Monday, September 22, 2014

The Strain: Season 1, Episode 11

The Strain
Episode Title: "The Third Rail"
Channel: FX
Director: Deran Sarafian
Writers: Justin Britt-Gibson and Chuck Hogan
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Horror
Runtime: 60 min
Rated: TV-MA
Original Air Date: September 21, 2014

This week on The Strain Ephraim, Setrakian, and crew put their harebrained plan into action, and it goes about how we expect it to go. Dutch has disappeared, althought I thought Vasiliy was going to get her to stick around and Zach and Nora's mother are left alone in Setrakian's bunker. That's right an eight year old and a senior citizen suffering from dementia are left to their own devices in a highly tense situation because Nora decides to argue that she's going along on the aforementioned infiltration. I'm not one to whine about women going into dangerous situations, but come on, in that scenario who's babysitting who? Wouldn't it be better to have someone there to oversee the homebase? Nora has waffled several times regarding what it takes to eliminate a vampire, but she chambers a round in a pistol and the audience is supposed to buy that she's less useful at Setrakian's than on the hunt.

Zach and Mrs. Martinez being left home alone did lead to one of the more exciting sequences of the episode, with a momentary brush with Gus. Gus was a bright spot in this episode, exhibiting a wide range of emotions as he came to grips with all that's going on. Hopefully we'll soon see him joining Setrakian's merry band. Eph spends most of this episode with his brain turned off, making bad decision after bad decision. One would think that a man grounded in science would take a second to think about what was happening before charging off blindly, alas that is not the case.

The Master pops up near the end of the episode and monologues for a while, as villains are wont to do. It's hard understanding what he says as he's saying it and I found myself leaning forward trying to pick up the words. The subsequent struggle seems to cause a rift among the good guys and has left them worse off than they were at the beginning of the episode.

Conclusion: An improvement over last week, but not by much. The lack of logical thinking by many of the main characters makes the suspension of disbelief difficult. It does build towards the finale, but not as strongly as it should, given it's proximity to the final episode of the season.

Rating: 6/10

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