Did you think for even a millisecond Eph would hit his target? Yeah, not so much.
While The Strain Season 2 Episode 10 had several predictable moments, it was fun to watch the events unfold. My biggest complaint this season has been the filler episodes. "The Assassin" wasn't perfect, but it also wasn't pointless helping advance the story.
If Eph had hired an assassin, Dutch might not have ended up a strigoi slurpee. Eeek! Is our brilliant hacker about to meet her maker? If so, what was the point of bringing freakin' Nikki into the mix?
While Eph's still a bit of a dick, there have been fun bonding moments with characters like Fet and now Dutch. I enjoyed the duo's witty banter in the cold open.
Especially when Dutch said she's, "Someone who can't skip by in life just on her looks." I would have laughed at that as well Eph. It's just nice to hear the guy handing out compliments and being less abrasive.
Justine's little story was realistic, but didn't her 1% tax come across as vengeance in that context? I completely understand her point, but her delivery lacked tact. She came across like a total a-hole in her conferences.
I mean, if the idea of clearing out the Upper East Side didn't appeal to her, she should have said so. Again, a character we liked goes down a questionable path, which is a real shame.
Anyone else disappointed the original credit sequence was back? What was the point of featuring Rémy Gente's brilliant title treatment in that one episode? Not that I hate the old version, but I just don't get the switch up at all.
Anyway, Setrakian got his hands on the Lumen... for a hot minute.
Nora: Has anyone actually ever seen this book?
Setrakian: Several people have seen it. None of them, however, are available to discuss it. There are strange stories of the book turning up in India. Burma. Always presaging massacres. Upheavals.
Nora: So if we find this, it might hurt us?
Setrakian: You're not wrong Dr. Martinez. In 1856, it was listed as part of an auction in Marseille. The auction was cancelled when a mysterious outbreak gripped the city. Since then the book has disappeared. It is said to be cursed, bringing death and disaster to anyone who reads it. But I'm willing to take that risk.
If that doesn't foreshadow Setrakian's downfall, I don't know what does. I feel like a broken record, but I'm terrified for the series if they take the old man out of play.
Speaking of old men, Palmer visited his sweet Coco and convinced her to return just in time to get shot. The official FX promo spoiled the Master giving Coco "the white." Though it was obvious Eph was going to miss his target, hitting Coco was the next best thing. It raised the stakes, causing Palmer to demand the Master heal her.
While I haven't seen a physical phonebook in ages, I do recall full names being listed, no? Either way, "R. Fonescu" led our heroes on a wild goose chase. They did kill a few strigoi, which was entertaining. The bookstore seemed far too convenient a place for the Lumen, so I'm glad the book wasn't there.
Though I'm pretty much over Dutch's love triangle, the bonobos reference was a trip. "They resolve all their conflicts through shagging and don't feel the need to kill each other," Dutch said. Eph's reaction was priceless. Yeah, I enjoyed this team up big time.
It was awfully convenient, not to mention silly, that the Mayor turned to Palmer to talk sense to Justine. However, it set up the assassination attempt so I went along with it.
Say goodbye to eternal life you son of a bitch.Eph
Dutch scoping out the fire escape set my Spidey-sense tingling. It was clear the duo would not be heading down that way. Did Eph have to stand up after taking the shot so all of New York could spot the assassin? A better title for this installment might have been "The Asinine." Ha!
When our heroes walked out of the building, it seemed like they were home free. How the hell did Morgan Kelly (Alvis from Killjoys) make the connection between Eph and the shooter? Sure, Stevens probably recognized Eph from the FBI's most wanted list, but why assume he'd try to kill Palmer? The whole thing made little sense to me.
I will say, the strigoi attack at the police precinct was an unexpected blast. In many ways, it was more thrilling than the Battle for Red Hook, which I mentioned in my review for The Strain Season 2 Episode 9 felt fairly anticlimactic.
I loved watching those stingers come barely an inch from Eph's face, and the cop locking himself inside the cell only to get stung. That was probably my favorite scene from this installment. Well, aside from the closing moment.
Does Palmer have every single New York official in his pocket? I was surprised Stevens took Dutch away, but even more surprising was the fact he cleared out the station so the old fart could confront Eph.
Palmer: Yes, I'm alive. You failed.
Eph: If I didn't hit you, then who did I hit?
Palmer: You shot an innocent woman.
Eph: Is she alive?
Palmer: She's possibly brain dead.
Eph: I'm sorry for her. But am I sorry that I fired that bullet?
Palmer: Did Abraham Setrakian send you to kill me?
Eph: It was my idea.
Palmer: It's odd that a man as smart as you should follow him. You must know that all this will be settled in a matter of weeks, if not days. The die is cast, we've won. Why do you continue to resist?
Eph: You're not obviously insane. Megalomaniacal certainly. Sociopathic probably.
Palmer: I persist because I understand the salient facts. Civilization is in free fall. Our world is about to change, violently and forever.
Eph: With you selling out the human race, so you can live as one of these monsters.
Palmer attempted to make his point, but Eph's reaction was perfect. "I don't give a shit how you rationalize this evil," he said. Ephraim also struck a nerve calling the old man a "lackey." It's interesting that Palmer is still under the impression he's the Master's partner. I can't wait until he realizes he's just been used, and probably won't be made immortal.
That said, the Master giving in to his demand to save Coco was a big deal. Eichhorst's line was brilliant, "You are demanding that the Master come here and release his own divine and invaluable essence, just so you can continue fornicating with your secretary."
I'm still not clear about Coco's motivation, but finally understanding Palmer's role and being healed by the Master is going to change her. Will she turn on Palmer, or fall into place? Though I haven't been a fan of this arc, I admit I'm curious to see how things play out.
Setrakian arrived at the last address on his list (typical), and discovered the Lumen. Did Rudyard Fonescu knock him out? I'm hoping the man did not simply run off and that he and the professor chat about the ancient book. We've only got three episodes left, it's time to stop messing about and get to work. Let me know if you agree in the comments below.
Overall, I thought the events here helped drive the plot forward. Plenty of stuff went down and there was less nonsense than usual. Yes, I rag on the show from time to time, but that's only because I don't think it's trash (or disposable) television. The Strain could be and deserves to be great! Get with the program writers, come on.
What did you think of "The Assassin"? How will Coco react to the truth about Palmer? Will Fet and company arrive at the Mayfield Hotel in time to save Dutch? Where's Quinlan? Your turn Strainiacs, please sound off in the comments below.
Want to see that jail attack again? Watch The Strain online via TV Fanatic any time.
NOTE: The Strain Season 2 Episode 11 is titled "Dead End" and airs on Sunday, September 20.