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The Strain S01E05: "Runaways"

Going into "Runaways," I was debating whether I should start calling the plane survivors by their real names instead of their caricature labels of the Spooky Geek, the Pilot, the Rocker, and the Lawyer, but then the episode made the decision for me when Setrakian beheaded the Spooky Geek (Ansel) in the shed. Since the Pilot (Captain Redfern) died last week, that means half of the original four survivors—who I thought we might follow for a while, as they seemed like an integral part of the story—have perished, and we're only on Episode 5. 

Not only that, but the metamorphosis that the remaining two passengers—a.k.a. the Rocker and the Lawyer—are going through is pulling them further and further away from being identifiable as individuals, as they're blending together through pasty monstrous uniformity. What's the point of calling the Rocker "the Rocker" if he looks just like the Lawyer? Answer: There isn't one.

So let's all give a warm TV.com welcome to Gabriel Bolivar (formerly the Rocker) and Joan Luss (formerly the Lawyer)! But make it quick and don't get too attached to either one of them—or to anyone else on this show—because The Strain has made it clear that it's ready and willing to kill its characters, even if it's already established them via small multi-episode arcs. Adios, Ansel! Sayonara, Ansel's wife! Au revoir, Emma! Peace out, Emma's dad! (Can Gus be next, please?) 

That approach A-OK with me, because I want The Strain to be an all-out slaughter and I want to see some familiar faces be vamp-drained as if they're human Capri-Suns. Like every contestant on ever reality show always, I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to watch vampires suck up half of New York City while a ragtag band of heroes, maybe one kooky old man with a cane-sword, and a scientist with a terrible hairpiece armed and a nail gun cut their heads off and save the day after four or five quality seasons of television. 


"Runaways" totally obliged my wishes, as it was another meaty hour of fun and campy horror. So many beheadings, guys! Plus, the episode ended with a huge step into "Oh sh*t!" territory, as signs of a total chaotic outbreak began to show. It's one thing to have a vampire locked in a backyard shed or hanging out in the loft of a rock club where only a few people might witness their grotesque transformations into hairless, translucent bloodsuckers, but it's another thing to reveal a pack of vampires lurking in the sewers or munching their way through an old folks' home in full view of the public eye. There's no turning back from this, even if New York City has to rely on the eyewitness accounts of grannies suffering from senior moments. This outbreak is real, and it's happening a lot earlier in The Strain's first season than I thought it would. It's also happening exactly as fast as it should, at least from a scientific standpoint; "Runaways" took place over the course of an afternoon or so, and I tip my hat to the series' pacing, as well as its sense of the logic behind the outbreak.

The episode also delivered The Strain's first flashback, jumping all the way to 1940-somethingish, when a young Abraham Setrakian was nothing but a number to a bunch of Nazi jerks. Thomas Eichorst was there too, looking the same age and the same amount of smug as he does now (things are starting to come together!). And a "Nazi" prefix will add a whole new levil of evil to just about anything, so say hello to Nazi Vampires! While it's not yet clear whether the Nazis were in cahoots with the Master, it certainly appeared that way as the Master whisked from bed to bed in Abraham's barracks, dining on Eastern European fare. The flashback was a cool way to establish Thomas and Abraham's past—however, I hope we don't spend too much time in this era, as it appears to have already served its purpose. 

Throughout the rest of the hour, Abraham's past bled into his present as he dropped some wisdom about the creatures during his and Eph's egg-scrambling and strigoi-beheading adventures. Apparently the Master allowed four people from the plane to survive as a means of diverting attention away from the dead, while setting up the airline CEO to take the blame (with Thomas's help) and sneaking out of the airport in a box transported by a gangster. This is one smart bag o' worms! 


But is he smart enough to get his claws into the CDC? How else would you explain Eph's boss Everett immediately blackballing him even though Eph had video of a vampire? Everett is totally on the take, dude. Thomas has obviously been planning this outbreak for a long time, so expect Eph and Abe to end up stymied at every turn, forcing them to form some sort of underground "La Resistance." 

"Runaways" wasn't any better or worse than The Strain's previous two episodes, which gives me hope that it will achieve one of television's most elusive feats: consistency. It's not a substantive drama, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch. The Strain feels just smart enough and self-aware so as not to embarrass itself, but it still knows how to have a good time.


NOTES

– Did you hear the eclipse talk on the radio? That can't be good! Just when you thought the middle of the day was guaranteed to be safe. Obviously the Master planned his attack to coincide with the eclipse, too. The Master has corporations under his control, he's hiring an IT department to control the internet, and he's paying attention astronomical events, too? Daaaaaaaaaaaang! 

– Was this the first time the creatures were specifically referred to as "vampires"? 

