Strain Finale Recap Nuclear Bomb

The Strain Finale Recap: Nuclear Family — Plus, Is Zach the Worst TV Kid Ever?

The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains massive spoilers from the Season 3 finale of FX’s The Strain.

Congratulations, Zach Goodweather. Because in a highly competitive field, you — with one flick of a finger during a temper tantrum — have clinched the title of Worst TV Kid Ever. (And yes, the trophy italicizes “Ever”; we paid extra for that.)

As FX’s The Strain brought Season 3 to a close on Sunday, Setrakian, Fet, Dutch, Quinlan and Eph plotted to capture and dispatch with The Master once and for all, by luring him up to the Stoneheart HQ, neutering him with their nifty “jammer” and then wrestling him into the coffin they had lined with silver.

The Master, though, still had a trick or two up his sleeve, using his armed forces to take out Eldritch Palmer’s security detail and then granting the old man what he had originally, desperately coveted — “eternal life,” by transferring his milky, wormy essence (and a mouthful of soil, blechh) into his onetime stooge.

“Eldritch” then used the white to restore Eichorst’s mutilated, barely living body to full health, after which Kelly helped the German to a proper make-up job. Eichorst gave Kelly (and an “Oooh, cool beans!” Zach) a 10-cent tour of the nuclear bomb he was putting in play, leaving the detonator with Kelly, to relay to The Master.

“Eldritch” met up with Setrakian and Eph at Stoneheart, but he didn’t leave them fooled for long. Rather, within moments he let slip his true, raspy voice, sending the two heroes into attack mode. The doctor and the professor barely fended off The Master, while Dutch on the level below fiddled with the glitchy jammer, until it finally powered up and stymied the strigoi leader. Even with that assist, Eph and Setrakian couldn’t quite get the job done, but Quinlan showed up to get in some solid licks against his old foe, finally heaving The Master up and into the coffin. Fet then slammed closed the lid, readying the box for transport to the docks, and then the bottom of the Atlantic.

Except… Kelly promptly perceived that her “transmissions” from The Master had been cut off. Without his voice/Don’t Turn Zach directive in her head, Kelly started toward her son, her pinchers flicking, but Zach was able to ward off her urges. Instead, the lad suggested they go upstairs to find The Master — only, they ran into Eph instead. Kelly charged at and tackled her husband, leaving Eph no choice but to ultimately and fatally drive a dagger up and into her noggin. THE STRAIN -- Pictured: Max Charles as Zack Goodweather. CR: Michael Muller/FXZach, horrified and continuing his tradition of never knowing better, flipped the eff out — and then flipped the switch on the detonator he had grabbed!!!

Cut to Setrakian, Fet, Dutch and Quinlan down by the docks, looking on with confusion and horror as the Statue of Liberty exploded, sending shockwaves across Lower Manhattan that — among other things — knocked the coffin out of their grasp and off crashing into the distance. Once the first dust settled, their worst fear is confirmed: the box is empty, The Master MIA.

Back at Stoneheart, Eph stumbled out of the building, shouting his (horrible) son’s name — while elsewhere, Eichorst happened upon the kid, delighted to discover that it was he who triggered the bomb, making things “well” again for the strigoi. Indeed, as Setrakian realized, looking up at the fallout-clouded sky, the occultation is happening, obstructing the sun for the short term and allowing the munchers to roam free, and with abandon, as the humans race underground to avoid irradiation….

What did you think of the series’ penultimate finale?

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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  1. AngelWasHere says:

    I was hoping Eph was going throw Zach out the window, but yet again he dissapointed me. Cool ending though. I guess I’m stuck watching the next and thankfully last season.

  2. datdudemurphy says:

    For real….Zach needs to die.
    There are bad kids….then there is Zach.

    What kind of person nukes a city because he’s mad at his dad?

    Start praying for Dutch.

    • debsisdead says:

      Why pray for dutch? His self indulgent alcoholism has been used by the unimaginative writers as a vehicle for stymieing every attempt on the master. He has had plenty of time to modify his whining ‘but I’m a victim’ behavior – send him out the window with his worthless offspring.
      The final season should have been a master free world of ever escalating firefights against strigoi who are struggling to find a suitable replacement. Some monster politics would have been an interesting mirror to the horror show that is current reality.

  3. N!loofar says:

    awesome finale, this show was a breath of fresh air with all generic goodlooking emo vampire shows, i was hoping it would be around for a while. Zach is the worst with some blame on the actor’s portrayal.

  4. Matt Habay says:

    That is just some awful writing. Zach is a terrible character now portrayed by two terrible actors. The show should have ended with this season, another season of the intolerable little punk is going to suck. What a petulant little piece of garbage.

  5. bruce says:

    That kid Zach is the most annoying and horrible actor. his facial expression makes me just wanna slap him. I was hoping he would get killed off with his annoying mother by the finale but no such luck.

