Monday, 13 June 2016

The Strain Series 2: Episodes 7 and 8 — The Born and Intruders

You know, I have a confession to make.

When I write?   When I write — or, at least, type — I like to listen to music.

I find it less distracting than having the TV on: or, sometimes, the radio.

Frankly, that dates back to my childhood.

My school insisted I practise hand writing, and suggested listening to music whilst doing so.

I got pretty sick of The Blue Danube, I know that.

The reason I mention this?

Is simply that I’ve got New Muzik’s From A to B on in the background: 

I have to add, it was one of the first albums I ever bought: I think I’ve still got the cassette, somewhere.

And frankly?

Well, frankly, it still sounds damn good: even after thirty-six years … 


At any rate … ?

At any rate, recommending an album is not necessarily what I wanted to do.   Even though I might ALSO suggest you go and listen to some OMD.   Architecture and Morality was and is one heck of a good LP.

Even given the always morbid thought Souvenir is the one song I’d want played at my funeral.

At any rate, I’ wanted you to know one thing.

Yes … 

I’ve been watching more of The Strain.

And, yes: episodes seven and eight are starting to shape up … 


Episode 7 — The Born — sees Vasily Fet and Dutch Velders (Kevin Durand and Ruta Gedmintas) returning to Dutch’s apartment: only to find her former roommate and lover, Nikki, hiding under the stairs.

Meanwhile?   Meanwhile, Eph (Corey Stoll) has returned from Washington: angry that a Stoneeart Group hit man has murdered his friends, and stolen the virus formula.

The episode also shows us Abraham Setrakian’s (David Bradley) meeting both with the Master — now using Gabriel Bolivar’s body — and Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones): who Abraham soon realises is a millennia old strigoi-human hybrid known as … The Born.

Episode 8 — Intruders — opens by showing us Eichhorst (Richard Sammel) slowly showing Kelly (Natalie Brown) how to apply make-up: in order to pass as human.

Whilst this is happening … ?   Eph and his son are after a rifle: managing to get one, in exchange for helping save the life of Jimmy Wu, an shady Chinese-American fence.

And?   Setrakian and Fet are still hunting for the Occido Lumen: the centuries old book Abraham believes contains a method of destroying The Master.

The only problem with that?

Is that the corrupt Cardinal who’s selling it … has JUST been visited by the villainous Eichhorst … 

Terminally visited …


Now … 

Shaping up … ?

Oh, my word, yes.

I’m not going to say The Strain doesn’t have its technical flaws.   It does: sometimes, an episode seems to telegraph plot pieces*, have cliched lines, obvious frights and stock characters.

But, for all that?

For all that, The Strain moves along at a very good, and rapid, pace: one that’s kept me engaged, and coming back for two episodes a night at every chance I’ve had.

In that sense?

The Strain is thoroughly enjoyable!

*        I could EASILY tell that Eldritch Palmer† (Jonathan Hyde) and Coco Marchand (Lizzie Brocheré) were going to end up in bed about two or three episodes ahead.

†        Finally?   I realised, a night or two ago, who Jonathan Hyde, in The Strain reminded me of: the late Ian Richardson, especially during the latter’s time in the original House of Cards.   To make it worse?   Lizzie Brocheré, who plays Palmer’s lover and PA, Coco Marchand, vaguely reminds me of Susannah Harker: Urquart’s doomed lover in the latter series.   I keep expect her to say “I want to call you DADDY!” at some point!

Johnathan Hyde

Lizzie Brocheré

Ian Richardson

Susannah Harker

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