Martin Carr reviews the eleventh episode of The Strain season 2…
This is a two hander with some history thrown in. Split evenly between The Mayfield Hotel and Nazi Germany circa 1931 to 1935, The Strain proves adept once more at weaving a compelling web. You always had the inkling that Thomas Eichorst was a coward, with an empowerment grounded in malice. A suspicion which until now had no basis in fact.
As so often happens this transformation from kind-hearted failure, to calculating moral vacuum is over a woman. But this is no mistake. Her attraction and repulsion are warranted by Eichorst’s own warped view of the world. That he subsequently choses career over saving a life marks his final descent into the abyss. These flashbacks which illustrate his origins and rise to seniority are designed to promote sympathy. What the makers have succeeded in doing is revealing the monster which could exist in us all. Given the wrong combination of circumstance, it is more than likely that everyone can make bad choices. That we all have the capacity to learn from these mistakes is what separates us from Eichorst. His failing is that he has remained unchecked, unchallenged and immortal for too long. Aside from Setrakian who is obsessed by his own agenda, there is no one who is aware, let alone able to threaten him. It is here that The Strain excels.
Elsewhere we have a rescue party and evacuation group, who are looking to leave on the one hand and continue searching on the other. Fet, Nora and Goodweather track Dutch to Eichorst’s bolthole and save the day. While Gus and the ‘Silver Angel’ make sure their loved ones make it out in one piece. But as I have said already these events are very much on the periphery. Only when the rescue mission has concluded does an emotional impact become apparent.
Visibly shaken by the ordeal of Eichorst I suspect herself and Fet will now become inseparable. Very much the white knight in this equation, he has proven himself more than a match for anything which comes his way. Coming up against literal dead ends in The Mayfield Hotel he dynamites his way to her salvation. A blunt instrument who will not let his progress or passion be diminished by any amount of obstacles. In diametric opposition to Eichorst, who would rather take the easy option of ignorance when faced with any life changing personal event. Which leaves room for one more to complete the equation. Our opportunist. Which in this case relates to the owner of our Occido Lumen. An object with a history of destroying the possessor and those around them. With minimal conversation and a short taxi ride, we now face the prospect of it being owned by someone infinitely more dangerous than either Palmer, Eichorst or Setrakian. At least they know how it works. You wouldn’t give a hand grenade to someone without explaining the mechanics now would you. That’s just suicide surely?