The Strain “The Fall” Review (Season 3 Episode 10)

The Strain 004

And you thought you hated a certain character before! On the season finale of “The Strain,” the final plans of both the Master and Abe and company were set into motion, with the fate of New York City left hanging in the balance in the aptly-titled “The Fall.” To say that neither one went according to plan is putting it mildly. (Perhaps needless to say, spoilers from here on out.)

We began with one final meeting between Palmer and Abe, as the former informed the latter that he not only had what was in the special cargo that the Master was so determined to get a hold of- a tactical nuke- but that they had the upper hand in that the Master would surely be coming for it, and him, at Stoneheart headquarters, especially after what he’d done to the Master’s right-hand man, Eichorst.

The Strain 005

Abe assembled his team back at his place, and the group begrudgingly put aside their differences in favor of the task at hand to plot their next move. The plan was pretty straightforward: Dutch would be stationed one floor below Palmer’s penthouse suite with the Master jamming device, which she would set off at a key moment once the Master arrived, rendering him somewhat more defenseless and susceptible to an attack from the rest, who would overcome him and put him in a silver-lined coffin.

Afterwards, the coffin would be taken to the docks and put aboard a previously secured vessel to be dumped in the ocean away from New York City. Once that was done, then they could set about killing off the remaining Strigoi once and for all. Easy-peasy, right? Well, needless to say, things went south fast, even before the plan was in motion in earnest.

STRAIN__00123d_hires1

As Eichorst was attempting to limp home, he passed out altogether in the street, and was about to be claimed as a keepsake by some scavengers, who marveled at the way he’d managed to disguise himself as something almost human, when a military-looking Strigoi interceded and killed them. Absconding with Eichorst, the Strigoi ended up heading right over to Stoneheart headquarters, where he and others besieged Palmer upon his arrival, taking out his team altogether.

Then, to make matters worse, the main Strigoi turned out to be the Master himself, who then nabbed Palmer and transferred himself into the man, in order to gain the knowledge he needed to retrieve the hidden nuke, as in doing so, he would know everything Palmer did, including where the nuke was and how to open the safe it was interred inside. Though Eichorst was ready to die, the Master assured him it was a necessary evil, his taking over Palmer, and healed Eichorst to help execute the next phase of his own plan.

The Strain 15

Eichorst took the nuke to Sanjay on a ship and the two set out to plant it somewhere, while Kelly was entrusted with the detonator to the bomb for safekeeping, until such time as the Master needed it. She and Zach also hid out at Stoneheart until such time as they were needed, as the Master still had plans for Zach that we never quite found out what were. After that, the Master simply laid in wait for Abe and company to arrive.

Upon doing so, Quinlan could tell something was amiss and went his own way looking to see if he could find out what it was, while the rest got set up elsewhere. Fet stationed himself in the service kitchen, while Dutch took her place one floor below Palmer’s suite, as planned, with Abe and Eph heading up to meet with Palmer himself- or so they thought.

The Strain 8

Sure enough, everyone realized early on that things were off somehow, as no one was around, which was strange, given that they all knew the Master could arrive at any moment. Quinlan discovered the dead bodies of Palmer’s security team, as well as the Master’s former host, and realized what had happened- the Master was already there, having beaten them to the punch.

As he fought off another of the more military-like Strigoi, snapping his neck like a twig over the railing of a ledge on his way to Palmer’s suite, Abe and Eph soon realized themselves that something was amiss with Palmer, who was acting strangely- even for him. The two went into attack mode, with Dutch overhearing down below and telling Fet what was going on, as she scrambled to set off the machine.

The Strain 007

Eventually, both Fet and Quinlan arrived to lend a hand to Abe and Eph, and after a fair bit of fighting, Dutch was finally able to activate the machine, rendering the Master relatively defenseless- enough to overcome him and put him in the coffin, at least. Eph was wounded in the melee, and opted to stay behind to stitch himself up, as the others headed to the dock to execute the next part of the plan.

