Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of The Strain season 4…
Three episodes from the end of a four year run and someone has put their foot down. Drawing together multiple threads in a seamless manner guaranteed to have audiences cheering and offering up opportunities for serious arse kicking antics to boot. High octane, low attention span requirements and satisfaction guaranteed are all up for grabs.
Starting off with a seat of your pants entrance back into Manhattan, Fet, Quinlan and their marine compatriot land that sucker with little ceremony and guns blazing. Cue Setrakian and Dutch followed in short order by Goodweather and his latest lady companion joining forces, before things get kicked up a notch. Eichorst is grovelling, his Master remains unimpressed while Gus changes sides, then gets sold down the river while the Quinlan Fet combo come into full effect.
David Bradley who has been woefully absent for a majority of season four but gets acres of screen time here, one barnstorming hero moment and kick starts proceedings with limitless grumpy old man shenanigans. Bridges are being blown, show downs left right and centre, as well as Strigoli still running rampant and unchecked, means The Strain has finally gotten a sense of urgency and things are getting interesting.
Numerous times Setrakian and Eichorst have been in similar situations, where nothing stands between the demise of one and victory of the other only for barriers to come between them. What we have going on here is a power shift similar to the end of season two, except this time they are not heading off into the night having escaped a Manhattan under siege. This time we have Quinlan and Fet on one side unable to help while Goodweather, Dutch and company battle legions of possessed Strigoli attempting to make them the last meal. Suddenly everything gets a sense of cohesion whilst nostalgia brings back memories from season one dropping all those puzzle pieces into place.
In all honesty The Strain has had a bumpy road suffering from inconsistencies which differed episode to episode sometimes season to season. Our opening introduction to Setrakian, Goodweather, Zak and Dutch was chequered and fraught with mundane moments. Flashbacks have always been a saving grace, whether revealing more about Eichorst and Setrakian or The Master and Quinlan. It was there that the series gained depth and retained a faithful audience. With the inevitable now happening I can only hope it has enough surprises left to leave us with a good finale and satisfying amounts of closure.