Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Strain, Season 2, Episode 11: Dead End

Dutch has been imprisoned by Eichorst in a slightly creepy SAW set up. Eichorst continues to be creepy and evil. He continues to be creepy and Dutch just isn’t having it with this evil nazi vampire. Just to make it even worse, it seems Eichorst is becoming fascinated by Dutch

This also leads to this week’s flashbacks – now Eichorst’s life before the war when he was a door-to-door salesman. Which he wasn’t that good at (not helped by Germany’s economic woes). This is, of course, all about a woman, Helga, who he was all dorkily crushing over back then. She was kind to him when he was being mocked for being a terrible salesman. They have a little romance where he tells her to pursue her dreams while he has no ambition at all. Which is when, all vulnerable, he hears a Nazi speech which he thinks is the bestest thing ever. Helga disagrees because she is vehemently against anti-Semitism but Eichorst is all for blaming the Jews for everything. She is thoroughly disgusted, especially since she is Jewish. He tries to walk back his bigotry and say only foreign Jews are bad

Unsurprisingly this doesn’t comfort Helga.

Later, as a Nazi and member of the SS, Helga appeals to Eichorst to help her not be deported to a concentration camp – which he refused to do. She is later hanged and he pretends to be unaffected

We now return to present after this completely unnecessary flashback where Eichorst force-feeds Dutch pineapple. To further this storyline we really do not need and do not want, he forces her to take off her trousers and then puts lipstick on her. She manages to use pepper spray on him before he rapes her with his vampire tongue-thing.

She runs through the boarded up section of the hotel (in lipstick and without trousers because the writers need a good slap upside the head).

Vasiliy, Nora and Ephraim head to the hotel where they were told Dutch was being held – and it is crawling with National Guard. Vasiliy has a lot of knowledge of the city and knows a back way in to the boarded up section of the building.

Eichorst catches Dutch and Vasiliy uses dynamite to get to her and ride to the rescue. Dutch and Vasiliy are reunited. Eichorst escapes.

Abraham has been tied to a chair so he can stare desperately at the book, the Oculus Lumen. He’s been kidnapped by a man with a gun – the boy from the monastery in one of Abraham’s flashbacks is now all grown up.

Unfortunately Rudyard isn’t that eager to let Abraham go (even when Abraham points out he saved him) and he’s very Gollum-y about his precious book. He’s not convinced by Abraham’s epic life & death speeches. He’s going to Tahiti.

Rudyard delivers to the book to a dealer to se,,

Over to Gus saying goodbye to Anya because he’s joining Quinlan on his vampire squishing campaign and not staying with her. Goodbye involves sex, of course. Afterwards he tells Angel he has made a deal to get him and the Guptas out – but he will be staying with the fighters. Angel angrily argues about fighting as well, but Gus demands he stay with the Guptas and protect them. To emphasise how outside he is, Mr. Gupta asks Gus to take a picture of the Guptas – insisting Angel be in the photo.

After a tense moment, Gus’s connections get the Guptas and Angel through the checkpoint – well until Angel demands to return. He’s seen them to safety now he’s coming back to fight and joining Gus, Quinlan

I was worried that we were going to see a departure from the books and not have Angel be part of the fighting force. One of the (few) elements of the books I liked is that Angel, despite being older and despite his injured knee, was still an effective fighter and dangerous to the vampires (albeit in a ridiculously campy, over the top way) rather than being dismissed due to his age and disability.

Eichorst and Dutch… why? This is a point we’ve madebefore about gratuitous sexual assault (and this whole imprisonment had adecidedly sexual element) – what purpose does it serve? This doesn’t even try to make Eichorst more evil (he’s a Nazi vampire. Maximum evil has been achieved) any more than his pointless flashbacks served to humanise him. Dutch could have been held prisoner as a snack or part of some plot just as easily without the lipstick, pineapple forcefeeding or anything else. It was purely gratuitous. Dutch was victimised for no purpose other than to have her victimised. And why would a vampire even want to use his blood-drinking-tongue in that manner? Why? Why is this here? Why is this storyline here? (And calling it a storyline is generous)

The gross gratuity of this episode is the worst, but it also adds to the ongoing problem of long episodes with nothing really moving. Dutch was kidnapped last episode (for no apparent reason) and, after a pointless flashback and lots of gratuitous awful, this entire episode is pretty much her escape from pointless captivity. Abraham spends this episode getting out of a chair. Gus has a brief road trip.