Rooster Recap: “The Strain” Episode 3 – Gone Smooth


I’m actually 90% sure I know what the title references, and…uh. Well it’s gonna get weird(er). 

A quick refresher – A box has flown over from Europe, containing a coffin containing a vampire (well, a del Toro vampire. We’re just going to stick with that vocab because it’s easier). It killed everyone on the board, but some (four) were ‘immune’, in that their infection was much slower and bypassed the zombie-esque phase. Everyone else rose from the dead and have started attacking whoever is closest. Loved ones, coroners, etc. There’s also a bunch of stuff going on with Ephraim Goodweather that no one cares about, and we have the sturdy Abraham trying to gain some leverage.

This Week: We open with the rather alarming sight of someone -something, carefully applying prosethetics to hide their appparent vampirism which includes, among other things, no nose, no ears, no hair, weird teeth, neck prosthetic, etc. Turns out to be no-breathing man (who I correctly described as looking like a human version of The Silence, who’s natural features have indeed been makeup encouraged to look like prosthetics).Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.56 PM

Finally, we begin settling into the more unnerving parts of the whole world. For me, this episode encompasses the most memorable part of the novel, the slow infection and transformation. I believe I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, there is nothing like a del Toro monster, and these vamps are no exception. What i particularly enjoy is that they incorporate Nosferatu qualities along with bat qualities and insect-like parasitic qualities. Furthermore, there are different classes of vamps, stemming from the simple bloodworm infection all the way up to “The Master”, the coffin inhabitant, and the simple plane re-incarnations and the ‘survivors’, who’s infection takes longer but is way creepier.

Jim (Sean Astin), on the other hand, is starting to realize just how much he dun goofed when he allowed that box out of the airport, and goes to Stoneheart Group to reconcile the issue and right his moral compass. He is promptly blackmailed with the promise of his cancer-ridden wife being admitted to a new trial, and agrees to keep silent. The CDC as a whole is beginning to realize how much they dun goofed as the pilot (in secret treatment) becomes worse and the corpses…y’know, walk off.

While all of this is happening, we are privileged to follow the four survivors, featuring the man who was omitted last week. He’s not doing so hot. Pale, hair falling out, teeth adjusting, all that good stuff. He eventually drinks the blood of a defrosting steak, and his wife catches him, horrified. He, occupied by the parasite, shambles back off to bed without another thought. Our rockstar mopes around his studio, arguing about performances, and has his doctor come in to prescribe some exciting drugs. He also asks about a problem regarding his man-parts, and the doctor recoils in horror and recommends he go to the hospital immediately. Gabe declines, and the story lurches forward. Now can you guess where the ‘smooth’ part comes in? Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.32.53 PM

We also have our favorite burly Russian pest-control officer, who is interesting because he’s not mean, and he’s not nice, and I don’t hate him or love him or anything really. He’s just interesting. And he serves to inform us that rats hate vampires, given the rate they’re surfacing, attacking rich people and fleeing the sewers, as seen in the vague FX promo spots a while ago. Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.32.38 PM

Abraham gets out of jail, and speaks with lady CDC. They have a confusing conversation where Abraham refuses to tell her anything because she’s not willing to listen, even though she tracked him down and tried to listen.

The culmination of this episode comes when the pilot’s condition escalates, and Nora, Ephraim and Jim have to find him when he escapes before surgery. They do find him, in the basement, and he’s almost full-fledged vamp at this point. I like that the vamps are a little bit clumsy, like they’re not sure what to do with their new bodies.  This is the turning point, where everyone realizes exactly what’s happening, what they’re dealing with. Next week should be very interesting.Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.33.47 PM



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