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The Strain S01E06: "Occultation"

Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut last week when I declared that The Strain had achieved that elusive TV trait known as consistency. "Occultation" was the series' worst episode since "The Box," thanks to its focus on momentum-killing side stories when all we really wanted was to see New York City be overtaken by a blood-draining monsters. But nooooooo, instead we were learned all about Vasiliy's daddy issues, hung out with Eph's ex-wife Kelly and her New Yawk BFF while they sipped wine and shared some girl talk, and checked our watches while Nora carted her dementia-stricken mother around. It was as if someone had called a citywide timeout just as the sheeeeit was about to hit the fan, and that zapped the energy that'd been built up in "Runaways."

I know I'm repeating myself, but The Strain's family stories just aren't working. What is this, Parenthood? If I'd just seen my coworkers shoot veiny stingers out of their faces and then fried them with sunlight, I probably wouldn't be spending much time arguing with my dad about his Ukranian architecture book and the Cornell scholarship I didn't take decades ago. I'd probably be more like, "RUNNNNNN DADDY! WE ALL GONNA DIE!" while I flipped tables in search of shotguns and hand grenades and screamed like a lunatic. Where's your sense of urgency, Vasiliy?! Meanwhile, Nora's mom feels more like an object designed to weigh Nora down than an actual family member. And I'd rather hear about Kelly's house renovations than listen her yap about whether or not she moved on too quickly. I'll give Eph some credit for spicing up the family stuff, however; when he went to see Kelly, he was genuinely panicked. That's how you're supposed to act after seeing vampires for the first time.


The Strain is currently hiding behind the somewhat ludicrous notion that the internet shutdown (and it isn't an all-out shutdown; supposedly it's just running at dial-up speeds) is wholly preventing people from spreading the news. And apparently these New Yorkers are so reliant on their smartphones that seeing something with their own eyes doesn't mean it'll register as fact, as if they're living in the Wall-E universe. Even when the medical examiner throat-sucked those two idiot FBI guys in the middle of a gridlocked Manhattan street, only the one woman who was initially attacked freaked out. Everyone else was just minding their own business. Are those eclipse glasses that dark? Maybe a guy running down the middle of the street in bloodied scrubs trying to eat people isn't that unusual for New York City, but where I'm from, that kind of behavior is reserved for St. Patrick's Day and when the Blazers win the NBA championship.

All of this followed a good table-setting sequence in "Runaways," when vampires first started appearing in public. Last week, I praised The Strain for its pacing of the outbreak, especially from a logical and scientific standpoint; this week, not so much. Remember the vampire who was in the old folks' home sucking the lifeforce out of someone's Nana, and then the unfortunate orderly who tried to intervene? What happened to that monster? Did he just decide to quit and take a nap? Do all the other people who saw him have Alzheimer's too? A whole day passed since a monster ate an old person with dozens of freaked-out witnesses, yet it seems like everyone still has clean underwear. that doesn't add up for me.


"Occultation" also raised lots of basic questions—the kind of questions that aren't excusable. Are the vampires hiding in the sewers, or are they out in the public? Regarding the vampires that are out in public, where are they coming from? How did Vasiliy's coworkers get infected? I thought the eclipse would allow the vampires to emerge from their dark hidey-holes and have a smorgasbord, but was it just the medical examiner? If it was just the medical examiner, what was the point of the eclipse? The only thing I can assume is that all the vampires that exist so far are lurking in cellars and sewers and storage closets until the Master tells them to come out, but then why are some running amok while others are not? I'm super confused, and not in the fun, mysterious way.

"Runaways" felt like the lighting of a fuse, as we saw vampires starting to cause mayhem in New York City and the onset of an eclipse. But "Occultation" never exploded—instead, it teased us with the realization that sometimes, The Strain is going to fumble with faulty fireworks. This was a filler hour that relied on ladies sipping wine and a mom and her kid watching an eclipse to fill its runtime. I still dig the show, but I'm concerned that a 13-episode order may have been too big for what's largely been an entertaining first season.



NOTES

– Eph to the FBI guy: "I warned you. I'm sorry." Yeah, you dumb FBI guy!

– I still really like Corey Stoll as Eph, and I think he's giving the show his all.

– Seriously, though. Why did we need that scene where Kelly and Zach looked at the eclipse and said they love each other? Or Kelly and her friend drinking wine? Or Vasiliy talking to those other exterminators in the diner? Or Abe in the cab? Or the first scene of the noseless vampire feeding off that guy? There was lots of unnecessary fluff in this one.

– Gus dumped a body for Thomas. I guess that means he's now more connected to the larger story, but I'm still wondering how he really fits into things, at least from a standpoint of why we should care about him. And why did those cops arrest him and Felix? F THE POLICE, racist pigs!


