Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Strain, Season 4, Episode 4: New Horizons

Hey it’s another episode of everything is awful and vampires are evil. Which, ok, fine… but we kind of need to go somewhere with most of these storylines. Or any of them.

Instead another go round of most of the cast reminding us that evil land ruled by evil people who are evil is evil is starting to smell a little stale.

Take Sanjay Desai who is living a wonderful luxurious life being a stooge to the Strigoi with Eichorst dropping in on him to remind him he has to do terrible evil things or he will be horribly tortured to death in horrible ways. You get to live a life of luxury only if you continue be evil (turning women into baby factories, forcing pregnancy as often as possible and c-section at 6 months - with no safety consideration for the mother).

I mean ok, it’s terrifying and awful but didn’t we already do that with the pregnancy farm anyway? Didn’t we know this?

So to that pregnancy farm and Dutch in a terrible situation. Sanjay Desai wants Dutch to play nice collaborator and reassure Sophie who is giving birth by c-section. Dutch keeps her calm and co-operative through the whole procedure so they can steal the baby with minimum fuss. If she doesn’t then she goes to a terribad place. And, as one fellow inmate points out, Dutch refusing to actually co-operate doesn’t actually stop the baby being taken. The alternative is another inmate who calls her a terrible evil collaborator.

Didn’t we do the whole collaborator storyline… every episode?

Dutch does the evil collaborator stuff, but when the doctors won’t even let Sophie hold her own baby, Dutch snaps. She holds a blade to Desai’s throat, kidnaps him and uses his keycard to follow the baby - to find a terrible holding factory. There people are impaled on hooks and have all their blood drained

Ok… horrifying? I guess? I mean… strigoi are vampires who kill people and drink blood? The addition of meat hooks may make for terrifying abattoir imagery. Maybe it’s because I read the books so knew this was coming. But I am not entirely sold that this is entirely more horrifying than, say, nuclear winter?

Let’s drop in on Gus and Cream and they’re still running a black market operation and one of their men is killed by a rival gang made up of ex-cops. So we have a battle with Gus showing he’s intelligent while Cream shows he’s too obsessed with pride and gestures. Gus’s cousin gets to prove his worth; Gus and Cream get a bit more tension and we get a firefight. And none of this matters at all.

Time to go to the one character who is actually involved with fighting back against the big bad. Ephraim who has reluctantly taken over the resistance by lecturing this silly Alex lady on how to Resistance properly

Even in a dystopia women still get Mansplained to.

Seriously this whole storyline is Ephraim tells Alex how to Resistance Properly.

She’s even encouraging her brother not to bother the guru while he decides their next move. Unfortunately while he’s plotting they’re raided and all these extras are duly murdered (coupled with a sad scene of Ephraim having to kill Alex’s brother because he got bitten - see scene from 80 gajillion other dystopians where someone has to die how tragic. It’d help if this character we even slightly developed. I only learned his name 5 minutes before he died).

So that leaves Ephraim and Alex and Alex drinking her pain. Hey this would be a great time for Alex to discuss her past, her family, what she’s lost and… oh we’re going to tell Ephraim’s story again? Oh… yay.

Having truly told his dark secret of having the worst son and how this is ALL HIS FAULT.

Ok, whatever time to go back to the evil plan and there they find that large numbers of humans are being moved to the countryside. How very very sinister. Shall we guess they’re being impaled on meat hooks?