The Strain “White Light” Review (Season 3 Episode 8)

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On the latest episode of “The Strain,” the plot thickened as all concerned made some bold moves of one kind or another, and it was clear that the clock was ticking in more ways than one, leading up to an inevitable showdown, in “White Light.”

We began with a scene at Eichorst’s not-so-mysterious factory, where, as predicted, it was revealed that it had been set up as a “draining” facility for humans, so the Strigoi could maximize the amount of blood they could get from a given human and incinerate them directly after in one fell swoop.

Of course, Eichorst demanded a demonstration, and unfortunately for the low man on the totem pole present, it was down to him to do so, as Eichorst uncermoniously picked him up, slapped him on a meathook, “Leatherface”-style and set the machine in motion.

The blood draining part went swimmingly- though probably not so much for the victim- but the incinerator was not yet up and running, much to Eichorst’s consternation, though I’m guessing the guy in charge will get on that ASAP after that demonstration.

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The main focus in this episode, however, was on Gus, who wanted to return to his old apartment once again, on the offhand chance his mother was still around. After dropping Angel off at a Palmer Medical Facility- which means that Angel is now in their system and using their dubious meds, which can’t be good for his future- Gus headed there, only to find no hide nor hair of dear old mom.

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To bide the time, he cleaned up the place, reminiscing about the bad old times as he did so. We discovered that Gus had quite the rough upbringing, as his father was abusive to both his mother and him, even as a little kid. After a certain point, dad pushed things too far, leading his mom to seek out help from her rough-and-tumble brothers, who took matters into their own hands.

In no time, Gus and his mom were avenged and though it was never explicitly stated, it would seem that said brothers either outright killed or, at the very least, beat the crap out of Gus’ father and ran him out of town, clearing the way for him to be the “man of the house” from there on out. His mom reassured him, saying that it was up to them to look out for each other and his little brother, Crispin.

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We also learned that it was his uncle that steered him towards Eichorst and the driving gig that kicked this whole mess off in the first season. As such, Gus has long since blamed himself for everything that has happened since, including losing his brother and his mom getting infected- to say nothing of the state of New York.

Unfortunately for him, while he was off running some errands, Angel returned, took some meds and promptly passed out, only to wake up face-to-face with Gus’ mom, who was looking at him like an app at Chili’s ready to be grubbed down. Lucky for him, Gus arrived just after, in time to be forced to make a decision- his mom or Angel. Thankfully, he chose the latter, though Angel’s days may still be numbered yet, for obvious reasons.

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Meanwhile, Abe and Fet met with an in-much-better-shape Palmer, who filled them in on what he’d learned. (The colorful graffiti in the scene was a nice touch.) It seems that the man who blocked his entrance the first time he’d gone to the cargo ship was named Cyrus and was living in one of Palmer’s own apartment buildings.

Palmer gave them the address, some ID badges and key cards and after they brushed him off- he wanted to tag along, but they said no, saying he still had a ways to go before he earned their trust- it was off to said building. Of course, there was a good chance it was a trap, but such was not the case, as it turned out.

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Cyrus was indeed there, and Fet wasted no time in threatening his life if he didn’t cooperate. Cyrus did, but admitted he had no idea what was in the cargo load that the ship had delivered. Instead, he agreed to take them to where it had been delivered after arrival, which turned out to be the aforementioned “blood factory.”

Once they got there, Abe was horrified to discover what the place actually was, calling out Cyrus for essentially cooperating with an act of genocide, especially after he learned there were some 100 more such factories all over America. Obviously, given Abe’s own experiences during the Holocaust, it couldn’t help but hit a little too close to home for him.

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Though wanting to kill the man on the spot, Abe spared him for the moment, if only to lead them to the place where the cargo had been delivered. As it turned out, Abe didn’t have long to wait, as Cyrus was promptly shot by a security guard almost immediately after setting foot on the loading dock, so good riddance to bad rubbish.

A shoot-out then ensued, with Fet and Abe successfully gunning down several security guards in the process, but not enough to stop a truck containing the cargo to hightail it out of there. Also on board were Eichorst and his assistant from earlier, which must have been the “business” they had to attend to after the meet inside the factory.

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As this was going on, Quinlan went back to the Ancients at Abe’s request, despite having said he would never return. He told them about the cargo ship arriving from Egypt and what he suspected was in it, which the Ancients essentially confirmed was likely another Ancient that the Master had sent for in order to stage a coup against the others.

Quinlan said that Abe had a plan to defeat the Master and nip all this in the bud before it began in earnest, but he needed their help. They were dubious, especially of Abe’s involvement, but nonetheless agreed to consider it, with Quinlan saying he’d come back later to fill them in on the details.