What did you think of "Occultation"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/25/2016

Season 3 : Episode 5

Next Episode

AIRS ON 10/2/2016

Season 3 : Episode 6

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Showing Nora's mom and picturing her as a burden, is a clever move. You don't see it now but you'll see in upcoming episodes what's her role
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I thought the same thing about the eclipse. I really believed that during the eclipse all those vampires in the sewer would go out and have a great party in NY, but no... just the medical examiner, simple as that.
Another thing that's been bothering me is the pace of the infection. For example, that lawyer woman from the airplane is still "fine", she can still get some sunlight, whereas some other people turned MUCH faster.
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Eph's ex makes the worst decisions. I don't understand how she gained full custody of their son. From her choice of an idiot bf. To letting that idiot bf live in the house with her & her son. To her annoying "New Yawk" bff. To her stupid & unnecessary indecision to leave town for a while. I mean even if Eph is completely wrong & crazy, what's the harm in taking her son out of town for a few days? It's not a life changing decision. I really hope the vamps chomp on her & her idiot bf so Eph can have his son back.
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Agree with tim review above it what somewhat a mixed episode I did expect once the eclipse happened it would be like 30 days and nights vampires running amok but no ? Fat medical Examiner looking for a takeaway dumb quite frankly .
I am interested in Vasily character although I did think his dad might of knew about the origins of the vamps like Abraham but alas no "daddy issues ". The Strain has to careful if they delve too much on the cliche character backstories and less on the action then it will turn boring like Penny Dreadful. Arbraham needs help how do expect a OAP version of Blade to exterminate 200 vamps on dodgy ticker ? hope next week we get back to more excitement !
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I'm not sure why there is this talk about just the ME. Was I the only one actually listening? You clearly hear on the radio of attacks all over the city. We see people at Eph's wife's bf's (whatever-the-fuck-his-name-is) work get attacked by other vamps. The eclipse allowed many other people to be infected.
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You did'nt see the scale of the attacks ?
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For me it wasn't nearly as bad as "The Box".
Yes, it was not great, they should have exploited more the eclipse and all the emerging creatures and yes, Kelly is mostly useless to the show but some character backstories are helping us understand how they are going to fight those things!

Oh, I think the police arrested Gus and Felix for killing that medical examiner...
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So, because I spoiled myself a bit, I kind of watched that scene at Kelly and Zach with a sense of dread (like I figure I know the next events in that and with Gus which led me to wait something is going to happen....).

Again, as with the Box, I didn't hate this episode. If to take your analogy, yes, Runaways lit the fuse, but the fuse has to burn before the bomb explodes. I didn't necessarily get real deadline sense during the episode other than with Kelly with the oncoming eclipse.
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You're right Tim, worst episode so far. I suffered horrendous boredom during that "filler" episode. Awful.
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It was all right. But it seems like it regressed a bit.
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Eh, it was pretty bad. Funny how the mouth tentacles always hit the minor characters perfectly, but always miss the main characters. Even funnier is when these things encounter a supposed main character, they don't try to bite them, they just throw them around. They are dangerous when the plot demands it. Honestly, they seem like lesser versions of the Reapers from Blade II.
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Of course that is what Del Toro is going for with the vampires. Blade 2 was good, far better than the third and a lot darker.

But as for the characters go. At least in this instance you could chalk it up to they just have better reflexes and would be able to avoid them. It is better than sheer luck or convenience that so many other shows put forth rather than write their characters with any semblance of intelligence especially consistent intelligence. This show has a few seasons before it gets desperate and has Daryl open and door with obvious Zombies behind it.

The ones that are frustration me the most are the female doc, who went from intelligent colleague of Eph in the pilot to a Loriesque moron who is now his love interest. And Vasily, he has survived twice now, not knowing what he is dealing with and he still hasn't busted out his UV lights that we saw when he was prepping for work. What the hell happened to them. When are they going to act and resemble scientists and figure out the problem and such.

This show still seems like it is designed for 2 hour blocks instead of 1 hour.

oh and some advice. I was on holiday and didn't catch this weeks episode of True Blood. Is it worth watching or not?
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Funny how the most intelligent character so far has been that nanny for the infected lawyer lady. Don't get too caught up in the science part, because hardly any show gets that right.

As far as True Blood, I recommend you read Lily's review and all my comments on that review, but you don't have to watch the episode, it wasn't good as usual. Even Lily didn't like this one. 75 - 80% of it was Jason/Jessica/Hoyt/Bridget shenanigans.
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I got awesome 'Disaster Movie' vibes from this episode and hopefully it will just get better and better the deeper and darker the apocalypse gets.

Loving the show 100%, even the small flaws. It's not the greatest thing ever, but I haven't seen many shows of this disaster movie kind. It's even better that it's a sort of Vampire/Disastermovie than Sex/Love/Trublood stuff.
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If it was just the medical examiner, what was the point of the eclipse?

exactly

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I think the point was to get a few of the less useful vamps outside and attacking people publicly, and thereby causing panic. If people said, 'hm, it's getting creepy around here' and left in a steady stream, the vamps lose victims. If people freak out, go full on stupid and crash cars in tunnels and bridges, nobody leaves. They hole up in their homes and become sitting Happy Meals.
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What happened to that monster? Did he just decide to quit and take a nap? Do all the other people who saw him have Alzheimer's too?

i thought the same thing & about how no one care there was a monster in the middle of traffic. maybe NYC is normally that crazy where people just ignore that stuff. i've only been there twice on day trips.
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In the book, the Master uses the occultation to grab his coffin and get into the van that Gus eventually drives into the city. Also in the book, Eph's son is at a Yankee game with his moms boyfriend during the occultation.
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"the first scene of the noseless vampire feeding off that guy" was so NOT unnecessary! It was amazing!
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Okay, some of this episode I liked, and some, not so much. I loved Vasily having to kill his boss and co-worker, especially after he found out she has a kid. That was amazing and tragic at the same time. But Eph's wife made me want to punch her out, grab the kid, and take him to Vermont. The kid's smart enough to realize his father knows what to do. She's an idiot.

