The Strain: Season 1, Episode 11 – The Third Rail


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

Zack plays at filming whilst Vasily is inventing new weapons to fight the vamps.  They test out a UV light bomb (*cough* Blade II *cough*).  It doesn’t work, they come up with another possible way for it to work, but they can’t test it without using up all their supplies.  Winging it on hope is apparently what Abraham has been doing for 60 years!

Nora’s mum is not coping well in a new environment, she’s confused and upset, and looking for an ashtray that broke several years ago.  Her mum continues to smoke by the window (smoking is bad, kids – don’t do it!).

Gus returns home after escaping the law.  His brother Crispin is watching football (or “soccer” if you like…) but no, he’s a vamp and Gus kills him with a baseball bat.

Eph talks as though what they’re doing by hunting The Master is linked to their work in the CDC, by “tracing the disease to its’ source”… (which is wrong, they’re more akin to the angry villagers running after the unknown with pitchforks… but OK, you justify it how you like).  Looks like “science” has been thrown out of the window.  Eph suggests that Nora stays behind, and she refuses.  So instead they leave the old lady with dementia alone with the 8 year old boy (*slow ironic clap*).

Mrs Martinez makes things very difficult for poor Zack.  She wants cigarettes. NEEDS cigarettes.  Is upset and still confused.

The world is ending: “well, let’s get looting” says the general population…

Gus is concerned for his mama.  He calls her at work, but her shift doesn’t start until later.  Turns out she’s on the floor of her bedroom cupboard, sheltering from the sun.

Mrs Martinez is shouting behind the locked gates of the pawn shop for help.  She’s getting more and more frantic.  Zack offers to go and get her some cigarettes (if this were a normal day, he wouldn’t be allowed to buy them at his age – and during the end of the world, he shouldn’t go out at all!!).

The gang go underground at the World Trade Center, tracking the strigoi (they keep switching terms… pick one!).  Wandering around in the dark, with a few UV strip lights and ineffective torches.  “Stay to the right – don’t touch the third rail”.  They find wallets and possessions in the tunnels.

Zack leaves the shop.

The gang continue to walk the tunnels.  There’s fluorescent goo all over the place.  They find a nest of vamps, but instead of killing them (which would alert The Master) they creep by.  Eph thinks he sees Kelly, but it’s not her.

Gus leaves his mother behind in the apartment.  He doesn’t kill her.  He runs into the old landlord on his way out – infected – and decapitates him for good measure.

Vasily is playing tour guide around the underground tunnels.  Eph hears a train, Vasily says it’s nothing.  A train goes by.  Eph and Vasily squabble like children – Abraham breaks them up.  Another vamp wanders through ahead of them, steps on the wrong rail… BZZZZZZZT! Dead!

Zack’s out finding cigarettes for Mrs Martinez.  Scavengers come in to the store, Zack hides in a store room, down a chute – but there’s a vamp down there.  He drops his phone, so goes down to get it – the vamp disappears – he climbs out.  He runs into the scavengers, who get killed by the vamp.  On Zack’s way out, he bumps into Gus, and grabs some packs of cigarettes (menthol).

The gang are still wandering about the tunnels.  More goo on the walls.  They reach a dead end.  There’s a small hole in the wall, and without a second thought they crawl right in.  Eph keeps a UV light ahead of him, and inches his way through.  The rest start to follow, as do the vamps.  Eph hears Kelly’s voice – and just runs off.

The others slowly get themselves through the tiny hole.  Vasily goes last, gets stuck, followed by a vamp (I would have put the UV lamp behind me, rather than in front!), but Nora pulls him out.  Eph and Abraham have gone off already.

Eph finds the coffin.  Kelly’s voice is still luring him along.  A group of vamps surround him, and The Master appears.  His weapons do nothing.  He gets talked at for a bit.  Abraham appears, they all hear some high-pitched feedback noise, Vasily chucks in the UV bomb which burns a few vamps, but The Master runs off.

Zack gets back to the shop, and gives Mrs Martinez her cigarettes.  Then goes to play with knives.  Bad habits all round.

The gang discuss their failure.  Abraham has a go at them all for being impulsive.  Then chops up the coffin with an axe.  Now it’s Abraham’s turn to be impulsive, chasing after The Master without another proper plan.  They stumble across a huge nest.  Abraham wants to rush through, the others stop him.  For now.

Unanswered questions

  • STILL no sign of the “good” monster army?  How many episodes is that now?
  • Where was this “plan” that Abraham had?  They didn’t have much of a strategy to start with.
  • Why are these “scientists” so stupid?

My Favourite Bit
Abraham destroys the coffin – they should have done that in the first place.

Overall Rating
Empty Star_76Empty Star_76Empty Star_762 out of 5 stars

Is it me, or is The Master not at all scary?  He’s pig-faced and funny-looking, but not scary.  The gang are stumbling their way through the plot, more by luck than judgement.  And poor Zack!  Why did they leave him alone and in charge of a child-like adult?  Bad parenting!