The Strain Season 1 Review “Last Rites”

The Strain Episode 12 Last Rites (6)

In the penultimate episode of “The Strain,” it was time for the team to prepare for battle once again, and time was of the essence- hence the title, “Last Rites.” Also preparing was Palmer, who remained insistent that the Master would come for him, even as he was seemingly at the end of the road, once and for all. Gus also found himself at a bit of a crossroads, as he scrambled to fend for himself in the wormpire apocalypse.

On the plus side, Dutch returned, this time with a plan: to hack into the emergency broadcasting system in order to allow Dr. Goodweather to broadcast his message of warning about the virus and how it operates over the airwaves. As he prepared a statement, she set to work hacking into the system. We also got a little insight into Dutch’s background. It turned out Dutch was essentially a second generation hacker, whose dad was a “phreaker” and almost certainly would have followed in her footsteps if he had been her age. (Shades of the recent TV show “Halt and Catch Fire,” which tread similar ground.) Alas, he died when she was only twelve and her mother remarried poorly, causing her to run away at the age of 15, which is when she became a hacker in earnest.

Everything good to go, Dutch did her thing and Dr. G. did his, albeit briefly- he had barely gotten into how to stop the virus when they were shut down- but it was better than nothing. Alas, no sooner had they done it than Eichorst and a team of wormpires attacked the pawn shop, forcing them to flee out a secret exit, this time with Zach in tow. Martinez’ mother was not so lucky, ending up on the wrong side of a wormpire, and causing Martinez to have to decapitate and kill her own mother. Don’t you hate when that happens?

This latter act was contrasted with a dovetailing flashback with a younger Abe in Albania in 1967, which is the last time he came close to going up against the Master. After tracking him to a local castle, he finds a well and goes down into it during the day, and sure enough, finds a nest of wormpires. His hunch proven, Abe high-tails it out of there to better prepare himself for the battle to come, only to find his path thwarted once again by the nefarious Eichorst, who steals his rope, forcing him to have to freehand his way up the well’s walls.

Only by the time he did, his horse was dead, and by the time he got back to his home, his wife Miriam and kids were also dead and turned, forcing him to have to kill them all. It was at that point that Abe started to have his doubts about pursuing his quest any further, for obvious reasons. All of this led Abe to finally apologize to the team for acting impetuously, though understandably, as it was the first time he’d been that close to the Master since the aforementioned flashback.

Meanwhile, Gus kidnapped former employer Alonzo Creem, who he forced at gunpoint to take him to his headquarters, hoping to load up on guns. After getting said guns, and a healthy sum of money to boot after intercepting a drop, Gus got a bit greedy, wanting to know what the shipment was that Alonzo was being paid for. That cost him, as it turned out it was a box car full of wormpires, which immediately set about attacking them. Creem eventually got away, but only because the mysterious guy in the black uniform that may or may not be Gabe arrived and grabbed Gus and made off with him to God knows where. It looks like Gus might have been recruited to another team- this one made up of renegade wormpires (!), which could be interesting.

That was about it, save the revelation that the heart Abe had in the jar was, in fact, Miriam, which he left behind in the melee with Eichorst. Well that, and the fact that the Master honored his agreement and turned Palmer just as he was on his last legs. At this point, the only thing left is a showdown between the main team and the Master, possibly with an assist from that other team and Gus. Seeing as the show was indeed renewed, I imagine the Master won’t be vanquished so easily, but we’ll see. At least Dr. G. got the word out about the strain finally, though who knows if anyone will believe it.

This was a solid enough episode, albeit another transitional one, as it was more about preparation for battle than actual battle itself. Still, we are primed and ready for what should be an action-packed season finale, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. What do you predict will happen on the finale of “The Strain”? Who will be left standing in the end? What’s up with the team that nabbed Gus? What do they want with Gus? Will they team up with Dr. G’s team? What will Palmer do now that he’s immortal? The answers to all these questions and more will no doubt be revealed next week on the big finale. See you then!