Abraham trying to take out a house full of vampires was perfect, the cdc lady and her mother walking around New York with no idea where to go was whacked. Hit the bus station and get out of town!

And while I appreciated why an eclipse would be great for vampires (more people outside in the dark), I felt that the event was almost completely wasted. The sewers should've erupted with vampires.

I'll keep watching and hope the craziness increases exponentially.
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It's called character development Tim. Ever heard of it?

You're welcome.
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You have to have the right balance also the characters have to be interesting
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Compare to "Penny Dreadful". There you have relevant (!) character development without losing momentum, whilst pushing the narrative forward.
Here: what's the use of learning that Vasiliy should have gone to architecture college? Zilch. Also, he meets monsters in the sewers, and responds by doodling in a notebook, relaxing in a diner? Really? Then, after that, he makes a very half-hearted attempt at warning his dad. "I tried". No, not really. Boring. How are his parents relevant to the plot?
How does Nora's mum add to the story? Her existence could have been streamlined, easy.
How does the plot gain from Kelly yapping with her friend? What would the narrative lose without that scene?
Further:
Kelly knows Eph is good at his job, so she doesn't even give him a moment to listen?
Why does Eph go to Kelly's apartment when he knows the FBI are watching? Plus, Matt's there - with no love lost?
Why are the FBI agents such unmitigated assholes? Have they never heard of, you know, investigating? Tying up loose ends, incorporate all the evidence? Beating up suspects? Didn't they see Eph's video??
Are New Yorkers really so jaded that a monster can roam the streets, and kill people, without reacting? I don't think so.
Why does Matt simply approach two shadowy figures after a colleague has been attacked? Call 911 - nooo.
When does the full team finally meet up? What's the point of the delay?
Does Gus have any other facial expressions?
The list goes on...
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Exactly.

I mean I barely talk to my dad, although we probably get along better than Vasily does with his.

If I was him I'd ask them to move, then implore them to move then I'd stay till Mom got home and then tape them both up, stick them in a car and drive them to Florida (more sun).

Because I just saw a pack of Vampires in the sewers and my entire office turned into them since the last time I went into work.

Duh
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Counterpoint: All of the things that did happen in this episode should have happened three episodes ago. Making this the best episode so far for finally moving the story forward. Even if it did happen in only a few minutes.
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"Gus dumped a body for Thomas." And I immediately thought "what became of burning them?" If the body had been frozen in a hospital, maybe the worms were just hibernating and would be spread in the water all over NY after the body dump.
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Vamps cant move across flowing water without being embedded in their native soil, or something to that effect. Thats why the master needed Gus in the first place.
With that in mind, there's no reason to believe water wouldnt kill the worms.
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Good review, Tim. This show was like driving behind a guy on the freeway who suddenly hits the brakes for no good reason at all.
Plus, as was pointed out by many others here, the inconsistencies and sheer dumbass behaviour is annoying as hell.
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I actually liked the episode, though I'm also really digging this show in general. The neck-crank feeding thing was brutal- even if it wasn't totally necessary. The Abe in the cab scene, right after his heart thing in the house (where he dropped his pills), and he saw Eph was being manhunted, was a desperate attempt to recruit someone else to the cause- cuz Abe's gonna die soon. I'll take any backstory on my favorite rat catcher, and I suspect there's more to come. The Eph's family stuff drags a bit, but it's about to change, cuz the bf is about to get tongue-stabbed by the ugliest thing since Alien, and then he's gonna go home to the ex-Mrs. Eph and jr. And Felix has worms. And Rudy still hadn't been able to take the field. It's hell all around.
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So this was the episode where everyone runs around demanding that their estranged loved ones get out of town. Have you ever seen an episode of ANY show where that conversation goes according to plan? This ep was boringly predictable for the most part and then fizzled out at the end when I was pretty much ready for vampires to suck the bejeeesus out of anyone and everyone. Fingers crossed that'll happen next week.

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"Are those eclipse glasses that dark?" Yes, you can comfortably look at the sun while wearing them, they are indeed that dark. They do not, however, block sound or prevent you from taking them off to look at what might be creating those horrible screaming noises.
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I enjoyed this episode. Not as good as the last one but still good enough for me. Many have commented they are trying to stretch the book to a full 13 episodes. Perhaps that is why they need to spend some time on the "unnecessary" stuff. I am okay with that.