– R.I.P. urologist! R.I.P. crime-scene cleaner! R.I.P. old person! R.I.P. younger person who tried to help the older person! R.I.P. dog-hating neighbor! R.I.P. Ansel's wife! R.I.P. concentration camp people! Putting aside the "deaths" of the plane passengers in the pilot, "Runaways" featured the highest body count of the series so far. And on a show like this, the higher the body count, the better.

– Does anyone else think Vasiliy Fet, the rat guy, looks like his face is made out of adobe? I like the character a lot, but just like with Gus, I'm still waiting for the show to incorporate him into the main story. 

– What's the deal with Eldritch Palmer? He's getting organ transplants and... ummm? Obviously he's party to the vampire conspiracy, but how? What does Stoneheart do? 

– Unnecessary side story of the week: Nora's mom!

The Strain is becoming FX's answer to The Walking Dead, isn't it? What's cool is that we're seeing the plague from the very beginning, instead of picking up long after it spread.

– Regarding The Strain's vampire mythology, we now know the following:

  • They totally don't like silver! It burns them, especially when shot out of a cool, customized nail gun.
  • Decapitations ruin their day and are the best way to kill them.
  • Sunlight is a no-no without six inches of sunblock.
  • Vampire reflections make mirror images wobble.
  • The disease moves at different rates with different people, just like the flu hits some people harder than others.
  • There's no word yet on garlic, wooden stakes, or a weakness for moody teenage girls.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/4/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

Next Episode

TONIGHT AT 10PM

Season 3 : Episode 1

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Like others have already said, I was a bit put off with the pacing and wasn't sure I was even going to make it to the fourth episode. But that one and this latest one have changed my mind so I will probably stick with it to the end.

There are always some little things that bug me. Besides the somewhat unnecessary family subplot with Nora and her mom, what bugged me the most was Abe warning Eph to stay clear of the worms and the blood as he is slicing and dicing heads. So how exactly does he clean the blade then before re-scabbarding it in his cane?
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In the books they use UV lamps and special black lights to irradiate the corpses once they "kill" them and Abe usually wipes his sword on the corpses, maybe in future episodes they will explain this part better. Norah and her mum become an important plot point later on too but enough spoilers for now :)
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Vampires/Zombies etc. not usually my genre, but this show has been pretty good and has gotten better, Not sure how well this is going to play out long term though
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Love this show it keeps getting better I like the reveal at the end with the exterminator discovering why the rats are fleeing the sewer tunnels. But still can't work out what milllionare connection to the infestion is ? At least the rocker dude got a food delivery , not sure if F will join up with Abraham and kill the vampires he still going down the science route !
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since Tim mentioned the ridiculous hair piece, that's all I care about. crap!
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Ok, i have to say that the first few episodes it was a bit boring, but they have put it up a nudge and now things are very cooly done...
I really liked it a lot...
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I need to thank this show so much for never, ever again wanting to be ravished by a vampire! All I can say now to that very concept now is eewwwww!!

This is episode was so cool! The nanny immediately noted something was seriously wrong with her employer. So what does she do? She does what anyone with even half a brain does, she takes her charges and gets the frac out of Dodge (or in this case NYC)!!! That's the perfect thing to do! None of this, "you'll be okay even though you look like the most horrific monster I've ever seen" crap that Ansell's wife pulled.

Drop the boring stories about family issues that are then completely dropped like hot potatoes.

Dang, Setrakian is lethal with that cane! And Eph was pretty good with the nail gun too! I so can't wait for Vasily to start kicking some strigoi booty!

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I must say I always favoured being ravished by a werewolf, but I do get your point ;)
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When I was way younger (as in about 15 - 20 years ago) I was more into vampires. Now it's mainly werewolves and shape shifters. But this show has completely turned me away from vamps for like, forever!!
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the slurping sounds were disgusting, ugh. but lets agree that vamps kindda lost their charm a long time ago? the last one that truly mattered was beautiful Gary Oldman's Dracula.
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So we have seen in this episode that sunlight does actually hurt them. *Except*, we also see in the flashback, Eichorst is there leading the Nazi's at the concentration camp, in the middle of the day. Either a) he's different from the other vampires (likely, given that he's actually intelligent, unlike the mindless rabble of the other vamps), or b) he's not yet a vampire in the past and will be converted by the Master (seems unlikely, as I'm fairly certain he's supposed to be far older). So what's the deal with Eichorst? How is he immune to the sunlight when other vamps are not?

