Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Strain, Season 3, Episode 6: The Battle for Central Park

This is a grand battle episode – Christine gathers her forces to help get Vasiliy into the Central Park nest hoping to destroy all the strigoi there and stop any further incursions in Manhatten. This includes sending strike teams for support – including drafted prisoners Gus and Angel – while Vasiliy and new love-interest Captain Kate Rogers go into the tunnels to unleash Vasiliy’s silver bombs

With extras who you know are there to die dramatically so we can have tension

Along the way they pick up Ephraim and Dutch so they can continue to study Strigoi communications – well, in theory – but in actuality it’s so Dutch can get all jealous over Kate, of course it is.

I am giving Kate a 30% chance of being dead by the end of this season. 2 established characters with a rocky romance go through an “out” period and new competition arises? She is so dead so Dutch and Vasiliy can get back together. The tropes are strong with this one.

Gus and Angel are forced into battle by 2 cops who are not only inept but also sadistic – insisting that new prisoner (scrounging for things to trade for food got her arrested) Maria go down a strigoi tunnel alone since Angel and Gus were so determined to protect her. Gus and Angel aren’t having that, capture one cop at gunpoint and both cops end up dead through further ineptness. Yup, no-one’s crying over this one.

They then run into Vasily for reunion time! (And Vasily not being thrilled by the whole drafting thing), Angel gets Maria to safety, her role of damsel in distress and plot object now complete, while Gus join Vasily to kill all the strigoi. I’m glad to see the teams merging, The Strain can get awfully distracted at times

We also catch up with Zach who, alas isn’t dead and…

Wait. Why isn’t he? Why is he not dead? Why does the Master care about him? The only reason was leverage against Ephraim – but Ephraim’s plague failed? Why would the Master even remotely care about him – what is so special about Ephraim that the Master would put Kelly, one of his valuable sentient vampires, in charge of baby sitting, having Eichorst visit the kid and even assign a Feeler (the freaky child vampires) to be his bodyguard/pet/friend? Why is he worth this effort?

Anyway Zach is evacuated by Eichorst because he is That Important.

After much fighting Vasily sets off the bombs – the whole nest of a gazillion vampires is killed by silver and it’s a grand super victory. Eichorst even shows up to taunt Ephraim (because he has nothing better to do) who is now all angsty over Zach being alive (oh please no more time spent on the daddy/son pair! Who careees? The whole of New York – the world – is burning and I’m supposed to care here?)

Anyway, as I said – it looks like a victory but Eichorst is still taunting. While Christine & co are all focused on taking out the nest the strigoi launch an overwhelming attack on the checkpoints from the north – the police go in full retreat, Central Park is abandoned, Christine withdraws all her forces form the park

The Park has fallen, possibly more of Manhattan

It’s a clever plot but feels… unnecessary? I mean those numbers attacking from the checkpoint AND the park (rather than leaving all the Park strigoi as sacrificial distractions) at the same time would surely have secured a similar victory without having the tunnels overwhelmed with silver bombs

Now we have everyone, almost, together and a new chapter of the war to fight