Rooster Recap: “The Strain” Episode 2 – The Box


Hey, so, I learned this week that the novels were also made into a graphic novel by Dark Horse – so I’ll probs be checking that out maybe. 

So as you may or may not recall from last week: Lotsa dead people, creepy plane, creepy box, creepy old man, creepy vampire monsters, zombies like to attack. Great stuff. Basically we open with the advent of a new day and the knowledge that the ‘dead’ people on the plane have since woken up and have begun walking to their respective homes and loved ones.

The episode starts with a janitor/police officer/cat lover? And of course, the delivery of the box. Then Sean Astin vomits justifiably as we revisit last week’s corpse (Peter Bishop, a nod to Fringe maybe?). I’ll spare you the gory details. Either way, the pieces are starting to come together as Ephraim comments on the black-light reflective goo as being guano, that of a bat. Or a tick. Or a terrifying del Toro bat-tick-parasitic monster. YAH. The plane deaths are blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning and the survivors are trying to be released. 

I wish I could make gifs, because that’s the only way to demonstrate the proclivity of panning camera shots. There are a lot of them. Personally, I am a fan of cleanliness, either in a stark modernism or a crisp antique (fairy-tale style, etc.). This show doesn’t really go either way, and kind of clings to a shifty-cop-drama-esque feel?

Poster: "Enjoy your stay" HAHA

Poster: “Enjoy your stay” HAHA

We go back to the old men, and they discuss the timeline, the delayed release of the survivors, perhaps even the box. They try and figure out how to get the survivors out, and the news confirms the “villain” they planned, in this case, the airline. Abraham, still incarcerated, is visited by the creepy-no-breathing-man. It becomes clear that Abraham, a Holocaust survivor, knows no-breathing man, and it’s heavily implied that the man was a German officer. Their interaction is terse, and Abraham is clearly emotionally compromised. It was also perturbing as a viewer to hear him referred to by his camp number. We are not often confronted with that level of historical reminder.Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 5.14.40 PM

For some reason we spend a lot of time on the courier and his dysfunctional druggie family. Turns out his brother was the one who Abraham laid the smack down on. Small world. Ephraim gets a little handsy during a confrontation and the whole thing feels…forced. That weird blend of protocol and emotion I was talking about last week. He’s a logical character, and it feels like they’re trying to inject some of that like, “I’m a good person no matter what” House-esque attitude where it doesn’t belong. Either way, they meet the surviving pilot in a bar. He doesn’t look good. “You look pale,” says female agent, in the understatement of the year. Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 5.30.56 PM

In addition, we still have to deal with Ephraim’s silly family problems, which just feels like an awkward attempt to humanize the situation. It -could- create a a sense of panic as the viewer knows the urgency but everyone else proceeds status quo, but it doesn’t. It just feels clumsy. Ephraim also goes to an alcoholics anonymous for some personal exposition, which again, is…boring. Yay he’s a dad, blah blah blah. We meet the other two survivors, the woman and the rockstar, and they are also not looking so hot. The woman’s pupils are blown, and she starts to bleed from the gums. The rockstar discovers he can’t get it up. There’s a lot of sideboob for network television. His hair starts to fall out, and he bites a girl on the neck. And the blood, well, the blood is good. Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 5.43.40 PM

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