*Book readers, no spoilers please.
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The correct answer is usually the simplest one given that Eichorst can't be that special: Eichorst wasn't a vampire when he "welcomed" Abraham and the others at the camp.
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Have we seen Eichorst during the day, with the possible exception the scene where he visited Abraham in jail? The windows in Stoneheart are usually tinted, and from the back of a limo to the jail, Eichorst could have worn sunglasses and a hat.
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During one of the flashbacks, you clearly see him standing outside in the sunlight, directing his Nazi minions.
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He obviously wasn't turned yet,
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My guess is the 5 lbs of make-up we see him putting on every morning before going out to be a bad nazi vampire tool.
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You don't want spoilers so I won't give them to you. A or B? Which one is the more plausible to you? You've seen that vamps don't like sunlight? Even Master is only slinking around at night. Is Eichorst a vampire during his tenure as the camp commander at Treblinka? You can deduce the answer yourself. Use that Occham's Razor theory.
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Ever heard of Occham's Razor? Don't over-complicate things.
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No, but I've heard of Occam's razor. (Sorry ;-) Just picking nits.)
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Pick this nit:

The idea of parsimonious simplicity is found in limited form in the works of Aristotle. It was championed by William of Ockham (c. 1280–1349), after whom the term was named. It was also used by Galileo Galilee (1564–1642) when discussing the data describing the orbits of the planets in support of the Copernican model.

One misspelling is good as any other.
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Sadly, we'll get to "enjoy" Gus for a veeeeery long time, Tim. Most annoying character in the books, at least for me.

Good episode. Just a small reveal of a vast conspiracy unfolding, not just in NYC but in the whole world.
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Ok i like the show but it's kinda stupid causebif these creatures are fed with blood and this virus spreads like hell ..there wont b any human left for them 2 feed so...they are going 2 die...i hope there is another plan 2 this ...
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Oh, please, this is the only thing that doesn't look stupid. North America is 0,5b people, there are still 6,5b to feed on. Even if the Master infected Europe before leaving, Africa, Asia, Australia are still there, waiting to be farmed. Meanwhile, I would buy a ticket for Alaska...
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That's not the point. The entire point is that it is the Master's plan to infect and eradicate humanity. We aren't discussing the feasibility of him being able to infect every human being (although that doesn't seem terribly improbable given how fast and effectively this thing spreads), we are discussing the feasibility of his plan once he does so. If he infects or kills every human being, who does he feed off of?
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Oh. *SPOILERS* I've heard that once the infection spreads worldwide, he will capture and farm humans. Given that he seems quite the gluttonous type, I can't see why his plan wouldn't include this crucial aspect. However, I still find him stupid. He is not the only Original and the others don't agree with his plan, they will do anything to stop him. I still don't see why the Master is so special and full of hate. He possesses the body of a sick man suffering from gigantism, that's just pathetic. At least the others understand that...



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The Master probably got the idea from the Matrix to start giant human cloning towers to help feed his vampire armies.

Seriously though since all the vamps he made follow his order once he's got an army big enough to plunge the world back into medieval darkness and reign supreme he can easily cause 90% of the vamps to daylight suicide and then easily feed for a thousand years off the million or so survivors.


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Ya I was thinking the same thing. It's the same problem that happened in the first Blade. If you kill/convert the whole human race, you fuck yourself by having nothing left to feed off of.
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There is a plan, Nazi style. :)
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I am sure the plan the Master set in motion will become clearer as the show progresses.
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They could farm human beings, permanently killing those theyve already fed on.
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I really hope they come up with something cause this way it's going 2 be a dead end...
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I feel like the sole purpose of Nora's story line with her mom was to introduce the first public vamp attack and true start to the infection's spread. They could have cut down their crappiness tenfold, but for some reason chose to spend an exorbitant amount of time on them. Or what felt like it.

Thankfully, the rest of the episode was fantastic! I actually prefer this week's episode to last week's, which was also very solid. Vampire Nazis are always tough to beat. The flashbacks for Setrakian were nicely balanced with the present day while avoiding the trap of being heavy handed or expository. Since Thomas was outside in the daytime, I wouldn't mind seeing a couple more flashbacks of his infection and Setrakian's escape.

I was a little concerned Eph might backtrack on going full in after last week's ending, but was relieved to see his open mindedness while listening to Setrakian. Also that he didn't pussy out when they went to Ansel's. How about his wife's suicide? Not so Christian... Though I guess seeing your husband turn into a parasitic monster and subsequently feeding your shitty animal abusing neighbor to said monster might push a super religious person over the edge.

Overall this episode delivered quite a bit of info while pushing the story lines along. It's going to be so frakking awesome once that eclipse takes hold of the sky and all the vamps can come out and wreak havoc!

I'm most excited to see Fet team up with Setrakian as he will probably be the one taking down the Master in the end, but I think Setrakian will die during that battle.

I just want the body count and campiness fun to keep rolling on!

