'The Strain' Season 1 Episode 4 Recap: So Long, Petty Divorce Drama, Hello Sword-in-a-Cane!
A bearded old man beheading vampires with a sword-cane is like TV heroin- once you get that first taste, you'd gladly rob your mother blind for another hit. Also, when someone hints at the possibility of a senior citizen sword-cane vampire-ectomy, it can be very hard to wait patiently.
So when "The Strain's" resident vampire expert Abraham Setrakian demonstrated the effectiveness of sword-canes on creepy vampiric little girls, it was a big ol' cathartic "Wheee!" for the series.
"The Strain" has been ramping up the vampire action at a really terrific pace- the first two episodes offered little besides vampire-on-human tongue killings, but last week gave us a prolonged sequence where our heroes finally figured out that something supernatural was going on. And this week's big climax of vampire mayhem secured things:
"Yes, the infected are definitely vampires, and yes, we should behead them ASAP."
Now that that hump is cleared, expect so many more cool vampire kills in the future. We know that vamps exist, and we know that vamps are hungry for human plasma. It's time for them to start getting the axe (or the sword-cane, more accurately) at a much faster pace.
"It's Not for Everyone" also benefitted from a total lack of Ephraim Goodweather divorce drama. No offense to Corey Stoll or any of the actors involved in this particular story oasis, but it adds precious little to the vampiring, and while it's out of the way, Goodweather has time to do far more important things.
1. Dissecting the body of pilot-turned-bloodsucker Captain Redfern, who Eph heroically bludgeoned to death last week. This was another win for "The Strain's" effects team- Redfern's dissection was a cornucopia of high-quality grossness.
A quick poll: which made you queasiest? Was it the peeling back of Redfern's chest skin? The continual shots of his dried and rotten organs? Or the reveal that yanking out a vampire's tongue is like trying to remove one of those neverending scarves from a magician's mouth?
In both cases, removal should only be attempted after the vampire (or magician) is unquestionably deceased.
2. Learning that Jim Kent isn't really the loyal sidekick he appears to be. This definitely seemed like something to reveal at a later date, so kudos to "The Strain" for not playing it predictably.
Jim definitely deserved that punch to the face, but who knows where this will send him- into the open arms of the vampire horde, in a quest to prove his loyalty to his friends, or some yet unseen middle ground? We'll find out soon enough.
3. Finally teaming up with Setrakian to start killing some vampires. Because if "The Strain" has an Achilles' heel, it's that it's spent so long setting up these characters and hasn't bothered to have them cross paths in any meaningful way whatsoever. We're basically 1/3 of the way through the season, and there's still no indication that either Gus, his loving mama or Vasiliy Fet have anything to do with anything.
Gus managed to say a few words to Setrakian (it's a start), but other than that- nada. What exactly was the point of seeing Gus and his buddy jack a top-of-the-line luxury SUV? Will that factor into future episodes in any way? It better, otherwise "It's Not for Everyone" has some 'splainin' to do.