"The Strain" Season Finale Review and Recap (Spoilers)
Just got done watching the season finale of The Strain. No more icky medical vampires until 2015. A pity.
This episode was quite a lot of fun. It starts out with elderly billionaire Palmer (who's looking surprisingly healthy) and his minion Fitzwilliam entering Setrakian's shop, where Palmer confiscates Setrakian's collection of vampire lore and even his late wife's infested heart. He meets Eichhorst there, overjoyed to think he's received the ultimate blessing of vampiric immortality and wondering when he's going to get a stinger--only to find out he hasn't. Being transformed into a thinking vampire like Eichhorst is not for him yet. Next we have a rather telling flashback in which Kelly gives Zack a birthday bike and films him riding it to send to Eph while he's at a CDC conference in Atlanta. Yep, we know who the good and involved parent actually was here. It turns out it was a dream and Zack is with the rest of them at another home Setrakian owns. They're plotting to go after the Master again and Eph and Setrakian get into a fight about just what to let him know. Then Eph and exterminator Vasiley Fet are off to do some reconnaissance.
Meanwhile, Palmer is not happy to know about Eph's broadcast, especially since the secretary of health and human services is considering shutting down Manhattan. He orders Fitzwilliam to bring around the car to take him and Eichhorst to see her, but Fitzwilliam refuses. Palmer gets rather PO'd at him and they fight. Fitzwilliam resigns from Palmer's employ, but refuses to kill him as a tribute to the help he'd provided him over the years. You know, honor is all good most of the time, but now it's not.
And Gus is captive of the mysterious vampire commando who hasn't been named yet, but I know who he is so I'll say it--Mr. Quinlan. Quinlan unties him and wants to show him something, parrying every attempt Gus makes to attack him.
Eph and Fet sneak into the theater that "Goth douche-bag" Gabriel Bolivar rented, since it's close to where they faced the Master the first time. They find the coffin being partially reassembled and bail when the vampires start sensing intruders. On the way out, Fet pops a manhole open to flood the sewers with sunlight and keep vampire reinforcements out.
Next we see Palmer and Eichhorst confronting the secretary of health and human services and Eph and Nora's boss Everett Barnes. Palmer tries to talk her out of canceling her planned quarantine and when that doesn't work, he throws her off a ledge. He and Eichhorst bully Barnes into agreeing to go along with their plan.
Eph and Fet return and we find Nora smoking and mourning her mother, whom she had to kill last week after vampire-Bolivar took a drink out of her. Eph initially quails at going after the Master again (he wants to protect Zack from vampirized Kelly), but Nora rants about people disappearing in Argentina and so Eph agrees to take Zack to war with them. Setrakian gives him his very own silver blade and he and Eph give him some pointers on how to use it.
And so they're off to fight the vampires. Oh boy, things are fun. Fet blows up a bunch of vampire reinforcements momentarily stalled by the open sewer with dynamite and then they're into the theater. They blow through the minion vampires until Eichhorst arrives, promising to drink Dutch first. She shoots him, but is only able to wound him. He and Fet go hand-to-hand while Dutch can't get a clear shot and Nora vents some of her rage into strigoi-slaying. Bolivar shows up and loses a big chunk of his stinger for his pains. Setrakian, Eph, and Zack ascend into the upper floors, where Eph kills a vampire that looks an awful lot like Kelly. There Setrakian and the Master face off, with Eph and Zack smashing windows to expose the Master to sunlight. The wounded Master knocks Setrakian aside and leaps through the window into the sun, where he starts to burn. The other vampires, including the wounded Eichhorst, retreat in a creepy reverse-VCR kind of way. Darn. Fet had pumped at least one silver nail into his face and Dutch had already hit him twice with silver bullets. The old Nazi was one or two more hits away from a long-delayed meeting with his Maker...
Finally, Setrakian and Eph have the Master at their mercy. Setrakian is all, "IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!" and is going to deliver a silver shanking when the Master rolls over (using his cloak to protect himself from the sun) and flees down the side of the building. We can see his skeleton through burnt-away flesh, but he's not dead yet.
Damn it! Setrakian really should have learned not to Call His Attacks like that. If he hadn't had that dramatic pause and struck right then, he might've speared the bastard to the ground with the gigantic silver wolf-sword he carries and then Eph could have used his own weapon. They can gloat once they've taken off his limbs or transfixed him butterfly-style so he can't get away. He bugs off and Setrakian admits he doesn't know how to actually kill the Master. Umm...he was burning alive in the sunlight and bugged out rather than try to finish his decades-long enemy Setrakian and his new apprentice Eph. Sunlight isn't an instant-killer for any strigoi--they all saw the bunch in the sewer step into the sun, start smoking, and recoil--so why is it such a problem to think that a being that is around nine feet tall, weighs probably 400+ pounds, and covers most of his flesh in a big heavy cloak might take awhile to cook?
Afterward, Zack is having an asthma attack, so they detour by the Goodweather house to retrieve his inhaler and medication. Only it turns out he was faking the attack in order to retrieve a family photo album! That idiot kid. He and Eph talk about a particularly well-remembered birthday party (!) when a shadow with long hair falls. Zack immediately thinks it's Mom, whom Eph had repeatedly neglected to tell him has been turned. She calls for him and Zack nearly runs for her, but Eph shoots her in the shoulder and she retreats. She's going to be a problem later. Eph (a recovering alcoholic) for the first time takes a drink, as Nora pleads for him not to. Bad move, old bean.
Meanwhile, Gus manages to apparently escape from Quinlan and runs into an empty room. The lights go on and we see a bunch of emaciated naked creatures very similar to the Master (except not so huge). They're all asleep and Quinlan says he speaks for them in a well-delivered monologue about how these Ancients are creatures of great dignity, honor, etc. If they were to be woken up, they'd be hungry and Gus wouldn't like that. Quinlan offers "revenge and a rich payday" to Gus to be their daytime warrior against the Master and Gus accepts his role in the vampire turf war. Let the games begin.
The episode ends with our heroes heading out of the city toward Fet's place, with some fires burning amid the buildings. This was a good episode overall. I knew the Master would survive, but I was hoping Eichhorst would bite it. He so nearly did too! Oh well. Onto 2015...