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Peter Weller (aka Robocop) directed Runaways.
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So far I'm enjoying the show, but I'm not totally on board with the concentration camp stuff. I mean, wasn't there a way of establishing Thomas and Abe's story other than the nazi trope? Although it has been done a lot in fiction, I don't like picturing torturers and mass murderers as extraordinary monsters because if we don't regard them as human beings we free them from their human responsibilities and that's a privilege they shouldn't have.
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I agree the whole nazi - tie in has been done to death across countless shows , but it's there to show that this evil has been around for a long time . It also adds some interesting back story and depth to the old man's character
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The nazi thing's in lots of games as well. I don't think it hurts the story.
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I know it made the most sense in this context, as you all explained in the replies (and you proved your points real nice, btw). Still, when I saw the flashback I couldn't help remembering Eduardo Galeano's words: "The torturer is a bureaucrat, the tyrant is a bureaucrat. Armed bureaucrats who lose their jobs if they don’t perform them effectively. They aren’t extraordinary monsters. We are not giving them such honor." (translation is mine, so I apologize for the mistakes)
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Ok I see now where your personal issue is with the depiction.

Although I entirely don't understand how that makes a difference in viewing people who commit monstrosities as human or 'monsters'.

In the real world if someone does something monstrous, I KNOW THEY ARE HUMAN, I'm not going to be confused sentencing them to death or worse or whatever is fitting punishment, but I may still consider them to be a monster.

And I personally don't have an issue with that because I realize the real monsters in the world, past, present and future will always come from inside ourselves.

And THIS is a fictional television series. Kind of a different thing. I made a comment in another thread how "I was hoping she eats her kids!" and I never actually meant I want someone to actually eat children, but this is FICTIONAL, and so within the context it was at least marginally ok to admit.

Therefore I don't care if they show Nazi's who are vampires or who had some secret connection with that regime (personally feel it wasn't vampires running Nazi Germany just a good spot at the time for one to openly feed, ergo most of the bad things happening, like rounding up ethnics was humans being bad, not vampires anyhow.)
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Of course it's fiction. It wouldn't be that entertaining if it didn't resemble reality somehow ;)
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I imagine they wanted an older survivor or when the vampires (or this particular Master) ran into him while he was younger so we would have a modern day person able to pass on his crazy lore.

Take that into account and turn back the clock of time 50 or so years and try to find a good place for a vampire to have been openly feeding to allow a survivor to likely exist and you've got Nazi Germany as the number one possibility.

Sure they could have invented some specific unique background but that wouldn't have any of the pull of identifying the current Nazi vampire as being intrinsically evil just by association as going the Nazi route allows.

Plus since that era of inhumanity also did have people scavenging up silver (probably for reasons aside from vampire orders in truth) it ties in nicely with this shows theme of Vampires not liking silver.


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I believe they chose the "concentration camp" trope as the analogy to the events about to happen on the show. You'll be happy to know that Nazis don't enter the story all that much. The Master doesn't have any connections to them on a higher level. Just Eichorst and a few other camp personnel.
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Its acknowledging the human monster. human beings are monsters. I know you've seen enough to know this. Compassion and atrocity is within each and every one of us.
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Since the show goes the scientific way, it should be explained why silver and sunlight are bad for vamps. (Did I say scientific? Oh boy...)
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It will be. And the explanation will touch on religion. While the show goes the scientific route, more and more religious stuff will be introduced later on, sadly.
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Rats. I hate it when they do that. Spoil a perfectly good fantasy.
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Silver has been known for its antibacterial usage since ancient times. They used to drop silver coins into water reservoirs on ships because the water would be edible (is that word for water, too?) / drinkable a lot longer.
Sunlight, its UV parts are quite harmful to microorganisms, too ...
Did you know that a soup made of 50 cloves of garlic can even cure you of Norovirus? :D Forgot if it is going to be used in the repertoire of The Strain Vampire hunters.
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Fair enough. - And it's "potable", BTW.
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Thanks, never to late to learn new words :-)
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Having fun with this show. It is a lot smarter than Helix (although that is not much of a compliment) but one request...

Can Kevin Durand please stop mumbling and grumbling out his lines? I get what he's doing as far as the character goes, but I honestly understand about every 5th word.
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Com'on helix has hetake...way better
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Hatake was it's saving grace. And don't get me wrong - I was there every Friday. But their version of the CDC made me think they recruited employees at a group home. They were not very smaaht
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Yeah i know but strain's cdc doesnt look smart either
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Good point
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Setrakian specifically said "silver mirror". But aren't most mirrors, especially regular household mirrors, coated with silver? So it's basically just an ordinary pocket mirror.
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Silver has special antibacteria traits. Only ancient Mirrors are made of silver, new ones are being made of other stuff, it gets addressed in the books.
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Ah, OK, so his mirror is made out of pure silver, instead of being a silver coated mirror. Now I get it. Because most modern mirrors do have a layer of silver on a glass surface, together with other coating materials, there's nothing special about that. On the other hand, sometimes their reflective surface is, as @CarlosR628891 said, aluminium.
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Yes, it doesn't make 100% sense, but it is an explanation worthy enough for splatter entertainment :-)
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Could be other metals, too. I understand that e.g. car wing mirrors are made with aluminium.
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I imagine there is a big difference between the silver paint on glass and real silver being used as a coating.
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I cant wait for the full out break.

Rocker guy is still cool and the scene with the clean up dude was bad ass.

