The Strain

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The Strain Review: Sunblocked

by at .  Updated at . Comments

It was an interesting (and expensive) way to kickstart The Strain Season 1 Episode 6 from space right?

While I understand the scene's significance, I can't help wonder if the budget was a factor in so few strigoi running rampant in Manhattan during the eclipse.

After all, the episode is called "Occultation" and we've been building up to this tipping point all season long.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the episode. I'm just wondering why the eclipse went by with so little on screen damage.

The scene that followed definitely caught my attention. Eichhorst's feeding chamber was just plain cruel yet so wickedly fun. What a brilliant performance all around by Richard Sammel. He has easily become one of my favorite characters on the show.

Did you notice the water/gatorade bottles and food near the poor victim? It was like something out of Hansel and Gretel. Fatten him up and provide the proper nutrients, carbohydrates and electrolytes so the meal is just right. I wonder how long dinner was chained in that room?

I'll be honest, I wasn't a fan of the FBI storyline this week. It was all basically to keep Eph locked up during the eclipse. That said, I'm glad all that stuff is out of the way so Eph can get to the strigoi hunting. Why is our hero constantly getting slapped? Police brutality!

The one great moment born from Eph's trouble with the law was Kelly and Matt's big fight. Both Drew Nelson and Natalie Brown nailed their scenes. Matt's not a bad guy, he's just trying to do the best he can for his family. Wasn't Kelly calling him a "guest" uncalled for?

Can you honestly say you would not have called the FBI as well listening to Eph's crazy talk? The only version of Kelly I like is as mother to Zack. The rest of the time she comes across as selfish and controlling. I'm sure this is by design though. How else can you explain her actions?

Speaking of Zack, how many 11-year-olds know a cell phone can be traced? This is not your average kid apparently. Loved seeing Eph have his proud Dad moment, that was cool.

Gus got himself into a bit of trouble declining to do another job for Eichhorst. I wondered if the "three rules" would come up again and they did. Yes he was curious about what was in the box, but he did not open it. Should that have made their deal void?

Several times now Gus has badmouthed Eichhorst and The Master's lieutenant finally put him in his place.

I'm your salvation or your downfall.

Eichhorst

I'm not sure Gus had much choice at this point but to take the money and meet Jim to dispose of Redfern's body. Why in the world would Felix open the body bag to see what's inside? "We met El Diablo" today he tells Gus. Dude you have no idea. Do you think they got the worm out of his hand or is Felix a goner?

Setrakian's run in at the Regis Air victim's wake was awesome. It almost makes up for the lack of strigoi during the eclipse. I think the old man realizes after this that his heart simply can't take it. He needs help hunting these things down. Specifically young, strong and capable people. I imagine this is where Gus and Fet come in. I'm ready to see the team all come together. Will that happen next week?

Vasiliy had a serious run in with a couple of strigoi. In my review for The Strain Season 1 Episode 3 I predicted the pretty receptionist wouldn't last long. Nice knowing you sweetheart. Did anyone else wonder how Fet's co-workers were infected? They turned rather quickly too didn't they?

When he visits his father, we learn Vasiliy is no ordinary rat catcher. The guy gave up an architecture scholarship at Cornell to fight vermin. The father and son have a contentious relationship, forcing him to stay away for two years. Though the old man thinks he's nuts, he did try to warn them. Do you think Fet's folks will leave the city? Or will he be the one to put them down?

That brings me to Kelly's friend, Diane. It seems the writers are trying to make their female characters strong independent women. However, Diane is just plain obnoxious so they're definitely missing the mark. She does advise Kelly to leave town, though she herself is a "Queen's girl" and won't ever leave. Hey, I'm perfectly fine with that... just means more food for the strigoi. Ha!

Again, I like Kelly best when she's with Zack. The scene where they're staring up at the sun with the eclipse glasses on was touching.

Kelly: What should we do Z? Stay or go?
Zack: Dad says go.

Zack believes in his father, and though things didn't work out well during the custody hearing it does seem the kid was just looking out for Dad.

Eph convinces the lamest FBI agents on the planet he's guilty and will take them to the bodies. The timing is perfect because the eclipse is taking place. Excellent shots of Times Square as the moon slips in front of the sun. Manhattan goes dark and this is where I expected the strigoi to go absolutely insane. It was a bit of a letdown that we mostly follow medical examiner Bennett, now turned, as he attacks folks in traffic.

I'm sure no one was disappointed the FBI agents were quickly taken out by the strigoi. Eph did try to warn them.

At Sears, Matt hears screams and realizes one of his employees was attacked. Are those two hooded guys important? They left us hanging, so it felt like there was more to come. Will Matt become infected?