This is still the best new show this summer and second best show overall. It is second only to Masters of Sex who is having a brilliant second season.
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I don't know about "best new show of the summer." Manhattan is pretty darn good.
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I liked the first episode of Manhattan. Not so much for 2nd and 3rd episode. I had a hard time buying the lead character really believe he is stopping ALL the wars in the future.
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The latest episode does a wonderful job of showing us Winter's past, and why he thinks the bomb will stop all wars.

Whereas, the episode also showed an interaction between Isaacs and a guest character who makes him question the project even more than he already did (he thinks it's too big/destructive).

Honestly, I'd say this week's episode was the best one yet, and it spent most of its time addressing the very problem you have with the show (in a manner that I think is awesome).
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I have not watched it yet. Masters of Sex, The strain and even The Lottery are my priorities. I have yet to give up hope on it though. I like JBH, the actor who plays Frank.

I did not really liked the first three episodes of the honorable woman but it turns out to be quite a good series.
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Why would the eclipse be more significant to the vampires than the darkness that happens every night? Unless there's something vampire specific about an eclipse? They only last a few minutes, so even though the previews sort of built up the eclipse thing, I didn't expect a massive outpouring of vampires from the sewers... I became even more curious about the significance of the eclipse after Vasily fried his coworkers with sunlight. How could the vampires get out of the sewers, infect lots of people, and then get back underground before the sun came back? Unless they were merely sacrifices towards getting the maximum amount of people infected. That might make sense, except they could do that at night.

Maybe someone who has read the books could explain the importance of the eclipse. Please? lol
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my 2c: Yes, they could do it at night... but during daytime there are a lot more people on the streets... a sort of feast of humans to feed/turn on...
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You're right, they could definitely do it at night in the city that never sleeps. Just one more thing that makes no sense. I think this book was written several accidental inconsistencies. Then GDT made them part of the greater conspiracy.
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In the books the eclipse happened the day after the plane landed so that the Master could leave the airport and get to the van where Gus picked it up and drove across the river into Manhattan.
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Oh, thanks! Well, I suppose the eclipse would be sort of like an omen then. The Master might have timed his arrival with the eclipse just for the scariness of it or something... like your comment about the shadow falling over New York. Maybe it's symbolic for him.
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I guess it's also symbolic of a shadow falling over New York as well.
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I mean theres nothing supernatural about it the master timed his arrival to coincide with the eclipse, for some reason. He couldn't have waited for Night? I'm confused...
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I don't, usually, mind the short time the show spends showing us the family-side of certain characters' lives; however, the one part of this episode that had me scratching my head was: when Eph's wife was talking to her friend.

I mean, besides the woman having an extremely annoying voice/New Yorker accent, I thought the whole conversation was unnecessary because we'd already been shown Kelly's (is that Eph's wife's name?) state of mind when she was fighting with her boyfriend. Hearing her talk about it with one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was pointless and redundant.
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Couldn't agree more...the friend bugs the shit out of me... In fact, so does Kelly..but I've been biased about her since the beginning cuz I hated her as Julia on US Being Human lol. That scene was pointless tho, completely. The fact that she decided to stay in town and not listen to Eph was ludicrous tho.... She was married to this man! He's the father of her son... He's a workaholic (& n alcoholic but obviously sober..) in the area of epidemics and she thinks he made all this up? Or is just overreacting? It's not like he wanted to go with them, that I could see her finding suspicious..but telling her to take their son away from him, out of the city, to keep him safe and she's just like "nah I think we'll stay instead, you've got school son." She deserves whatever comes.
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Why is Jim (Sean Astin) working for Thomas? Isn't he now supposed to be helping Eph?
Did I miss some scene where Thomas contacts and threatens him or something similar.
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it's the most stupid story line that presents in almost every show I watch, in this case - Jim agrees to help the "devil" to make an apocalypse, so everyone can die, to help her wife not to die from cancer.. -_- really? what's the point.. she'll die dumbass. with you and everyone you care about.. I just can't stand it anymore..

sorry if I made some mistakes -_-
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I don't think Jim is aware of the entire plan. When he told Eph that he was paid to get a box through customs I believe thats all he knows. I really don't think he's privy to the whole plan.
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And what about now?

He knows now that he let an infectious carrier of some sort out of the airport and totally screwed up in CDC High Alert type fashion.

And yet he's still doing stupid deals with the devil.

The wife excuse doesn't even play out anymore since he should be realizing NOW that the entire city (which his wife lives in) is about to get sucked dry.

Stupid, nasty hobbits.
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exactly!
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Mostly its because of bad acting or plot writing. Knowing vampires are taking over the world generally absolves you from honoring deals with the devil unless you're a stupid hobbit.
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Thomas got Jim's wife into an experimental treatment for the cancer she has. I assume that Jim still takes orders from him because he could just as easily get her tossed out of the treatment program. Or, maybe Jim realized that Thomas is a straight up monster, and he thinks his wife might be in danger if he betrays Thomas?
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His wife is in danger already, because those blood sucking creatures are going to invade earth :)) or they aren't going to kill Jim's wife, just because she's into an experimental treatment for cancer -_-
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i mostly agree with Tim, not the greatest episode. But still one of my faves at the moment. I expect they will also expand on the WW2 side of things as well at some stage. I didn't read the book.
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Tim's just sick of Kelly and the Kliches. Their last album sucked.

