'The Strain' Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: Dude, Where's My Crotch?
Before we begin, let's give a quick shout-out to everybody involved with that opening "Eichorst covers his horrible vampire features with simulated human" sequence. TV is not a medium known for the highest quality of special effects (and as nifty as "The Strain" is, the CGI tongue spikes can look a little dodgy sometimes). But that was some grade-A makeup work. Kudos, you vampire freaks!
Alright, now for the endless joy and squickyness of "Gone Smooth." Last night's episode was all about our four survivors (well, three, really, because Ms. Smarmy Lawyer Lady was too busy decomposing to make an appearance), and how they're quickly devolving into pasty faced neck munchers.
Ansel ("Ansel" being the name of our generic family man survivor) was curiously absent last week, but he's back, to slurp up the blood runoff from a nice piece of beef and to set the family dog on Intruder Bark mode. These, of course, are classic signs of coming vampirism, but no one really seems to notice or care. Especially Ansel's wife, who payed no attention to his unbelievably bloodshot eyes, and only really took notice when his segmented tongue began sucking up cow juice like a straw.
The foundation of a strong marriage is communication- hopefully, next week she'll communicate that "your horrifying mutations make me feel unappreciated." Although "Aaarghh please stop draining me of blood" is a more likely conversation topic.
Goth rocker Bolivar finally has a pair of sideways eyelids to call his own. But sadly, they come at a price. Let's all wish a fond farewell to Bolivar's genital region, which was given an abrupt (also, gross) goodbye this week. Bolivar, like the episode's title, or perhaps a Ken doll, has "Gone Smooth."
Two things: one, the little moment of white goth makeup wiping off to reveal white vampire skin was extremely clever. And two, Bolivar is probably 100% vampire mentally, because any shred of human consciousness would have at least raised an eyebrow when his fun zone detached from the rest of him.
That leaves us with Captain Redfern, who was the first of the four (unless Jerk Lawyer is out draining the plasma from law clerks) to go full vamp, and also the first of the four to have his skull crushed into a fine pulp. Sadly, he made the cardinal error of lunging at a group composed entirely of main characters. There's no faster way to take multiple fire extinguisher blows to the head than to try and tongue-stab the guy who's name comes first in the credits. Also, the ease with which Goodweather was able to dodge those tongue shots suggests that Redfern wasn't quite yet a perfectly ripened vampire.
Also also, what was the point of leaving four living victims if the end result looks very much like the dead victims? Hopefully we'll get some explanations with our other three survivors, or else "The Strain" has quite a narrative dead end on its hands.