CDC lady nora? and her mom GTFO. Horrible acting dont care about her or her family. just go away!!!

I liked the scenes from the past. Shows these vampire guys are long term players and have been plotting and up to no good for long time.

The old guy that needs organs obviously was promised a cure or to be turned like Thomas? so he keeps his mind yet is immortal.
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So I guess I'm staying in for this show. With this episode and the next one's promo, it seems everything is picking up and the show has improved quite a lot since the pilot.
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I'm confused - Who was that vampire that was in elderly residence/hospital? Just a random 'dead' guy from the sewers???

I'm also interested in seeing more of the mama's boy and the rat exterminator. I've havent read the book but I think it would be cool if they were to join forces with the old man muskeeter & the CDC doc.
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*spoiler* They do join up with the others.
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It appears he was a random vamp. As to the other guys, their alliances and allegiance will be made clear soon enough. Gus' story should be particularly interesting.
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Gus is the most interesting regular character so far (even more than the pawnbroker). I'd be disappointed if he were killed off next week. As for the story of Nora's mom being unnecessary, it gave us a reason to be in the hospital where an outbreak occurred; that was an even bigger surprise than Ansel's wife's suicide. The story of Ephraim's jeep, I could have done without even though his trading his Rolex for it was prefaced in the previous episode. And I thought all four of the previous episodes were better.

It's already been established that Everett follows orders, and even while Ephraim was videotaping Ansel being dispatched, I figured all his "evidence" showed was him and an old man with a sword opening a shed and decapitating two people. Of course Everett is going have Ephraim detained.
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It was a very good episode and I really enjoyed it from start to finish. The flashback was good in small doses unlike some other shows where they spend so much time on it.

Eph and Abraham teaming up was just awesome. I hope the rest of the group join in soon.

That "vampire" attack the old folks home was probably because his parents were living there as they tend to go after their loved one first. I liked it that the show use Science to explain Vampires and I hope they continue to do so. I been praying FX will give five seasons to the show to finish all the three books.
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I like to think I've developed more patience in general with age but that doesn't seem to apply when it comes to TV shows. Maybe after so many years (decades, really) of seeing far too many shows stretch things out too long and tease too much before finally cutting to the chase, it's really and truly satisfying to see characters dying off early, answers coming quickly and shit hitting the fan in record time. I've almost got whiplash from the pace of this show so far...and it feels great.

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I was worried about the pace at first, and how others perceived it, but with an infected showing up in the elderly care home and the Russian (?) rat-hunter making the sewer discovery - news of the infected is going to spread at lightning pace! Personally I hope the Russian becomes one of the gang of anti-vampire combatants, he's cool :P
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One criticism I have, is the supposed effect of silver and the reflection of infected in mirrors 'vibrating': this pushes the horror-scifi into the direction of silly mythical vampires...
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Silver can be toxic to viruses,
Silver nanoparticles inhibit vaccinia virus infection

So silver being effective against the vampire virus, parasite worms isn't that strange of an idea. I haven't got an explanation for the vibrating mirrors.
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I am quite sure there is a Science explanation to that as well. You might have to read the book. The writer and show runner make a lot of effort to let science explain vampires. That is what I liked about the show.
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"The Strain is becoming FX's answer to The Walking Dead, isn't it?"

Man I hope not. That means this is going to be the only decent season of the show and that next season they are going to be stuck in the sewer tunnels for the whole freaking season. And then suffer an increasing spiral into repetition and mediocrity. But their are parallels. Nora is becoming increasingly Loriesque, she can't get her mind over that these things aren't human, which means she is kind of slow, and she is putting the rest of Manhattan at risk over her personal shit. She could have waited for security and told them what they are dealing with and how to isolate and even destroy the victims and used her CDC creeds to do so. But she had to get Carl (her mom, that wanders) out of there. So you might be right. Also Samwise really is Carl, at least first couple seasons Carl.

But the sewer scenes were great. It reminded me a lot of Blade 2. I can't wait to Vasiliy and Abraham get together. They are going to kill some vampires. However were those Vasily's UV lights? because if so they didn't do anything.

Eph's boss is either a giant moron or he is in on it. I was going with in on it because of Samwise being there looking like a doof. But then Sam helped Eph out and seemed genuine in wanting to help him but I still don't know.

Overall great episode. I really truly hope it doesn't turn into TWD.
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Saying that it no matter her mum keep on escaping the facility, no password lock doors.
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The Strain doesnt have the kind of limitations the walking dead has. The vampires are fast, agile, intelligent and inventive. They have heightened senses, unlike the sluggish, mindless drones of the walking dead. There are bound to be some similarities because you have two populations of infected wreaking havoc, but there are so many more possibilities with the strain.
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Oh I agree. I was mostly joking. Aside from SOA and Anger Management FX is top notch for shows. But SOA is mostly Sutter's fault and Anger Management was FX trying to capitalize on a media frenzy at the time.

