The Strain (TV series)
|Based on||The Strain
by Guillermo del Toro
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (List of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||J. Miles Dale|
|Location(s)||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Original run||July 13, 2014– present|
The Strain is an American horror drama television series that premiered on FX on July 13, 2014. It was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their novel trilogy of the same name. Carlton Cuse serves as executive producer and showrunner. Del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode, "Night Zero", which del Toro directed. A thirteen-episode first season was ordered on November 19, 2013. The pilot episode premiered at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, in early June 2014.
A plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport with the lights off and doors sealed. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find 206 corpses and four survivors. The situation deteriorates when all the bodies disappear from the morgue. Goodweather and a small group of helpers find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the entire city, from an ancient threat to humanity.
Cast and characters
- Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, the head of the CDC Canary Team in New York City.
- David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor turned New York pawn-shop owner. Jim Watson portrays Setrakian in flashbacks.
- Mía Maestro as Dr. Nora Martinez, a member of the CDC Canary Team and Eph's closest ally.
- Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet, a once-solitary rat exterminator of Ukrainian descent.
- Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer, an elderly billionaire invalid driven to obtain immortality.
- Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, an undead vampire acolyte of the Master who has a 70 year history with Setrakian. In his former life, he was a Nazi commander at the Treblinka extermination camp in German-occupied Poland.
- Sean Astin as Jim Kent, a CDC administrator who works with Eph Goodweather and Nora Martinez.
- Jack Kesy as Gabriel Bolivar, a philandering rock star with an appetite for recreational drug use and one of the outbreak's few survivors.
- Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather, Ephraim's estranged wife.
- Miguel Gomez as Augustin "Gus" Elizalde, a gang banger just out of juvenile prison.
- Ben Hyland (season 1) and Max Charles (season 2) as Zach Goodweather, the son of Ephraim and his estranged wife Kelly.
- Pedro Miguel Arce as Felix, Gus' friend.
- Adriana Barraza as Guadalupe Elizalde, Crispin and Gus' mother.
- Anne Betancourt as Mariela Martinez, Nora's mother who suffers from dementia.
- Inga Cadranel as Diane, a Brooklyn native and Kelly's best friend.
- Francis Capra as Crispin Elizalde, Gus's brother who is a con artist always looking for an easy and profitable way out.
- Roger Cross as Mr. Fitzwilliam, Palmer's caregiver and head of security.
- Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders, an internet hacker hired by Palmer.
- Jayden Greig as Keene Luss, Joan Luss' son.
- Leslie Hope as Joan Luss, an attorney and one of the outbreak's few survivors.
- Daniel Kash as Dr. Everett Barnes, the director of the CDC.
- Regina King as Ruby Wain, Bolivar's intelligent and accomplished manager.
- Robert Maillet (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes) as the Master, an ancient vampire.
- Stephen McHattie as Mr. Quinlan, the head of a band of undead hunters who are sent to destroy the vampire outbreak.
- Melanie Merkosky as Sylvia Kent, Jim Kent's cancer-stricken wife.
- Drew Nelson as Matt Sayles, Kelly Goodweather's live-in boyfriend.
- Chloe O'Malley as Audrey Luss, Joan Luss' daughter.
- Jonathan Potts as Captain Doyle Redfern, pilot of the flight and one of the outbreak's few survivors.
- Kim Roberts as Neeva, Joan Luss' nanny and housekeeper.
- Nikolai Witschl as Ansel Barbour, one of the outbreak's few survivors.
- Joaquín Cosío as Angel Guzman Hurtado, known as "The Silver Angel". (season 2)
In 2006, del Toro pitched The Strain as a television series, but negotiations broke down when the network president at Fox Broadcasting Company asked him to make it a comedy. An agent suggested expanding the concept as a novel series instead. Del Toro asked Chuck Hogan to co-write the series, explaining: "I've written short stories in Spanish and English. I've written screenplays. But I'm not good at forensic novels. I'm not good at hazmat language and that CSI-style precision. When Stoker wrote Dracula, it was very modern, a CSI sort of novel. I wanted to give The Strain a procedural feel, where everything seems real." Hogan agreed after reading a page and a half of del Toro's 12-page project outline; the duo collaborated for the first year on a handshake, with no contract or publishing deal in place. The first installment, The Strain, was released in 2009. It was followed by 2010's The Fall and 2011's The Night Eternal.
