Warning! Major Spoilers!
First off, I’m going to apologize for the delay in the review of this week’s coverage – I was away from Sunday and only got back today (Wednesday as I’m typing this), so that’s why the review is a couple of days late.
The series still seems to be finding its feet, four episodes in. It’s normally the trial and error period that I give for most shows to see if they’re good, so if I reach episode four and decide that I don’t like it I will give it up as, quite frankly, I’m watching too much stuff as it is right now and anything that I can cut down on I will. However, that said – there is potential with The Strain. Del Toro’s name attached shows that he can be scary and It’s Not For Everyone was an improvement on the episodes that we’ve seen so far.
We open immediately after the tense fight scene that was the last episode, featuring Eph, Nora and Jim fighting against the Monster. It isn’t long before Jim confesses his sins, and it was good to see that the cat was out of the bag that quickly rather than the show dragging the conflict of Jim being a double agent out across the entire season. We also get development across other sections of The Strain’s cast as well, and Abraham showed up to decapitate the French Family that had been infected in a dark horror scene.
However, it’s all good until you start to think about it afterwards. Like so many movies, you’ll enjoy them enough on a first viewing but when you either rewatch it or start to pick it to pieces, there’s bound to be something that will crop up. That happened with Abraham’s decapitation, and questions were asked even before the show finished, with the sudden twist featuring the wife switching into a killer felt awkward and didn’t feel as believable as it should have.
However, anything where we get to see Abraham in action is a good thing. I’d much rather David Bradley’s character was the star of the show and not Stoll’s Eph, as I’ve stated before. There were a few more logic gaps in this week’s episode, however, but what’s been mentioned above is the most notable one, and this was where the show suffered in places.
The show, it seems, continues to take a step back every time it takes a leap forward, which is frustrating because this hour showed an improvement on Miguel Gomez’s character, Gus, giving him more depth and making him the most sympathetic that we’ve seen him yet. However, it’s worrying when the most interesting characters are not the Goodweather family, who are supposed to be the main stars, but with plenty of episodes left, there’s a chance for Eph and company to improve.
Aside from an absence of Vasily and the aforementioned problems, It’s Not For Everyone was a step in the right direction. The breakup of the Jim/Eph/Nora team should hopefully signal the much needed improvement for Eph’s character, and the autopsy scene was one of the highlights of this week, really proving just why it’s not for everyone as the title suggests. It’s gory and dark, and really sets the tone for the show in general.
So am I sticking around? At least for now. It’s barely survived my four episode test, however, and hopefully next week’s episode can continue to build on the good stuff. Now that Eph and Abraham are a team, things should start to get better.