The Strain - Season 2 Episode 8: "Intruders" TV Episode Review
Written by Giuseppe Infante
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson
2015, 47 minutes, Rated TV-MA
Episode premiered on August 30th, 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.
The opening and closing scenes of "Intruders" would be interesting to see spliced to play the narrative arc in one linear motion picture. The title refers to the subplot involving Kelly, the now vampire ex-wife of Eph, and her pursuit to capture her human son, Zach. The Feelers were human children but are now strigoi larva, or "little spider monkeys," as Fet described in the previous episode. They are her new brood, and they are fierce as fu-fire. With their own innate being, they will sacrifice themselves for her wellness. She is their mother, too. In the final scene she "intrudes" the comrades' Redhook fortress and the Feelers show their loyalty.
But before Kelly and Zach's face to face encounter, Eph and Zach have a side mission: acquire a rifle to snipe and kill Eldritch Palmer. What could have been done in a better fashion is the acquisition of a rifle to kill Eldritch Palmer. Well, it just so happens Fet knows a black market dealer who can help with the rifle crisis. Okay, fine, Fet is a nut. But is acquiring a rifle really an obstacle necessary to take up a decent chunk of an episode? No, but at least Zach is not being a bratty, snot-nosed prick and seems to be gaining respect for his father, though he cannot resist his mother's call for help by letting her in their headquarters. The first official encounter between Zach and Kelly is a nice teaser of what is to be a drawn-out game of cat and mouse (hopefully).
What the creators have decided to put in front of viewers in this episode is not as significant, or entertaining, other than the above plotline and the recently added Quinlan (who is in this episode for a short amount of screen time, and I expect to be more involved as the rest of the season plays out). Viewers are involved with the ultra-creepy couple, Eldritch Palmer and Coco Marchand. Their relationship is unraveling way to slow for its stock value and the screen time should be devoted to more prominent matters, like fighting the walking parasites invading New York City and figuring out a cure (so Eph's trip to Washington was a total bust). We see 'Eldco' lying in bed and lounging around the office bickering about why he won't let her in. This is awful and cliché ridden and makes me want to fast forward. Interest in Coco has plummeted as her creep factor has risen. No longer are there any concerns about her motives or origins, but she is portrayed as a desperate and naive girl trying to make it in the big city.
We also have the return of Gus, the Gupta family and the Silver Angel. This is ridiculously forced and lost any momentum that was left. When the Silver Angel was introduced, he was an enigma, even though his presence was slightly scruffy. Now, he is a mere bore. When Vaun was killed, Gus lost his mojo, but hopefully Quinlan will ignite a spark in him and he'll get back to kicking ass and taking names. He started out the season a bad mother trucker, ripping a strigoi stinger out with his bare hands, and has now been brought down to a sweetheart lover boy, hanging around the restaurant and hooking up with Mr. Gupta's daughter.
Oh, are they still chasing the Lumen, you ask? YES! Setrakian and Fet are still on the hunt for the ancient book. The duo worked well together in previous episodes, but this time they fall flat. Setrakian is in a bidding war with Eichorst for the Occeido Lumen. The shady Cardinal is playing mind games, upping the price on both ends. In the end, he doesn't even have the book and they must look for Rudyard Fonescu.
It seems like everyone is losing their mojo or being killed off. Fet, Nora, Joanne, The Silver Angel, Gus, Vaun and Fitzwilliam (R.I.P.). This was the first time the end scene could not come fast enough. Hopefully the show is in a mid-season funk and will pick up in the final four episodes in the season. This week, Kelly and Zach are keeping the show episode from derailing off the hinges. Watching "Intruders" was like eating a dry hamburger between two really delicious pieces of bun. And Dutch wasn't even in this episode.