The Daves would once again like to welcome guest blogger Brandon Engel with his take on season 2 of the FX hit show, The Strain!
The Strain, based on the book trilogy of the same name and brought to life by horror maestro Guillermo del Toro and LOST showrunner Carlton Cuse, has been renewed for a third season by FX. The first season was a slow-burn event with everything leading up to a cliffhanger finale that kept fans and critics anxious for season two. Where season one strayed a bit from the literary source material, season two strayed much further from that source material to create a television show with its own identity.
The key plot device of season two involved the search for an ancient text that held the secret to defeating The Master once and for all. Sure, we have all seen the search for the mysterious book more times than I can count (I have an affinity for Evil Dead here), but the bottom line is, it works well. The Strain used the Occido Lumen as a way to build up to a climactic battle between good and evil… on the auction floor. Setrakian and Eichorst go at it with wallets and words in an entertaining back-and-forth bidding war.
Meanwhile, Eph and Nora decide to create a virus to kill the vampire strain that is infecting all five boroughs of New York now. As if this is not enough for poor Eph to handle, his ex-wife turned vamp Kelly is hunting their son Zach due to the strigoi instinct to hunt their most beloved. After turning a school of blind children into one of the creepiest vampire attack squads ever, she finally finds Zach only to bring him to The Master instead of turning him.
Nora, on the other hand, has her own battles and issues to deal with. Her mother has been attacked by Bolivar and there is only one way to prevent her from turning, so like a good daughter, Nora follows through and decapitates her mother at the end of the first season. But just as fate would have it come the end of the second season, Nora gets to feel the way the other half live, (well, die) when she has to take herself out after being attacked.
While season two was an overall entertaining ride, it suffers from a great deal of problems throughout. There were many pointless scenes of everyone battling strigoi that seem more like time wasters than substantial story additions. Many of the scenes were shot well and looked great, but added little to the overall story. The writers would have done better to have focused on character development over action sequences. We are told that characters grow and change over the season, and while we see it slightly in Eph’s story following Kelly’s transformation, we are left wanting more of the others.
Season three will likely feature much more on Eph’s revenge against The Master for Nora’s death, as well as his battle to free his always-annoying son Zach – who will most likely grow closer, in a way, to The Master. Though unfortunately, it does appear that Zach’s death will be coming sometime soon. Luckily, we can get our strigoi fix by watching past episodes on FX, DTV, and Hulu in the meantime. With more and more stories refusing to be constrained by their source material, it really is anybody’s guess as to what we will see in the upcoming season, but be prepared for a darker tone and an even darker psychological state for Eph as season three begins next summer.