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The Strain S01E04: "It's Not for Everyone"

Perhaps "It's Not for Everyone" wasn't for everyone, but thanks to scenes featuring Eph yanking an organic feeding tube out of an infected corpse's mouth, the Spooky Geek's wife feeding their asshole neighbor to her bloodthirsty husband, and Setrakian slicing off the head of a little girl (well, former little girl) with a cane sword, it most certainly was for me. The Strain built on its great third episode with more gore, more suspense, and more scares, and the series is quickly becoming a piece of campy horror candy that goes down so easy, the wait between episodes is starting to feel cruel. I'd watch the entire first season right now if it was plopped down in front of me, forgoing bathroom breaks with a bucket and an open window so that I wouldn't have to stop. 

Yes, the show got off to an uneven start. And I don't mean to suggest that The Strain is the new The Wire (Vampwire?) or anything. It still has flaws that are preventing it from shedding the somewhat backhanded-compliment label of "fun" (no one called Breaking Bad "fun!"). However, four episodes into The Strain's run, we now know what to expect. 

In fact, sometimes we know too much about what to expect; this is, after all, an outbreak series and a vampire series, and both types of stories tend to follow incredibly well-worn paths. The Strain is currently something of a cross between Dracula and Outbreak, minus the frilly clothes and monkeys. Scientists look through microscopes, families wonder why daddy is drinking blood from the steak tray, and house pets are senselessly slaughtered.

But The Strain is more unique than your average bug or bloodsucker tale because it's combining the two to rewrite what we thought we knew about vampires. Series creator Guillermo del Toro recently wrapped up a press binge during the Television Critics Association press tour and Comic-Con where he repeatedly said the same thing: The Strain is here to de-sexify vampires. I'm pretty sure Count Chocula's dick never fell off, and the germs that killed Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion didn't make her shoot a fleshy blood straw out of her face. The autopsy scene that highlighted "It's Not for Everyone" was exactly what makes The Strain feel just fresh enough. The show's science-first attitude toward these monsters is like crack for a guy like me, someone who likes to look under the hood and regularly dissected Walkmans in his youth. (I'm aware that many outbreak stories have delved into zombies, but an outbreak of vampirism is new to me; have you read or watched anything else that's similar?)

Let's review what we know about these creatures based on the very graphic and grotesque autopsy Eph performed on the Pilot. (Note: I watched this scene while eating stir-fried Thai vermicelli noodles. I recommend that you avoid doing the same!) I imagine that while crafting the biology of these monsters, Guillermo del Toro thumbed through a zoology book and cherry-picked the most disgusting anatomical features of the animal kingdom, then squeezed them into the shape of a human being. That means The Strain's creatures might share certain traits with mollusks, reptiles, insects, and anything else you don't want to share a sleeping bag with. The mystery of the Rocker's missing genitals was solved with the discovery of the Pilot's cloaca, a pee-and-poop chute that makes going to the bathroom more efficient. The guy's neck contained some flappy folds that Eph said would serve as the vestibular system, which helps control spatial orientation, equilibrium, and balance. So obviously the way to stop these things is to punch them in the flappy neck folds, then stick a cork in their cloaca until they burst like an overfilled water balloon or that guy from Big Trouble in Little China.


And the stinger! Seeing him pull that thing out of the Pilot's mouth like a bunch of magician scarves was everything we wanted it to be. Somewhat like the neck siphon of the geoduck clam, which is honestly one of the grossest evolutionary features Mother Nature has ever created and an ingredient that's way too common on Food Network competition shows, the stinger can project from the body for feeding and then retract when it's no longer needed. And when Eph yanked it out, the result was a diarrhea fountain of ammonia. Cool. 

The survivor update this week belonged to the Spooky Geek, who—just as I hoped for last week—ate his dog. I've got nothing against dogs, but I really enjoyed that. And then the Spooky Geek's wife suddenly became one of the series' best characters. She's so loyal! Even after she caught her hubby chugging meat juice (red flag, ladies), she still stuck by his side. Of course, to his credit, he chained himself up inside the shed and begged her to leave, resisting the voice in his head that was instructing him to "rip your throat out and drink from you." Maybe that's not your idea of romance, but seeing these two together tickled my heart. Especially when wifey tricked the dog-abusing neighbor into the shed so the Spooky Geek could have dinner. That was fantastic. I'm really hoping to see more of this vampire-human cooperation as more and more loved ones find their partners losing hair and consuming raw beef. 


On less-awesome side of things, Gus remains completely outside the action. I'm assuming he'll be in the loop before the season ends, but as of right now, he's on a totally different show. I'm not even seeing a possibly entry point for the character, given what he's done so far: He drove the box in for Thomas Eichorst, he returned a clock to Abraham Setrakian (NYC is like a small town), and now he's stealing cars. Maybe he accidentally steals a vampiremobile? Maybe his landlord is a vampire? Probably his dumb brother gets mixed up in things, right? Whatever it is, it can't happen soon enough, because it's frustrating when The Strain gets interrupted by The Gangbanger Diaries. Hurry it up, Gus!

Thankfully, The Strain is starting to offer answers before we even ask questions, which is a good sign. The vampire conspiracy, led by Eldritch Palmer's alliance with Eichorst, hatched a plan to slow internet speeds and limit access so that pesky CNN iReporters can't spread the word that New York City is under attack. I'm not sure it's possible for one sexy euro hacker to clog up all the intertubes of a city as big as New York, but if I'm going to believe that a tiny worm can make someone's penis fall off, I supposed I'd better start believing the tech stuff, too. 