This was a good episode though, and Kelly aint goin anywhere any time soon.
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this didnt record for me. WTF DVR. hopefully they re-run it
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they will. or you can watch it only if you have comcast on demand.
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I have a local hd digital tv company since comcast isnt in my area. they don't have access to FX Now app (when you have to verify your cable subscription). But luckily it was on demand. they finally made that use-able a month or so ago, but i couldnt ffwd thru the commercials.
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Or he could just tap a mouse with his finger and be 5 clicks away from watching the episode for free - it's called online streaming. You're welcome sweetheart.
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i was just mad my DVR didn't record a NEW ep. sometimes my cable guide doesn't say NEW when shows have a new episode. probably happened 5 times in 7 years, not bad, but annoying.
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i obviously know how to do that. the legal & illegal way. I have a local hd digital tv company since comcast isnt in my area. they don't have access to FX Now app (when you have to verify your cable subscription). But luckily it was on demand. they finally made that use-able a month or so ago, but i couldnt ffwd thru the commercials.
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I meant online. not "only"
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Also, perhaps it's explained in the book, yada yada, but how can Eichhorst keep feeding on a single victim for an extended period and keep him from being infected?

It can't be age giving him control over the worms, because then the Master wouldn't have had to smash Bishop's head in--presumably to stop him from coming back too soon and giving away the game.

And why do half the reviewers I read keep misspelling "Eichhorst"? FX has it spelled out clear as day. Is one stinking "h" too much to type?
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I think we can simply call him Thomas, let's forget Eichorst.

And no, I don't think that man in there nourished Thomas in the past, he was brand-new. Then again, I remember some fancy champagne bottles with blood (Episode 3) that Thomas had in his room. Can't they just drink from a bottle by putting that stinger in it? Oh, and I really want to throw in there the writers of the show...

* Two of the photo recaps I am preparing... :D



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I don't think Eichorst keeps victims from becoming infected, but humans are good for multiple feedings before they become vamps. The transformation takes a week.
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See, you did it too. :) It's officially Eichhorst, with two Hs.
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my grammar & punctuation is so bad that my spelling is perfect by comparison.
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Has a week passed in the series yet? It doesn't seem like it. It seemed like partial transformations were happening within 24-48 hours, but the human prisoner appears to be totally unharmed other than being a bit anemic.
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by the time the book ends only a few days have passed. I think its four days from start to finish. I think some events have been moved forward in the show. Just to keep people from getting bored.

I'm not sure Ike's feeding happens in the book. I may have skipped over it. Some subjects have slower infection rates and it is possible Ike gave him something to slow his transformation. Since I skipped about 40 minutes, it couldve happened in the book. IDK. If i had to actually read the book rather than listen to it, I'd have never finished it.
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Except that's not what he says. "Following normal infection, they can complete their transformation and activate to feeding after just one day or night. It takes seven nights for one to fully turn, for the disease to consume the body and reshape itself to its own end."

And a couple of pages later, "After forty-eight hours without feeding, his body will begin to fail."

So assuming all of this applies to the show as well, their ability to consume blood activates within 24 hours of infection, but that doesn't mean they only consume blood once every 24 hours. And while they can go 48 hours without blood, just as a human can go several days without eating, that doesn't mean they choose to wait 48 hours to eat.

And presumably older vampires can go longer without feeding on blood, or can subsist on stored blood. Otherwise allowing for cargo loading and such, one suspects that the Master couldn't have made the trip from Germany to the U.S.

Even on the show Gabriel consumed two people within a relatively short period of time. So I don't think we can measure the show by the amount of feeding going on.
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if they must have blood within 24 hours, that should give you a glimpse as to just how slow the show progresses. Its inching forward with every episode.
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According to Abraham in the book, the feeding cycle starts within 24 hours. A "full transformation" takes a week. Complete metamorphosis is in 30 days.
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Does Tim even watch the episodes? I know it wasn't WWZ zombies scaling city walls, but to call that episode slow or boring, is ridiculous. Almost every major character had Zombie/Vamp interaction, and all the stories moved forward. I'm not even a huge fan of the show, but this review is just insane.

And, they even avoided the characterization mistakes that usually lead to mind-numbing boredom: The kept the "build" scenes to under 2 minutes, which is great, important humanization was accomplished, without driving us to drink. (think the whole season 2 of Walking dead).

Anyway, solid episode, moved all the chains, my only complaint is i'd like ONE person, just one, to say "Alright, I trust you and your opinion, we're leaving".
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The biggest problem with this episode was that we didn't see much of an escalation of the outbreak. That scene with the vamp on the street was disappointing. It's possible that some scenes are shaved down due to budget. I'm sure money is a little tight for a show like this. I am sure we likely see panic and mass infection but those scenes are saved for a more climatic part of the season.
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exactly. but things are still building up faster on tv than in the book.
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I'd say that it's building up at about the same rate, as much as one can judge such things.

