Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of The Strain season 2…
Resurrected with an authentic chrome dome Corey Stoll is kicking arse and taking names. Since casting off his synthetic weave Ephraim Goodweather has found some cojones. No more the mild-mannered CDC executive. Now we have a lothario with germ warfare in mind. Having thrown mama from the train, he is dead set on greasing the wheels of a large-scale military mobilisation. In fact these segments kick so much arse, they are worthy of my whole word count. Fortunately equal amounts of mayhem must drag me away.
Like the Bolivian stand-off from Butch Cassidy, or those final ten minutes of Dusk Til Dawn, this week The Strain gets its freak on. Miguel Gomez gets some much-needed screen time in chuck away moments opposite the Silver Angel. While some bizarre bonding occurs between Nora and Eph Junior which makes no sense. One question kept nagging at me throughout these scenes. If you missed your mother and blamed the father, would you really cuddle up with his other woman? Bearing in mind all the bitching and moaning prior to this I would think not. In terms of character, this is the only thing which fails to ring true throughout.
Elsewhere the new adversary who entered the game last week is stirring it up. With a bone handled scimitar strapped across his back and dressed in black, this is one hard arsed assassin out for blood. No name yet, but a boat load of presence, some serious pontificating and bags full of crazy to spare. Back with Abraham there are a few moments between himself and Mr.Fitzwilliam from Season One, which amount to little more than dead air. Before Abraham gets his ‘John The Baptist’ on and puts to bed a relationship which I thought had some legs.
This episode kicks in like an adrenalin shot to the chest. Similar to books either good or bad. Programmes tend to have moments of lag before hitting their stride. My feeling is that The Strain was never going to gain momentum until season two. Having never read them I had no idea what was coming, but it now seems foolish to doubt the decision. There was never any intention of cancelling The Strain. Somebody had done some speed reading, made a judgement call and visualised these set pieces.
Now I am not in the habit of earmarking an episode, especially ones from this programme. But writing is not about rules it’s about writing for god’s sake. And this one is about to be broken. Trust me the stuff that goes down here, will have you wondering why you avoided The Strain for so long. Enjoy.