How totally amusing (yet confusing) was that Angel de Plata mini-movie intro?
Confusing in the sense the glitches and fast-forwarding made one question whether the DVR was on the fritz. That said, the black and white short film – directed by del Toro himself – served as a reminder of the tone of The Strain. It's gruesome at times sure, but at its heart it's just a good old-fashioned fun time.
Even Zack finally mellowed out a bit, making The Strain Season 2 Episode 4 more enjoyable than the previous few hours. At least he was tolerable, you know?
Though the second book never quite hooked me like the original, I did hit the chapter on The Silver Angel. He was the one character I was worried might not work on the TV series. A Mexican luchador fighting vamps, seriously? Sounds like total Velveeta B-movie land if you think about it.
However, I was really pleased to see that del Toro played it all very tongue in cheek and Angel worked wonderfully for me. The vampire wrestler baddie going all Bela Lugosi bat had me in stitches too. It was without a doubt one of the most memorable scenes of the series to date.
Naturally, no one understands this world the way its creator does. Like the Sardu flashback in The Strain Season 2 Episode 1, the del Toro aesthetic is impossible to deny. The series has always been hit or miss, but I can't help wonder how much better it would be with del Toro in the driver's seat. Can you imagine if he directed more episodes?
It wasn't a surprise the "successful" vampire virus would hit a snag. I mean, we're only three hours into the season and they've got a working bio-weapon? Since the Master sees though all his creatures, it was fairly obvious he would put a stop to the infected strigoi somehow. Suicide off a rooftop is as good a way to go as any.
Vasiliy: There, he's down. Now what?
Eph: Now he infects the others by direct contact and then we wait for sundown, just like them.
It's a good thing Eph mentioned how the virus would spread. I wasn't clear how it was supposed to work, since the strigoi don't exactly rub up against one another. Sleep being the one exception, because they definitely spoon. Okay, so I'll buy that McGeever snuggled with a couple of the vamps who in turn did the same and so on.
Apparently Vaun is history, which still baffles me. Why hire a guy like Stephen McHattie only to underuse and kill him off? Perhaps he wasn't available this season due to a scheduling conflict? Who knows? Anyway, Gus wandered around like a lost puppy and ended up at the Silver Angel's restaurant. I'm not sure if it's Angel's place actually or if he simply works there. Let's assume he's just an employee. Man was the former wrestler nasty to ol' Gus, who he instantly pegged as a gangbanger.
Aanya took a liking to our Latin heartthrob though. Is Gus about to get himself a love interest? I'm all for it, the guy deserves a little lovin'. Things are not going to go as smoothly with Angel for sure. Still, it seems like Gus will be throwing together his own human vampire hunting squad. It was cool that he recognized the Silver Angel's stance. Hopefully, he'll seek out Setrakian as well.
Did it surprise you that Gus went back home? It was wild seeing his mother again, but I wasn't expecting him to go back there.
Guadalupe/The Master: You failed.
Guadalupe/The Master: Augustin Elizalde you failed.
Gus: I know who you are.
Guadalupe/The Master: The Ancients are the past. I am the future.
Dutch had the brilliant idea of visiting Mr. Fitzwilliam. That guy is the one person with enough knowledge to bring Palmer down. I loved that Setrakian went along with Dutch's plan, but how unsettling were the hanging strigoi on the docks? Is Councilwoman Feraldo taking things a tad too far? Though he was standoffish, I believe Fitzwilliam will reach out to Setrakian and company. Were you surprised he knew about the Lumen?
In the flashbacks, Setrakian and Palmer went looking for the Occido Lumen. Only a year had passed and Palmer looked like death. Was he given "the white" at some point in the past? I never got the impression throughout The Strain Season 1 that Palmer and Eichhorst met decades ago. Still, it was a fun twist and now we know when his alliance with the Master began. Young Setrakian kicking ass was great too.
So, Eph and Zack went to the batting cage for some father/son bonding time. Wasn't it great to see Kelly as a human for a moment? It was a nice reminder of how much the kid misses his mother and we needed that. I mentioned Zack mellowed out at the top, but it was almost like Carlton Cuse watched the dailies and found him too aggressive in the first few episodes. I don't mean to nitpick, but his behavior is super inconsistent. At least Ben Hyland's version felt like the same kid throughout the first season.
While Vasiliy went to blow up the subway tunnel entrance, Eph and Nora located the sick strigoi.
Eph: The Master's forcing them to commit suicide.
Nora: Rather than spread the fatal disease.
Eph: It works.
Those vamps jumping to their deaths was pretty brutal. Eph realized their bio-weapon worked, but what's next? Will they round up a bunch of strigoi to infect? Catching those suckers is never easy. Won't the Master simply kill those newly infected off as well? Will the military mass produce and implement this weapon that easily? It seems highly unlikely, because again the season would be over.
I'm not sure where the writers are going with this virus, other than possibly using it to cure recently infected folks. Who do you think will get infected first? Dutch, Fet, Feraldo or will it be Zack? The virus was engineered to be safe for humans, but to what end?
Fet had a blast blowing the tunnel. It was great the way he led Feraldo's goons away from the explosion. Hey, Fet and the councilwoman had to meet somehow, right? It's going to be interesting to see those two working together.
It was a trip that Zack was listening to Bolivar's music. All signs point to the kid getting infected. Especially since every episode ends with the Feelers and Kelly hot on his trail. They're closer than ever now, will she catch up with him in the next installment?
What did you think of "The Silver Angel"? Did you find the black and white mini-movie as fun as I did? Were you surprised to see Gus' mom again? Can Eph convince the military to get involved? Will Kelly catch up with Zack next episode? You're up Strainiacs, go ahead and sound off in the comments below.
NOTE: The Strain Season 2 Episode 5 is titled “Quick and Painless” and airs on Sunday, August 9.