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The Strain S01E07: "For Services Rendered"

Good golly, this show! It's all over the place, isn't it? While New York City slowly turns a few shades paler, The Strain is suffers from its own unique ailments. The pacing as of late has hiccuped quite a bit, and last week's "Occultation" left me with little sense of anticipation for this week's "For Services Rendered." Wasn't that eclipse supposed to be a big deal? What happened when the moon passed in front of the sun—one single vampire ran into the street? Why is Gus on this show anyway? Is Vasiliy ever going to join up with the main story, or will he continue arguing with his dad about architecture scholarships? And why won't anyone listen to a professional scientist? Or notice that a dead body obviously belonged to a grotesque, horrifying no-longer-human creature and consider the fact that maybe Gus and Felix had no choice but self defense? 

I suppose my frustration means it's time to remind myself that The Strain is not a great drama and shouldn't be taken seriously in any way, shape, or form. The series is taking plenty of liberties in order to move to its own beat, even if that means dumbing down the population of America's largest city and using a far-fetched internet slowdown as an excuse.

But it obviously doesn't have to be that way, because at the end of "For Services Rendered," a team of vampire Black Ops (let's call them BlackulOps) stormed in—and all of a sudden, The Strain was once again the fun, campy series I've enjoyed at several points throughout its young season. I giggled. I mean, come on. Follow me here. A team of hooded vampires with guns that shoot silver stakes saved Eva the Nanny's day by killing other vampires! Including those kids' mompire, right in front of their dumb faces! What I ask for from The Strain is so minuscule that batshittery like this is all it takes to leave me feeling pretty satisfied. I know The Strain isn't that good, but I feel compelled to watch it with high hopes every week, almost as if the Master is ordering me to do so.


And please, I'm not trying to be preachy here. If you think the show is slow, dumb, and boring, you've got plenty of evidence to back up those claims. If the flashbacks to Abraham in the Nazi camp aren't doing it for you, you're not alone; all they do is drag, and they haven't really added anything to the conversation. If any scene featuring Eldritch, Gus, or Vasiliy seems disconnected from the rest of the show or unnecessarily shrouded in mystery, I'm right there with ya. We're now seven episodes in, and many of the characters still seem scattered. If you've screamed, "YEAH SILVER HURTS VAMPIRES, WE GET IT!," you've echoed my own yelling. Abraham doesn't need to convince me twice that fighting these monsters is serious business. And if you're wondering how New York could be so blind to what's going on, you're welcome to take a seat at my table. It's as if the whole city is in some hivemind denial.

HOWEVER: I'm so shallow and easy to please when it comes to monster movies and TV shows that The Strain is doing just enough to keep me watching. Put simply, I'm never get tired of seeing a vampire's face open up to shoot a feeding tube into some poor sap's jugular. Maybe it's the lazy summer days that promote brain vacations, but I love that stuff. So I'm willing to let a lot of ridiculous things slide as long as a few key boxes are checked throughout the hour, and I think "For Services Rendered" successfully checked them with its opening scene (someone finally acted normal as infected beasts approached; thanks, Chief from Battlestar Galactica!) and the arrival of the BlackulOps at the end. 

Let's go on a little tangent with the BlackulOps, as they potentially open up some exciting new territory. (If you've read the books, kindly keep your trap shut!) They're almost certainly old vampires who've been doing this for a while, and their ability to not immediately eat those kids makes me think they might be infected with a mutated version of the original strain that's currently turning everyone else into thirsty, uncontrollable brutes. These vampires have retained some of their humanity, much like Thomas Eichhorst (hmmm), and they have enough self control to branch out on their own and not suck dry every human they encounter. If we consider the situation from a scientific angle, perhaps these vampires follow a societal structure that's similar to that of an ant colony or a beehive, with most of the infected slowly becoming drones and other, more evolved vampires keeping things under control?

Aside from that, there's much left to digest from "For Services Rendered," as the story crept forward slowly and The Strain made it through another hour without the start of a full-blown chaotic outbreak. People are starting to wear protective breathing masks, though, so they seem concerned even though the news would rather cover days-old press conferences of Joan talking about suing Regis Airlines or run headlines about Gabe's canceled concert. The introduction of the BlackulOps at least introduces a new layer that will hopefully be explored next week. Actually, it'd better be explored next week, because while The Strain is riding along by including just enough scenes full of projectile blood-sucking straws, monster autopsies, disgusting transformations, and vampire attacks, it can't coast through a few seasons on gore alone. (I'll still watch, though.)