With the Master off-book as it were, the other Strigoi noticed his absence, with Eichorst and Sanjay rushing back to Stonehearst to see what had happened, while Kelly and Zach went upstairs to do the same. Finding Eph there, much to their surprise, Kelly attacked Eph, despite Zach’s insistence for her to stop, and Eph was forced to kill her to defend himself.

The Strain 04

This did not go over well with Zach, to say the least, and in his anger, he actually went so far as to detonate the nuke then and there. It turned out the bomb was inside the Statue of Liberty, no less, which exploded in a mushroom cloud, as the team at the docks ran for cover, with Quinlan weathering the full impact of the blast, knocking him off his feet and unconscious.

In the ensuing chaos, the Master’s coffin was blown open and he was able to escape, as the team did their best to regroup and figure out what to do next, now that their own plan had gone south. Realizing there would soon be fall-out, they opted to head underground, with Quinlan getting up soon after to join them as they ducked down into the subways entrance.

The Strain 003

Back at Stoneheart, Eph also woke up from unconsciousness, only to find Zach long gone. Zach headed outside, surveying the damage he’d done and running into Eichorst, whose car had been crashed and overturned during the explosion, leaving Sanjay in dire straits, who Eichorst opted to leave behind. Eichorst said he’d done good and comforted Zach over the loss of his mother and said they needed to reunite with the Master, who still had big plans for Zach.

That was where we left things for the season, but obviously, the finale didn’t lack for action. Indeed, it was pretty much all action, TBH, with little time to catch one’s breath- not that I was complaining. I dug the way the episode subverted one’s expectations at nearly every turn, with nothing turning out quite like I thought it would.

The Strain 001

And yes, I think we’re all on the same page now in wanting to smack Zach down for his unthinking and ridiculously misguided actions, at this point. My mom, who was already technically dead anyway, died for real, so I think I’ll freaking NUKE the entire city to get back at my dad, who was only trying to defend himself from a monster! Idiot. Way to make everyone suffer for your stupidity, kid. (And you thought Carl, from “The Walking Dead,” was bad!)

I think it’s safe to say we all wished Kelly had gone ahead and finished him off when she nearly did so after the master disappeared off her radar for the time being. Alas, she managed to control herself, in spite of it all, at least until she caught sight of her ex- then it was off to the races, and subsequently, her doom. Which, in turn, ended up being the doom of nearly everyone else left standing in the already pretty decimated city.

Strain 22

Now, with the fall-out from the explosion causing smoke and debris to fill the sky, blocking out the sun in the process, the Strigoi are free to move around at will and pick off the rest of the living in NYC, with the ensuing fall-out sure to take care of most of the rest. Will the team be able to overcome the Master a second time, given the circumstances? I guess we’ll have to see next season.

Until then, I’d have to say that this was a very satisfying season, with lots of unpredictable deaths, plenty of action, and many interesting twists and turns, plot-wise. While I still remain perplexed by the Master’s actions at times- if he doesn’t plan to possess Zach, what the hell does he need him for, exactly?- all in all, this was a great season, and the best since the first. Maybe even the best season to date, period, TBH.

The Strain 02

I’m happy we’ll be getting a final season to wrap things up, and I can see where they should be able to do so with plenty of leeway to tie up all the loose ends. Will the team be able to rescue what’s left of NYC, or will the action need to be taken elsewhere? What will the Master do next? Will the team manage to avoid the fall-out? Will someone finally take out this awful kid? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see next season.

What did you think of the third season of “The Strain”? Did you enjoy the finale? Did you predict what would happen or were you genuinely surprised? Would the team on the docks really have been able to survive a nuclear blast like that? Would they be safe from the fall-out in the subway tunnels? If they would, how will they get out of there without being affected by the ensuing fall-out later on? And seriously, what the hell does the Master want with that kid?

Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next season!