The Strain S02E10 “The Assassin” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Watch, Wednesdays, 10pm
Writer: Liz Phang
Director: Phil Abraham
Essential Plot Points:
- Eph tries to assassinate Palmer, fails and hits Coco instead.
- Palmer demands that the Master save Coco’s life. Despite Eichhorst’s mocking response, surprisingly the Master does so.
- Setrakian finds the Lumen after a very long and boring search. Then loses it when someone hits him over the head.
- Eichhorst kidnaps Dutch and forces her into Fifty Shades Of Grey cosplay.
The “Previously on” montage this week finishes with Eph vowing, “I’m going to kill Eldritch Palmer.” Remember how exciting that sounded when Eph first said it? That feels like an ice age ago, and now he’s finally getting around to the deed, it’s kinda difficult to work up any enthusiasm any more.
Plus he cocks it up. Perhaps he should have eased up on the booze. “Dutch, Dutch… remind me: which Eldritch Palmer am I aiming at again?”
Admittedly, missing Palmer and nearly killing Coco is an unexpected twist. As is Eph and Dutch being caught by the police. Suddenly, a talky, dull episode takes a turn for the better, helped by the nicely choreographed strigoi attack in the police station. But whenever things too get too exciting, the show reverts to form and insists on subjecting us to easily cuttable scenes of Setrakian wandering around a series of increasingly dull apartments. It’s a big ask of an actor to make searching underwear drawers and cursing at peeling wallpaper look exciting, and it says something that the highlight of these scenes is Fet discovering some vintage jazz mags.
The Master saving Coco’s life is an intriguing development. What’s in it for him? Is he really worried that Palmer will carry out his threat to stop co-operating? That seems unlikely. Presumably there’s going to be some catch.
As for the torture porn cliffhanger… eh? What’s Eichhorst’s interest in Dutch? Whatever it turns out to be, it surely a sign that the next episode is going to be a very uncomfortable watch indeed.
- No Zach!
- No Kelly!
- The outcome of the bungled assassination is pleasingly unexpected.
- This smile. And this line: “You are demanding that the Master come here and uses his own divine and invaluable essence just so that you can continue fornicating with your secretary.”
- The scene in the cell with Victim Cop getting a tongue-lashing is pretty exciting.
- Feraldo is magnificent once again. You wouldn’t want to vote for her but watching her wind up the stuck up rich crowd in immensely entertaining. The Mayor looks like he’s going to have a heart attack.
- Dutch’s whinge about not being able to live in a ménage à trois is amusing too (though her vision of relationship bliss is rather dependent on Nikki and Fet being of a like mind, which is unlikely).
- Usual whinge – not enough happens, and most of what does isn’t particularly interesting, especially Setrakian endlessly searching through drawers and bookshelves.
- And when he does find the Lumen it’s thanks to one of drama’s dreariest clichés – a creaky floorboard.
- Plus, the Lumen looks like a limited edition version of The Lord Of The Ring (with suspiciously new-looking pages).
- How come Palmer doesn’t surreptitiously pay some cop to kill Eph, or let him get into a situation where he can kill Eph himself? If Eichhorst can bribe the cops, it should be a cinch for Palmer to do likewise. Palmer and Eph’s relatively polite little chat in the police station seems far too prosaic. Palmer would surely be out for blood. Perhaps we’re supposed to think that he arranged the strigoi attack, bit that doesn’t feel like his style either.
And The Random:
- Sorry, but this is exactly what this expression seems to be saying.
- How come it took this guy so long to attack Setrakian? Do strigoi need to go to the loo or something? Also when Setrakian, Dutch and Fet go the apartment with the partying strigoi, somebody buzzes them in. Did those strigoi think they were just late guests?
- Does anybody believe that Dutch looked anything other that drop dead gorgeous in her yearbook photo?