Man I bitched a lot last week, but I'm about to make it up to you guys because I really enjoyed The Strain Season 2 Episode 6.
These are the episodes that make this series worth watching. It's a shame the writing is so damn uneven on The Strain. Shout out to Justin Britt-Gibson for nailing this particular screenplay. There was far less silliness going on than usual.
Quinlan is already my personal fave, and Bolivar as the Master works brilliantly. I get the sense the second half of the season is going to pay off in a big way. "Identity" felt like a step in the right direction, so don't let me down showrunners.
Though Quinlan looks phenomenal, and I loved actor Rupert Penry-Jones on Black Sails, I'm still not sold on the character's entrance. Del Toro and Cuse definitely over-hyped it at Comic-Con. True that by the end of this episode Vaun was just a memory for me. However, I still feel his introduction at the Luss home and the moment he killed Neeva's daughter left a stronger impression.
Our first real look at Mr. Q is him jumping out of a fish truck in broad daylight. Okay, I admit that part made me curious, but as far as first impressions go, I think Vaun's got him beat. So what makes Quinlan a "daywalker"? We'll find out soon enough.
I had no clue Tom Ellis (the lead in FOX's upcoming Lucifer) was playing Eph's Washington D.C. pal Rob Bradley. Though Nora didn't seem to like him a few episodes back, I thought the guy was pretty cool. Of course that meant he wouldn't be around for long, but I didn't expect him to be killed off in his debut installment... Brutal, writers!
You've got to admit, the photos Eph showed Robert were quite impressive.
Robert: Holy shit, what is that?
Eph: See those cysts? I did that. I found a way to kill these things. It's a bio-weapon. It's crude, it needs to be refined but it works.
Robert: What do you need?
Eph: I need to scale it up and I need your access. We need to play politics here. Run it through the labyrinth, except we don't have months we have hours.
It doesn't seem Eph will be lingering in Washington D.C. for too long, which is fine by me. The real action is in New York, anyway. Hey, at least he managed to squeeze in a little sexy time on his visit.
Like Rob, Leigh Thomas was too good to live long. She quickly put to rest any doubt Barnes might still be alive. Could Eph have acted any more suspicious? He bounced back nicely, though, when he mentioned the virus being personal to him. Though I knew in my gut that something was bound to go wrong, I never considered an assassin. Did Palmer send him after Eph? I can't recall that.
Wasn't it terribly disappointing that Fitzwilliam finally joined the vamp hunting team only to get infected and beheaded? The guy knew everything there was to know about Palmer; he was a massive asset.
It's possible the writers felt the character gave our heroes too much leverage over Palmer. If that's the case, why reintroduce him this season? I guess he did inform the team Palmer's goal was immortality... So there's that. Will his brother, Curtis, seek revenge and join the cause now? Either way bye bye Roger Cross, you'll be missed, man.
Yep, Zack has mellowed out at last. He even smiled. Did you catch that? His quiet moment with Nora was touching, but mostly because Mia Maestro totally nailed that scene. Strange that the acting on this series can range from wonderful to wonderfully cheesy.
Elsewhere, Gus and Angel continued to dance around his true identity.
Gus: You could quit with the silent treatment bro. I know it's you. Admit it. A'ight, okay, fine. It's just some crazy coincidence. I mean, your name is Angel and you limp on the same knee that he got hurt on.
Angel: Coincidences happen.
Gus: I agree, but you gotta love those Silver Angel movies, right?
Angel: Garbage. Worthless garbage.
Gus: Hey don't insult the man, he's not here to defend himself.
Listening to Gus describe the Silver Angel's movies was a trip. Though I'm not quite sure why Angel hates Gus so frakkin' much. Does the guy remind him of a younger version of himself? Was Angel a gangbanger before becoming a wrestler/actor? Aanya helped put two and two together.
The trio's little delivery run was a fun moment, and I loved seeing Gus and Angel fighting side by side. I'm glad Gus came clean about his past. Was this the start of a beautiful bromance? Surely even el "Angel de Plata" must have been impressed with Gus' ax and skills.
Quinlan's meeting with the ancients made me respect the character in a way I never had with Vaun. While he's got him beat as far as first impressions, Vaun came across as more of a servant. Mr. Q shouted at them and irritated them, putting the old strigoi in their place. I liked that Quinlan mentioned training Vaun and the others. That's right, the real badass is in town now, and I can't wait for him to meet our heroes.
It seems like the next episode "The Born" will delve into Quinlan's backstory. I'm giddy!
Nora and Zack's fateful trip home was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of this installment for me. The chase was not only intense, but the sequence contained some genuinely scary moments. For a horror show, those are few and far between on The Strain. The kid coughing in the pulpit freaked me out. Good thing Nora called in the cavalry. Is Kelly all out of Feelers now? Did Zack recognize his "mama bear"? Does he now understand she's beyond saving?
Setrakian: Thank you for your help.
Fitzwilliam: I did what I could. Tell my brother I tried.
Setrakian: I will convey your message.
Fitzwilliam: Please just make this... [swish]
Eph signing his virus away is going to bite him in the ass. Will the chief of the National Guard turn to Stoneheart for distribution? With both Rob and Leigh dead, what's Eph's next move? He's wounded now, as well. I'm not sure where the writers are going with the virus storyline, and I really like that. The season certainly hasn't been predictable, so it has that going for it.
Palmer and Eichhorst's meeting was awkward. I'm glad the Master's lieutenant put the old fart in his place, even touching on the strigoi trap in his penthouse. Did Palmer seal his doom with that little move?
I will say, I never imagined the Master choosing Eichhorst as his new vessel. The fact Bolivar had been around since The Strain Season 1 Episode 1 meant they had big plans for the character. The Master was shot so well this season, it's almost a shame he's gone now.
The transfer of the Master's essence/spirit was as gross as I expected it to be. Though Bolivar's not physically as imposing as Sardu was, the new Master looks pretty spectacular. After whimpering a bit, Eichhorst fell right in line. It seems like in this body the Master will draw less attention, no? Well, for a strigoi, anyway, I mean. Will he be more involved in the vampocalypse from now on?
That was a killer hour of TV! What did you think of "Identity"? Was it an improvement over the last installment? What are your thoughts on Quinlan? Did you expect we'd lose Fitzwilliam so quickly? Did Kelly come too close for comfort? Will Eph head home? Your turn guys, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Relive the Master's nasty rebirth and watch The Strain online right here via TV Fanatic.
NOTE: The Strain Season 2 Episode 7 is titled "The Born" and airs on Sunday, August 23.