After the first book's publication, studios and networks began making offers for the film and television adaptation rights, but del Toro and Hogan declined, not wanting a screen version to influence the way they were writing the books. After the third book's publication, the authors talked with every cable network that had expressed interest. FX was deemed most suitable because they wanted to follow the books closely and liked the idea of The Strain as a close-ended series consisting of three to five seasons. Del Toro stated that the first two novels can be covered by one season each, while The Night Eternal may be split into two or three seasons. The author is also open to creative detours that may develop as the series goes on, possibly incorporating material cut from the books. Del Toro intends to direct as many episodes as his busy schedule allows. Before the series order was announced, FX gave the writing team the go-ahead to script another ten episodes, which del Toro rewrote. FX president John Landgraf has stated that the series will consist of "39–65 episodes, no less, no more", adding "What if a television show could be just the length that is optimal for that story?"
Regarding the style of the show's production, del Toro stated: "Basically I'm trying to do what I do in my movies which is to show it as a reality, but as a reality that is stylized. It's not like CSI or The Wire, it's real but it feels a little stylized. But the way the camera work will be is very realistic. We want to keep the camera very documentary even if the look of the show is not. The look of the show is very designed. The style of the camera and the storytelling will be very loose. It will evolve from that feel of reality, and little by little we want to evolve into more stylish, horror feel that requires smoother camera moves, more suspense and atmosphere-driven moments so it will be a mixture. I don't think that mixture has been seen a lot on TV."
FX ordered a thirteen-episode first season for the series on November 19, 2013, and announced that the series would premiere in July 2014.
Del Toro and Cuse cast the series together. Stoll was cast as Eph Goodweather based on his performance in Midnight in Paris. John Hurt played Abraham Setrakian in the original version of the pilot, but later dropped out. The role was recast with David Bradley and his scenes were reshot with Bradley. Del Toro had previously expressed interest in casting Roy Dotrice, who played Setrakian in several live-action advertisements for the first novel. Kevin Durand, who appeared in Cuse's previous show Lost, was cast as Vasiliy Fet, although the character was originally created with regular del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman in mind. Lauren Lee Smith was originally cast as Kelly Goodweather, but was ultimately replaced by Natalie Brown. Sean Astin was cast as Jim Kent because del Toro and Cuse "thought it would be funny to have the most famous sidekick of all times be a betrayer". For the second season, Max Charles replaced Ben Hyland in the series regular role of Zach Goodweather.
The pilot episode began principal photography on September 17, 2013, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Shooting of the pilot was finished on October 31, 2013. FX ordered 13 episodes. Season one was expected to film from November 25, 2013, to April 30, 2014. A full writing staff was hired to script subsequent episodes. FX reportedly committed $500,000 to creature creation. Twelve swords used in the series were provided by Missoula, Montana-based bladesmith company Zombie Tools.