Meanwhile, Eph is continuing to grow on me. I loved the way he referred to the post-transformation Pilot as a "thing" and a "monster," instead of using terms that relate to human beings. Despite being a star in a field that asks him to heal people, he already recognizes that these "things" are beyond salvation, with no hesitation or guilt. Heroes often make a desperate effort to save these kinds of infected folks, but not Eph. He can't kill 'em soon enough. 

Plus, if The Strain wants to, it can give Eph a bit of a reverse arc. Corey Stoll's ridiculous hairpiece isn't just there for us to laugh at, right? I suspect that the naturally bald actor is wearing that rug because Eph's going to get infected at some point (especially if he keeps exposing himself the way he did during the Pilot's autopsy). The show will need to transform him, and as we've already seen, hair loss is a big part of that. Then we'll be able to witness Eph's internal struggle as he learns just how human these creatures are or are not while he experiences becoming one firsthand. I haven't read the books The Strain is based on, so I have no idea whether I'm on the right track, but that's my guess!

Congratulations, The Strain. With your cloaca talk, beheaded children, and dog carcasses, you have passed the 4-Episode Test™. I was excited after Episode 1, annoyed and ready to quit after Episode 2, and delightfully disgusted after Episodes 3 and 4. I'm totally on board with this show. What about you? 


NOTES

– So far that's two hackers, both of them women if you're keeping count!

– Emma, still jamming to "This Old Man!" R.I.P. Emma. We miss you already!

– Jim with that jab on Eph: "You may not understand this, Eph, but I would do anything to save my wife." Ouch. That got Jim punched in the mouth. 

– Is it really that easy to steal a car from a parking garage?

– That was Jamie Hector (The Wire's Marlo) as the leader of the car thieves. 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/4/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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This show is absolutely insane, and in a good way!
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I like this show. But I'm really getting tired of the "Stupid" that seems to happen in every episode.
Back when they said, "Oh, no, it's not a CDC problem it's Carbon Monoxide poisoning from a faulty plane. WHAT?!? So your telling me the 4 people who lived were Immune to Carbon Monoxide poisoning? I don't think you can be immune to that. That was a stupid.
The woman with her "sick" husband in the shed and dead dog. I understand her being off kilter, but this woman is beyond the pale of just about anything any sane person would do. Her husband looks like Death, is telling her to go away and that he wants to eat her, and she is just standing there like, "O.k.... maybe if he could just give me a sign". What?!?
Eph and Co. almost get killed by one of these things and so what do they do? Hey lets go find another one. But here's a great idea, lets not bring anything to defend ourselves with. What?!? It's just dumb.
Eph's co-worker, Nora, and the "Poor little girl". Wait a min. Wasn't she one of the people who pronounced her DOA. What Nora figured she got better...(She turned me into a Newt..... I got better). So she's heartbroken that they had to kill a little girl who was already dead?
I mean it's a fun show, but I'm really getting tired of this.
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This show getting better although I miss the rat exterminator in this one , I do think they need to get rid of the assistant going about moral ethics please their vampires Kill or be killed. The old guy needs to give out more swords as I can't see how he's going to kill 200 or more vampires ? Whats the story with the rich guy I though once he got bit by the master he immortal looks like not? Also the gangbangers is a weak part of the story I not that interested too predictible !
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The Gangbanger Diaries nearly made me choke on my snikers. hilarious.
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Is it really that easy to steal a car from a parking garage?

i guess. if for some reason you need to valet park in a parking garage and only have 1 attendant who does not lock your keys up
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i also liked when goonies/hobbit said shitty shit shit in the eposode.
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great ep, but i agree with:

because it's frustrating when The Strain gets interrupted by The Gangbanger Diaries. Hurry it up, Gus!

he's a cool cat & all, but get on with it.
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The acting of Sean Astin was the scariest part of the whole episode.
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Well you saw what happened to the head of airport security from acting well right?

A squished head and tossed into anonymity until the next episode before anyone even noticed the primary guy in charge of the airport was even missing.

I bet Rudy figures acting badly will get him more screen-time in the series.

That's my only theory and it sucks (vampire pun).
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That CDC lady needs to get killed. She is terrible. Horrible acting and lines.

"We cant kill humans, what bout a cure!"

uhh lady did you just see the autospy with the organs shriveled up and the little girl just shot a snake out of her mouth at you. Do you really think it can be cured idiot.
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Agreed. She's the ONLY downside to the whole great episode! She's gotta GO!
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100 percent. Concept wise the notion of saving a mutated human eating pips is impossible (hear me walking dead) unless your on CW but the acting, ohhh plz eph could have slapped here in the face a thousand times n more just to put sm sense on her and then tell her - wat a bad acting.
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At least the stupid kid and his mother weren't in this episode... But the gangbanger and his family better be bloody important, they're dragging everything down with that crap.
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This review and its comments are almost surreal to me. I mean the show is so dumb and flawed that I nearly see it as the Under the Dome of horror. The questionable acting, inexistent editing, disjointed story, stupid characters, ridiculous outbreak… It's so disappointing when months ago I had no doubt about it because of Guillermo del Toro and its promising topics. The only thing I'll miss are the bloody worms !