    • robert says:

      i agreen awful actor…. a cardboard figure can do it better

    • CSperth says:

      Joffrey has a successor now. The only good thing about Joffrey was that you knew he died. No such luck with Zach – and being drunk by the munchers is too good for him as an end.

  6. jam says:

    God, I feel like slapping the crap out of Zach. What a little douche. Now we have to wait 9-10 months for The Strain to return for Season 4. Sigh.

  7. christianward says:

    I enjoy the show quite a bit but things like zack nuking the city felt a bit lazy and I disliked it . I reckon he should have died earlier and it could have been used as like some grade a motivation for f.

  8. Polly says:

    this season was beyond awful.
    don’t know what happened to writers.


      the same thing that has happened since season 1. This series has always been bad. I’m just stubborn for watching it this long. Now, I’ve given up.

  9. Stupidkitty84 says:

    Zach is the worst kid in tv history. If he does not die next season then that’ll be the end for me. I’ve always hated the lil bastard and that mega tantrum just pissed me off to no end. They really could have wrote this differently but ended the same way minus the “problem child.”

  10. McQ says:

    Someone should have had that kid look at the flowers a long time ago.

    • A. Williams says:

      “@Look at the flowers”….an epic move from the walking dead…classic dismissal of grunts and goblins like Zach… how i wish i could have a go at that smug face!!!

  11. spdavid says:

    Prediction:Eldritch’s body becomes unuseable/damaged/destroyed and the Master moves into Zack’s body.

    • Nichole says:

      I assumed that was why the master wanted to keep Zack human for the moment, that perhaps he has to be fully grown before the master can inhabit his body. If that’s not the case and he was only around to serve the button pushing duty, then it would be very disappointing. Please let it be the first option as the a lot of time has been spent on the storyline of Zack, which is not been very enjoyable, so it better have been for a good reason!!

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Interesting thought, that maybe there is a “minimum age” to be properly turned. Ergo, Zach gets re-recast into a full-on teen, after a logical time jump to allow NYC to “cool off” some.

        • McSatan says:

          Could be a “minimum age,” or could be the Master just doesn’t want to inhabit a child’s body. I think he has other plans for Zach, though I’ve no idea what they might be. Perhaps he will be sacrificed during the Blood Moon so that it could be filmed on a reality TV show…wait, that’s a different series…

      • Nutstuyu says:

        Has anyone on this board read the books? Unfortunately, the series is making a lot of departures from the source material. But in them, the Master is still inhabiting Bolivar’s body, and is grooming Zach to become his new host when Zach is fully grown. Obviously, a turned child would no longer grow as it is “dead”.

    • i_am_dean says:

      About Eldritch, Lord knows how many surgeries his body has gone a point it was almost like his food lol

  12. Kathryn Troy says:

    Absolutely agree. If I knew they were keeping that kid alive just for this, I would have stopped watching before. More thoughts about this and Del Toro’s other work on my blog, link below.

  13. cap22 says:

    I always felt that Zach and the mother storyline ruin the show. It was like The Walking dead meets Days of our Live. The actor that plays Zach maybe the worst actor ever, why cant he hold his head up straight?

  14. That boy Zach should die a horrible death. He is the only TV kid I could not feel empathy for. I hope the Master takes over his body so the Old man and his crew can get rid of him by whatever means.

  15. Brian K Sanders says:

    I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE, I HATE Zak, He is the WORST character on TV EVER!!!! I don’t like to use the word retard but that kid is so retarded (please don’t be offended). I don’t care how much of a CHILD he is but he must have some kind of sense. This just stupid beyond stupid. People said that Henry on OUOT isn’t very bright which I completely disagree. At first I thought Charlie from Revolution was front runner as the worst child/teen that not very bright, well Charlie here’s a brand new person that is WORSE than her.

    • MLO says:

      Sorry, doesn’t work that way. You can’t cancel out an offensive remark by asking readers not to be offended. That’s just… retarded. :)

    • if everyone hate this character then the actor is portraying him exactly as he should. I too wish the lil bastard would go away. can’t wait for next season.

  16. ew says:

    Awesome episode that somehow wasn’t ruined by Zach. Wow, count me on board the “this character sucks”. I somewhat justified him letting his “pet” kill that man at the beginning, but there is no excuse for him nuking the city… I didn’t buy he would do that… they need to just full on make him the villain next year. Put the Master into his body. And have it be Zach’s “decision” to complete his descent into villain.

    Honestly, they should have put the master into the city council woman’s body… a female master would have been a nice change of pace.

    Eph has been poorly written this year, IMO. I kind of understand why, but I just want him to be committed, stop drinking and make the decision he needs to stop his son at all costs.

    • JMark (formerly JM) says:

      I agree about Eph. He is a completely self-absorbed, whiney alcoholic. No wonder Zach didn’t want to go back to him. I was kinda hoping that Zach would tell Eph off stating that the ‘Master’ or ‘Eichorst’ was more of a father to him than Eph ever was. Not that I like Zach–I hate him, too. Wouldn’t mind if both were killed next season.

