Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Strain, Season 3, Episode 8: White Light

It’s time to reveal what nefarious thing Eichorst and the Master are building in Eldritch’s factories. Sadly, it’s the same as in the book

It’s a big plant where humans are loaded up, exsanguinated and their bodies incinerated and they want it to work faster (and human lackies are apparently willing to work on this).



Is speed of exsanguination a problem?

Is killing humans for food in vast and quick numbers even a viable

This is obviously scary scary genocide because we’re reaaaaaly trying to stretch that with some desperate and frankly offensive comparisons and thematic links to the holocaust and Abe.

But not only is it insulting to compare the very real horror of the holocaust to this story, but it makes no sense. The vampires cannot possibly wipe out their primary food source, that’d be utterly ridiculous. This whole factory makes no sense – the vampires don’t have a problem killing and feeding on humans.

Now an extraction factory that took a lot of blood from people but left them alive, basically vast warehouses akin to what we saw on the Matrix, humans bound in cells from birth and constantly bled but kept alive (which provides both blood and stops them being turned by being bitten). That would be horrific and make sense. This? Does not make sense. This is a mutual extinction machine.

A now healthy Palmer, buzzing on the White, gives enough information to Abe and Vasiliy to allow them to track down the crate that was delivered. There’s a gun fight but in the end Eichorst manages to escape with the crate and its mysterious cargo. But they also learn about the death factory

Abe is, obviously incensed by this gross and nonsensical appropriation of his horrific experience genocide and his contempt for Palmer doubles. Eldritch pretty much finds himself not respected by everyone and really forced to obey either the Master or Abraham if he wants to live. Really he’s gone from being the Master’s tool to being Abe’s tool – at least Abe delivers on his promise.

Quinlan has to make his own unwilling meeting – with the three American Ancients. He hates them and makes tat pretty clear, delivering some razor edged lines, but Abe has a plan that involves them. He doesn’t tell us what that plan is and is pretty willing to just deliver orders straight to these ancient master who are eating a whole lot of humble pie awfully grudgingly including one razor line about how Abe is willing to deal with “undesireable powers”. Ouch Eldritch you’re not even there and you’re getting called out. Quinlan attracts their attention by suggesting this crate is a long imprisoned ancient – who has allied with the Master. The same Master who has definitely not tried to ally with them.

In fact he’s sent Eichorst to track them down with a huge army of minions. Quinlan quickly declares this not his fight and carves a path through them with his utterly epic combat skills to freedom. The huge army overwhelms the Ancients’ minions with sheer numbers… but doesn’t come close to taking down the Ancients themselves. Eichorst has a bomb that does that…

Checking in with Gus and Angel we get a much better story. After dropping into Palmer’s “freedom centre” which very ominously asks for fingerprints and all kinds of personal information. Gus is very wary about this information entering the system – but Angel asks “what system” which is as brutal as it’s accurate.

They end up back at Gus’s house where we have some development of his past – raised by a single mother after his abusive father disappeared when his mother’s brothers found out he was hitting their sister and nephew. We see both how utterly dedicated Gus was to his mother, and how he is so completely torn by guilt by his failure to meet his mother’s expectations – not only to avoid criminality, but also by what he did. We’re reminded that it was Gus that brought the Master into the city. It was Gus who, indirectly, was responsible for the Master – and the death of his mother

The full death now as Gus now kills her to save Angel – his surrogate father figure with whom he is building a truly beautiful relationship.

Now to a relationship that makes me want to smash all the things

After testing the recording of the Master on the Black Box they have, Ephraim and Dutch see just how powerful it is. Using it near Dutch nearly knocks her unconscious with pain and leaves her ill

When she recovers we get a reference to Dutch’s bisexuality in one of the grosses way possible. She luridly describes herself having sex with another woman in order to turn Ephraim on. Yes, Dutch’s attraction to women is used to titillate a man… and then they have sex.

The attraction of lesbians and bisexual women – and LGBTQ people in general – for the titillation of straight men (and straight people in general) is fetishising, demeaning and reduces female bisexuality as performative; something done to please men. The only way The Strain could make this worse is have Dutch killed by a bullet meant for Ephraim.