Thanks anyway because you guys convinced me to not watch the 4th episode and just give up on the show.
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Staff
Instead of "Notes" use "The Gangbanger Diaries"
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Overall a great episode this week, however the lack of the Russian exterminator made me sad, he's definitely one of my favourite characters on the show, and I'm looking forward to his story connecting into the main arc soon.
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It's a shame because Vasiliy's discovery in episode 3 is what intrigued me the most. Moreover like you I instantly found him entertaining and Kevin Durand (Lost !) rocks.
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There'll be plenty of Vasily in the coming episodes. this aint one of those things like game of thrones. the book on which season one is based can be read in about 12 hours, and he's like a central character in one third of it. He'll be there when it counts.
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Wait, there's more than one season of this rubbish?!? I'm OUT (drops mic)...
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Well I'll probably never know what he does. I prefer to ignore what you wrote about GoT because it's great. However I wonder if you think the show is a good adaptation of the books. Is the story the same ? What about the characters ?
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I'm not sure how you took anything negative from my mention of game of thrones. my only point about GOT is the books are long, so is noticeably truncated for the series. The Strain is a really fast read, and only covers four or five days in the lives of Abe & Co.. Its such a short book that hardly anything has been taken out for the series. I havent seen any noticeable difference other than the delay of Abe's backstory in the series.
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"forgoing bathroom breaks with a bucket and an open window so that I wouldn't have to stop" - So, I take it the bucket is just a redundancy?
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Another solid episode in line with the previous ones as most people think minus some present company... But whatevs... Good to see Doc. Eph getting on with the (Setrakian) program so quickly! Nora was kinda lame with her doubts after seeing what the new monsters but hopefully there is some purpose to that.... And also to another vignette of Gus' life 'in the ghetto'... Luckily the actor is charismatic enough that he makes the scenes watchable in spite of the cliche galore...
I liked the wife feeding the neighbour to the husband... It was a sort of romantic moment a-la-Twilight/TVD (on steroids)...
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I'm also on board with this show.
The wife's scenes were important to a degree I suppose but they still felt dragged(it was fun where it led to though), same with Gus - although I liked how he "handled" the landlord, lol. And Nora's "breakdown" was ridiculous, she works for the CDC and was present in the morgue only a few hours before, she should be more tough in those situations...
Anyway, here 2 super-fun-time-scenes of this episode, for some reason I was craving seafood shortly after?


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Well I guess the autopsy scene was indeed the game changer and it isn't for me... hated the explanation and just definitely didn't get the importance of the gang story, that was always off. At least I got the reviews so I don't have to watch all the season.
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its funny how so many relevant things seem mundane and pointless in this series. the gang stuff is relevant, but in the introduction it just seems like some kind of stupid and pointless filler. in the book the writing is awful. there's no other way to describe it, but conceptually its great stuff. stupid scenes seem dragged out because of the timeline. by the final episode, only four days will have passed.
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I often wondered who was to blame for the writing, both Hogan and del Toro have done amazing work on their own in the past, but it just felt like neither of their styles lined up quite right. Lots of great ideas and conceptualizing, but the execution was all over the place, ESPECIALLY in the third book. (To be fair, book 2 seemed like one REALLY long list of relatively unimportant and unrelated events, that even in the end didn't really add up to the sum of its parts.)
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The gang story has HUGE implications throughout the entire series. What most people who aren't familiar with the novels don't know is they are really playing the scenes out for the LONG game, and not just a quick sprint through monster town. In most cases thus far, the more boring the scene is right now, the more important the events will be to later events.
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The thing is if you play something out too long you end up losing half of your audience. Well half, most, tons, whatever.

All the commercials for The Strain have been promising one thing and instead delivering AA meetings, House renovations, Car jacking, Cons with a heart of gold, government conspiracies that don't exist, hacker auditions and so on.

I'm going to still watch the series but I've already told all my friends to wait till a few seasons come out (if they don't get cancelled) and binge watch it.

And I still don't care about what everyone who has read the books keeps telling me about how this and that will happen because I'm pretty sure you aren't actually involved in making the tv series and therefore you're just assuming. And my assumptions are therefore stronger since they are based on what I am actually watching, not what I'm wishfully thinking.


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You're not far off on the wishfully thinking, but if anything, watching this is even more frustrating for the book readers, as they know how much better and fluid this series could be, even without being a direct page for page adaptation. The fact is, the writers and producers for this show are really dragging things out for no good reason other than possibly building up for the long-haul, which is silly, because the books didn't need this long buildup and they managed just fine with little context.
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Good episode except for one thing.

Crazy church wife feeds neighbor to a BLOOD SUCKING husband right?

So why do we see all the blood come pouring out of the shed? To make it look scary I get that, but you just dumbed down your Vampire story just to add some gore.
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It's not like he drank all the dog's blood either.
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There were red spots here & there from the dog I understand the idea of splatter. I would expect them all over the inside of the shed along with his pissy excrement (on the back wall though).

The shed had literally a gallon of blood pouring out from under the door. Considering all the fuss they make about how their feeding is a suction action, stick the stinger in and pump it all out into you in a flash, unless he all of a sudden said "stop" and let the guy bleed out on the floor it still makes no sense.