The original key art for the series prominently featured a worm, a vector of the vampiric virus, burrowing into a person's eye. Following complaints from members of the public, FX announced that they would replace the artwork on several of their billboards.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||July 13, 2014||October 5, 2014|
Season 1 (2014)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original air date||Production
|1||1||"Night Zero"||Guillermo del Toro||Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan||July 13, 2014||XSN01001||2.99|
|A disturbance inside the cargo hold of an inbound jet to JFK International Airport alarms the flight crew. Upon landing, the plane immediately loses all contact with ground control and all but one window shade are drawn. It is feared everyone aboard is incapacitated, possibly by a contagion or some other mechanism. The CDC Canary team, headed by Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, is called to investigate. Goodweather and Dr. Nora Martinez enter the plane, finding all passengers seemingly dead. They also discover strange parasitic worms on the plane and fear an Ebola-like plague could break out. Four people are unexpectedly found alive, including the pilot, Doyle Redfern, though none know what happened. While at JFK, Goodweather is approached by Abraham Setrakian, an elderly Spanish Harlem pawnbroker who insists the victims' bodies must be destroyed and the elaborately carved, coffin-like cabinet that was removed from the stricken plane's hold must not leave the airport. Meanwhile, recently paroled Gus Elizalde is hired by Mr. Eichhorst, a mysterious man connected to Eldrich Palmer, a wealthy and powerful entrepreneur. Gus is to retrieve the cabinet from the airport, and Eichhorst assures him there will be no difficulty in removing it. When Eph and Nora discover the cabinet missing, they are unaware that Jim Kent, their CDC co-worker, has improperly allowed its release from the quarantine area. An airport official is attacked and killed by an enormous human-like creature that uses a throat appendage to suck out blood, before smashing his head.|
|2||2||"The Box"||David Semel||David Weddle & Bradley Thompson||July 20, 2014||XSN01002||2.12|
|Gus delivers the cabinet to its destination, but is frightened off by strange noises inside it. The four survivors continue exhibiting symptoms, though the CDC releases them over Ephraim's protests and insistence that they are suffering from a viral infection and not carbon monoxide poisoning which is the "official" public explanation for the disaster. His CDC boss, Dr. Everett Barnes, removes him from the case, but Eph continues working to expose the worm-driven virus, focusing his attention on the large box he believes is the source of the contagion. Eichhorst visits his old enemy, Abraham Setrakian, who was jailed after being arrested at the airport. Setrakian vows to halt the Master's plan to create a vampire army, though his weak heart has hampered his efforts. Attorney and airplane survivor Joan Luss files a law suit against the airline while another survivor, rock star Gabriel Bolivar, bites a girl's neck, craving blood. Captain Redfern, who has been hospitalized, quickly deteriorates as his body begins transforming. Eph is surprised and confused when Mr. Arnot calls him saying his daughter, Emma, one of the victims, has returned home safely. Eichhorst grants Palmer's request to meet the Master. Eph discovers that Dr. Bennett, the medical examiner autopsying the victims, is missing, along with the victims' bodies. At the Arnot home, Emma attacks her father with a throat appendage.|
|3||3||"Gone Smooth"||David Semel||Chuck Hogan||July 27, 2014||XSN01003||2.30|
|Eichhorst's true appearance is revealed when, applying nose, ear, and throat prosthesis, he prepares himself to look more human. The four survivors continue to worsen. Captain Redfern is quarantined, but Eph and Nora are unable to treat him and his condition deteriorates. Jim Kent meets with Eichhorst, refusing to take any more bribes. Eichhorst offers for Jim's terminal wife to be admitted into an experimental cancer treatment trial in exchange for his continued cooperation. Right after Setrakian is released from jail, Nora seeks him out for information. He insists the victims' bodies must be destroyed. Elsewhere, Bolivar remains holed up in his penthouse, showing increasingly erratic behavior and strange physical transformations, including his atrophied penis falling off. After turning completely, Redfern escapes quarantine and flees to the hospital basement and feeds on stored blood. As Eph, Nora, and Jim approach, Redfern attacks. After a struggle, Eph bludgeons him to death with a fire extinguisher.|
