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The Strain S1x06 “Occultation”

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Warning! Major Spoilers!

I’d like to start this review by saying that I will be unable to cover the next two episodes after this one. I’m going to France on Tuesday and will not be back until the first week of September, but when I return I plan to catchup and start reviewing the current episodes ASAP. I also plan to cover Doctor Who from my return, so you can look out for new reviews of that show as well. Now, without further ado, let’s crack into The Strain’s sixth episode, Occultation, which may well be the best episode since the pilot as things are about to kick off.

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Eph gets on the wrong side of the FBI…

The creepy opening sequence of Eichorst torturing a man set the dark tone that this episode would follow. We get to see how everyone isn’t ready for the coming apocalypse, from Abraham barely being able to defeat a coven of vampires and even Vasily had trouble (although he fared a bit better). It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when vampires are fully on the streets proper, as we’ve seen a taste of what chaos they can cause this week dispatching the two moronic FBI Agents.

Speaking of the two moronic FBI Agents, this was one of the more frustrating moments of this week’s episode. Like always with The Strain, it requires plenty of logic gaps and everything wasn’t as neat as I would have liked. We’ve seen the clichéd plots of only a small amount of people believing that the end is nigh countless of times before and there’s nothing remotely fresh about that here. On a similar thread with the FBI Agents, the boyfriend of Eph’s wife seemed to be shaping up as nothing more than a plot device which was a real shame.

However, The Strain is slowly starting to achieve consistency now, which is a good thing. Last week’s episode was a step in the right direction and it’s starting to get over the problem that many new shows seem to have – they don’t always hit the ground running, taking their time to build. The Strain is certainly one of those shows but as it’s about to kick into gear in the latter half of the season, you get the feeling that when it does it will rapidly become incredibly awesome, as is common with Del Toro’s work. There are several strong points about this episode with a consistent level of tension provided throughout.

Vasily’s story is starting to become more relevant, and Abraham is always awesome so that’s something that this show can add to the list of good things that it has to offer. It seems that Eph is continuing to improve as well, and he feels more interesting than he did at the series’ start. It was good to see Jim and Gus as well.

Another negative aspect of this show is that it forces you to keep a suspension of disbelief throughout the series. Are we supposed to believe that in a 21st century world, the internet shutdown is preventing the news of vampires from getting spread from NEW YORK of all places? A smaller town in the middle of nowhere I could probably buy, but this is New York we’re talking about here. And shouldn’t there be more panic when the vampires started to make their appearances in the last episode, anyway? Even if it was limited to just New York

That said though, The Strain is starting to find its feet at last and I’m looking forward to watching the episodes that I’ll have missed back to back when I return from France, as I’m starting to like this show more and more now and can’t wait to see where it goes.

What do you think of the series so far? Are you enjoying it? Do you agree with me that this episode was the highlight of the show so far? Let me know in the comments below.

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