It was a cheap gore mistake plain and simple.
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I see your point but I'm not convinced that was the reason for it. I guess we'll see how messy future kills are.
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That, and who's to say he went immediately for the kill shot with just the stinger? Maybe he wanted a nice hot shower before dinner?????
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Now since Dr Nora decided "it's not for me" there is room for Rebecca the Sciene Teacher!
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I love Karla Crome, but she doesn't need to just go hopping from series to series all over. Unless nudity is involved, in which case, she's free to hop any which way!
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I'm pretty much in line with Tim here, except gore is only good to me if it fits to the story. I think it does here so far. These vampires are scary and the situation looks quite hopeless.
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First off, I love this show, but.....the actress who plays Nora is horrible. Wooden lines, lame dialogue, ugh, almost ruins the show for me. I cringe in every scene she is in. Guillermo, please, submit her to the tongue straw, I beg of you.
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I like Nora. I don't know why people keep kicking her teeth in. The number one bad actor on this show is Jim in my pompous opinion.
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I originally liked her, and was waiting for what others told me would happen with her character.

But after her incredibly stupid response to something blatantly in her face (lets save the dead people and not worry about saving billions of living ones) and ditching Eph and the cool Professor, I'm officially off her bandwagon.

Yea bait & switch I get it, next episode some vamp will jump here solo and she'll HAVE to kill it and then she'll be a cool vampire killer again. Too late however since her stupidity in the face of obviousness has already tarnished her reputation.

I think her acting is fine for the material.
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I will agree with you there--Sean Astin can do better. He is just a tool for whoever helps him/his wife right now.
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A stupid tool you mean.

He sells the rest of his soul, gets his wife into a treatment program outside the city, and DOESN'T leave with her immediately.

Had the perfect excuse not only to get away from getting punched in the face but the entire Vampire Armageddon.


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he can't leave, because he's eichorst's indentured servant now. I guess S.A.'s supposed to be giving his take on the guy with the victim mentality, but his acting is so bad, its practically a deal-breaker.

He was so much better as a hobbit or whatever.
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I don't think he's going to be around too much longer.
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For the first time I thought The Strain was focussed. The threat has become real and our heroes finally has caught up with it.

I still want some proper Abraham action, and Gus is definitely in another dimension all together.

I'd still need a couple of more episodes until I'm sold, but I definitely enjoyed this episode and I'm looking forward to episode 5.
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Its turning into a real horror show now. took em long enough. I'd say the last 4 season one episodes will be really good. Mark my words. Gus' arc should open up a bit pretty soon too. It should make the show ''different'' and much more interesting.
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I'm looking forward to the next episode.
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Almost nobody seems to be getting that this is an expansive story with many parts and many players. I guess people are too used to 80's horror where everyone cowers together in a tiny room and waits to be eaten, or builds some ridiculous contraption to fight the monsters. Either way, it's like most of the viewers lack the mental capacity to see different storylines and how they have the possibility to overlap and converge. I get that not a great number of people here read the books, but it's like this is the first TV show some of these people have ever seen that isn't a procedural or contain a laugh track.
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Why should I "get" there's an expansive story buried there somewhere? I'm very curious to know about the "expansive story" hidden beneath the Banger Bros storyline. Or Eph's alcoholism and frequent AA meetings. I'm sure I'll experience many sleepless nights once his AA buddies turn into vampires instead...

It's not about mental capacity. I watched Twin Peaks, Breaking Bad and other series with expansive storylines. But they were focussed on a plot. The Strain hasn't been focussed enough on anything.

Also, if you've been around for a while, you know there are dozens of tv series that don't get renewed for whatever reason and leaves you hangin' despite your commitment. Other tv series get renewed for another season or two but are absolut shite, so pardon me for being jaded at this point.
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My comment as more just a general commentary on the criticism this show is getting. People seem to forget most shows, even ones you mentioned like Twin Peaks, Breaking Bad, etc. didn't show all their cards in the first 4 episodes. Many people seem to think an entire season needs to be foreshadowed right from the first episode so they know almost everything that will happen and can then claim it's a smart series only if it happens to surprise them along the way. I don't disagree with you at all that the opening to this season has been incredibly unfocused and it's very infuriating to those that read the books to see how poorly the beginning has been handled, but it's those of us who did read the books who can at least tolerate such unfocused chaos because we know how those events will become important later. As annoying as this process may be for newcomers to the series, it's twice as annoying for those who know how it plays out.
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People can't get it if the show is so freaking boring they leave before they find out.

I blame tons of the problems on the commercials hyping the show. Where they say Vampire Bloodbath over-running NYC (or whatever city its based in) and then they deliver the AA diaries instead.

Don't offer me chocolate and then make me eat 7 days of salad before I'm allowed to eat the candy.


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Pretty accurate analogy there. I'd say the salads at least come with a light sprinkling of chocolate though, sure it's not the whole candy bar, but at least it's a taste of what's to come! But yeah, the pacing here is downright abysmal and the producers should be dragged into the street and beaten for their piss-poor handling of pacing and development scene thus far.
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Since I just finished watching the episode, I don't have sufficient will to read through the comments so apologies if I'm repeating others' thoughts.
I am now hate-watching this show. The writing and acting are porn-level bad.
The geek's wife is a devout Christian who delivers a neighbour to his gruesome death for being douchey? The Hobbit/Rudy/The Goonie is a CDC doctor but responds like a frat boy during the autopsy? Eph's partner is to acting what Tara Reid is to...acting.
But what do I know. The poll results suggest I'm in the minority. Maybe I'm wrong about Chuck Lorre comedies being as funny as Ebola.
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While I agree with your points...I don't think I'd go so far as to say I'm "hate-watching" it. This episode was stupid...the Gus parts are actually the most interesting to me because he's the only one that feels like a real person, and everyone else seems completely under written. But it's entertaining so far...it hasn't passed my threshold for stupid like The Following and Under the Dome have...but maybe it will in a few more episodes.
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Good call. Totally agree that it hasn't reached Revolution, Under The Dome or last season of Dexter awfulness yet. I will change my status to "irritated-watching" until further notice
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They stated in Ep 3 that he was NOT a Doctor......