Although given how much they've changed and rearranged things for the series from the first book (Jim's fate is completely different so far...), it's difficult to make a comparison. If you divide the first novel into thirteen parts, I suppose, but I'd say that's more a matter of having to spend several pages to write something out that can be shown in a matter of minutes on a TV show.
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- This episode informed us that even Abraham is a bit stupid. He sees 4 vampires gathered and then another one pops up. Then another one. And he still wants to kill all of them with his sword. Thank his heart for not letting him, he would be dead for sure.

- I see many disappointed with Tim's review. I wouldn't bitch about the drama elements but for the ridiculous moments and the anti-climax. I want to throw the writers in Thomas' white room. A funny photo recap (only!) will be up soon but you tempt me to work on a full review... Will see...
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Well, he does use his nail gun for the most part. It's not much of a close-quarters weapon, though.
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The big letdown was the eclipse. It's been almost obsessed about for weeks, then panicked about ("leave the city!!!!1!"), then it just comes and goes. From a storytelling point of view, that's awful. Surely the good guys should have been obsessing about nights, which last 120 times longer, and occur every 24 hours?
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That's just how The Strain rolls.

Hype vampires feeding in the streets and then show AA meetings and home renovations and other fluff for the first 6 episodes.

Hype an eclipse where vampires can run free and then show one vampire instead of the hundreds waiting in sewers for a snack.

This show is seriously starting to irritate me with the rope-a-dopes.
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they had to play up the coming eclipse for the sake of bookreaders. its a significant event in the book. the series baited-n-switched it.
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Boot readers had their turn when they read the freaking book.

This is a tv series and should b concerned solely with that.
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Tim you have a thing with your worsts episodes just like Game of Thrones ep.6 everyone was like "OMG" and you the worst episode of the season :) be patient my friend the good thing is coming late.
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Oh ok the good parts are coming late, thanks Stephanos.

So should I wait 3 or 4 seasons before this gets good do you think?
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He was also way off base with this episode of The Walking Dead, which was one of the greatest episodes of the series.
The hipster in him compels him to sway against popular opinion regardless of how nonsensical the contrary opinion is.
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Wow, you've got to be one of the worst reviewers I've ever... Reviewed. When did characterisation become fluff?
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there's been lots of characterization already. its mostly pretty boring stuff in the strain. much more entertaining in some other shows.
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Depends on the type of TV show and movie.
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Gus plays a major Fucking part , they show him as a fighter for a reason, there is a whole morgue of plane passengers that fled earlier so that's why it's spread out and every character important you need to know a little backstory so you understand how they feel and their actions from here on out .... Best episode yet if you know the book's .... And first and last time I read anything by this moron
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Thanks for ruining the entire show with your anger-spasm dude.
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Tim doesnt know the books. To people who don't, this series drags out seemingly insignificant shit unto infinity.. The book is slow as hell too. In fact I wouldve dumped this show if it didnt have a wikipedia page. That made me more interested in the strain than the show itself. Luckily its become quite entertaining.
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Tim for you to judge a show based off of consistency definitely falls into the category of "the pot calling the kettle black". You've been nothing but inconsistent reviewing this show (along with your cheesy attempt at comedy, spare us, PLEASE). One week ya hate it, the next you love it. Geez! These kinda episodes are necessary to further character development. I think you should stick to things that are more your speed, like 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails, which is 10 minute increments of mindless vampires killing random blondes with ginormous tits.
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Actually Tim has given decent reviews to every episode except for this one and The Box.

Both of which kind of sucked.

IN OUR OPINIONS.

Wait, we are allowed to have our own opinions right?
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Dude, its a tv show review. Why react defensively and make things personal?

Tim has a helluva fan club, yet all he's done is give his honest opinion.

You can be the Siskel to his Ebert without attacking him. It's not that serious.
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Are the vast majority of Star Trek fans inconsistent because they like "City on the Edge of Forever", but hate "Spock's Brain"?

Granted, Trek has the advantage of being off the air for almost 50 years (gakk - golden anniversary coming up!). And has a "consensus" as a result. But if a show is inconsistent, and you're reviewing it episode-by-episode, then the reviewer is going to be... inconsistent.
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The vast majority of star trek fans are just weird...
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And I don't think anyone is weird for hating "Spock's Brain"...
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And Strain fans aren't? ;)

But there's very few shows that are consistent throughout their entire run.
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If a show is inconsistent about presenting things to love or hate, isn't someone going to be inconsistent in whether they love or hate it?
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What person who works at the CDC thinks it's a good idea to dispose of a diseased person by throwing it in a river in one of the largest cities in the world?????? This show show has some awesome highs but it's lows are so stupid that it makes you question who even wrote this crap!
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I understand that is a little weird, and I'm chalking it up to Rudy being an idiot. He's done stupider things every episode and I'm hoping he dies from a toilet falling out of a passing airplane just to make him at least provide some humor before he goes.

The worst part is why even dispose of the body in the first place.

Eichhorst should know the eclipse will be a turning point where all vampires will start to infect a half dozen or so more people by morning, basically removing any need for a single piece of evidence to be problematic.

Just another plot point written solely to get Dumb Jim and Gus "trust me I'll eventually be relevant" together.


