From FX and the minds of Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse comes the second season in this vampire apocalypse saga ‘The Strain’, which stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Richard Sammel, Rupert Penry-Jones, Ruta Gedmintas, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Madison Brown, Ben Hyland, Jonathan Hyde and Kevin Durand. Season three is currently airing and a fourth and final season will debut summer 2017.
Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the CDC’s New York-based Canary Project, is called upon to investigate when an airplane lands with everybody on board dead. What his team discovers is a viral outbreak that has similarities to an ancient strain of vampirism. As the virus begins to spread, Goodweather works with his team and a group of the city’s residents to wage a war that could hold humanity’s fate in its hand.
New York has been one resilient city in spite of the vampire apocalypse that has been tearing it apart. I’m a little shocked that there hasn’t been more military presence sent in to at least try and subdue the monsters… As season three opens up you will see what a team of NAVY SEALS is capable of when they are sent in to exterminate the threat. It’s pretty cool and kind of opens the show up on a different scale and reminds us of action horror like Aliens. Fett (Kevin Durand) took on quite a different role this season as a leader in the fight for NY and although I disagreed with him on several personal character type things (his hate for Quinlan, his angst towards Eph), I never once doubted his motives as a fighter and Fett kicked a lot of ass this season. That underground bombing sequence was killer.
So… Remember when Zack’s creepy vampire mom killed that one chick and then took her son back at the end of season 2? Turns out that weeks spent over at mom’s house during the divorce aren’t so bad when creepy vampire mom and ol Nazi uncle Eichorst give you a blind monster child as a pet to play with. Zack got way too comfortable chilling with his vampire kidnapping crew and he still doesn’t understand that once you’ve been turned, that you really do only care about one thing – eating humans and/or turning humans into more vampires.
Watching Zack play fetch with his new blood suckin buddy was entertaining, but I don’t understand this kid’s motives anymore. I get that his feelings were hurt and that he isn’t seeing what his father Eph is certainly seeing, but he should have most definitely begun to understand what a fucking monster is and that being a stupid little shit during the apocalypse is not cool. If you had problems with Carl in The Walking Dead, you are going to lose your shit with Zack – because Zack is something else entirely. You have — no freaking clue. Just wait until the third season finale…. Zack… You little stupid bastard…. My god.
While we saw some glimmers of hope at the end of season 2 with the civilians banding together to help fight off the Strigoli, as this season begins to ramp up you’ll soon realise that a bunch of New Yorkers with baseball bats and machetes aren’t going to prove shit all… The vampire army is extremely daunting this time around. Eichorst is a clever lightning fast son of a bitch and the master is even more difficult to track down now… Turns out there’s more to him than just the host body he controls.
My favorite episode of the third season would have to be 8 and not only because Quinlan and the Ancients deliver hands down the most exciting action sequence of the series to date, but because I loved the flashbacks to Augustin’s childhood and how they relay to the current situation with his mother who has been turned… It’s even more heartbreaking when we see what he and his mother have been through before we cut to the present and see what he’s forced to do now. Miguel Gomez puts on the best performance of his career in this season of The Strain and he’s truly made me a fan. The chain-gang sequences subplot was quite fascinating after we discover that NY police are rounding up prisoners and making them clear out vampire holes around the city instead of keeping them in prisons. Nice to see Lee Tergesen make an appearance as one of the guards. He’s so good at playing a dick.
Fellow FFFN staffer Troy, commented a while back that he really needs to stop eating while watching The Strain and I have to agree. Holy shit the stomach-turning dissection scenes as Eph and Dutch experiment on captured strigoli to try and science their way to victory. Worm infested brains and more – The Strain effects team really outdid themselves this year…
Minor spoilers – Major characters perished this season, the city of New York looks like it’s finally bit the bullet and the fight for not only the city but the world has truly begun as we make our way into a fourth and final season. I still have not read Guillermo Del Toro’s trilogy of novels in which this series is based, so I’m not sure how this story concludes, but I’m excited at how far they really take it this year and I’m curious what the show will even look like in 2017. Because that season finale was a game-changer like no other finale has been in quite some time.
If it felt like season 3 of The Strain was a little all over the map, that’s because it was. We have a lot of characters and we spend a good deal of time not only seeing how they’re surviving, but we jump back in time with them as well. In year’s past we explored Eichorst, Quinlan or Abraham and now we finally get to see more of what motivates Eldritch Palmer (really he’s the root cause of all this horrifying shit). I hated this dude before but season 3 made me look at him in a different light. Jonathan Hyde is a boss and in episode 9, he really gets his defining moment. That trap sequence was one of the coolest scenes of the show so far.
I don’t know how The Strain will end, but I do know that I’m enjoying the various routes the series is traversing in order to get there. As sporadic as it all may seem at times, I do like Carlton Cuse and Del Toro’s vision as it translates to the smallscreen. The Strain Season 3 was chaotic — as it should be in both story and setting. We are building towards the endgame and we are doing so in a huge way. That finale people……… I have to tell ya – I did not see that coming. Dammit Zack……. You just…. My god.
Rating: [star rating=”4″]