|4||4||"It's Not for Everyone"||Keith Gordon||Regina Corrado||August 3, 2014||XSN01004||2.27|
|Eph and Nora, assisted by Jim, perform an autopsy on Redfern's transformed body and are completely baffled by his transformation. Jim confesses to Eph and Nora that he allowed the large box to leave the airport and has been accepting small bribes to help pay for his wife's medical bills. Eph, furious, strikes him. Elsewhere, Eldrich Palmer hires computer hacker Dutch Velders to disrupt the city's entire Internet and telecommunications systems. Meanwhile, Ansel Barbour, another survivor, tries to mask his worsening symptoms from his worried wife, Anne Marie. He insists she take their children to his sister's when he starts lusting for blood. Returning home, she finds the family dog dead and Ansel has chained himself inside the garden shed. He wants to attack her, but, still cognizant, restrains himself and pleads that she leave and never come back. An obnoxious neighbor appears, complaining about noise at the Barbour house. Learning he once struck her dog, Anne Marie tricks him into entering the shed and locks him inside with Ansel, where he is fed upon. Eph and Nora visit the Arnot household to verify Mr. Arnot's claim that Emma was still alive and returned home. They find Emma and her father fully infected. As they attack Eph and Nora, Setrakian arrives and decapitates father and daughter. He urges Eph and Nora to join his quest.|
|5||5||"Runaways"||Peter Weller||Gennifer Hutchison||August 10, 2014||XSN01005||2.03|
|After Gabriel Bolivar slaughters the urologist sent to treat him, his agent hires a "cleaner" to remove the body and any residual mess; Bolivar also kills the cleaner. Joan Luss, another survivor, turns more slowly. When her housekeeper, Neeva, sees Joan's inner vertical eyelids, she flees with the Luss children. Nora is repulsed by Setrakian's cold-blooded killing method of the infected, but Eph is more open to joining him. They plan to video record an infected vampire (or Strigoi, as Setrakian calls them) which Eph can show his superior, Dr. Everett Barnes, at the CDC. At the Barbour house, Eph and Setrakian find Ann Marie, who has hanged herself, unable to face life without Ansel. The fully turned Ansel and the neighbor are in the garden shed, and Eph video records Setrakian killing them. Eph takes the recording to Everett Barnes at the CDC, but quickly realizes he has been set up to be arrested for murdering Captain Redfern. He escapes with Jim Kent's help. Flashbacks reveal a young Abraham Setrakian arriving at a concentration camp commanded by a still-human Eichhorst. Observing Setrakian's craftsmanship, Eichhorst orders him to build a giant box and carve an intricate design on it. At night, Setrakian witnesses a strange creature feeding on sleeping prisoners and plots to kill it with a stolen silver knife. One night, Abraham's brother is a victim. Nora visits her dementia-impaired mother at the nursing facility. When a Strigoi attacks the residents, Nora and her mother flee to Nora's apartment. Vasiliy Fet, a city exterminator, notices city rats behaving strangely and tracks them to the sewers where he encounters subterranean Strigoi, barely escaping alive.|
|6||6||"Occultation"||Peter Weller||Justin Britt-Gibson||August 17, 2014||XSN01006||2.28|
|The FBI arrest Eph at his estranged wife Kelly's house, after her new boyfriend Matt contacts them. Before being taken away, Eph urges Kelly to take their son Zach and leave the city, telling her it is unsafe. Eichhorst forces Gus and Jim Kent to remove Redfern's body from the hospital morgue and dump it. Knowing that recently turned Strigoi return to their loved ones, Setrakian visits a plane victim's home intending to execute any infected he finds there but, physically weakened and outnumbered, he is nearly killed. To evade the FBI, Nora and her mother leave the apartment. With coming nightfall, the streets are unsafe, and Nora seeks refuge at Setrakian's pawnshop. Fet returns to his office and discovers his co-workers have been turned; he kills them, discovering that sunlight destroys the Strigoi. He tries persuading his estranged father to flee the vampire threat, with no success. An eclipse provides an opportunity for the Strigoi to feed and infect more victims during daytime. In the ensuring mayhem, Eph escapes while being transported by two FBI agents. Gus and Felix are attacked on the street by Dr. Bennett, now a Strigoi, and Felix is infected. Gus kills the Strigoi, but he and Felix are arrested. Eph goes to Setrakian's pawnshop where he is reunited with Nora.|
