Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Strain’ Episode 5

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So it seemed like Guillermo Del Toro hated me, not me specifically but me as an audience member. Each week I made an attempt to get you to watch this series and each week I find it harder to come up with reasons that you should. The elements that work are still there (sometimes stronger than they have been previously) but they are usually few and far between, long scenes with expository dialogue filling the spaces inbetween. This week I am happy to report that we are back on track, we have more Strigoi flavoured murder mayhem than Vassiliy gets the chance to shake a stick at, which can only be a good thing.

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My stinger is usually bigger than this but it’s chilly in here.

We open up on Bolivar getting a visit from a urologist, before she can diagnose the ailing rock star he begins to drain her of blood using his new bending neck straw thing. Setrakian gives us some more details about the Strigoi Master and he gets a bit of back story as we see him travelling to a concentration camp in his youth with both his brother and mother. Eph helps dispatch Mr Ansel (Getting the silver nail firing nail gun at the same time) he then returns to the CDC in an attempt to alert the world to what is happening in New York but ends up almost getting arrested for being privy to a murder. Nora gets a scene of heroism this week, saving her mother from a Strigoi in a nursing home and likewise Mr Fet returns after a week absence, discovering a tunnel of monsters before almost losing his life.

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They have the same weaknesses as Goths. Finally we can fight back!

This weeks episode was far better than the last 2 because it felt like we had reactions to what was happening, Eph still had a few irritating moments and they are continuing to try and humanise the villain (WHY?). The Strigoi made a bunch of appearances this time which gave everything a better sense of horror and we have finally witnessed a credible threat to the team in form of the sewer denizens discovered by Vassiliy. Setrakian’s moments worked well but watching the loss of his mother (And possibly his brother) would hold more impact if they had given him that dedicated episode I have wanted so badly.

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The not often seen lady vampire take on a coffin.

We also have the return of the lawyer lady who this week has some bad ideas involving her 2 children and the poor house keeper. Lawyer lady is changing the slowest but she is a hard character to care about, sure she has children but she also came incredibly close eating both of them which will lose her a few sympathy votes. Sean Astin returns once again, he still doesn’t seem all that sad that he may have caused the end of the world but I also think that it hasn’t truly sunk in yet. I continue to hate the villain (As you should in this sort of series) but for some reason we keep getting scenes making him appear to be a victim.

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In an old peoples home he has unlimited Viagra which only increases his stinger power!

We are finally where we should have been by episode 3, I’m really disappointed that we are not getting a dedicated Setrakian episode but at least we are getting closer to some real action. Eph annoyed me more than a lead character should but luckily the episode is divided fairly evenly this week so we don’t need to put up with him for long. Nora is the surprise hero of Episode 5 and actually comes across stronger than she has been written previously, hopefully this is a permanent change for the character.

I enjoyed this episode a lot and despite the usual small annoyances the appearances of the Strigoi kept things moving along. This episode get 4 gherkins out of 2. Watch it, enjoy it or just ignore it. I don’t care anymore.

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