NOTES

– Was that it for Aaron Douglas (Joan's husband)? He showed up for one episode and got eaten and that's it? 

– Uh-oh! Looks like New York City is under attack from selective cell phone service, as Douglas's character was able to receive one call but not make another. Or is that like every day? Cell phones, amirite?

– Is Jim back in your good graces after helping out the team again? I think he's still coming off as kind of a putz. Obviously he had to help them stop the outbreak because it's his fault, but he seems to be dragging his feet with every choice he makes. 

– The audio trickery when Thomas was talking to Jim in the train station was totally radical. 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 10/4/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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I DVR it so I press sometimes the FFW/30s button so It doesn't feel to stall, and RRW/7s, and FFW, and RRw, and so on, and so on. Waiting for the Fall Season perhaps. Perhaps.
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i think the show is doing really well so far. what people have to understand is that everything will eventually tie together! It is only the first few episodes of the first season. Of course you're not going to know everything right away. appreciate the suspense and watch the story come together. It's like everyone wants to know the end of the story and could care less what happens in the middle. That's really unsatisfying. With the separate story lines and flashbacks, you can see the characters all develop. Hell, who knew that Setrakian carved the coffin! It may not always be explosions and cool fight scenes but it's still an awesome show. appreciate the little things. and even though the horror genre thrives on stupid people, i like how they atleast try to make it make sense how this could happen in the modern world. all around i think this week's episode was great and help strengthen the story. also Vampires hunting vampires!!!
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I really enjoyed this episode! Much better than the previous and it had great moments. Okay, it's still moving slower than I'd like and there are some flaws, but it was consistent and kept me wondering about the next episodes.
I do find the flashbacks interesting, but I was expecting some meaning there. Ok, Abraham's got the silver knife, but what then?
A flashback, in my opinion, should be used to make a point, to support the events of present time. Its story must have a beginning and an end. If they drag along the whole series, then which part of the story is the most important?
Don't get me started on Jim....
Okay, I'm gonna watch episode 8 now :D
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I liked this episode, but was a bit dissapointed when the moon came and like you said in the review, just one vampire came...well the good thing about it was that Eph could escape...so he should be thanking that Vampire...

Loved the end...when the nanny and her daughter brought back the kids, to get attacked by their mother...then this group of Vampires came and resceud them sort of...they killed that girl...who the heck were they????

What the hell is going on with this series..?? Where is Buffy when you need her??
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Aaron Douglas is pretty good actor and I was quite baffled to see him for such a short role.. Should have used him more intelligently or maybe they will.. best thing was the Black Death Squad... Straight to the point.. If you came in contact even slightest, BAAM rod shaped arrow straight to the head ! They are like viewers of zombie shows in disguise...
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Setrakian's story in Treblinka...much more interesting in the books.
BUT the final 2' minutes...DEFINING. If you like it, keep watching. If not, maybe you should skip

For me it was the part near the end of the 1st book - although in another incident, not in Lass' house - that change the genre of the trilogy
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I liked most of the episode, and some of the flashback. However, the flashback started to lag and I fast-forwarded through about half of it. I don't mind some of the history, especially the carving part, but too much time was spent on food sharing and drinking. Why was that important to the progression of the infection in NY?

That nanny was smarter than everybody we've seen so far, including the CDC guys. And I think having a good grounding in ancient legends is what has helped her, Vassily and Abraham from the beginning. I can understand why her daughter acted as she did, but her mother's fear should've at least made her wary, and maybe check out the place before dragging the kids into possible danger.

Thosw vampired hunters were so cool! I want to see more of them!

I'm still in so far, so let's see how they end this season and I'll figure out if I want to stay in.
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I havent finished watching this episode yet and I had to come here just to vent about the first 5 minutes. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why are these character written so stupid? Even if you're a poor-English speaking taxi driver, if some dude comes at you with a sick twisted alien proboscis YOU DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR TO CONFRONT HIM, especially when you have the opportunity to drive away!!!! Be smart!!!