|7||7||"For Services Rendered"||Charlotte Sieling||David Weddle & Bradley Thompson||August 24, 2014||XSN01007||2.43|
|Joan Luss' husband, Roger, arrives home from a business trip unaware of the horrors awaiting him. He escapes vampires on the street, only to be ambushed and fed upon by his newly turned wife inside their house. Meanwhile, Eph and Nora, hiding out at Setrakian's pawnshop, gather weapons and supplies. At their colleague Jim Kent's apartment, they find him attempting to explain to his cancer-stricken wife that his actions (accepting bribes from Eldritch Palmer) were only intended to help her. She is unforgiving and leaves for the airport to take part in an experimental cancer treatment in another state. Jim is steadfast in his desire to make amends for his past misdeeds and vows to help Eph and Nora. They formulate a plan to use Jim as bait to lure Eichhorst into leading them to the Master, but the plan fails, and Eichhorst escapes. Elsewhere, Neeva, frightened by Joan's strange behavior, has kept the Luss children at her home, only to be countermanded by her own daughter, who insists on returning the children to their parents. At the Luss' house, Joan and a deliveryman vampire attempt to attack the group who barricade themselves in a wine cellar. A rebel band of vampires led by Mr. Quinlan arrive and kill Joan and the deliveryman vampire. They also kill Neeva's daughter, who was infected, but release the others unharmed.|
|8||8||"Creatures of the Night"||Guy Ferland||Chuck Hogan||August 31, 2014||XSN01008||1.91|
|Following their unsuccessful encounter with Eichhorst at Grand Central Terminus, Eph, Nora, Jim, and Setrakian regroup while awaiting the Master's retaliation for attacking Eichhorst. Making their way to Brooklyn, they break into a medical supply store to procure ultraviolet lamps to combat the vampires where they encounter Fet, who had the same idea. The group stocks up at a nearby convenience store but when vampires attack, they barricade themselves inside the store. The other customers, including computer hacker Dutch Velders, are shocked by the horrific events unfolding. Setrakian explains that the Master is controlling the vampires to specifically hunt them. During a skirmish outside, Jim is infected. Eph and Nora remove a worm from his face, only to realize it has spread throughout his body. Jim begs to be killed before turning. Setrakian concurs and Fet fatally shoots Jim. As the vampires are about to overrun the convenience store, the group escapes in a delivery truck parked outside.|
|9||9||"The Disappeared"||Charlotte Sieling||Regina Corrado||September 7, 2014||XSN01009||1.87|
|Eph and the others go to the Goodweather house in Queens, arriving just in time to save Zach from an infected Matt. Setrakian, Dutch, Fet, and Zach return to the pawnshop while Eph and Nora stay behind to burn Matt's body and wait for Kelly, who is missing. Dutch's apartment building has been infected, and Fet convinces her to come with them. At the pawnshop, Fet agrees to join Setrakian's mission, and Dutch admits to being responsible for crashing the communication networks for Eldritch Palmer. Elsewhere, Felix has fully turned into a vampire and, while en route to Rikers Island, attacks the occupants inside the police van, crashing it. Gus kills Felix before escaping. Kelly's friend Diane arrives at the Goodweather house, just after Eph and Nora have been intimate. After a short argument, Eph tells her to contact him if she hears from Kelly, then he and Nora return to the pawnshop. In the WWII flashback, Setrakian, armed with the knife he hid, tries to kill the Master while it feeds on the prisoners. He underestimates the creature's stealth and strength, and it crushes his fingers with its enormous hands. The following day, Eichhorst, after seeing Setrakian's injuries, sends him to the group about to be executed. The prisoners escape, thanks to a surprise Allied attack on the camp. Later, Eichhorst, fleeing the Allies, arrives at a secret bunker in the woods that houses the Master's coffin. There the Master transfuses a worm into his body, triggering Eichhorst's rebirth as a vampire.|