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Back at the OG headquarters, Eph and Dutch listened to the recordings on the Black Box, which contained a sly “Lost” reference to an “Oceanic” airlines amongst the pilot chatter. Suddenly, a weird noise emerged from the speakers, which caused the entire room to vibrate and Dutch to scream and pass out in pain.

Upon waking up, it was determined that said noise was almost certainly the Master’s “voice,” which he had used to paralyze the passengers and crew in Season One. However, lucky for them, it was slightly diluted, or it might have had a similar effect on Eph and Dutch. As it stood, Eph got an intense migraine, while Dutch fared worse, eventually vomiting and passing out yet again after.

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After waking up again, she determined that they could likely still pull an undiluted version of the recording of the Master’s voice off the Black Box to potentially use to intercept communication between the master and the Strigoi and use to their advantage to deceive them.

Until such time, Dutch teased Eph about his age, saying that was the reason the Master’s voice didn’t affect him as much. Then she went into this weird tirade about making out with a lesbian nurse, apparently trying to get Eph all hot and bothered.

It didn’t work- at first- as it turns out Eph is more of a one-at-a-time “vanilla” sort of guy, but a more overt move on Dutch’s part did the trick and the two hooked up, which is something I figured would happen eventually.

However, was it because of simple proximity- these two have been spending a lot of time together in close quarters, after all- or did it somehow have something to do with that recording? It sure seemed like it caused Dutch to get all hot and bothered something fierce, right? Maybe not, but it sure seemed that way to me.

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Finally, as Quinlan returned to meet up with the Ancients, he found out the hard way that Eichorst had been tailing their security team, the “Sun Hunters,” aka those guys in military-esque uniforms with the red insignia on them, in hopes of their leading the Strigoi to the Ancients.

Well, they certainly did, and no sooner had Quinlan arrived and the Ancients agreed to work with him and Abe after all than Eichorst and a herd of Strigoi walked up to confront them all. Activating something in a briefcase, then calling the Ancients as weak as the humans these days, he then left the area to the Strigoi to take over.

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A full-on brawl then ensued, as Quinlan, the Sun Hunters and the Ancients battled the massive amount of Strigoi on deck. Quinlan and the Hunters kicking ass is to be expected, but I was also impressed with the Ancients, who were surprisingly spry for three vamps that had been literally resting on their laurels since their arrival, having “meals” brought to them like take-out by the Hunters.

The Ancients were ripping off Strigoi heads like Pez dispensers left and right, and it would have been an easy victory, if not for one thing: that briefcase. Of course, Quinlan realized right away what it was, and got out of there as soon as he was able, but one assumes he was the only one, as no one else seemed to have the same realization in time.

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No sooner had Quinlan gone to leave the area than we saw Eichorst above ground, emerging from the tunnels and quickly pulling out a detonator and pushing the button. As a flash of white light- hence the title- emerged from the briefcase and it exploded, we saw a host of buildings across the water cascade down into rubble, as Eichorst smiled at his handiwork.

That was where we left things, and I’m going to go ahead and assume that Quinlan made it out, but the Ancients…hard to say. They were surprisingly quick on their feet given what we’ve seen of them in the past, but I’m not so sure it was enough to save them. Of course, the Master wasn’t so easily destroyed, either, so you never know, but I think they’re toast, personally.

After all, unlike Quinlan’s approach, which was flawed from the jump, Eichorst’s plan was much more thorough, given that he took out what appeared to be a solid block of real estate in one fell swoop. It’s hard to imagine even one of those nasty worms surviving all of that, but we’ll see. My guess is that the Ancients are dunzo.

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This leaves just two more episodes to go, but the stage has definitely been set for a sweet showdown between the Master’s team and Abe’s, who now have knowledge on their side, in terms of how to defeat the Master, as well as Eph and Dutch’s recent discovery.

As such, they are much more prepared to face the Master head-on this time, though if that other Ancient- assuming it is one- is up and running by the time they take the battle to the Master, it might not be as cut and dried as it seems. Given that we still have one more season to go, my guess is such will be the case.

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Still, it’s entirely possible there may be some casualties on both sides, so you never know. I’m also curious to see who the new host for the Master is now. Will my prediction for it being Zach prove correct? Or is it someone else I didn’t suspect? I imagine we’ll find out before the end of the season. Needless to say, if the Master is in Zach, it will make defeating him all the more tough, especially for Eph.

This was an unexpectedly excellent episode, especially that ending. I didn’t really expect that much, given how it started out, but that ending was worth the price of admission, to be sure. I also liked getting a little more back-story on Gus and the oddball hook-up between Eph and Dutch, almost in spite of myself, even though I saw it coming a mile away.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “The Strain”? Are you excited for the final two episodes? Any predictions on what will happen next? Is Quinlan still with us? How about the Ancients? How will the team use the recording of the Master’s voice to their advantage? What did you think of Eph and Dutch hooking up? How will Fet react when he inevitably finds out? Will it cause problems with the team? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week!