The Strain Season 1 Review “Creatures of the Night”

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On the latest episode of “The Strain,” the “Creatures of the Night” were out and about and not exactly making sweet music, if you know what I mean and I think that you do. The show picked up right where we left off last week at the subway, just after Eichorst’s attack on Abe, and Dr. Goodweather’s subsequent shooting of the former, in which Eichorst was indeed done some harm, hobbling him significantly. Unfortunately, it turned out that the wormpires have a sort of hive-mind thing happening, which meant that not only was the Master well aware of what had happened almost as soon as it did, but he was able to dispatch a group of his fellow wormpires to immediately go after Dr. Goodweather and company.

They also figured out that, if they could fashion a form of sunlight sooner, then they could make their own deadly light to stave off the creatures by using UV lights as a sort of faux-sunlight substitute. So, off they went to a nearby warehouse to stock up on supplies of that nature, only to find someone had beaten them to the punch- none other than Vasiliy Fet. I was hoping the show would find some way to bring them together, and if it was a bit of a stretch that they would all happen to show up at the same place to loot at the same time, it was also a bit funnier than the whole coincidence that happened with Dr. G. and the cops transporting him when they happened to run afoul of the very ME that had taken possession of the bodies after the airplane thing, not to mention slightly more logical.

By the time they’d settled their differences and opted to split up the ill-begotten booty, the wormpires had gotten wind of what had happened with Eichorst and had started gathering around them, forcing the team and Fet to battle the wormpires together, and eventually cornering them together in a nearby convenience store. Here, the coincidences that were a little more of a coincidence than they should be got a little ridiculous again, as who should be in that very store, but Dutch Velders (Ruta Gedmintas, “The Borgias”), aka the computer hacker that Mr. Palmer hired to crash the internet and phone lines to better stifle the news of the spread of the strain from circulating.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Fet’s character, and the Dutch character was one I also mentioned in previous reviews as having lots of potential, so I get why they brought her into it. It’s just a bit much, with all these coincidences happening left and right. Mind you, we didn’t even get back to the situation that we left with Matt and the wormpires on the previous episode, though I’ve no doubt we will. My prediction would be that Matt gets infected, and then heads to Dr. G.’s house to go after his family, as we also know that the wormpires tend to target the families and/or loved ones of its victims.

Anyway, from there on out in this episode, the show actually turned into more of a zombie-like siege on the store, as the team walled themselves in with Dutch and various employees and attempted to fend off the attacking vampires with the UV lights they’d stolen and guns and swords and the like. There was one other attractive brunette, Nikki (Nicola Correia Damude, of “Haven”), with Dutch, but she bailed early and surprisingly managed to get away, though Abe assumed it was because the wormpires were specifically targeting them personally. Another employee of the store was not so lucky and the man behind the counter, walled-in behind one of those plexi-glass windowed areas, refused to budge, even when everyone decided mutually to make a break for a food truck in the parking lot and try to escape.

Also not faring well was Kent, who apparently forgot that Goonies never say die, because, well, he did, after getting hella-infected by the wormpires right before entering the store, by a mere scratch, which proved that the uniformed guy that shot the housekeeper’s daughter was right to be concerned- and right to kill her. Of course, Dr. G. did try to remove the worm, and did with the help of various crude store supplies like a box cutter and tweezers and the like, giving us the image used for the main poster for the show finally, but to no avail, as the worms had already reproduced and multiplied, making eliminating Kent on the must-do list. No one on the team could do it, so Fet took matters into his own hands, especially since Kent himself wanted to die so that he didn’t go after his own family like others had, and shot Kent dead with alarming quickness, which didn’t exactly endear him to the team, but probably did to Abe, who insisted he come with them.

Everyone managed to get out of there and into the truck by the skin of their teeth, and off they went into the wild night, closing the book on that episode. So, basically, it was a siege episode, not unlike the plotline of countless zombie movies, a la the original classic “Night of the Living Dead” or, more recently, “Legion,” which featured a demon attack in one main locale instead of zombies. Just substitute vampires- excuse me, wormpires- for zombies or demons and you had this episode. Not to sound like I’m dissing the show- I’m not, really. There’s a reason they’ve still using that same old formula after all these years, and it’s the same reason they still make slasher movies as well: it still works in the right hands, and half the time, it still works even in the wrong ones. That’s why they call it a formula, you know?

So, nothing earth-shatteringly original, to be sure, but overall, it worked back in the day and it still works now, so there you go. I can’t say I have any complaints, and any plot device that puts the main team together with both Fet and Dutch is okay in my book. Now, all we have to do is to get Gus in there as well, and we’ll have the best of the best of the main characters joined together as one to fight the wormpire menace, and we’ll be good to go for the rest of the show’s run. And there are still plenty of places they can go with the plotline, so I have no problem with the occasional one-off episode like this where they minimize the locations for maximum intensity.

What did you think of “The Strain” this week? Did you mind the limited locations in the episode, or would you rather there have been more forward momentum in the plot? Did it feel more like a zombie flick to you, too? What do you think of Fet and Dutch being on the team now? Will they get along with the group or only cause trouble? Will Dutch help lead them to Mr. Palmer? Will Fet help lead them to the sewer wormpires? What will their next move be? Sound off below with your comments and see you next week!