|10||10||"Loved Ones"||John Dahl||Gennifer Hutchison||September 14, 2014||XSN01010||2.22|
|At the pawnshop, Zach is able to track Kelly's phone on a laptop. Eph searches for her but discovers that a homeless woman had found the phone next to Kelly's abandoned car. A bloody tissue is inside. In flashbacks, Kelly is attacked at home by a newly turned Matt. She escapes but has been infected. Over the next 24 hours she gradually turns, and, thirsting for blood, arrives at Diane's house where she attacks Diane and her son. When Eph goes there searching for Kelly, he is forced to kill the infected. Eph finds Kelly's necklace in Diane's hand and breaks down, realizing Kelly almost certainly attacked and turned them. Dutch tells Setrakian it may be possible to undo the damage she caused to the city's communication networks but needs to infiltrate Eldrich Palmer's Stoneheart Group headquarters. She and Fet enter under the guise of city exterminators, but security spot Dutch. Palmer's assistant, Fitzwilliam and his team intercept them. Dutch is taken to Palmer, who reveals his plans for immortality, then orders Fitzwilliam to dispose of the intruders. Fitzwilliam instead releases them, admitting that he now doubts his boss' actions. Fet entreats him to join their cause, but Fitzwilliam, still loyal to Palmer, declines. Eph returns to the pawnshop and insults Dutch, who angrily leaves, preferring to take her chances on the street. Meanwhile, a fully turned Kelly is summoned by the Master, who meets her face-to-face and tells her to "rejoice."|
|11||11||"The Third Rail"||Deran Sarafian||Justin Britt-Gibson & Chuck Hogan||September 21, 2014||XSN01011||2.28|
|The group plan to infiltrate the Master's underground lair that Setrakian believes is near the 9/11 attack sites. Eph wants Nora to stay behind with Zach and her mother, who suffers from dementia. Nora refuses, and Eph instead tells Zach to look after Mrs. Martinez, leaving him the keys. Eph, Nora, Fet and Setrakian enter a deserted railway tunnel to search for the Master. Meanwhile, Zach, yielding to Mrs. Martinez's incessant demands for cigarettes, leaves the pawnshop to get her some. He finds a deserted grocery store, but when looters arrive, he hides in a back room and encounters a vampire. Zach narrowly escapes as Gus enters, armed with an ax. After escaping the police, Gus had returned home and discovered his infected family. He killed his brother and also the turned landlord, but left his mother alive, unable to harm her. Gus sends Zach safely on his way, then destroys the vampire and its victims. Meanwhile, Eph and the others locate the Master's lair only to find it littered with resting Strigoi. Eph hears Kelly's voice crying out for help, but Setrakian knows it is a trap leading them to the Master. The voice leads Eph into a large chamber containing the Master's coffin, only to be surrounded by Strigoi, The Master arrives and finally meets Eph face-to-face. The Master tries to kill Eph, but Fet, Setrakian and Nora arrive and set off a home-made UV light bomb, killing some Strigoi and repelling the Master. Setrakian wants to pursue his old nemesis, but is forced to retreat when the group come upon hundreds of newly turned vampires inside a cavern.|
|12||12||"Last Rites"||Peter Weller||Carlton Cuse and David Weddle & Bradley Thompson||September 28, 2014||XSN01012||1.97|
|Setrakian, Eph, Fet, and Nora return to the pawnshop. Zach, reunited with his father, claims nothing happened while they were away. Dutch Velders returns with computer equipment and a plan to use the Emergency Alert System to transmit Eph's warning about the vampire invasion. Elsewhere, Gus locates Alonso Creem, a former acquaintance he forces at gunpoint to provide him weapons, ammunition, and cash. Gus discovers Creem has unwittingly been transporting cargo containers containing vampires. After opening a container, Gus battles the vampires inside (and also Creem). Mr. Quinlan, a vampire, and his vampire-killing team arrive and destroy the remaining Strigoi. Mr. Quinlan and his team kidnap Gus, leaving Creem behind unharmed. Meanwhile, Dutch and Eph partially broadcast Eph's announcement before TV stations block the signal. Gabriel Bolivar breaks into the pawnshop and attacks