LOL...oh god. I just had to get that off my chest. Utterly retarded and it really really pissed me off. Now back to our regularly scheduled program
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Also, I was so happy to see Chief from Battlestar Gallactica, only he dies five minutes later! Shame!
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Yeah, I don't think I know of any taxi driver who wouldn't have floored it under those circumstances.
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"I suppose my frustration means it's time to remind myself that The Strain is not a great drama and shouldn't be taken seriously in any way, shape, or form. The series is taking plenty of liberties in order to move to its own beat, even if that means dumbing down the population of America's largest city and using a far-fetched internet slowdown as an excuse."

I've just had the epiphany I've been searching for with regards to this show. It's The Walking Dead except with vampires instead of zombies and is taking place during the time Rick was in his coma.

Ever wonder how a country of 350 million with an army 10x bigger than any other on earth could be over run by a bunch of slow moving mindless zombies? By doing the exact same dumb sh*t we're seeing here.

It's all so clear...it's the same f'ing show!

"What I ask for from The Strain is so minuscule that batshittery like this is all it takes to leave me feeling pretty satisfied. I know The Strain isn't that good, but I feel compelled to watch it with high hopes every week, almost as if the Master is ordering me to do so."

The prosecution rests your honour
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You are right. When describing it to some friends I said
"The 1st Season shall look like The Walking Dead Season 1 or something. Following Seasons based on Books 2 and 3 will be more like Fringe or Supernatural"
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I don't know about you and without getting into my usual diatribe about how that show's been ruined by extending the number of episodes per season but I thought the first season of TWD was AWESOME! I'm not sure if I'd put The Strain in that same category. TWD season 2 maybe where our "heroes" seeming made one absurd decision after another, after another that served no other purpose than to try and artificially create tension.

This show has a LONG way to go if ever it hopes to reach the quality of Fringe or Supernatural (Season 1-5)
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I'm not talking about quality. I'm talking about mood. The Strain was kinda pseudo-scientific and preparatory while The Fall and The Night Eternal are heavily actioned, much internal conflict and heavily relied in the mythology of the story
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No substance, but creepy and fun!
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You think the BlakulOps are different vampires? Interesting. I got the same feeling from them that the Eelfin and Aelfin (Wheel of Time books) gave me. Sorta like, "Yeeeeeeessssssseeeesss, we are here to helps you humonssssess but, we requiresssseessss ssssoommmeethingssssesss insss returnssses."

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I liked it, and like the show, but agree with Tim on a few points -- namely the hitting home of certain points (ex. silver is effective) is being done with a sledgehammer as though we too have the soft noggins of the vampires. Now, OBVIOUSLY the fact that the old dude himself carved the box way back when has some relevance, so I can see the need for a bit more of the flashback, and I suspect we may get some insight as to how the German became the undead he is, but I hope it doesn't drag on longer than it needs to. The bigger problem with the show is with the character Jim, and now his wife (I know she appeared before, but still). For a woman so sick and so dependent on her husband, who has risked all of society for her, she stormed off pretty quick. I can see one doing that, but not with the anger and quick decision-like way she did it. The dialogue is poor whenever Jim enters the scene, as is the story.

And I LOVED the Black Ops dudes at the end! Very fun indeed.
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i agree with most of the issues described, but i liked the ep.

they seemed to think the reveal of the carved box was some big deal. obviously we knew thats what he was doing from the start of the ep.

i did really like the scene with drunk nazi. pretty damn good.

also the ending was great. got me thinking about the spec ops group origin.
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I don't remember reading the drunk nazi scene in the book.
Thats not saying much but I like them bringing it into the series as a way of explaining Abraham's quite determination.
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I meant quiet determination
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Best episode for me. I was really getting annoyed by inconsistencies. The level of stupidity of some characters and the whole CDC/FBI/CNN total lack of awareness made me scream much louder than any gory slobbering scene. Now there's a diffuse sense of panic in the streets & subways which finally make a perfect background for the monster scenes. And god those were yummy. Can't wait for the next one.
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I get that horror movies have scenes where people do damn stupid things in the same space as some really disgusting creepy monster type but even the really schlock ones leaven the bumbling & stupidity with a few scenes of the heroes getting it right.
Not the strain. Every confrontation between man and monster shows humans demonstrating exactly why they are about to be flushed down the evolutionary sewer.

