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FX (ended 2017)
I think those critics who FX quotes claiming that Season of The Strain is the best yet have been taking a few too many drugs. Assuming that they even exist.

It's not that the episode is bad. But it's really same-old same-old. We've already seen Eichhorst's blood-processing factory. We've already seen Creem and his black market schemes. We've seen the burden that collaborators can put on themselves and others. We've seen a ragtag-human underground fight the strigoi and take some heavy hits in return. Yes, the creative team is showing the final results of these: when they're made flesh, to so speak. But they don't seem interested in taking it to the next level. Shouldn't the nightmares that they've been hinting at for the last three years be more horrific now that they've come to pass?

FX brings in is S4-positive critics for another round of praise. "It's better than Cats."

It's like the show tried to shock us so much in the first three years that they left themselves with nowhere to go.

Probably the most effective scene in "New Horizons" that does the most with the new strigoi apocalypse is the opening scene. Desai and his wife Selah are having dinner. Selah ain't too thrilled with being married to a guy who is essentially a concentration camp manager. Eichhorst pays them a visit, demands bigger B-positive baby output, and makes it clear that Desai is going to deliver or else. Heavy emphasis on the "or else". It features Eichhorst at his most threatening, and makes Desai a little more sympathetic. He's wants good things for himself and his wife. If he has to turn over a few dozen other women's babies, well, so be it.

Let's take the other plots in rising order of importance. First off is Gus, his cousin, Raul, Crispy Creem, and their ragtag bunch of black marketers. A rival gang of black marketers move in on their turf, and Gus sneaks into their base and discovers that they're ex-cops. He and Creem argue a bit about the best way to go in. Gus also gives Raul a "Welcome to the gangs" speech. At the end, they kill the cops and Gus gets the credit even though Crispy is the one who gunned most of them down.

And... I have no idea where they're going with this. I have no interest in this: does anyone? It's a gang making money (or whatever they charge) in return for providing black market goods, in a strigoi apocalypse. Other than reminding us that there's an effective team of fighters out there with a connection to the still-absent Abraham… so what? This subplot isn't giving us any insights into Gus, or his cousin Raul, or Crispy Creem. So I have no idea what it's for or what it signifies. Mostly it means we get more Miguel Gomez and Jamie Hector, and less David Bradley. Sorry, but I'd rather have Mr. Bradley.

Subplot Two is Eph and Alex. Their underground gets wiped out by a strigoi raid, and Alex can't bring herself to shoot her brother Jason (who is finally named!) when he gets strigoi-stung. Eph is glad to put a bullet in his head.

They flee to an abandoned fashion design shop, and Eph finally tells Alex that his kid hit the button on the whole nuclear winter thing and made the strigoi the masters of the country. It's kind of touching in a way, and we do find out that Eph has been off the bottle for the last nine months since Illumination Day.

Mostly it's Eph telling us what has been obvious: Alex and Jason (??) have lit a fire in him and now he's ready and willing to take on the strigoi. Which just got a whole bunch of underground fighters killed, and Eichhorst didn't even bother coming to Philadelphia like he promised last week. But oh well.

At the end, Eph discovers that strigoi are moving humans out to the New Horizon farms in the country. Or so the Partnership says *bum bum bum*. More likely they're being taken out to more blood-letting factories for forcible removable of the red stuff, but oh well.

Subplot One is Dutch. Apparently the price she paid for seducing a guard two episodes ago was... absolutely nothing. Now Desai wants her to basically play the Jerry Lewis role in his version of The Day the Clown Cried. She has to reassure mothers who are learning that their first babies will be taken away from them by Desai's Handmaid's Tale set-up. If Dutch doesn't then she'll be transferred to a far worse place. There's a cheery implied threat of rape over this entire thing. Because it's not an episode of The Strain unless Dutch gets a rape threat.

So Dutch does it after one mommy-prisoner gives the standard collaborator's rationale: if you don't do it, you'll suffer and they'll find someone else who will do it. Why Desai thinks Dutch is any good with women, who knows? Yes, she's more sociable--barely--then Nurse Greenwood, played by Lisa Ryder who is the second Forever Knight star to appear on The Strain after Nigel Bennett. I suspect there's some kind of an in-joke here.

Another mommy-prisoner accuses Dutch of selling out and getting rug burns from Desai. So hey, we get implied rape threats and supervisor-underling sexual harassment/favor-buying in one episode! Anyhoo, Dutch goes through with it but both she and the mommy snap during the C-section. Dutch grabs Desai, takes him hostage, and he admits that he wasn't going to honor his deal with Dutch anyway. When the alarms go off, Desai manages to break away and Dutch runs off. She just happens to find the same-building blood processing factory, which we already saw Eichhorst building last season. A bunch of black raincoat-clad strigoi move in on Dutch, and... well, that's the end of the episode.

Like I said, this is all stuff we've pretty much seen. There really isn't much going on in the Dutch subplot that we didn't see two weeks ago in "The Blood Tax". Other than that this time she caves to Desai when she didn't then. She's in a hopeless situation, and there's no one around to rescue her, so presumably she'll get some kind of convenient deus ex machina rescue. Gus and Crispy are doing... whatever. And Eph and Alex are not-so-hot on the trail of New Horizons.

Eph and Dutch are worse off than they were. There's no sign of Abraham (boo!), Vasiliy, Quinlan, or Zach (yay!). The Strain plods on for yet another week.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (14)
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Aug 08, 2017
OMG!! That ending was horrific!! Just like Cloud Atlas.
Aug 08, 2017
This show just needs to go bye-bye LOL
Aug 09, 2017
I gave up on it two years ago with the "Brain Dead Idiot Kid" character.
Aug 09, 2017
This is the last season and it's really good.
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