Mrs. Martinez, infecting her, while Eichhorst and his vampire army storm the shop, forcing Setrakian and the others to escape through a secret passage. Before exiting, Nora decapitates her mother to prevent her turning, while Setrakian abandons his deceased wife Miriam's still-beating vampire heart. Flashbacks to 1967 reveal how Eichhorst exploited Setrakian's obsession with killing the Master to lure him into a trap, leaving Miriam unprotected; When Setrakian arrives home, he finds her infected, decapitates her and removes her worm-infested heart as a keepsake. In the present day, Eichhorst taunts Setrakian as he and the others are escaping. Later, the Master finally rejuvenates a dying Eldritch Palmer by dripping bodily fluid from his finger down Palmer's throat.|
|13||13||"The Master"||Phil Abraham||Carlton Cuse & Chuck Hogan||October 5, 2014||XSN01013||2.09|
|Having escaped the pawn shop, Eph, Setrakian and Fet regroup. They deduce that the Master needs his damaged coffin repaired and is nesting nearby. Eph and Fet set out a recon mission leading them to Gabriel Bolivar's renovated theater. Using his exterminator skills and historical knowledge of the area, Fet infiltrates the theater through an underground passage connected by the rain sewers to a nearby building. Once inside the theater, they discover the Master's coffin and surmise he is close by. Before retreating to their hideout, Fet removes a street manhole cover, flooding the sewer below with sunlight to block it from any strigoi. Meanwhile, Palmer becomes angry that the Master only restored his health rather than bestowing immortality. Eichhorst assures Palmer he will be rewarded once he completes the Master's work. Fitzwilliam, meanwhile, convinced Palmer has gone too far, leaves his boss' employ. Later, Palmer and Eichhorst confront Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Pierson and CDC Director Everett Barnes, who are planning to quarantine the entire city. Palmer tosses Pierson over a balcony, making it look like suicide, then he and Eichhorst coerce Barnes into joining them. Meanwhile, Eph, Fet, Setrakian, Nora, and Dutch Velders prepare to attack the theater. Nora suggests letting Zach accompany them after Eph becomes reluctant to leave him behind unprotected, knowing Kelly is seeking her son. In the tunnels beneath the theater, the group encounter a vampire mob trapped behind the sun shaft streaming through the manhole that Fet opened earlier. Fet uses dynamite to kill them. The group enters the theater, and fights more vampires, including Bolivar and Eichhorst, who are guarding the Master. Upstairs, Setrakian, Eph and Zach confront the Master and drive him outdoors into daylight, seemingly defeating him. Although severely burned by the sunlight, the Master escapes. Eichhorst, who Dutch has wounded, also escapes, along with Bolivar and the other strigoi. Setrakian and the others are stunned that sunlight failed to kill the Master. Defeated, they attempt to regroup, only for Zach to feign an asthma attack to trick them into stopping at Kelly's house for his medication. Zach instead retrieves a family photo album. Kelly, now a fully turned vampire, appears, calling to her son. Eph restrains Zach while shooting at Kelly, wounding her before she escapes. Setrakian warns Eph that the Master will use Kelly to track the group. Meanwhile, Mr. Quinlan tells Gus that the Master is one of an ancient group of vampires who has broken a truce amongst them. The Ancients need to recruit a human to help slay the Master, and Gus agrees to join them, wanting to avenge his family.|
The series has received generally positive reviews from critics, and has a Metacritic rating of 72 out of 100 based on 38 reviews. It currently holds an 87% "Certified Fresh" rating with an average score of 7.4 out of 10 on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Its consensus states "The Strain makes the most of its familiar themes through an effective mix of supernatural thrills and B-movie gore – though it may not appeal to everyone".
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If you see the trailers we did for the first book, I would love... some of the casting ideas were there. Roy Dotrice. I would love Roy Dotrice to play Setrakian, you know. He's a fantastic actor. And to have Roy Dotrice and Ron Perlman again after Beauty and the Beast – it would be a geek dream.
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