After all is said and done, Eph finally makes his way to Setrakian's pawn shop where he's reunited with Nora. They're ready! What do you think Setrakian's new plan is?

Your turn STRAINiacs! What did you think of "Occultation?" Were you disappointed we did not see more strigoi out and about during the eclipse? Hit the comments and let me know your thoughts on this week's episode. Remember if you've read the books, let's stick to episode 6 below to avoid spoiling the show for other fans.

Want to re-watch an episode or start from the very beginning? Watch The Strain online right here via TV Fanatic.

Will Kelly and Zack leave the city as Eph advised?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Henry A. Otero is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Payton mcmullen jr

I really like this show, but sometimes I wish they would skip the scenes with the characters family members. They can all get ate up. I just want to see Abraham slicing and dicing strigoi!

Hanko9
@ Payton McMullen Jr

Trust me Payton, the family stuff pays off big time. You'll see ;)

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Great ep. And great recap, HO.

Hanko9
@ AntonioSaucedo

Thank you so much Antonio. Glad you liked it!

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It appears that we only saw attacks that our main characters were involved with. Perhaps they felt that to show an all out attack during the eclipse would affect the pacing of the show. I agree with Henry that they are saving the all out attack or the result of said attack for the finale. The Strain is definitely a unique take on vampi...excuse me, strigoi.

Hanko9
@ trd4197

Exactly, notice I stopped using that word and exclusively refer to them as strigoi. Somehow this minor tweak makes the series much more unique. I'm also ready to see The Master up close!

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I can't wait for Gus and Vasiliy to join forces with our main group. I, too, was a bit disappointed we didn't see more strigoi during the eclipse. But maybe it was just some kind of teaser? You know - in this main street there was only Bennett, but you can't know where the other strigoi went... so it will be much more thrilling in one of the next episodes when it will become obvious how many are already infected. Just my guess though. Oh, and that part of Eichhorst with his victim? What a huge difference to the 'newborns' who feed as soon as they can on whoever they get hold of! Is it sunday yet? ;)

Hanko9
@ San

Absolutely, there must be thousands of strigoi after the eclipse. I'm just greedy and wanted to see them in action haha. Yeah Eichhorst is something else. I wonder if we will see more like him. You know much more sophisticated and in control. I definitely see Gus, Vasiliy and the team coming together before the end of the season. Wonder if any others will be introduced.

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@ Henry A. Otero

Well, you already told us Mr. Quinlan will make an appearance before the finale and I am SO looking forward to that :D

Hanko9
@ San

Yeah del Toro said during Comic-Con that Mr.Q is in episode 7. That's this Sundays... are you ready San?

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I hope the effects of the eclipse are far reaching and not-yet-revealed because that was the main image used in the teaser trailer. Maybe it was a call-to-arms for the strigoi collaborators or something? Also, nobody has a viral (no pun intended) video of the public attacks yet? I think Matt is going to bring the strain home to Kelly and Zack. It would be sad to see them die but that would be the tragedy that gives Eph the resolve to lead the fight. The only person who seems to immediately understand what's happening to the city without any help is Vasiliy Fet. He knew the way to "help" Laurette was to open the blinds. I really hope he teams up with the others because they need a guy like him, badly.

Hanko9
@ 1opinionated

I'm sure they will refer back to the eclipse as a major turning point in the spread of the virus. Perhaps I'm thinking of Walking Dead too much, but I really wanted to see a hoard of strigoi wreaking havoc. You know? It's entirely possible the creative team doesn't want to overdo it and they're saving a moment like that for the finale. Just a minor quibble. You're right Vasiliy's the only one aware of the strigoi without help. That's what makes him a powerful asset. He can teach Eph & company a thing or two. Looking forward to their meeting. Thanks for your feedback!

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@ Henry A. Otero

Oh I think there'll be a massive strigoi attack at some point. Otherwise what's the point of building that army in the first place? Thanks for your fun reviews.

Hanko9
@ 1opinionated

I'm so glad you enjoy my reviews! It's amazing talking to other fans about The Strain and sharing theories etc... I will be covering "Constantine" this fall and hopefully a couple of others. Is that new show on your list?

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@ Henry A. Otero

I'll definitely be watching Constantine and look forward to seeing how that story will unfold. Looks like I'll be coming back here to chat about that one too. :)

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@ Henry A. Otero

Yes, definitly !! and thank you for your reviews :) I'm glad others like The Strain like I do ( and sorry for my english, I'm French)

Hanko9
@ Marion

Your English is excellent Marion! Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate it.

The Strain Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

I'm your salvation or your downfall.

Eichhorst

Kelly: What should we do Z? Stay or go?
Zack: Dad says go.