THE STRAIN — Pictured: Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather. CR. Robert Sebree/FX
Where to start? Because I’m still queasy from the vampire vomit that assaulted my eyeballs during tonight’s season 2 premiere episode of The Strain on FX.
If you haven’t watched tonight’s episode, proceed at your own caution. There be SPOILERS afoot!
THE STRAIN — “BK, NY” — Episode 201 (Airs July 12, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders.
CR: Michael Gibson/FX
For readers of The Strain trilogy which the show is based on, tonight’s episode gave us something we desperately hoped for last season. The episode begins with a very young Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley, Game of Thrones) being told a scary story by his grandmother. This story is important because it not only tells us the origin of Setrakian’s knowledge of The Master (Robert Maillet), but it explains why The Master looks the way he does; whose body he inhabits, and how he was able to.
The manner in which he takes over his host body is where the gagging starts. He literally throws up what looks like a gallon of worm-infested vampire vomit all over the young nobleman he’s lured into his lair, with most of it getting into his open mouth. Yes, that happened on TV. If you get queasy easily, turn away. It’s absolutely disgusting. Despite the bucket of puke, this story is what starts the books off, so I went from zero to fangirl real quick.
After a quick flashback of the fight from last season that badly damaged The Master’s current host body, things pick right up with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) and The Master discussing a new host body, and a new beginning. This obviously does not bode well for humanity.
THE STRAIN — “BK, NY” — Episode 201 (Airs July 12, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders, Corey Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather.
CR: Michael Gibson/FX
Nora (Mia Maestro) and Ephraim (Corey Stoll, Ant-Man) spend much of the episode fortifying their hideout with Fet (Kevin Durand) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas), while trying to come up with a scientific cure for the vampire epidemic currently spreading throughout the city. Zack (now played by Max Charles) gets in all his feelings because he still can’t get his mind right, and get the fact that his mother has gone full vamp.
Eichorst and Eldritch (Jonathan Hyde) continue to shade each other, but have to continue to work together because The Master is still running shit around there. Eldritch’s company, The Stoneheart Group, continues to acquire property for The Master’s nefarious purposes, all the while barely containing their utter hatred for each other.
THE STRAIN — Pictured: Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer. CR. Robert Sebree/FX
And speaking of alliances and frenemies, Setrakian is taken by the vampire mercs, and presented to their bosses, the ancient vampires that are increasingly distressed that their little brother, The Master, is wilding the fuck out, and creating vampires all over the place. Setrakian, Gus (Miguel Gomez, Southpaw), and the vamp squad, however, come to an agreement. They all want the same thing. They will help Setrakian by providing him whatever he needs–and believe me, they have been stacking chips over the millennia–if he promises to kill The Master. Obviously, Setrakian didn’t need to think twice about it. At this point, Gus is very comfy in his role as part of the ancient vamps’ crew, but when he sees them feed on some poor guy in front of him, you can see his resolve waver just a little. #TeamVegetarian sounds really good by now, I bet.
Kelly (Natalie Brown) is undead, and loving it. Her new task is to take charge of the new crop of baby vamps The Master and Eichorst plucked from a school for the blind. Yes, they lured a bus full of blind kids to a warehouse, and turned them. They rise from the soil with their eyes all black (the horror!), and despite Kelly’s main priority, and thought, being her son Zack, she clearly relishes her assignment as vamp den mother to the undead children. They reach out to her, and she soaks it up. It would be cute if they weren’t all deadly bloodsuckers.
This new season of The Strain looks even better than last season. Even though I’ve read the books, and know how it ends, the way the showrunners change things up is refreshing. They certainly do a better job than other people… *cough* Game of Thrones showrunners *cough*.