"The Hobbit/Rudy/The Goonie is a CDC doctor but responds like a frat boy during the autopsy?"
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Ok, then go ahead and replace "CDC doctor" with "CDC guy" and the point remains pretty valid
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I am watching the episode again right now. That is how good it is. I am so excited about this show.
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I really want to like this show. Del Toro is one of my favourite directors, but this is drivel.

Nora see's Eph, pull a 6ft tongue out of the pilot and then starts crying about killing people. She's ridiculous. Be freaked out, be sad, but be realistic. Even if she doesn't like the idea of killing the vamps, as a CDC officer her first obligation should be to quell the outbreak, not cry about mutant humanity. She would rather turn into a freaking genital free blood sucking monster, than kill a freaking genital free blood sucking monster? GTFOHWTBS!

Nora and Eph abandon the one person who actually has information on how this outbreak started because he "betrayed" them. I mean the line about "You may not understand this, Eph" probably deserved the punch, but maybe Eph and Nora should wait till they've dealt with the situation before getting up on their high horses.

Religious wife of nerd. It took about 20 on screen minutes to tell us a story that should have taken 5 maybe 7. Her taking her kids somewhere, her walking around her house, her changing her shirt, her playing with Jesus cards, her putting on her boots, her staring mouth gaping at her dead dog, on, and on and on. Yawn.

Lady Hacker, slows down internet. LMAO. Who writes this stuff? A marshmallow?

"Gang-bangers" spout inane shit and exchange goods. WTF was that about? Most useless tri-hard scene of the series, seriously.

In the 4 & a half hours we've seen of this show at least half of it should have been left on the cutting room floor.

I'm convinced Del Toro, is barely a participant here. He's too busy working on "Crimson Peak" and "The Book of Life" to notice how completely boring and derivative this show is.




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I still like the show, but you nailed it here - absolutely right in everything, wife felt dragged, also Gus and the lady hacker thing was ridiculous(never happened in the books, I remember it was the corrupted government "tweaking" the servers and not a single hacker) and Nora reacting that way was plain absurd.
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Gus isn't playing out exactly the same as the books, but it helps give much better context to his character later in the books. The hacker business is silly nonsense. As for Nora? Well, I'm hoping she does a bit of a turn around soon, otherwise it's starting to feel like they combined her character with her mother from the novels.
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omg this sounds scary - I hope this is just a strategy to make her joing the action in a different place later on instead of what you are describing here. but i'm officially worried about the charater now.
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Morphing a new character from the bad sides of those 2 characters gives me chills! That's true HORROR right there, lol.
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This show is not realistic, despite the efforts to disect vampires, which are very welcome. So you find Nora's behaviour unrealistic, but not the CDC and authorities behaviour regarding the whole airplane event? See what's happening with ebola these days. No chance that authorities would have disregarded the glowy worm infection in such a way.But fiction uses different resources to tell a story, and probably they need Nora to be elsewhere for now.
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I actually complained about the CDC a few episodes ago, but at least they attempted to explain that by showing us characters who were more interested in covering their asses than dealing with the problem.

I can accept corruption and bureaucracy as an explanation for the ridiculousness of the CDC. But the survivors from the plane and Eph's team are killing me.

At least Setrakian isn't messing around.
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I had a lot more problems with the cdc situation that i have now with Nora.
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If you want realism and accuracy, go watch a documentary. This is called ENTERTAINMENT. Liberties are taken, plot devices are used to progress stories.
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When people (like me) complain about realism in a show about vampires, we are not suggesting it be to true life. We are taking about it being realistic within the world they've created.

It is unrealistic for someone who was just attacked by a "monster" with a 6 foot tongue and a completely mutated digestive system, to be worrying about the "humanity" of the creature. At least not right away.

I don't mind her freaking out, I can accept her being hysterical, but suggesting that she would rather turn into a "monster" rather than kill one is shitty writing period.

There are good plot devices and bad ones. Having Gus return Setrakian's clock as way for them to meet is an example of a good one. Whatever the fuck is going on with Nora is just terrible.

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Oh, come on, she being affected by this plague is not so surprising. You know, situations that bring the best and worse of all of us. However, i am starting to be worried about some comments from book readers that suggest a possible combination of two of the book characters into one. That has no chances to end well.
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What I find most baffling about that is if she was willing to turn into a monster herself rather than kill those turned means she's either okay with her becoming a killer, or that she accepts that those turned are no longer people. Either scenario makes her belief absolutely ridiculous.
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oh, what, did you think I was complaining? I was replying to a fellow above that said that some character's behaviour was not realistic. Sorry to say, but your argument is the same as mine, you are saying the same as me with different words LOL. I think Nora's behaviour responds to one of those "plot devices".
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you sent me watch a documentary without a please or anything, and you used capitals in one word - no meaning to be critic, you know, but you were quite sharp - and at the end you were saying the same thing than me.
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It wasn't meant to be a criticism, just a general commentary on the matter.
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Totally agree Nora's reaction was just stupid , ruined what otherwise would have been an epic episode. Hope she gets her wish and one of those "stingers" hits her
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nora's just going through the stages of grief. she hasnt come to acceptance yet.
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Watching shows like this, I often think some characters should have watched more genre TV or movies so they could take better decisions. The Nazi connection seems a little unoriginal, but I suppose it was like that in the book too.
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First, never watch this show while eating...well, anything really.

