite.' Coincidence? Nah. But he does have an impressive collection from the war; can I interest you in a book? Perhaps as skull? Or maybe...Sardu's cane?  That was quick work but alas, it's on hold for someone else. How can he force the sale? For starters, accuse the dealer of being the doctor in a Nazi death camp and chasing him through the buildings of Vienna. Dr. Dreverhaven escapes but Setrakian gets the cane and for free. We'll call it a draw.

Nora and Eph are dispirited as nothing they've tried so far is working to break the infection chain and Zack of course chooses to come in then and be all angsty that Eph won't tell him what's going on. Son, you're going to have to take it down a few notches with the drama. The old lady is failing fast so after sedating her, Eph straps her husband to his bed. No time for bedside manners, we're doing science here! I kind of wish his hairpiece would start attacking him is all I'm going to say about that.

Setrakian continues to tantrum and throw things over not finding what he's looking for and Fet, very relaxed after his Dutch treat (sorry not sorry) helps him clean up where the mystery paper appears. And just like that the storm passes. Don't think we're not going to discuss this later, Abraham.

Flashback to Vienna with Setrakian, the cane, and Palmer who explains that the grand prize is the Occido Lumen which contains the key to all things strigoi. Dazzled by the promise of a fully-endowed chair (and tenure!) in his name, Setrakian is all-in. His wife Miriam though, not so much. Let's see who is the wiser of these two, hm?

It's Nora's turn to observe the patients and she has a much better manner than Eph. The nicitating membrane has developed in the woman's eyes and it won't be long now. Her husband wants to see her one last night so still strapped down, Nora wheels him over to her and in that display of devoted, undying love, Nora breaks down and  goes looking for Eph who is playing kick the can with specimen samples that haven't worked. Good lord, will any man not throw a temper tantrum tonight? They discover some lab samples of engineered pathogens that lack one or more amino acids; perhaps these will be effective in breaking the infection chain? To science!

The lab strain is working and multiplying in the face of the infecting pathogen and this is a tiny bit of good news. Now to try it on our 'volunteers.' Meanwhile, Palmer and Marshall arrive at the distribution plant to officially open it and begin supply operations. Maybe you should read through the speech first Eldritch, as it's completely not you but damned if it doesn't rouse the populace. Okay Coco, you're good. He actually sells the 'community and camaraderie' line and lo, the people love him. Which is great except it's not as now they've sealed their fates. Oh look who's here too - Abraham. Time for a posture-off between the two nemesis. Palmer's temper tantrum is that he asked God to heal him and the answer was 'No'. I'm about to have a temper tantrum because this whole bit wasn't in the books *breathes heavily through nose*. Palmer doesn't want Setrakian to leave the building alive but he didn't count on Fet blowing up a pallet of toilet paper and escaping undercover of two-ply softness. I'm almost ready to forgive you Fet. Almost. So what did this little jaunt accomplish? Other than confirming that Palmer and by extension, The Master, did not have control of the book, not much. And they complain about women playing games. Sheesh.

Flashback to Vienna, Part the Fourth - Draverhaven lost the cane and his buyer is less than pleased. Given that the buyer is Eichhorst this is sure to go badly for Herr Doktor. You can join the new Fuhrer, all we need some blood. THWAP! Delightful. The older couple has finally mostly turned and sometime recently Eph fitted them for Bane-masks to contain the stingers. Who needs to have a tantrum tonight? Okay Zack, you're up. His involved destroying the equation and notes on the wall. Yes, that will certainly help your dad cure your mom. Speaking of Mom, she brings the remaining feelers a bit of Zack's scent to follow. Now, bring him to me! Not entirely sure if The Master is completely down with this plan but hey, they did need an inaugural mission so onward, my skittering, chittering brood.
Mmm. Take out.
Next week we'll see if the great pathogen experiment worked and they're on the run. Again. Tune in to FX next Sunday, July 26 at 10 p.m. ET for 'Fort Defiance.'