Eichorst brings Gabriel Bolivar back into the fold as a real character, who has been nothing but a cameo since he lost his dongle at the beginning of Season One. He gives us a mildly eerie episode opening, with the rock star dragging a body bag through an alley and a couple of NYPD officers falling victim to the worms and a sneer.
Palmer’s new assistant, Justine Feraldo, begins to have first, genuine doubts about her new job when Bolivar is brought into his loft as a proper vampire bodyguard and as an extra eye for the Master. Here, in the first characterization of her youth, we know that while she shares Palmer’s bravado and confidence, she has a moral ground of right and wrong that she will certainly uphold until she meets a tragic end or is forced to compromise.
Eph’s drinking habits continue, and despite making steps to cure their subjects, Eph has yet to really have an honest conversation with Zack about the whereabouts of Kelly, resulting in a ridiculously rushed sequence where he tries to run away and the sassy MTA bus driver is harsher on Zack than Eph is. So, when his son throws a hissy fit while destroying their lab samples, Goodweather attempts to scare his son straight into the face of truth, shoving Zack’s face into a vampire’s cage to make his point. This scene is followed swiftly by Eph making a not-so-eloquent monologue to the Master through his eyes and ears in the lab, not so different from Viggo Mortensen’s “You Will Suffer Me” in the Return of the King–but, as I said, a little sloppy, and with a cheaper hairpiece.
While we didn’t have a plot as strong for Setrakian as last week, a very bizarre revelation occurs this week, and only the audience and Nora know of it: David Bradley, as it turns out, isn’t actually 100 years old…
Not even close.
As it turns out, Abraham has been so desperate in his twilight years to destroy the Master with every lasting breath that he created a byproduct of the worms to extend his life, nearly threatening himself with blindness with every dose. Abraham isn’t quite so normal himself, so that pretty much leaves Nora as the only sensible person of the group left.
Fet and Dutch get even weirder this episode, particularly when being called out by Eph on their foreplay while eating Pringles. That’s true apocalyptic love right there.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, New York’s politicians and public figures attempt to determine what really is going on with the spread of this virus, and a “proper” display of hung corpses is made when Staten Island is recovered from the vampire horde, and it’s weirdly barbaric. It’s something I wouldn’t put past Red Sox fans or Detroit, but this seemed like a very…odd decision to be approved of by the Empire State. That being said, it says something about the state of a city in true peril and displays that New York City pride that’s prevalent in post 2001 media.
Gus and Vaun provide our action for this evening, with the most thrilling part of the week in their raid on Palmer’s Stoneheart company building, and while the heist appears that it could go successfully, the “good” vampires have a greeting planned for them by Palmer, unfortunately leaving Gus with no choice but to leave them for dead.
The Strain Episode 2×03 “Fort Defense” (6/10)
The episode premieres tonight at 10PM EST on FX