Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Strain, Season 2, Episode 4: Silver Angel

For some reason I’m watching an ancient black and white film about vampires and Mexican wrestlers. I’d say it’s terrible but, honestly, I’ve watched worse. But it does go on way too long

It’s been watched by an older, Latino man called Angel who has a limp very similar to what the vampire-hunter wrestler (Angel de Plata – angel of silver) had on the old film.

Gus goes to eat in the Indian restaurant where he works and there seems to be some tension between the two men.

Afterwards Gus goes home to get supplies – and finds the body of his brother and the still living (unliving?) vampire of his mother. Gus is desperate not to kill his beloved mother and the Master uses her to speak to him attacking Gus squarely in the very sensitive Mother issues and general fear he disappointed and failed his mother. Guy leaves, leaving her “alive” and locks the door behind him.

He goes back to the Indian restaurant where he’s welcomed by the owner’s daughter, Aanya and both Angel and her mother decide to put the kibosh on that right away, deciding they don’t want “his sort” talking to her. But Gus recognises Angel from the Angel De La Plata film and has a complete fanboy moment. Angel denies it all.

Ephraim et al release their infected vampire to spread his merry plague. After some vampire killing and a nest in a mental hospital, their infected vampire nests with the others.

This calls for a flashback to Vienna in 1966 when Abraham was a professor, Palmer a young man and even back them Fitzwilliam was a lackey of Palmer’s (wow, he’s looking good for his age… must be his father. A generational lackey?) They were tracking the Lumen special book of specialness to a nunnery – one the vampires already got to – they only find a boy who claims the Mother Superior decided the book was evil so burned it.

While Abraham fight to protect the boy from vampires, Eichorst made an appearance and made Palmer an offer he chose not to refuse. When Abraham rejoins Palmer, he decides the book is gone and there’s no further point in looking for it – or in hunting vampires.

In the present, Nora tells Ephraim to spend time with Zach. Oh yay, more father son bonding time, just what I wanted to see. This comes with parental angst and moodiness.

Nora and Vasily also catch the news and we see that Councillor Feraldo is spreading her vampire slaying tactics much to Vasily’s approval. Nora is much more leery of suspending rights and invoking martial law (we have to remember last season when she talked about growing up in a police state)

Palmer, meanwhile, has managed to gather the heads of major banks and investment companies together in a supposed gesture of solidarity to reassure the no-doubt panicking financial markets to help get finances back in order.

All in one place, and perfectly placed for a vampire attack.

Dutch has realised that Palmer’s last lackey, Fitzwilliam, is no longer following him around – and that’s after Fitzwilliam let them live last season. Dutch suspects that Fitzwilliam has turned against Palmer and has tracked down the only address related to him which isn’t owned by Palmer – Fitzwilliam’s brother, Curtis, on Staten island. Abraham agrees.

They arrive at the island and find the checkpoints, security and the medieval display of vampire bodies, much to Dutch’s disgust and Abraham’s disapproving silence. With the help of Curtis, they meet up with Fitzwilliam to try and recruit him. The attack on the Federal reserve has panicked the financial world still further and Bad Things will no doubt follow – and Curtis points out Palmer got out ok. Abraham has a great pitch though Fitzwilliam says he’s totally not joining the club. Abraham is confident he’ll change his mind – and Abraham is usually right

Back on the mainland, Ephraim and Nora find out their plague is working and killing vampires, while Vasiliy still wants to blow up subway tunnels to stop them spreading.

And the Master is trying to limit the disease but suiciding those minions that are infected. Ephraim considers this a victory – since it shows it’s contagious and lethal. Now Ephraim wants to go to DC and the powers that be for mass manufacture and distribution. Nora is worried how fast he’s moving (I’m not sure what her objections are?)

Vasily still gets to blow up his subway tunnel. The curfew enforcers are not amused by this and they brutally beat Vasiliy and handcuff him.

Meanwhile Kelly and her horde of child vampires are tracking where Zack and Ephraim have been.

The plague is a nice idea – but if the Master can see through his minions eyes and control his minions – I think he’d just walk that minion out into sunlight. Ok maybe he can’t see through every minion’s eyes at once, but I think he’d keep an eye on this one given the givens. It seems he was a bit late for him to belatedly pay attention.

I kind of want Nora to say exactly why she’s objecting to Ephraim moving so fast given the situation. If she’s actually have a reasoned objection beyond “you’re going too fast!” it would be nice to elaborate on that. It’s not like there wouldn’t be objections (immunity, side effects, possible human contamination) but she needs to make them.

I do like her input on Vasily’s hailing of Feraldo, though, again, I’d like her to elaborate more and bring in her own experiences and history to add to both her characterisation and her presence in the show. Vasiliy ending up being attacked by authority figures nicely underscored her point.

I also really think we need to bring the plot lines of this show together more.