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I just don't get why they couldn't burn it like the friend said. I know this show is not based in our reality but wow that was dumb.
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vampires cant cross flowing water. so throwing a dead/disease ridden vamp corpse into the river should effectively dispose of it
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From what I've seen on this show that's not a part of THIS vampire lore, but I may have missed it.
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Yea you did. Remember when Gus was hired to drive The Master's coffin from the airport into the city? This was only necessary because vamps cant cross flowing water unaided. The Master needed to be in his coffin, enveloped in his native soil when crossing the water. At the same time, there is obviously a liquid substance that the worms can thrive in, or Abraham wouldnt be able to sustain the infected heart he keeps in the jar. Though water can't flow in a jar. (if it even is water.)
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Thanks for that, I tried to block out the first episode. I completely missed that. Since that's their lore maybe the body being in the river won't spread the plague, I guess we'll find out next week. Thanks again :)
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the kind that's bought and paid for by the bad guys??
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Didn't he say "I didn't want to hurt anyone"? He saw and fought with the monster, if this thing spreads everywhere he won't be able to cure his beloved wife because both of them will be dead. Yet again, Eph, Nora, their superior, Jim, those who analyzed the vampire piss, every single scientist is Prometheus' approved. I really hope the nanny will save the world. She is the only one I trust.






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:heart: the one about the nanny :)
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The nanny is by far the smartest character so far, and I must agree these people went to the same school as the scientists from Prometheus, so dumb.
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The "unnecessary fluff" you refer to is known as "characterization".
Writers use characterization as a means of making the characters seem more human in order to increase both the relatability of the characters and the investment of the viewer.
It is often the difference between a good show and a not so good show.
Granted, The Strain is so strong on plot that it can afford to lapse a little in the characterization department without seriously impacting the show in a negative way but contrary to your preferences, having more developed characters is never a bad thing.
Good T.V. isn't some kind of boogeyman, we should be embracing it a little more whole-heartedly.
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Yea we know what they're trying to do.

It's unfortunately failing miserably when they ignore some things that have to be happening (the vampire killing old home patients the night before going completely unnoticed) in order to have a 5 minutes "i love you mom" while we watch the eclipse bs, for Characterization.

Yawn.

I mean maybe if they had been showing clips all the last few months promising The Sound of Music I would be impressed, but mostly I was promised Vampires taking over the world and not really getting it.

Besides if I wanted characterization I'd go talk to my neighbors.
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You should be glad you aren't getting what you think you want.
We get plenty of vampiric action in every episode even to the extent that some consider it superfluous such as the feeding scene in this very episode. If there was no characterization at all and it was just one constant undead battle, it would be boring as hell and the showrunners would have never let it get to air.
No show could possibly exist like that because it simply isn't interesting. If something like Breaking Bad ignored characterization, it wouldn't nearly be as interesting nor as popular. The show would lose everything that made it a hit if Walter White's family were never introduced and he was simply some random dude with cancer cooking meth for the hell of it.
The same is true of The Strain. The character which seems to be the most popular is Setrakian yet would anyone care about him if he wasn't displayed as a badass, in-the-know, jew, that is both unable to find allies and knows he is unable to succeed alone? No-one would care if he was just some generic, underdeveloped guy simply getting by in a world full of vampires.

If any complaint can be justifiably made about the characterization of The Strain, it isn't that there is too much of it, it is that not enough effort is put into it. In a perfect world the showrunners would have devoted enough quality screentime for us to be as invested in all of the characters as many are of Setrakian.
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Though the eclipse, was a little anti-climatic, i still enjoyed the episode. It's not a 2 hour movie. To sustain even a short cable series, you need character development, two dimensional characters won't cut it.

"And why did those cops arrest him and Felix? F THE POLICE, racist pigs!"

Well maybe? But the cops, may of seen two guy fighting another guy. And bashing him, in the head with a pipe.
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Come on, the feeding scene was supposed to be creepy and gross, which is was. Not every scene it meant to move the plot forward, there's such thing as setting the mood you know. Plus it gave us another chance to look at how his vampire face which is cool. Also the cops were right to detain Gus and Felix, from what they saw they just bashed a guy's head in or they were standing around a guy that just got his head bashed in and was covered in blood. Whether they were latino or not two guys in an alleyway in New York next to an unconscious/dead guy looks like a mugging, any cop the world over would do the same thing. Granted the one hitting him in the face was unnecessary and they didn't seem to be resisting but I assumed him shouting "stop resisting" was a joke.
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It was already clear that Thomas got in his pocket Gus!

Anyone else disappointed that the right hand vampire also got that mount snake thing, I was hoping he was another type of vampire!

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I don't see why they have the Nosferatu teeth if the stinger does all the job. I was hoping for a traditional bite too.
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It doesnt make sense to call the series "the strain" if there's no traditional vampires around. I'm not saying there definitely are. IDK really.
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Thomas has virtually unlimited resources, so he can pretend to be human, feeding without hunting his own food. I mean I guess he has others that kidnap people. He is another type of vampire. He's a dick.
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I trust that anyone who has read the books knows what happens from here? I have faith. This episode didn't leave me pessimistic. I was mostly disappointed about the pay off from the eclipse. What the hell did the elcipse do? I was expecting total chaos.
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The eclipse was orchestrated 5,000 years ago so that the Medical Examiner could rescue Eph from the FBI.