  17. Andrew says:

    I was surprised by how much I liked this finale. Season 3, for me, was a HUGE improvement over last year.

    I was really rooting for Palmer to join the team and enjoyed watching smug Eichorst get pummeled with silver bullets. Too bad none of it stuck in either case.

    I was also disappointed that all the effort they put into trapping The Master was basically ruined by snot-nosed Zach, who needs to go.

    Another thing they can get rid of is the pointless melodrama between Eph and Fet over Dutch.

    I’m not sure where they go from here, but I’m glad they’ve been given the opportunity to wrap the show properly next year. I just hope it’s worth the wait.

  18. Paul Riley says:

    Season 3 should have been the end of the show its dragging on now.

  19. Kali B says:

    Bad kid for lack of better words.. hoe the writers do him some justice and allow him to change his way for next season.. Ugh now what will I watch on Sundays??

  20. Lleb Love says:

    Zack…why won’t Eph just let Zack go?! He is clearly trying to kill EVERYONE and doesn’t like him as a father. Hopefully we get the satisfaction of watching Zack die a terrible death next season. I actually do like this show and it’s use of epidemiology, but the characters worth saving keep dying off. I hope the good guys win of course and also hope that Gus, Satrakian, Fet, and Quinlin are the only survivors.

    • EmSeeDubayou says:

      If they kill the master, Quinlin will die as well. If not, and those are the only four survivors, Quinlin’s gotta eat…

  21. Tonya says:

    Zack eph’s son should just die already ! He’s irritating the hell out of me. I wish his character was a warrior teenager. Instead he’s a dumbass acting like everything is normal like he’s a damn 5 yr old not knowing what’s going on in the world! Seeing him on the series is actually something I would prefer, please just kill him and move on.

  22. Whoever wrote that character should never be hired for anything again.

  23. Wes says:

    I loved this show, then I hated it. Just like that. I’m done

  24. Bdub says:

    This was my favorite show until the last 5 minutes. I already didn’t like Zack. He ruined this show. Ruined it. I can’t come back from this one. First walking dead, now this

  25. So who will be in the final season? Just about all the stars were killed off.

  26. Walker81 says:

    I’m just glad Quinlan lived. He is by far the coolest vamp/ strigoli(?) ever. This dude rolls out of the van, throws on his Ray Bans, pulls up his hoodie like some straight up undead gangster. Give this dude his own show…

    • valarie says:

      HAHA pretty much my thought exactly. What an underused character. I seriously want a Quinlan before the strain spinoff

  27. Sirvan says:

    i just wish this generation of intractable stupid teens who hate their dad because he was busy and didn’t reach their baseball game with a mother who uses this situation for divorce don’t get any place in movies and tv series.i just get bored.
    i wish Fet kills miserable drunk Eph and his jackass Son.that poor man just stopped the car to help Zack and he didn’t even try to tell him:look i have a spider kid guard.i mean he acts weird.
    in the Tunnel he saw his mother killed Nora and he just holds her hand and went with her.

  28. I blame the writers. I was so annoyed when they blew up Manhattan. Zach KNEW his mom just wanted to sink her probiscis down his throat and turn him. The Master was the only thing stopping her and when she couldn’t hear his voice anymore, she started chasing him around and he ran away from her. Then after he pushed the button I was equally annoyed that his father didn’t just want to kill the little brat. I also think Dutch should’ve stayed with Fet. I’m not a big Eph fan and I hope Fet beats him down.

  29. EmSeeDubayou says:

    Worst, talentless, goofiest, dumbest, stupidest, … , lots of negative adjectives to describe this little d…head. If this thing ends up next year with Eph in conflict over whether or not to dispatch Zach – aka the new master – my head will explode in disgust.

  30. Brian Festa says:

    Carl from walking dead used to be the worst tv kid ever…..Now its hands down zach…

  31. czerwinskiv says:

    Irritating and dissapointing ending. If there is a another series I won’t be watching . Bored with it all now …

  32. C. Warren says:

    From the first time he started showing out about wanting to be with his mom i eanted him dead

  33. im streaming season 3 now, I just came here to see if the lil bastard dies or not I see he don’t. he so aggravating. ok I’ll continue it and yes I’ll be tuning in next season which is the last season

  34. Brenton Sailor says:

    I’ve never wanted a kid to die so bad as this kid.

  35. JackJoe says:

    Could someone.. Anyone explain to me Why They Could Not Just Cut Off The Masters HEAD??
    I mean even if everything went absolutely perfectly… and they dumped the master in that Silver and Leaden Coffin into the ocean… clearly that box in saltwater given time would open or break, or otherwise Rise Again right???

    So REALLY all they were doing was putting the problem of HIM to ANOTHER DAY and For Other People to handle whenever he resurfaces again.and this time I doubt there’ll be people in the know like Abraham, Fet, Eph, whatever.
    Right? – Or did I Miss Something?
    What was the reason they couldn’t/didn’t just cut off his Head calling it all over for good?
    beyond the desire to make another Season of course – I mean storywise what was the reason?