Martin Carr reviews the fourth episode of The Strain season 2…
My experience of Mexican wrestling movies is limited to Nacho Libre. That ‘comedy’ which proved to me Jack Black should stick to what he does best. By which I mean singing and Kung Fu Panda sequels. That The Strain opens on just such a B-movie without context, in which our masked hero fights supernatural foes caused issues for me. As a way of shoehorning in back story and relevance it felt contrived.
You see my problem with The Strain has always been simple. It felt like a collection of disparate story lines with no sense of cohesion. And this opening smacked of someone falling back on bad habits. Government characters, central protagonists and peripheral hangers-on doing their own thing. It felt like an AA group arguing over a bar tab. However one silver lining was the re-emergence of Augustin Elizade.
Played with conviction by Miguel Gomez and subsequently recruited by The Ancients, Augustin has become a mercenary Daywalker. That Abraham Setrakian also formed a pact with them just adds more fuel to the fire. World financial markets are under threat, global domination is on the cards and Goodweather’s son continues having mummy issues. In a sequence designed to keep the most redundant storyline alive, we are forced once again to sit through bonding sessions between Ephraim and his progeny. Beyond this the merits of ‘Silver Angel’ can be found for the most part in flashback.
Featuring Jim Watson and Charlie Gallant as Setrakian and Palmer respectively, this is growing into an essential part of The Strain’s appeal. Defined as intellectual adventurer and financial sponsor, these men have formed a friendship based on need rather than mutual respect. Their seemingly shared goal was always destined to end in tears. And that we are not privy to its conversational demise, will remain a talking point for another time. On the other hand Abraham’s method of fighting old age is definitely up for discussion.
Boiling up, diluting down and ingesting worms through your eyeballs has to have ramifications. Just as Palmer is now reliant on The Master for health, so it would seem is Abraham. That he is seeking to destroy this source of youth also remains suitably ironic given the circumstances. Setrakian’s pact with The Ancients also raises questions of motive which are worth exploring. Something that could also be said of Augustin following on from his pivotal encounter this week. However foregoing conjecture for a moment let us concentrate on facts.
There are four distinct factions all converging on Red Hook for different reasons. At its epicentre are a vaccine, a shed load of secrets and an irate teenager with mummy issues. Regardless of any minor issues, there are definitely interesting times ahead for The Strain in the weeks ahead.