The Master is sooo smart.


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Fact: The occultation wasn't necessary for the vampire-take-over-the-world plan after all.

Conclusion: The Master is a real drama queen.
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they played up the eclipse as a coming apocalypse, but i agree it ended up being far less chaotic than expected. It was a moment of revelation for some. It was just a metaphor for things falling apart., As in a medical examiner running about feeding on people, Vasily's boss trying to eat him, etc.,

maybe it wouldve been too expensive to have 20 vamp attacks occuring simultaneously.

I think it was kind of misleading to write a book that covers four or five days, and break it up into 13 episodes. It makes the story seem its struggling to move forward.
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I think eclipse is a plot device that will come up later. "well, during the ecplise they....." It allowed infected to move around above ground as well.
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Also, in the novel the Master choosing to launch his NYC "invasion" during the eclipse is intentional. Kind of a secret "fuck you" to the world. A dead rock usurping a living sun, a source of life, and so on.

Here it seems coincidental.
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The Master's sentiment with regard to everything is to be revealed later, as is his face. Thats just how tv and movies are; suspenseful, but in the book The Master's face is revealed at the place where "The Box" chose to hide it. This episode is approximately 9-10 hours into the first book, or 9-10/13 of the total.

most of what viewers will appreciate most happens in the last 3/13 of the book. FX moved some things around because they knew people werent gonna want to be bored and confused for the first 10 hours. that wouldve killed the series.

they do gloss over the eclipse in this episode. I think there's coming a fill in the blanks episode where certain things will be tied together, because they need at least a couple more reflective episodes to fill the remaining 6 hours. Really there's only 3 hours worth of forward progress remaining. Maybe 4.

read the wikipedia page if you havent already. it has interesting info with few impactful spoilers. much of the book is abysmally boring and unrevealing.


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This was the strongest episode for The Strain yet. You can see how it's affecting people a lot more now. What I'm excited for next week is the introduction of my favorite character.
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Almost everyone in this show is stupid they don't act like people with common sense, if your sick you get help not sit around with you're other sick friends and drink wine while you bleeding from your mouth.
Very entertaining show but the people in it just don't make much sense
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If only the Nanny was President.
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The people who fail to seek medical attention, are changelings under the Master's influence. It hasnt been made explicit in the series yet, thus making the premise seem quite a stretch.
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Well even though, they haven't explained it fully; it's not hard, to pick up on that. The changlings made some mentions, to voices in their heads, telling them to attack. I haven't read the books yet, and i got it a couple of episodes ago.
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You may have noticed The Master lured one guy from the cargo hold in the first episode.

In the books they explain how vampires dont really speak, because they have no vocal chords. They communicate through telepathy, but they lipsync so listeners think they hear audible voices.

GDT might leave that out of the series altogether.
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Don't worry today they hinted that the Ninja Turtles will come out and save the day :P
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Kelly and Zach? Too much to hope for that it's Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris? Because I will start watching this show again.
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Are those people from "saved by the bell?" I hope not, because knowing that would put me in a particularly bad light.
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Hater :(
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The text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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That scene with Vasily and his boss was amazing. Definitely cinema quality effects.
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There has never been any scenes of Eichorst's feedings and I'm sure people wondered if he ever fed. Thats why they showed him feeding. It highlighted his sadism. The cab scene was meant to show Abraham sensing his inability, and vulnerability at a time when all his strength would be needed. He now knows he cannot do it alone, and that it would be futile to even try. He needs help.


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I thought the scene where Abraham was having heart problems and the vampires almost killed him showed that he can't do it alone and it would be futile to even try.

I half-expected the cab driver to say, "Sure, Jack, I'll be glad to join you."

Is Eichhorst a character in the first book?
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The scene with the vampires and setrakian was the beginning of his realization of inability, it carried through the cab ride, which is why he asked the cabbie if he would help. He didnt realize the cabbie was speaking hyperbole. Abe had no sense of vulnerability before this episode. Only determination.

People have been wondering all season why Abe hasnt pressed the issue of forming alliances. He has mostly shunned them because of the danger it would pose for potential allies. Allies that he may end up being forced to kill. This episode was a turning point in that regard.

Eichorst is in the first book. Very little has been changed for the series. This is acheived almost effortlessly because the book was written for tv.
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I just finished the first book. In my copy of it, Eichhorst doesn't appear. Nor does any similar character who acts as an emissary to the Master with Eldritch.
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*shrug* I got the fact you're stating in the first scene, and the third scene when he comes up with a new plan. And they'll probably drive it home again next week. I could see a certain type of audience needing it to drive home the turning point. But is it the audience that is watching this show, on FX, at 10/9 on a Sunday night? :)

I've been rereading the books and am up to Page 170. No mention of Eichhorst yet. That seems a pretty significant change for the TV series to bring him in early. Plus they've changed quite a bit else. Events that happened before the eclipse, in episode 2 and 3, are just occurring now in the book, after the eclipse. I can't judge how much effort went into changing it, but they seem to be making a lot of changes.
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