The Strain “Bad White” Review (Season 3 Episode 2)

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On the latest episode of “The Strain,” Dr. Goodweather (Corey Stoll) mulled over Kelly’s proposition to get Zach (Max Charles) back while Abe (David Bradley) continued his translation of the book and mulled over a proposition of his own from Palmer (Jonathan Hyde), and we finally saw what had become of Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas), in “Bad White.”

We began with an unidentified team working on…something, in a lab in Harlem. Whatever it is doesn’t work as planned and the female subject turns into a vampire, forcing them to shoot her. But was she a vampire in the first place?

Later on, we discover that the team works for none other than Palmer, and are conducting experiments in secret on his behalf, trying to figure out how to use the vampire blood to heal people, not harm them.

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Of course, this isn’t out of the kindness of his own heart, but because he wants to figure out how to formulate his own version of the “white,” aka the Master’s blood that has healing properties that he used to fix himself early on in the series.

You’ll recall that this “treatment” requires a regular intake of the “white” or else the effects it heals will resurface and the person in question will be back to the drawing board. As Palmer is now at the beck and call of the Master whether he likes it or not, he’s trying to figure out a way around it so that he won’t be.

In the meantime, he’s playing along with the Master’s demands, the latest being that he coerce Justine into making blood tests mandatory, so that the vamps can be better prepared for whatever they have planned in the two facilities that are close to being “online.”

I assume this has to do with that factory warehouse that Eichorst (Richard Sammel) was retrofitting, allegedly for animal slaughter, specifically “sheep,” which I’m going to go out on a limb and say translates to “people.”

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My guess is that the vamps want to put together a factory to make draining humans of their blood more efficient, not unlike what we saw on “True Blood.” Either way, Palmer is playing along for now, though Eichorst isn’t fooled by his sudden change of heart, least of all after they brutally killed Palmer’s beloved Coco.

In addition to his secret lab, which loses an employee in this episode, when one of the doctors refuses to continue to work on Palmer’s behalf, Palmer also has another potential plan to get out from under the Master’s chokehold.

Realizing that Abe must be taking a version of the Master’s blood himself to prolong his life, he makes Abe an offer: he’ll leave town for good and get out of the way of Abe’s mission to bring down the Master, along with withdrawing his financial aid and other resources, if Abe gives him the formula for the version of the “white” he’s been taking.

Naturally, Abe scoffs at this and tells him to get lost, not trusting Palmer as far as he can throw him, in light of his past betrayals. However, realizing that Palmer wants out of the deal he has made with the Master is something that can be used against him, Abe tells Fet they may have a play to make yet.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Goodweather finally decides to seek out Abe and tell him about what happened with Nora and Zach. Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) is there, however, and is skeptical of Dr. G. and wonders why it took him so long to find his friends and tell them all of this. He’s right to be, as it turns out Dr. G. is actually there to try and steal the book.

Dr. G. hits a snag when he discovers that the book is not only in a safe, but is protected by UV lights, in order to protect the book from vamp and human alike. Of course, the lights have no effect on Dr. G., but the safe is another issue. Quinlan catches him in the act and makes him a deal: if Dr. G. turns off the UV lights, he’ll get into the safe and they can both use the book to their advantage.

The plan is to use it to draw the Master out, so that Quinlan can defeat him, using the book’s knowledge to do so, along with his considerable skill. Once accomplished, then they can both save the human race, as well as Zach. Dr. G. is obviously good with this plan, as the episode ends with his turning off the lights to take Quinlan up on his offer.

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While all this is going on, we finally see what’s going on with Dutch, who has taken up with a cadre of people, one of which was an old hacker friend, Braden (Christopher Jacot). Braden sees the strain as a way of finally evening out the odds between the haves and the have-nots. As such, he wants to raid a condominium building in Brooklyn for supplies.

Dutch warns him that it’s a dubious idea, but Braden ignores her and goes for it anyway. This turns out to be a grave mistake, as there are indeed vamps on the premises, and several members of the group are taken out. Even worse, Braden and the other survivors hightail it out of there when things get hairy, leaving Dutch behind to fend for herself.

