The Strain Review: Sunblocked

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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.


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?

Occultation Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (13 Votes)
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The Strain Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

I'm your salvation or your downfall.


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