The Strain is quite possibly the most frustrating show that I’m watching on television right now, but in sort of a good way. Everything hasn’t quite kicked into gear just yet but with the fifth episode of the season you can tell that things are going to soon, and when Del Toro-created stuff gets into gear, you know it’s going to be awesome.
I mentioned this in last week’s review, but the same is true here again. Every time this show improves, there are more things that are dragging it down, preventing it from being the great horror show that it could have been. Rather than reaching the heights of True Detective and Penny Dreadful for this year’s best shows, it’s currently falling in line with the likes of The 100 and Dominion – shows that are entertaining and watchable but not much more.
This week’s episode saw the look at the survivors of the incident on the plane, and how they each dealt with it. Unfortunately, this was one of the more boring elements of this week’s show, because whilst it’s seemed to have moved Eph’s family drama plot to the sidelines (at least for the moment), these parts seem well, not as intriguing as other areas of the show. For example, if this was all about the team up between Eph and Abraham, and Kevin Durand’s Vasily – I’d be happy. Eph’s story has significantly improved now that he’s working with David Bradley’s character, and it’s great to see some more information on The Master this week as we flash back in time to World War Two to learn more about both him and Abraham’s first encounter.
The information that we learned here was welcoming and gave more depth to Abraham. We learned why the four survivors made it out, with The Master using it as a distraction to divert the focus away from what happened with the dead bodies and the coffin. We’ve had a mysterious aura of fear built up against this villain, and because we’ve seen him in action in the flashbacks, we know what he’s capable of. It’ll be interesting to see him fully in action in the present for sure, and where things will go from here. Once again, this is a reminder that I haven’t read the books or graphic novels that this series is based, so I’d appreciate it if there were no spoilers on what’s to come.
Aside from the apparent deaths in the pilot, it’s worth pointing out that Runaways had the highest bodycount in the series so far. With horror shows being at their best the more people they kill off, It’s no surprise then that despite its flaws I found this episode to actually be one of the better ones of the series, and hopefully this will be a turning point.
There are plenty of things wrong with this episode however that are worthy of mention. The side story of Nora’s mother this week was unnecessary, and there was a general feeling about this hour that it is starting to get a tiny bit repetitive. But aside from that, this felt like an okay episode that comes cautiously recommended as a result of this. Some people will like it, others won’t.
Are you still sticking with The Strain? Let me know in the comments below – what do you think of the series so far as we reach episode five?