Dutch manages to make it out alive because she’s a bad ass, and makes her way back to the team’s headquarters. She gathers supplies to leave, but Braden tries to stop her, saying that they had no choice but to leave while they could. Dutch thinks she spots something on Braden and takes a closer look at Braden, and sure enough, he’s gotten himself infected with the worms.

Dutch starts to leave, telling the others Braden is their problem now, but they beg her for her help. Braden starts to belittle her for being a coward, but Dutch cuts him off, literally, slicing off the top half of his head, effectively solving that problem. She leaves the remainder to fend for themselves and leaves for good this time.

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Lastly, Zach, moron that he is, finally starts to think shacking up with dear old mom (Natalie Brown) might have been a dreadful mistake. You think? He concocts a way out, by using the old tape-over-the-door-slot gambit, but is horrified to find his mother feeding on a young boy in a nearby room.

This understandably sets off his asthma, but his mother can’t do anything for him, and to make matters worse, almost feeds on Zach, too. Lucky for him, the Master is nearby as well, and is able to not only stop Kelly, but aid Zach as well and stop his asthma. Unfortunately for Zach, it’s by putting a drop of his blood into Zach’s mouth. Can I get an eew?

That was about it for this episode, which managed to be a step up from the last one, despite the lack of action in comparison. I think that was because, unlike in the last episode, where we got a bunch of unknowns killing vampires until they didn’t, here we got one of the main characters doing so: Dutch.

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Her absence has been keenly felt by this fan, so it was great to not only have her back, but back kicking ass and taking names. Yes, it was disheartening to see that she’d fell in with a bunch of posers, much less to see her reduced to tears at one point, but I suspect that it won’t be the case for much longer and that she’ll be reunited with the team soon enough.

Between that and the prospect of a Dr. G. and Quinlan team-up, as well as a Palmer double-cross, although this was mostly set-up as well, I enjoyed it more on the whole than the premiere. I suppose it makes sense that everyone would be scattered after the events of the finale, but the good news is that it doesn’t seem like it will be long before that is remedied on the show, thankfully.

Will it happen on the next episode? Hard to say, but at least we’re getting there, slowly but surely. I’ll take it, but we’re going to need some bolder moves sooner than later. Until then, this was a good, not great episode, with some nice character moments, but not much else to offer besides more set-up.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “The Strain”? Were you also happy to see Dutch again? How about that scene in the hotel with her kicking vamp ass? What do you think her next move will be? How about Abe’s next move against Palmer? Will Quinlan betray Dr. G? Or vice versa? Will Palmer find a cure for what ails him, or will he continue to be forced to work against his will for the Master? Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next week!

  • ptjackson

    So, the book – are all the copy machines in the city down? Make a darn copy of it, then it does not matter who has the original. That is very frustrating! And if Ef takes the book, will the team ever be the same anyway?

    • Mark Trammell

      IKR? I totally meant to mention that in my review! And yes, Eph is effectively making it where the team will likely never trust him ever again- not to mention I wouldn’t be too sure that Quinlan might not double-cross him to boot. Then where will he be? Screwed, with no allies, that’s where.

      Oh well- I guess he’ll have to learn the hard way- just like his son, one of the more frustrating characters on any show of the last few years, IMHO. (He’s like Carl of “The Walking Dead” 2.0) Like father, like son, I guess.

      Hey, on a side note… I got assigned Elementary again, so I’ll be back in the saddle for that one soon! 😉

      • ptjackson

        Agree with you about Eph and his son!

        Oh, cool! Can’t wait for Elementary to begin, and I am still trying to get caught up on Braindead… LOL…

        • Mark Trammell

          Better hurry- the season finale is Sunday!

          • ptjackson

            Sigh. Hubby’s travels have left us behind in everything, and our schedules thwart catching up quickly…

  • Florencia Frias

    I can’t really understand why in the previous episodes Quinlan was fighting in direct sunligt many years ago and now he can’t cross the simple uv lights protecting the Lumen … Why is that???? Furthermore, in the ancient Greece some guy says that the sun doesn’t affect Quinlan…