The only issue I would have with this show and future seasons is two fold. 1. They can only keep it on Manhattan for so long. It is too metropolitan and transitory to be able to isolate it on the island. 2. is the internet thing. I find it hard to believe that no one has noticed and can't do anything about it. US Cyber Command would notice. The stock market that makes their trades online would know it and granted I know it is a way to hamper Eph's investigation but the rest of the world would take notice and fix it. I don't care how could that woman's skills in hacking were, there is just no way you are going to be able to do that for longer than a few hours. A day tops.

But I think this has the potential to be a very impressive show for maybe 3 to 4 seasons. I like Del Toro, he is good. I know he has the books and I am sure he has the whole story in mind. i doubt he would drag it out.
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That few hours or a day tops may just be all they need.
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Per hacking the internet, Del Toro must not know much about computers or the internet. This is just one of his arbitrary and blatanly stupid plot devices he kinda forces us to swallow, (much like the awful literary style of the book) , but I agree GDT is great and TS has great potential.
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I'd already had the vision in my mind of this show continuing to be strong in its second or third or fourth season and the possible future conversation between two AMC executives:

Exec 1: "Herb, come check this out. FX's horror show is still on and they haven't [screwed] it up yet."

Exec 2: "Huh, didn't think that was possible. It's certainly not in our playbook."

Yeah, it's way too early to know what'll happen with this but I enjoyed my fantasy all the same. I have waaaaay more faith in FX than AMC, even though the former is certainly capable of failure.
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AMC and TWD in particular, I think it is a victim of its own success. Especially TWD, they know their audience and they keep giving them what they want. Over and over and over and over and over again. I am sure any pair of us on here that hasn't read the books could give a rough sketch as to what is going to happen this season without having any problems doing so.
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I couldn't help myself, I went over to The Strain's wikipedia page to find out some stuff about the characters. I have no regrets :) Now I am even more anxious for the world building to end, and for the next chapter to begin.
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same here. That makes four.
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I did not read the books and I did the same thing. Just could not resist knowing a little more.
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I did the exact same thing there, reading how the whole story plays out in the very broadest of strokes. I'm not sorry I did that at all.

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Now I have questions about Gus, though. I won't post them since some might consider that a spoiler. You all probably know what I mean!
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According to the book, Gus' jumpoff point is coming really soon.
It really changes everything. Probably moreso in season 2, but he should at least be approached by the end of this season.


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Can someone explain me how the rich traitor is not calling off the internet meltdown? He was obviously betrayed, why does he keep helping the vampires? Want more? Why all the CDC staff is SO stupid? Even if you are paid 1trillion$ you can't ignore a 6ft worm coming out of someone's mouth! You must be scared! This is a threat no $ can save you from! And why the Master's cape is going up and down like he has a tail? Does he? Last but not least if a 7ft Grim Reaper who wears the same cape for centuries, sleeps in soil, growls and moves like cheetah was somehow sneaking in my bedroom I could f*cking feel it and I would SCREAM if he threw that tongue on me! Why his victims just have the OMG look? Does he paralyze them with some toxin?

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I thought you read the books and liked them. You did a few reviews yourself of the last few episodes. Nope?
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Why would he bother calling it off? What would it matter to him? He only showed the video to two guys at the CDC. One of them decided to help Eph. The other guy fears for his life whatever decision he makes. He also might be holding out for the possibility of The Master
sparing him.

The victims probably don't scream because they are in shock.

It seems like you are just looking for excuses to bitch about the show for the sake of bitching amongst people who like the show.
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The older guy wasn't just a CDC guy, was their boss. Even if he knows about the plan and the Master spares him, where is he going to live? The whole world will become a vampire utopia. He can't be that stupid. As for excuses?! Oh, please, the Prometheus scientists of The Strain went to Emma's house without protection or weapons even after they called the pilot a monster then the grandpa materializes out of nowhere and saves them as if he was waiting all day there for them to show up!!! You don't need excuses to bitch about this show.
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Actually what we don't know is that all the people helping the vamps knows about the plan being the apocalypse. Perhaps what the head of the CDC saw was the first indication of that knowledge. Why else would anyone be helping them?
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Yes, that's a possibility. But when you see the first indication you must start panicking. Another species lied to you + paid you good money + something extremely contagious and parasitic is shown to you = big a$$ trouble. As for other reasons they would help them, the Stoneheart owner must be his own twisted version of transhumanist because he said "all of us (humanity) will be benefited in time". The problem is that vampires can't be the next stage of human evolution because they need the previous stage/version to survive. That contradicts with the evolution theory. If they existed, science would classify them as haematophagic mutations or even cross-species with some vampire bat or a leech. At least they are gross and filthy here, just like any other parasite.
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My only issue with the show, and it is probably related to your let's get Vasily & Gus involved more show, is...I ran through a bunch of words in my head but its the time given to each episode. Like, what the heck was the point of our visit to Stoneheart this week? I mean, nevermind that I spend half those scenes worrying that the guy who plays Greg there makes it less likely Continuum will be picked up or that Travis will be around if he is - he's my favorite of the Liber8 people. And it almost feels like Vasily is one story that could have been introduced in a half hour character examination/introduction and ended with his intro to the team but now it sort of feels like they chopped up one continual story (I can imagine if they did this in the book, you found yourself on the hunt with Eph and Abraham and then you leaped to Vasily and were like...wait, what). At least Gus played some role in the originating events. I feel like I would have been super happy with just Eph, Nora, Abraham and flashback, and a check in with the two remaining survivors.

