The Strain Recap: The Tell-Tale Heart

The Strain Recap Setrakian's Wife Dies

This week on FX’s The Strain, Eph had an opportunity to get the word out, Setrakian said a sad farewell, Eldritch got what he had coming to him and Gus made some new friends.

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SINGING IN THE RAIN | After a two-week absence, Eichorst returned when the Master’s benefactor, Eldritch, drew ever closer to dying and thus demanded his “payment” for services rendered. Eichorst all but laughed in the old man’s face, saying that the Master is not one to pressure — that he either does, or does not. Yet by episode’s end, the Master does visit Eldritch, and with a few drops of his milky “blood” rejuvenates the old man to the point that Fitzwilliams finds his boss outside basking in the rain.

MEN IN BLACK | Gus this week had (as he does) a seemingly pointless storyline, in whichSTRIAN_112_00481_hires2 he leveraged a local thug, Alonso Creem (played by The Wire‘s Jamie Hector), into hooking him up with guns. But when Gus caught wind of a very important delivery Creem was involved in, he demanded a look-see. And what he found in a shipping container on the docks was a whole buncha strigoi, obviously postmarked to infect other parts of the world. Gus and Creem put bullets into a few bald noggins, until that “rebel faction” of strigoi show up to save the day and take (specifically) Gus with them. (FWIW, the photo caption at right lists “Stephen McHattie as Quinlan.”)

PHOTOS Quotes of the Week From The Strain and Other Shows

THIS IS NOT A TEST | Shortly after Eph, Fet et al return to the pawn shop (where we were amazingly spared Zach being scolded for the cigarette run), Dutch resurfaces, and she’s got more than a plan — she’s got a win. She has a way to hack into the Emergency Broadcasting System signal, thus affording Eph 45 seconds or so to get the word out to all TVs and radios. Once it’s showtime, Eph’s speech isn’t the most polished thing in the world, and I for one wouldn’t have muddled matters with the term “turned,” but he gets out the gist of it, though as for methods of killing he only cites “sunlight” STRAIN_112_00209_hires1before he gets cut off. Their victory celebration is cut short though when Eichorst shows up with a few strigoi — and worse, they’re a bit handy with crowbars. During the assault, Nora’s mother gets bitten — by the goth rocker dude we’d long forgotten about. Knowing full well how this goes, Nora takes it upon herself to decapitate her mom — as Setrakian looks on, knowing full well how hard it is to euthanize a loved one in such a way. Because….

HAVE HEART | In flashbacks to Albania circa 1967, we see Setrakian on the prowl for a nest of strigoi, when he isn’t at home with his loving and in-the-loop wife Miriam. Setrakian is resolved to ridding the world of this scourge, after which he and Miriam plan to adopt a boy and a girl. But when Setrakian finds and rappels down into a well where strigoi are nesting, Eichorst shows up to reveal it as a trap, and take away his climbing rope. It’s a long, exhausting slog, but Setrakian eventually scrapes and claws his way out of the well, only to find his horse murdered. So on top of all else, he must run home, hopefully to save Miriam from Eichort’s treachery. Alas, he is too late, finding their hovel in ruins. Later, as expected, Miriam shows up turned, along with an infected boy and girl. Setrakian knows what he must do, and does it — and afterwards, he cuts Miriam’s strigoi heart out of her body. The same heart that to this day, he has kept (and fed) in that jar.

So, back in the present day, as Eichorst storms the pawn shop cellar, Setrakian says a sad farewell to the last reminder of she whom he loved, before he and the others escape out a secret exit.

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What did you think of “Last Rites” aka the penultimate episode of Season 1?

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16 Comments
  1. Dan says:

    Did you catch that bit of Fet-Dutch bonding? I’ll bet they’ll end up together sometime next season.

  2. Derek Johnson says:

    Inconsistency: why wouldn’t Setrakian have his place rigged to blow up in a fireball in case vampires attacked? He had the foresight to build a trapdoor. Would have made for a great ending.

  3. Teag says:

    Quinlan and his SWAT team are the best.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      Yeah, about time they showed him and his team again I was starting to get pissed but I want know more about them! I guess maybe in the finale since they have Gus. Plus is there a possibility that Quinlan and co. will team up with Eph and Abraham to take down the master?

  4. David Rex says:

    I liked the Setrakian backstory… helped to explain his motivation.

    One tiny thing that sort of bugs me… when humans clean up the remains of a slain strigoi, they alway seem to be dressed as if they’re cleaning up a cup of spilled milk on their kitchen floor. Points in particular… Nora and Eph cleaning up Matt’s body at Chez Goodweather, Jim’s at the convenience store and Setrakian doing the “heart surgery” on Miriam. Their main line of defense is usually a pair of winter gloves, which are open at the wrist. With all of the writhing worms and the fact that they only have to touch your skin to do their nasty business, doesn’t it seem that these people are just asking to be infected? If I were the writers and directors, I probably wouldn’t televise the cleanup, I’d either ignore it or just mention it and have it “done” offscreen. Or if it was felt that it should be televised, have the characters treat the threat with the respect it deserves.

    Love the series… it’s just that all of this casual behavior around deadly organisms doesn’t jive with the established mythology.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I had the same thought, when Setrakian was handling his wife’s gooey heart. Yes, he had on gloves, but… all it takes is one stray wiggler!

      • Sherkat says:

        Especially since Eph’s wife caught a wiggler in the eye!

        • drex11 says:

          I think these cleanup scenes must be the work of the same writer who did the “Milburn treating the alien snake like an adorable puppy” scene from Prometheus…

          • Ani says:

            Lol at the prometheus comment. I still love that hot mess of a film.

            Re the strain, what I thought was strange is that setrakian would risk bringing his wifes heart to america, knowing it carries the virus. Also, how on earth did he get that heart through customs? I guess security was a little more lax back then…

          • drex11 says:

            @ANL – No reply link on your post… Anyway, I loved Prometheus too. You suspend disbelief whenever you watch a science fiction movie anyway, so some of the goofy parts of Prometheus required you to suspend them a little more than most such movies. As for the Strain, as much as I love the show, I can’t get past the fact that half the time the virus is the deadliest thing ever and the other half, you can be as careless around it as if it were the common cold. In fact, Prometheus even had a similar careless moment when all of the scientists removed their helmets just because Holloway confirms low enough CO2 levels, even though they didn’t test for airborne diseases. I guess these shows and movies need to get better scientists who respect deadly organisms.

  5. pam says:

    Even though the tv series is a bit sloppy from the books I am still giving this a shot. Much better than the hollywood version of hunky vamps. Sooo sick to death of those. I think next season will be better (I hope).

  6. Ezzy Klein says:

    Wonder if we will see what happened with Kelly.

  7. CountryQueen says:

    Is it bad that I said “Thank God” when Nora’s mom was bit? So glad she’s gone. Fitzwilkiams was so close to freedom. Mere hours ,pour guy.

  8. Ed says:

    Didn’t see this posted and was wondering — if the Internet was completely down how did Eph’s son manage to ping the whereabouts of his Mom?

    • drex11 says:

      The issues with the Internet have been kind of vaguely described and implausible. But somehow Dutch and her posse were able to slow down the Internet (to like mid-90’s dial-up speeds) and make connections spotty. That gives the writers the convenience of having the Internet unavailable when that’s necessary to advance the plot or have it be slow but available when that’s the necessity. So Zach was able to manage access to the crippled Internet when he tried to find his Mom.

      One of the show’s lamer plot devices, IMO…