Second, Nora has got to be the most inconsistent person I've ever seen. How can she be so cool with dissecting and burning the pilot's remains, but freak out about the kid? She knows for a fact that that kid's body is a shell for a blood-sucking parasite! Way to go lady, you just gave the rest of us scientific female types a really bad rep!

Third, Abraham is freakin' awesome! And Eph is finally beginning to grow on me, and in a good way, not a wormy way. The way he responded to the kid and Abraham was perfect.

Where's Vassily? I miss him already. He's the only character who's name I remembered the first time he was introduced.
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Which is weird, because he's almost exclusively referred to as Fet in the novels, his first name gets mentioned maybe 5 times throughout the 3 books. If they follow the books though, you're going to start hating Eph a WHOLE lot soon.
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I think I'm officially in Bizzaro Surette land where what Tim thinks is fun and entertaining, I find mind numbing and contrived. Where I see compelling, he sees boring. I want to dig The Strain, I really do, but I'm not sure if I can.

I love the completely new and original'ish take on vampires. That aspect alone should make me want to stick with the show. BUT it's the stuff surrounding that originality that's killing me. It's a commonly used trope where by characters, who are otherwise intelligent and faced with some sort of decision or conflict, choose the dumbest path possible for no other reason than to advance the story.

"No one called Breaking Bad "fun!"

No, perhaps it's not as fun as Breaking Bad, but it's got more in common than not. The geek's wife should invite Skylar White over for tea and swap stories of what twits they are. "Rudy" and Jessee...take away their poor decision making and there's no show. And Nora seems to have Walter's sense of morality that runs hot and cold: You just finished murdering and dissecting and disposing of a patient after he attacked you, seemingly with no problem. However, that exact same circumstance happens with a girl, and suddenly it's, "That's it! I'm out!"

I always give a 5 episode test, so this show has one more opportunity to show me it's not going to pander to idiots just to keep the story moving along.
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I missed Vasiliy!
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Quincy Morris aint goin nowhere.
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"So far that's two hackers, both of them women if you're keeping count!""

Both will be get their claws (keyboard) out to fight over New York City internet connection so iReporter from CNN can report that New York city is under attack.
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So far it is following the books. I wonder if they will introduce Mr. Quinlan? In the books he is a Blade like character.
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If they do, it likely wont be until much, much later on, and even then, he doesn't become important or useful until much later than that.
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"Why you always gotta bring up my ass man. Leave my ass outta this." Haha
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I think the old man is gonna hire Gus to kill those things, maybe that's why he is still in :)
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Yea there's even more back-story coming up to bore the crap out of you and THAT will be how Gus becomes relevant.

Yawn.

Biggest issue with this show is a Film Director wrote a series of books and then is trying to make a tv series true to it.

Normally he'd take a series concept and pull it apart to find a way to make it a good show, but here since its his baby he's more interested in the art of it, which is in turn making it look stupid, boring and unrealistic.
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Without knowing it, you are on the right path. Wrong old guy though, lol
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it still go with ha ha ha.

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It was good, I think it is getting better and better with each episode.
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For a religious person, Ann-Marie sure had no problem feeding the obnoxious neighbor to her newly turned husband.
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Religious people have never had a problem with killing people.
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You mean some religious people.
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Yeah. Christians more than Buddhists.
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Yea because he hurt her dog. They omitted that part from the series. He is a real dick in the book. A cruel bastard who beat her dog, sending the dog home bloody and scarred.

The whole thing rings of Stephen King.
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Actually the neighbour's cruelty with the dog was made clear enough in the episode that I had no big issue with his getting fed to the crazy hubby... He was a total jerk....
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Without coming right out and saying it, they made it pretty clear that he beat the dog in the series, too.

You had to remember last week when she mentioned the dog being wounded, though.
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oh, ok. wasnt paying attention.
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It was buried pretty deep in the dialogue. When she was complaining that Ansel was away from home traveling so much.
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What I hope to see:

1) Quickly explain the government's motives behind trying to sweep this under the rug beyond not wanting to create a panic, such as maybe certain people are working with whatever the old guy & creepy undead German guy are a part of.

2) The whole thing with Eph trying to get the rest of the CDC to believe him not being dragged out, because it shouldn't be hard to prove to anyone that something serious & freaky is going on.

3) Explain why The Master infected a bunch of people in a very attention-getting way like doing it to an entire airplane instead of just being smuggled out of the airport & brought "across the river". Seems like infecting more people across a larger geographical area in NYC would attract far less attention.
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All the missing monsters are underground building a Church of Scientology spaceship.
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That's... not entirely far off.
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*Minor Spoilers* The Gov't doesn't have anything to do with it, not really. It's all the Stoneheart Group and the Master & they've got people everywhere. The Master cannot (for some fucking reason) cross bodies of water without human assistance. That's why he needed to be brought in the way he was, and believe me, everything that's happened is for a reason.. The Master is a tricky fuck.
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Those The Master infected aboard the plane are his slaves (in a manner of speaking). They do his bidding surreptitiously. You'll learn what they've been up to.
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This is the best episode so far. The show is peaking a the right time. The combination of science and vampire is original and I like the show always put Science first.

