By now it’s pretty clear that a select number of characters on The Strain are turning into vampires, heck, even all the press Guillermo del Toro has done for the show has been insistent upon the return to monstrous blood suckers. There’s a whole lot of vampiric denial still going on in The Strain as a bulk of the bitten characters walk around making ‘what is happening to me’ faces and foreboding dialogue plodded over the obvious in Gone Smooth.
Momentum isn’t the best trait of The Strain and the show seems to be grinding away in second gear. The opening scene showed promise with the evil Thomas Eichorst going through a routine of attaching a prosthetic nose and skin to cover up his true form of a Nosferatu looking vampire. In the reverse to the opening scene, the primary focus of Gone Smooth was the transformation of the surviving passengers of the passenger jet, Ansel and Gabriel, as they discovered bleeding gums, sharp teeth forming and at one point Gabriel’s penis fell off. Yes, you read that right, it fell off and he flushed it down the toilet, and then turned to the camera to reveal his new status as an undead Ken doll. While The Strain hasn’t earned any points in the quality department yet it is winning the race to the most bonkers moment on television in 2014.
The rest of the episode meandered around Eph’s family woes with getting shared custody of his young son, and ominous speeches from the sword carrying pawn shop owner, Abraham Setrakian. Look, if you’re going to introduce a Clint Eastwood type with a sword in a television show you need to get him hacking and slashing as soon as possible, the wait is excruciating.
Eph’s Disease Control Team can’t seem to get the hint about what’s happening to the victims of the flight so they have to learn the hard way when they discover the pilot from the flight has escaped from a self-imposed quarantine. The pilot is found munching on packets of blood in full vampire mode and he lunges at Eph and the team with a blood sucking appendage that shoots from the mouth. Eph dodges the bungee fangs and then proceeds to mash the pilot’s head into the tile grout on the floor, end episode.
Each episode of The Strain so far as built up to head mashing moments that payoff at some point, but you have to sit through a lot of dull exposition and repetitive plot points before you get to something significant. We all know the vampires have arrived, now less chat and more chomp, our attention is waning.
Cameron Williams – follow Cam on Twitter here: @MrCamW