The Strain Recap: The Little Shed, Little Shed of Horrors

The Strain Emma DiesThis Sunday on FX’s The Strain, the doctors got a look at what was under Capt. Redfern’s skin, and the ultimate horror was unleashed: No Twitter!

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Having barely dodged the attack by the infected pilot in the hospital basement, Eph, Nora and (a reluctant, jumpy) Jim set out to dissecting their assailant. Among the discoveries: Redfern’s heart and lungs have all dried up, while fresh organs have grown, largely in support of the “stinger” that jut forth from his mouth. (And yes, his genitals are “gone,” Eph notes.) When Eph extracts the full, remarkable length of the proboscis from the pilot… well, very bad, messy things happen.

It is around this point that Jim ‘fesses up: He waved the van carrying the coffin through at the airport, thinking it was full of just soil – and in the name of paying his dying wife’s medical bills. Sob story aside, Eph socks his longtime colleague and declares him “dead to me,” while Nora shows only a smidgen more compassion.

Eph and Nora make tracks for the Arnot home, to check in on the dad who claimed his dead daughter Emma had returned, alive. There, cute little Emma attacks the docs with her (slightly shorter) “stinger,” and she may have scored a hit had Setrakian not showed up to lop the lass’ head clean off with his trusty sword. When Mr. Arnot then comes at the team, Setrakian repeats his handiwork, and while Nora is aghast at the approach, the old man explains that this is the fight they must wage, so if you don’t have the stomach for it, step aside. Because the salvation of humanity in part lies in killing every infected person as well as those they have come into contact with.

Speaking of….

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Ansel Barbour is not feeling much better, and elects to stay home, again, with the family dog to keep him “company.” When wife Annie later comes home, Ansel and the pooch are missing. She then finds a ripped collar and a trail of blood leading to the backyard shed. Behind the shed, she finds the mauled dog; stepping inside, she is lunged at by a ravenous yet sliiiiightly self-aware, self-shackled Ansel, who alternately says that the “voices” are telling him to rip her head off and drink her blood, while the loving husband in him warns her to run away. But mainly he wants to rip her head off and drink her blood.

Annie – who by the way has astonishing faith in her religion throughout – leaves Ansel be, only to be confronted by their naggy neighbor, who’s never been a fan of the family hound and demands that she do something about its growling from within the shed. “Explaining” that she doesn’t have the stomach for it, Annie invites the neighbor to enter the shed and reprimand the “dog” himself… and no sooner does he step inside, she shoves him into Ansel’s reach and slams the door closed. Moments later, a river of blood begins oozing out from under the door (though I thought that the creatures neatly sucked their prey clean).

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Elsewhere:

• Eldritch takes two important meetings – first, with a female uber-hacker he hires to slow down the entire Internet to dial-up speeds (OK, now it’s a horror series), to the point that social media sites are crippled (seriously, folks, this is why I didn’t sleep last night! What beast imagines such things?!). Later, he meets with a member of the president’s cabinet, feeding her false intel about the nature of the infected airplane passengers, then nudging her to do her part to nip this story in the bud. Before their meeting is quite over, Eldritch passes out, felled by liver failure. Though he still believes a “miracle” is on its way to extend his life, he consents to an at-home liver transplant by a private medical team. As one does.

• Gus, the quasi-reformed hood who chauffeured the casket from the airport, latches onto a new gig where he can boost cars for, eventually, $1,000-a-pop. Any guesses how this will dovetail back into the main narrative? (No spoilers, only guesses, please.)

What did you think of this week’s The Strain? Is it giving you sufficient heebie-jeebies? But why again didn’t Eph just sound the CDC alarm and call in the government troops upon realizing what otherworldly parasite they’re dealing with…?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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9 Comments
  1. Jay2014 says:

    Loved it! This show reminds me of how vampires were in Thirty Days of Night and Blade Two. Vampires who are dark and would bring about more fear than some beautiful stranger with a seductive voice. No offense to other shows but I do enjoy a different take on vampires.

  2. Tenney says:

    I really am hooked on this show. Although sometimes the sounds are so gross, like when Eph was pull that tongue/stinger out of Redfern, that I have to watch it on mute, otherwise I just gag. Thank God for closed captioning!

  3. cookie says:

    I was very interested when this show first started. But when I saw where I was going, we’ll I’m not so interested. I still love traditional vampires. I’m not loving these things with alien like things snapping and latching onto people. I kind of like some of the lead actors, but I don’t know if I can stick
    With these revulsive creatures. Just saying.

  4. chicagorob1 says:

    Why didn’t Eph sound the alarm? Because in the original books New York was pretty much ghost town in a couple of days. With a long form tv series, that would obviously never work. They have to draw everything out as slowly and as long as possible.

    Everybody who says they love the show now will soon be turning it off out of boredom. The CDC doctors (and the exterminator) will be fighting these monsters all on their own for as long as possible. They’ll bump heads with incredibly ignorant and naive public officials, and will find a couple of vampires every week, just to make it look good.

  5. Annie says:

    Poor doggie! I don’t know if I can handle to horror. I’ve been told I can handle the Walking Dead if I can stomach this show. TWD is a 5 on the gore meter, where this is a 12. Loving the storyline, just tired of watching it thru my fingers in front of my eyes!

  6. Annie says:

    I can’t even with this show. I gave up two episodes in. Mainly due to the gross, glib inattention to the rules the show itself set (or rather, “rules”), as you noted here. (The book isn’t much better although it was, at least, entertaining.) On top of the limping scripted dialog and bizarre “choices” on the part of the actors, it’s just one sin too many for me to forgive.

  7. Ezzy Klein says:

    Poor Doggie. Snoopy didn’t deserve to die. On that note, who gets to be the head vampire?

  8. Brett Tasker says:

    Come on now, I realize that these aren’t your average run of the mill vampires but ole ANSEL was amazing, locking that shed door, which was locked from the outside (?)…opps… then he must have somehow found another way into the shed and chained himself up?…that was quite impressive, lol…seriously, love the show, I just hope it doesn’t drift into the non believable world too deeply…

  9. Joey says:

    While I still like where the story is going, I feel like almost every character’s arc isn’t connected with every other character’s arc, with the main exception being Eph and Nora. The show could’ve done a better job showing how they will weave together. Also, notably absent the past two episodes is that attorney…uhm…her name escapes me….Mrs. Jack Bauer is all I can remember her as.

    And wasn’t Rebecca doing these recaps? Not that I mind, Matt, I enjoy your recaps a lot. :P

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