I definitely going to miss Emma. I sort of wish she was still around.

I loved the story of the geek and the wife. I hope they do not die too soon.

One thing puzzles me. Perhaps someone can answer without revealing spoilers. Why does Eldritch needs to import the master? If he wanted immorality, could he not just have Thomas bit him? I guess his other goal could be destroying NYC.


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Eldritch wants to finally overcome illness and death. the price he paid, was to arrange The Master's safe transport from Germany to Nyc. It doesnt really make sense for The Master to deny Eldritch immortality, because he would be able to better control Eldritch after infecting him.

Eichorst wouldnt infect Eldritch because Eldritch would no longer need anything from him and have no motivation for helping The Master. The Master is still around and he and Eldritch will meet again. If Eldritch was double crossed and killed, it would be cliche. I can't say what happens with Eldritch , but i can tell you the first book (from start to finish) only covers the present day events of about four days, with several flashbacks to concentration camps and ''pre-deportation days".

I don't think the master's european origin will be revealed til next season. Though thats not his ancient origin. Its just the place and time at which he infected his current host.
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Yeah, his "ancient origin" is downright fricken ridiculous. No spoilers, but I'll just say it's pretty much all bullshit once you go back further than Setrakian's story.
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to me episode 2 wasnt bad at all. I mean we got that killer scene in the end of ep2. and there was some good character development. characters need some time to develop. so that later on when they die we care from them. we would getc bored if it were only as simple as vampires eating humans and some humans hunting vampires. walking dead is a prime example. Of Course, the gory scenes are mostly why we're here for. but we'll get over it if we dont get some character work on the side. that's just my opinion.
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I enjoyed it (though I groaned at Nora, I get it but what was the first medical treatment that popped into your head? Nothing?)

I groan at how long it will apparently be taking to get Gus involved and no Vasily. I did like how Dutch basically called them out for being evil.

Did anyone get a sense that even last week that Ansel's wife is a little unstable? I guess its appropriate as all proper Renfield's should be.
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Yeah, I knew it was Marlo the second I saw him -- and he acted like Marlo to an extent as well! Glad to see him.

This episode was great, and as with the virus, the pace of the show is really picking up. It's campy, in a way, but I agree that it's quite a unique take on vampires and viruses. Love it.
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There is a somewhat similar "vampire" horror book series by Justin Cronin, the first one is called The Passage. In the series, the vampires are portrayed as mindless monters and not shiny toys for teenage girls or underwear models prancing around with daylight rings chugging bourbon. I recommend it, the first one scared the s**t out of me and not in a campy way. But The Strain is great summer fun!
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The Strain book is not campy at all, the TV show is. I, actually, seek for a vampire story without romance or horror. I want something like The Man from Earth but with a vampire, less religion and more "how disgusting, mindless and self-destructive humans are"... Have any suggestions?
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Oh, I forgot my recent suggestion, it is fantasy, but from the sci-fi/alter history (cryptically, probably only sort of altered). The Atlantic Gene, Plague, World by A.G. Riddle. The third book in the trilogy was released recently, so the whole trilogy is out (and you just have to get through the first thirty pages that Kindle gives you as a sample because they are described in context better later. Also, I know that CBS recently bought the television rights and I could see if the network sees the only vampires that are tolerable are the ones on the Strain and that the only werewolves are those on Teen Wolf to the extent they represent the male coming of age into manhood thing that end of the world sort of ideas or different variations on dystopic stories are where to go next.
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I haven't read the Strain books, but I've gathered that they are quite different, should probably dig the up at some point, but maybe season 1 first as I'm having way too much fun with the show :)

Can't say that I have any suggestions, most vampire books that spring to mind are along the lines of horror. If you want something "mindless and self-destructive", I can recommend Stephen Fry's Making History or Stephen King's 22.11.63. The idea in both of those books is what happens if you change history, I found them highly interesting and I always like a good trying-to-do-good-things-but-messing-s**t-up story.
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Well, there's Matheson's novella, "I Am Legend." You can probably also find the Vincent Price movie adaptation of it out there, "The Last Man on Earth."
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Thank you! As for the The Strain, this episode was by far the worst! I will come up with a photo recap (only) to pinpoint the ridiculous moments -- and they were so many! When Eph and Nora went to Emma's house without any weapons or protection even after what happened with the pilot and when Abraham materialized out of nowhere to save them I recognized that this show can't be saved... It's an insult to the book!
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The late Richard Matheson, I should say.

If you want how disgusting, mindless and self-destructive humans are, "I Am Legend" is the story for you. I'd give the 1971 Heston version and the 2007 Will Smith movie a pass, though.
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Oh, another just standalone vampire story where they are horror creatures is Robyn McKinley's Sunshine. It is probably my favorite book (and boo to it being standalone, you went and introduced all these concepts that would be so interesting even if there is not a lot more to Sunshine's story, which there totally should be, no one would be happy with her last choice but the Onyx Blaise, well, you just know he is alive somewhere and I will let you read to find out who that is - it is not available via e book).
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Well, they aren't all mindless monsters ;), the Twelve aren't anyway. The second book actually horrified me more.
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Yeah, not the twelve. I just meant that in general most of them are, plus not keen on adding spoilers.
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Eh, the second book has been out for like two years and the third is supposed to be in October, I won't spoil the end of the Twelve (I'm not 100% positive what happened to, let's say, our three main characters - I'm planning on rereading it but I don't know if I can read about what happens to Alicia again and I also don' t know that I can avoid it because I know the whole time you just know someone else is close and could stumble upon her)