Anyway, it was fun and has creeped into my need to watch on Sunday nights rather than preserving it.
More+
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That scene with Bolivar feeding on the urologist was phenomenal. Also when he fed on the cleaner, after gettin shot up.
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Like you say Tim, the fantastic 4 are now only 2 and since the worms take over mind and body it doesn't matter who they were before. In the end they are nothing more then glorified zombies. To me it's one of the flaw of the show, because the number of people I could care about is diminishing with every episode.
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You "care" about the vampires? You know the whole point of the apocalypse is that they all turn into the same monster, with Hive like intelligence. No more individuals.
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I "care" about characters, and in my opinion a hero is nothing without a good villain. And where the hell is "The Master", he doesn't seam to be mastering much as of late.
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Palmer is pretty obvious, a dying billionaire who wants to extend his life. Stoneheart, his global conglomerate and its influence is being used to facilitate and cover up the outbreak and in return he believes he'll get to live forever just like Eichorst.
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Palmer extends his life on the cost of other peoples lifes. Basically he is a vampirelike monster already, oh and never used his genitals either :D
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Great episode turned into a merely 'good' one by all filer. Seriously the people making this show need to cut it out with the family crap, it's just ruining an otherwise great show.
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"Seriously," the people making this show don't need to cut out the family drama. Gus' family issues are actually interesting, and assuming some of the main characters die at the end of the season/series, right now it's a toss-up as to who will come back and bite a loved one in the last scene: Ephraim, Nora, or Ephraim's son.

I'm a little disappointed Ansel and his wife were dispatched so quickly. I found their story more compelling than the Marilyn Manson-like rocker, and I was expecting her to become some sort of acolyte of the Master.
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I wanted more Abraham, but why oh why did it have to involve the introduction of flashbacks into the series???
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The book has many flashbacks. In fact it starts off when Abraham is a child, then flashes forward to the present aboard the plane.
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R.I.P. dog-hating neighbour... not.
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whats about the underlined letters btw? I bet its some kind of hidden code like in fringe or lost..
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the german is very accurate on this show.
love those details.
cant wait till the infection hits really hard.
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Better than Grimm, right? Now, if people were to write Eichhorst rather than Eichorst...
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Eph's boss, Everett, is likely being influenced by the Secretary of Health who we've seen a few times. Most recently, she was visiting Mr. Palmer and he told her the lie about the bodies from the plane. She also said she owes him her career.
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Why would an intelligent man look at a video of a guy with a tongue like a bullfrog and react accordingly? That would be to believable. Too realistic. People are uncharacteristically pigheaded in american horror.
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The people on the Strain seem to be at least a little smarter than most horror people. The nanny grabbed the kids and ran, the manager got the hell out the loft, Fet chose to run for sunlight rather than stand & fight, Ansel chained himself up. Even the suicide left a note saying where the children were and that they were OK.
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Right. None of those things were even remotely pigheaded. I'm talking about pigheadedness as a plot device, ie Pigheadedness conveniently written into places where it makes little, to no sense. You see a lot of it in american horror, and it usually emanates from a person who ends up getting killed as a result of being stubborn.
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Lots of bribe money being paid to him?
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Well thats not unreasonable. If that ends up being the case it would be one less stupid thing about the show, but I don't care because I'm really enjoying it now. Abe swingin' swords and Eph bustin' guns... This could be the start of something huge.
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I kind of wonder if FX and del Toro will cross that "line" and let us see a child get turned. Too much? A young girl would be probably be too disturbing for such a campy type.
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Have you seen the first episodes of the show ?
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Emma the bloodsucking 9 year old from the plane killing her dad in the bathtub in the second episode doesn't qualify for what you are asking for?
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What I'm referring to is a child being turned with no cutaway. A child being killed.
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they could show that, because the child would only have to come into contact with the worms. if you're talking about a vamp directly feeding on a child, thats practically pornographic.
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By pornographic I mean theyre not likely to go anywhere near it because of how it could be interpreted by some.
There's crazy people in the world and certain kinds of visions could push em over the edge.

