The Strain - Season 2 Episode 4: "The Silver Angel" TV Episode Review
Written by Giuseppe Infante
Directed by J. Miles Dale
Written by Chuck Hogan
2015, 47 minutes, Rated TV-MA
Episode premiered on August 2nd, 2015
Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather
David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian
Mía Maestro as Dr. Nora Martinez
Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet
Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer
Warning! There are spoilers in this recap.
Another chapter in The Strain has arrived and is certainly an upgrade from last week's serious-toned, slow-paced episode. Several differing stories are evolving, as we meet a Mexican actor and luchador, Redhook becomes the next spot for quarantine and decontamination, Gus chats with The Master through his vampire mommy, Setrakian and Dutch seek Fitzwilliam's help, Palmer continues to subtly wreak havoc in NYC, and Eph and Nora's cure works, though Fet gets captured by a clean-up squad along the way. The stories here are all intriguing and important, and the pacing this week flows skillfully, leaving viewers drooling to sink their teeth into next week's episode.
The opening sequence of "The Silver Angel" is confusing at first, seeing a Mexican wrestling match lead into hunting a vampire. Presently, someone is watching a VHS cassette tape of the Mexican B-movie and as it gets fast forwarded through, we see a man, who we learn is the Silver Angel. Now working as a dishwasher, he was once an actor and Gus recognizes him after going to his restaurant a couple of times. Gus confronts him and he denies being the Silver Angel. Does this guy have experience with vampires? This character needs way more fleshing out and probably could have been introduced differently, though I was still left asking myself questions and wanting to know more.
After the opening sequence and commercial, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" is rocking while Eph, Nora and Fet let the infected vampire loose upon a nest in an abandoned psychiatric ward. It's funny they chose the song "Fortunate Son" for lead-in to the episode. The song was an anti-war anthem during the Vietnam War, and has been used to protest military actions and elitism in the United States. This episode deals with martial law, the Federal Reserve and the war against the strigoi. The song is being played as the "good guys" fight back against vampires with the virus, alluding to the constant battles throughout The Strain.
This scene brought me right back into the episode after the puzzling opening sequence, as the story continues from where viewers left off last week. Eph and Nora continue to track the infected vampires, only to learn the Master knows something is wrong, evident by the infected vamps throwing themselves off the roof of a building. By episodes end, they begin discussing how to disperse the virus on a mega scale, with Eph eager to make a move in contrast to Nora wanting to take a step back and reassess the situation. In this scene, Eph's character is in a totally different place than when the show started. His complexity is shown through his drinking, love for his son and eagerness to get the cure out (though it is a bad idea to rush it).
Meanwhile, Fet left the duo to go blow up the train station and block the vampire's tunnel to Redhook. After a funny Wile E. Coyote reference, he encounters four of Justine Feraldo's officers and has some excellent dialogue with them just before the dynamite explodes. After exchanging a couple of blows in a scuffle, they capture him. Kevin Durand has really brought the character of Fet to life. He was comical throughout the episode, but still keeps his bad-ass repute. Sometimes you need to laugh during the horror of it all.
Elsewhere in New York City, Setrakian and Dutch head to Staten Island to seek help from Fitzwilliam in infiltrating Palmer and his diabolical plans with Eichorst and the Master. They contact his brother, a firefighter named Curtis, and have a conversation at his firehouse. Declining to help, Setrakian knows he eventually will come around. Palmer, on the other hand, is doing damage in Manhattan. At the Federal Reserve, he lures the highest ranking officials to a meeting, only to have them slaughtered by Bolivar and his gang of vamps as they left the building. With all of these bigwigs dead, the market is about to plunge and where will everyone's money go?
We are treated to another flashback of young Setrakian and Palmer, as the duo travels to an Austrian nunnery to seek the Occido Lumen in 1966. They find a little boy hiding and claims Mother Superior burned the book. The boy runs off and Setrakian chases him into the catacombs of the nunnery. He has his first encounter with the strigoi, and properly kills them. Back upstairs, Eichorst pays a visit to Palmer. He persuades him to give up his crusade with Setrakian and he officially joins "the dark side."
The episode is pleasing and left me satisfied yet yearning for more. Especially after a whole episode goes by, and we only get a tiny taste of Kelly and the feelers – I want more! The feelers sniff out Zach's scent to a batting cage where he and Eph went to "bond." The outcome of Zach meeting his vamp-mom is building up and better pay off in the end. I don't think I've wanted two characters to interact more than these two. It is an extremely unique situation and one that hasn't been too over-used. I especially think it is hysterical that Zach now technically has vamp-siblings. MVP scene of this week goes to Gus visiting his mother, who is a strigoi. The Master channels through her and has an in-depth conversation with Gus, which makes him a stronger character. The Master broke him down like a psychiatrist pointing out everything "wrong" with him. Hopefully the next episode has the two mothers and sons reconnect, but my gut says both will be stretched out longer. Also, please more on the Silver Angel and no more new characters.