Plus, I honestly think knowing about the Twelve, or at least that there are, makes you pay a lot more attention to the journal entries and to Grey's story in general in the Passage (I kept wanting to return to Amy and Wolgast's stories)- I spent a few pages in the Twelve going, who the heck is this?
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I was really hoping that when Gus returned the clock to Abraham that would be his chance to join up with the vamp killing team. I like Gus, I hope they get past his gang banger stuff and let him join up with Abraham. I guess they're doing a little character development with him, or something. I hope they wouldn't spend that much time on a character who isn't going to be a major player!
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Agreed - Gus has a real energy in spite of the relatively cliche story he appears to be living (gangsta livestyle, well meaning but clueless mum, loser bro). And if we are going to see shirtless hunks in this show (mandatory now in supernatural shows), he is so far the only candidate...
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That would be a little too predictable, wouldnt it? Gus' storyline introduces something previously unseen. A game-changer.
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I don't know, I just hope Gus is part of the team somehow. He's a good guy, he should be on the good guy side! He's a badass, they need him. He and Abraham have the same take no shit attitude. I think that is why I like him, plus he's good to his mom.
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Youre viewing the show with fresh eyes, so when Gus' path begins to take shape you're gonna be like WTH? Let me just say the cast will expand, and Gus will be around for a while. If you've seen Blade 2, you've enjoyed a prophetic look into the mind of GDT.
There are yet unrevealed players lurking in the shadows.
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Oh, have you read the books? I'm tempted to go looking for spoilers, lol. Well, I'm glad to know Gus will be around for awhile, anyway.
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TV.Com needs to create a tech support community so we can get help with problems on the site.
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Yep that blonde hacker is coming to mess up TV.com next
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If I put aside that Christian woman vacuously staring at her blood soaked chained crazed husband, and that idiotic Gus who gets mad when you steal a clock but is fine when it's a car, this episode was pretty good. +1 for beheading that monster-child. Still, there's is something bothering me. How come rich old white guys are power monger bastards, and blacks and latinos are petty thieves ? That's racism in my country.
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If you understand GDT is latin, you should know latinos will be more than just thugs in the series. The first two blacks introduced were the haitian stewardness and Bolivar's manager. Gus and Alonso Creem are players with backgrounds necessary to the proper development of their characters. Gus' mom is a hard working latin woman.
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The clock vs the car was more about his junkie brother than the act itself. He doesn't trust his brother to not bring pain back to the home and his mother which in itself is a problem since he's done exactly that in the past. Gus's character is filled with arrogance it wasn't bad writing. I'm pretty sure religious ladies behavior was a swipe at religious culture itself. The new thing is to paint religion as childish and harmful so viola you get a fanatical catholic invoking demons when faced with an obvious biological problem. As to the racism it wasn't the scene the racism is real life. Whites still maintain the power in the country so if you needed a CEO to bring about this crisis it's going to be a white guy that's reality. I personally wouldn't need so white petty criminal to PC it that would've been worse than the scene itself.
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I was giggling at Nora talking about find a cure. Like really? It's like she wasn't there during the autopsy. That pilot got his organs completely changed or discarded only to accommodate a parasite using him basically as a "vehicle". What can you possibly do to reverse this sht?
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Exactly what I was thinking the GENITALS are gone , not something you can"reverse" or find a cure for. Nora is just plain stupid and I hope she gets the stinger treatment ASAP can't stand her.
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YEP she sounded kinda naive... borderline stupid... I mean lady, have you seen that THING??? There is no cure to that... Like Eph told her, these things are hunting them...
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She's still in shock. Typical denial.
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This. So. Much.

Except, instead of giggling, I was groaning.
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I thought books were ordinary, but a twist for a vamp tale. I just didn't like the style of writing. All that said, I love the TV show.
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the style of writing is awful. GDT is probably a better writer in spanish.
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I'm loving it! It hasn't reached the levels, of Penny Dreadful, Salem, or even Helix yet; as far as new horror series this year, but it is quickly gaining speed.
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Thankfully, The Strain is starting to offer answers before we even ask questions, which is a good sign.

Yeah, I enjoy that too. The show really moves forward at a quick pace. Many other shows would have had the scientists chasing their tails until the very last episode, and people keeping secrets just to complicate the story line. (Cough-cough...Helix.) But in this episode Nora, Eph and Jim did an autopsy, discovered how the disease works, had to change their minds about how to tackle the disease, realized that Setrakian was right after all, Jim admitted it was he that allowed the coffin to get into the city, he also revealed who paid him for it, and Nora and Eph got to see Setrakian in action with the sword. And we are only in episode four! Now that these people are on the same page, they can start hunting down the infected together for the next nine episodes.
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This is exactly why i gave up on Helix after ep2. it was hella boring.
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Helix was boring for a great many reaons .. the main ones being terrible writing and uncommited acting. After th third episode, no one wanted to be there, not even the actos.
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That would be ideal. I think the final four will probably be the most gratifying. There's a Setrakian flashback in the next ep. That should be revealing. Knowing how the season will end, I can say season one has a chance to be epic if properly executed. Its exactly the kind of stuff people wanna see.
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This show is now officially a candidate for the creepy hall of fame.
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