Rooster Recap: “The Strain” Episode 5 – Runaways


Based on some discussion, I’d like to open today’s review with a really hyper-quick recap. It’s been about two days (and two nights) since the coffin-plane landed. At this point, the survivors have been home for at least two full days, while the autopsied corpses have been meandering around for at least one. The internet and phone lines are down, but no one is super concerned yet. Abraham has joined Eph and is trying to wrangle the infected.

Mr. Bolivar (our rock star) is sick to the point where his manager brings in a doctor. The doctor is presumably not prepared for Ken-doll anatomy and other…parasitic changes. He seems to be faring a little better than the others (although we haven’t seen the lawyer in a while) and it’s unclear as to why. Either way, I’m pretty sure that doctor is dead now. It becomes apparent that whether or not he can perform in the charity concert is no longer a concern as he scuttles back clutching the doctor, draining her.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.58.02 PMI personally hope that the unholy union of Eph and Abraham will yield a better television show, even though I find Abraham more irritating, and I’m not inclined to root for him as I did in the book. He does have decent exposition, at least, while he talks to Eph, and then through a harrowing Holocaust flashback, where he explains the Strigoi. The dialogue is, once again, ham fisted (and I say that with great respect to the Holocaust – I think it’s important that none of this backstory trivializes it). We re-meet Mr. Silence, now a German officer at a camp in Poland. Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.04.25 PM

The lawyer is back, and she’s actually faring the best, assuming we’re all on the same time line. Her kids try and comfort her, and she begins to reject food. Her eyes are bloodshot, she can hear her daughter’s pulse. I’m not sure why “I feel fine let me go, damn CDC” wouldn’t turn into, “I’m not fine, let me back in, CDC” (minus the sensible pilot).

Eph has gone full fledged vampire hunter at this point with Abraham’s modified tools, and he accepts his new lifestyle without blinking. His only request is to capture video footage of one of the strigoi to convince the CDC of the actual threat. We get a useless story about Eph’s life saving car love in the Congo or something, but the Ghostbuster team of Eph and Abraham (not biblical names for nothing, by the way) is starting to come together.

As per usual, my favorite part of the show is the creature design – they’re flawless, they’re scary. A cloak whips into the room at night (Holocaust flashback), like a quick Dementor, gurgles and drinks, whisks away again. It’s a great visual, as per usual. I also love the Russian exterminator, because he’s an actual character. His seemingly minute plot line of ‘the rats are fleeing’ gets a great, unexpected, little twist that’s decently scary (and answers some questions, to boot).Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.34.42 PM

Here’s a rundown of things that are maybe kind of relevant: Nora’s mom is in a home because she has dementia. Phone service is spotty. Ansel’s crazy wife has committed suicide. I’m not sure you can light a shed on fire in Queens without alerting anyone, but, sure. Oh and by the way, the Eclipse is coming.

So this episode sees Eph tumble farther down the rabbit hole as he tries to convince the CDC to quarantine the victims (dead, alive, presumed dead but actually alive). I feel like it gets just a tiny bit better every episode, but it’s not…not quite up to par yet.

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