The Strain: Season 1, Episode 2 – The Box


UK Pace Review – Broadcast on digital channel Watch
The Strain: Wednesdays at 10pm
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WARNING this review contains SPOILERS.

The next morning, your friendly neighbourhood pest control dude gets ready for work and feeds the cat. The box is delivered to a garage, and scares the crap out of the delivery guy.

The body of the airport employee is found with his head smashed in. Jim loses his breakfast! There’s the ammonia residue and goo that glows under UV. A report is (conveniently) leaked to the press claiming the deaths on the plane were due to carbon monoxide, so the survivors are being released. Eph attempts to keep them in quarantine.

Creepy Stoneheart guy Eichorst visits Abraham in police holding, taunting their success in obtaining the box. It transpires the heart in the jar in Abraham’s basement belongs to an old flame, murdered years previously by Eichorst. Abraham (or 8230385) did his own share of killing back in the day with his fancy concealed sword.

Meanwhile in Harlem delivery guy goes home to mama, then has a go at his brother for stealing a “present” for their mum. Stolen from Abraham’s pawn shop. Families have issues.

Eph and Nora speak to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to try and convince her not to release the survivors. It doesn’t work. Eph loses his temper, and is forced to take some time off. He tries to call the coroner but there’s no answer, Nora seems to think they’ve just got a lot of work, with the 206 dead people they sent them (NOT in quarantine!). We know different.

Eph and Nora meet Captain Redford, one of the survivors, in a bar. He doesn’t look well, & has ringing in his ears. They ask him about the box, but it’s not “unusual” to receive last minute cargo from Government “Suits” (apparently). Eph urges him to go to a doctor he knows, just in case.

In the lab Eph and Nora examine a worm and tease it with blood.

Our pest control guy drops in a restaurant for an inspection. Gabe (goth rock guy) and Joan (straight laced businesswoman), two more of the survivors are eating out. They can hear a ringing, and appear to have bloodshot eyes and bleeding gums. Pest control guy “finds” a rat and waves it around to get everyone to leave.

The head of Stoneheart is looking forward to a new liver.

Eph talks to his son about the custody hearing and tries to convince him that he wants joint custody. Zack knows from previous experience how empty the phrase “this is my last job” really is, he’s the smart one. Eph clashes with his ex and her new guy, then goes to an AA meeting (American’s and their ongoing battle with the “demon” drink!). Eph might be sober, but he still behaves like an ass.

Gabe is still looking worse for wear, but somehow finds the energy to entertain three ladies in his bedroom. More or less. Until he is overcome by the sound of their beating hearts and sinks his teeth into one girl’s neck. After kicking the ladies out, Gabe is left to lick up the remaining blood spatter off the floor…

Redford’s in the hospital, he’s changing into something else.. and his skin is crawling with worms, that show up under UV. Finally, they think to go to the morgue. The father of the young French girl calls in to say thanks for sending her home. That confuses Eph and Nora, but not enough to worry if a potentially infectious person (dead or alive) is on the loose.

Old Stoneheart goes to meet the occupant of the box. He’s tall, pale-faced under the hood, and has a menacingly low and echoey voice..

In the morgue, Eph and Nora find a whole lot of nothing. Everyone is missing.

Undead French girl has a bath. Then eats her dad.

Unanswered Questions/Nitpicks:

  • Why don’t people buy the infection theory when they’ve got evidence: they’ve got samples of the wormy things, does that not count for anything at the CDC?
  • A guy gets his head smashed in at the airport – and gets forgotten about 10 minutes later. Poor bugger. What monster could do that?

My Favourite Bit:
Gabe and his sudden bloodlust. Hooray for a bit of gore!

Overall Rating:
Empty Star_76Empty Star_76 3 out of 5 stars

The story for me this episode was still very much a case of introducing all of the characters, and all of the various plot threads are still quite disparate. I think this episode ocurred over the period of a single day, but whereas the first episode time stamped each scene, this one did not so it was harder to tell. I’m still enjoying the series in general thus far, but I hope the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place very soon.