While it was wonderful to see Sean Astin again, he couldn’t save another dull hour.
Seriously, was that what you expected from the penultimate episode of the season? The Strain Season 2 Episode 12 was just more of the same. Eph didn’t “scale up” his bio-weapon, Setrakian did zilch with the Lumen, Dutch dumped Fet and was later dumped by what’s her face and the Master was nowhere to be found. Even Quinlan was given very little to do.
Are the showrunners trying to alienate their fanbase? Will this series ever reach its potential?
Honestly, for me, the flashbacks have been the only memorable part of this second season. They almost redeem the shenanigans taking place in the present day. Sardu’s fateful meeting with the ancient, Quinlan fighting in Ancient Rome, or Eichhorst selling radios and romancing a pretty Jewish girl were all very well written highlights.
Jim Kent’s return was a welcome one, and we finally got a chance to see how close he and Eph were. The 2005 Infectious Disease Conference also allowed us to witness Eph and Nora’s first meeting. Though this didn’t necessarily advance the story, it fleshed out those relationships a bit more.
I liked the 2005 confrontational version of Nora. Where did she go?
Nora: Nice to meet you. I hope you didn't mind my questions.
Eh: Your boss, Garry Lazar, told me to watch out for you. He said you were brilliant, but you were likely to challenge all my assumptions.
Nora: Gary said that?
Eh: He said you were the most brilliant biochemist in the entire CDC. How’d you like to work for me?
Zack’s grandparents were alive, but the first thought that popped in my head was “I hope the kid is sent away permanently.” That’s not a good sign guys. New Zack has been as polarizing a character as Nikki. The only difference is the kid seems to be relevant to the Master’s evil plan. I’m completely indifferent to Zack. He could be turned tomorrow, and it would not bother me in the least.
Speaking of which, I mentioned in my review for The Strain Season 2 Episode 11 how glad I was Dutch survived. Well, I’m not so sure anymore. The Dutch/Nikki arc has been the most pointless back and forth storyline ever on this series. I realize couples have these relationship issues, but this isn’t a reality show guys… it’s the frakkin’ vampire apocalypse! If I wanted to watch a soap, I’d switch on Days of Our Lives.
Gus and Angel had the only real action scenes. Though breaking those convicts out wasn’t one of Gus’ brightest ideas, it gave Angel the opportunity to step up his game. I had been waiting to see El Angel de Plata in action, so this taste was better than nothing.
Yeah, Hector had to go. Good thing Angel’s got no patience for gangbangers.
Hector: So if we fight for this guy of yours, this Quinlan, he could supply us with more of this shit?
Gus: Everything we need.
Hector: Why we gotta take orders from him?
Gus: Because he knows how to win against these things.
Justine proved more dislikable than ever, which is a shame since I thought she was great at the start of the season. Did the power just get to her head? Her posters were reminiscent of the Nazi party (red, white and black), plus Setrakian painted her as a mass murderer. Palmer’s interest in her doesn’t help the Councilwoman’s case. Still, she can’t be all bad. Justine granted the travel permits, so all Strain fans are in her debt if the kid sits out Season 3.
Creem was pleased to see the old man, and Setrakian authenticated the Lumen. It didn’t surprise me Palmer’s name came up, but it was ridiculously frustrating. I’ve said this a million times, the quest for the ancient book grew old long ago.
Anyway, Setrakian turned to Quinlan for the gold to acquire the Lumen.
Quinlan: The gold will not be an issue, but they will be reluctant to trust you with the power of the Lumen. You could use it against them.
Setrakian: True, but the ancients must now decide who is the greater threat; an old pawnbroker with a few confederates or the Master backed by Palmer and his billions. One thing is certain, if the Master obtains the book he will destroy us all.
Apparently, the finale will consist of a bidding war for the Lumen between Eichhorst and Setrakian. Doesn’t sound terribly exciting to me, unfortunately. On a positive note, there’s only one hour left of The Strain Season 2. Does that sound harsh? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this season to be over and done.
Overall, this installment helped flesh out a few details about Eph, Nora and Jim’s relationship, and set up the final episode. My biggest complaint this season, is that more often than not, there’s very little forward momentum. The Master initiated this vampire war, but has been sidelined since taking on his new form. I just want less soap opera and more horror show, you know? Is that too much to ask?
What did you think of "Fallen Light"? Did Quinlan’s words about Setrakian surprise you? Will Gus kill Abraham? Are you looking forward to the season finale? You’re up ladies and germs, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Miss an episode? Watch The Strain online to catch up before the finale next week.
NOTE: The Strain Season 2 Episode 13 is titled "Night Train" and airs on Sunday, October 4.