I think getting the children away from the vamps was done to avoid ever having to them turn on camera.
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Yeah feeding on a child. Pornographic seems like a stretch but it would definitely be unpleasant to watch.
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I hear ya man, I was hoping the lawyer would eat her children. Kept saying to myself as she was sniffing them "eat them children!", but it didn't happen. Oh well.
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We haven't met the lawyer's husband yet. When she left the meeting with the rocker, I thought she might kill them all off-camera, with viewers seeing a wrecked, bloody house. I was surprised at how humorously the housekeeper fleeing with the kids was played.
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Well, a child was decapitated. Or does that not count because she had already been transformed?
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Yes it exactly. It doesn't count.
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Haha I loved it just as much as last week. I agree about the pace. I love how the show is wasting no time in releasing the chaos. It'll be fascinating to see how quickly this will spread. Based on how fierce and scary the infected behave, I wonder how exactly this disease will spread internationally. Airline travel, for instance, just doesn't seem plausible.

Maybe it's the actor or just how del Toro characterizes him, but Eph just seems like such a bland lead character. I liked his speech about viruses in the first episode, but since then he just bores me. Every other character on this show has been more interesting, even Nora (some hate her, but I think she's likeable).
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Eph is a Jonathan Harker. Not a Ras Al Ghul. He's a geeked out dork, but he's slightly cooler than the average dork. Think Harker, Morris and Van Helsing. If you look carefully you may see them.
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See I don't even think he has much of a personality. I think it was shown a bit in the pilot but since then he is just a snore.
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It already has spread internationally. The Master came from Germany to get to NYC.
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Why Germany? So far, we have the Nazis (a long time ago), but also a Romanian and a Polish connection (the camp was in Poland). Plus, Dracula is from Transylvania! (Just kidding.) But seriously, where did the Master hide out since 1944?
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I don't know why you care where the master's been since then but it may yet be revealed. I got through book one without giving a damn and since Eichorst is his handler and he's german I didnt think I needed a sliderule. The master's been around since long before the death camps and has been largely territorial.
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We're talking an outbreak sort of situation, right? So is it a dormant virus? One that needs a particular environment? Does it change, as viruses do? (Or worms, whatever.) But if it's the same Master as in 1944, was he dormant? If not, other outbreaks would have been noticed? He's been called Patient Zero, so it's relevant. In virology, you don't get one person being a repeat Patient Zero. In short, if you draw a parallel with a virus, these questions DO crop up. So far, the analogy doesn't hold up.
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but there was no word about an infection in germany yet.
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You don't want us to tell you everything do you? Just use your imagination. I mean there's nothing saying there can't be lots more to the strain right? Things have been moving so slow that its hard to see, but there is lots more to it.
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And there is a good reason for that you will find out more about once Gus is recruited, and by whom.
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The significance of the title is people are running away. Mrs. Barbour commited suicide (running away from an unbearably plagued reality without Ansel). The Nanny ran away with the kids. Nora ran away with her mom. Vasily ran away from the vamps. Regina King ran away from Bolivar
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Don't worry turns out the terrible hairpiece is really the only cure created from Bison hair 1000 of years ago passed over from one generation to the other to hide there baldness. It's the only thing that can kill the master!!
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So what was the significance of the title...?

There were a few vaguely metaphorical possibilities, but nothing definite enough to qualify as a title as far as I could tell.
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And the text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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The Strain is becoming FX's answer to The Walking Dead.

That's exactly what was going through my head when watching this too. I enjoyed most of the episode, with the exception of Nora's mom and the flashbacks, just because those Holocaust sets were just so cheap looking, but it was still good to know about Abraham. Tim, I think Fet kind of already is incorporated since he's witnessed these things. He's a lot farther along than Gus anyway. I got to also give props to the nanny for having brains. She saw something was very wrong with Joan and did the smart thing, which was get the kids and get the fuck out of that house. So yeah, it's fun so far.
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the nanny was my favorite part i was like omg a smart person in a horror show no way
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..Still think its a game?
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There is a reason why the virus is in America and not Europe. [It has not actually spread from Europe] The books lay it all out. Suffice to say, there is a lot of historical plot to be disclosed, if the series runs that far.
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I have the books and I don't know what Europe you're talking about but Jusuf sardou is european, so is Eichorst and Setrakian. So to say the virus as we know it does not come to America from Europe, pretty much defies everything shown thus far in the series and book one.
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Read all 3 books. There is a reason there is no widespread plague like this elsewhere. Checks and balances exist(ed).
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@antmorris: Anything like your post below is going to spoil things for folks who have not read the books, so I do not want to go there. I hope that is okay. My thinking is that we are talking about the same thing, and the difference is splitting hairs, so let's leave it at that for the sake of the others here.
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If you're talking about "The Others" I know about them as well and the treaty and I know the vamp origin predates the cave and the evacuation. Yet in another sense we appear to be talking about two different things. I am talking about the existence of the infected in europe and you're talking about the existence of a pandemic in europe.
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