The Strain: Season 1, Episode 5 – Runaways


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

The private urologist arrives to take a look at (what’s left of) Gabe, and is shown up to see him by his manager. Whilst arranging her next beauty treatment, his manager hears a thud and a scream from upstairs. She finds Gabe munching on the doctor before he does his best seagull impersonation, and drags her away. The manager lady runs!

Manager makes a panicked phone call, but calms down after arranging somebody to come out and “clean up”.

Abraham and Eph are making breakfast and discussing vampires. Abraham calls our big bad “The Master” or patient zero. Of course “strigoi” is a better word than vampire (it’s Romanian for vampire). This leads into Abraham reminiscing his childhood in the Polish concentration camps, and the attacks he witnessed by The Master in the 40s. Eichorst was in charge of the camp, looking the same a he does now (of course we know he wears prosthetics).

The survivor Joan is unwell in bed, her kids bring her breakfast but she’s not really interested in the food.

Abraham wants to recruit an army, Eph wants to get video evidence of the monsters. Abraham gives Eph a modified nail gun, shooting silver nails, as a weapon.

Eph’s old truck is again the topic of conversation – imported from a previous infection-ridden area (not sure if that was a great idea!?). And its right-hand drive! Nora won’t answer Eph’s calls.

Flashback to Abraham’s past: members of the concentration camp get eaten in the night. Grandma’s stories might have been true after all.

Vasily, our rat catcher has a lot of calls. Something’s upsetting the local rat population.

Nora walks uncertainly down a street. We hear talk on the radio of a coming solar eclipse. She gets a phone call about her mother escaping from her nursing home, and goes to pay her a visit. Despite what Nora says, her mother does not like it there!

Eph and Abraham arrive at the home of Ansel and family. His wife is hanging on the staircase. Suicide. Abraham checks for signs of infection: a vibrating reflection in a mirror! They then find, fight with, and kill Ansel in the shed. And Eph records a decapitation for YouTube! The neighbour is still in there too, Abraham doesn’t think twice, he was dead already. They burn the shed down.

Flashback. Another night time attack on the inmates at the camp.

Back at Stoneheart, Palmer is recovering from his op. Doctor says he can’t do any more replacements for him, but Palmer seems to think he won’t need any more.

The clean up guy arrives at Gabe’s loft. One dead doctor in a bathtub. Gabe observes, with a bloody mouth. Clean up gut nonchalantly lays out black plastic and starts spraying the “not too messy” blood drips on the floor. Gabe goes to attack him, and gets shot for trying. Luckily bullets don’t seem to be a problem, and he gets his next meal after all!

Joan insists she’s “fine”. She’s so very not. Her housekeeper sees her lizard-like eyes, so decides to get the kids out of the house. Smart woman!

Vasily is on the hunt for yet more rats. Down in a basement/old railway service tunnel all the rats seem to be running away from something. There’s glowy, stinky splashes on the wall, and a large group of vampires! After running to the exit, he notices they don’t follow into the light.

Nora’s mum wants to go home. Nora gets upset. All hell starts to break loose in the home. Nora takes mum home.

Eph brings his video evidence to the local CDC office, demands a quarantine and describes the “metamorphosis” of the dead people. His boss doesn’t seem in the least bit phased by this information. The video finally gets his attention, but he’s not doing what really needs to be done. Jim is there and warns Eph that they have video of him and Redfern in the basement. Jim helps him get out of the building. Eph can’t email his evidence, so removes the SIM from his phone so it can’t be tracked.

Unanswered Questions

  • So it’s possible the CDC are in fact “in” on The Master and the vampire infection. Is that the reason why their investigation and quarantine procedures have been so lacking?
  • These vampires hiding underground must have been eating all this time. At some point the public have got to notice the huge increase in missing/dead people!
  • WHY DO SICK PEOPLE NEVER ADMIT TO BEING SICK?! Major pet peeve of mine, that! By ignoring it, you are in fact SPREADING the infection. As Abraham says at one point in this episode: “some people catch the flu and get a sniffle, others catch it and DIE”.

My Favourite Bit
Vasily finding the underground vampire (sorry, strigoi!) lair.
Also, Gabe claiming his food: “Mine, mine. MINE!”

Overall Rating
Empty Star_76Empty Star_76Empty Star_76 2 out of 5 stars

Ok, I am enjoying this series, but I feel like I’m still waiting for something BIG to happen. Perhaps that tiny hint of a solar eclipse will bring all the vamps out at once and all hell will properly beak loose. And maybe the incompetence of the CDC is in fact due to the larger conspiracy, and not just them having crap procedures! Here’s hoping for some gore next time!