Even the one they call "the Jew" who is meant to be smarter than the average bear was as silly as a wheel when "The Nazi" found him on the train platform.
Most of us like to back a winner - so much more asinine stupidity from the humans, and we'll all be either rooting for the bloodsuckers, or doing something more interesting like putting out the garbage or ironing the week's laundry.
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Best episode so far. Most unexpected ending. But I don't find the flashbacks boring. On the contrary, I enjoy the past story. It's great writing.

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i liked it as well, but they seemed to think the reveal of the carved box was some big deal. obviously we knew thats what he was doing from the start of the ep.

i did really like the scene with drunk nazi. pretty damn good.
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"And if you're wondering how New York could be so blind to what's going on..."

Meh, why not show that? It accurately mirrors the general population's overall blindness to the things happening all around them every day. If anything, it's a little too true to life. Smart people seeing the bigger picture and reacting to it, now that would be something rarely seen on TV or in real life.
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The events before The Fall in the books are taking just a couple of days I think or 1 week . The TV Show is moving faster I sense and so it seems more "strange" that people do not notice
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Pretentious review, I guess weekly quote has to be made but little content beside trying to be witty but failing would be more interesting to read. And just to make a note, there is nothing wrong in characters explaining how vampires work, and what is the lore. Not all viewers are introduced to vampire stories through Twilight movies. I guess it was bad in last Superman movie to explane who Superman is and whats his story... right...
About show going slow is ongoing repetition comment about every show and every show that follows the preasure of fans to go faster doesnt last long. There is more to a content and a story then just splashing in full blast all the time. If story going slow is bad then I guess tv shows like Breaking Bad, Lost, and many more like that are fails!?
I cant stop myself laughing about peoples comments how something about this show is hard to belive and at the same time they are watching vampire show... helllooooooo!!
Bottom line is if you watch the show then you like it so give creators a bit of support, not just crap cos, idk, vampire swat team didnt look like you imagined it. I bet Guilermo has better imagination then most of us...
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I guess Tim really wants every vamp show to be like Buffy or first seasons of True Blood. He should let someone more cheerful to review this show.
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I'm curious how people like the boss and the co-worker of the rat terminator (sorry I can't remember his name) got infected in the first place when they didn't come in contact with the worm/virus itself? I thought this disease is not airborne as said by Ephram in the first couple of episodes.
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The disease aint airborne, but Bossman & Coworker deal directly with animal control workers who frequent subway and sewer tunnels. Thats where vamps live.
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Vampire Vampire Hunters?
BEST. SHIT. EVER.
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Heard of Blade?
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Blade was not a full-blood vampire. Neither was D.
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Neither is Mr. Quinlan.
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Well, Quinlan is actually more of a vampire than any of the infected. He was born a vampire.
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Quinlan - that's his name! Jingo1
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Half-Vampire Vampire Hunter != Vampire Vampire Hunters != Vampire Evolved-Vampire Hunters.
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I agree with Tim this week. I loved the opening and closing scene especially the Blackulops. Is that what we are calling them ? They look really interesting.

When the leader ask the kids to come closer, I was expecting him to suck the kids up close range but thank goodness he did not as that would have been really gross. Instead he shot the maid's daughter and it was cool.

For BSG fans, we have to accept Aaron Douglas are just doing cameos now. He had a small part in the killing season three. We do wish he gets a regular supporting role in a series.

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How about Drac Ops?

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That is really better than blackulops. What does the books called them?
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Hunters I think. They don't really have a Brand Name like "The Master" or "Elders" or "Stinger"
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Oh, last night after I wrote my comment, I figured out what Tim's issue is, he watches this show like he watches Helix! And his favorite scene was the microwave rat!! Oh...my big thought is that of the two Lost godfathers, I am seeming to like Carlton Cuse's projects more than Damon Lindelof's (if Bates Motel were somehow also on Sundays at 10, I think the Leftovers would lose out).
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The last 5 minutes were very nice, although it was completely random *again*, but I won't spoil my pleasure. Good for you Show !
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the kids nanny is the only intelligent decent actor on the show. glad she lived at the end.
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And I'm glad her know-it-all daughter the Nurse got whacked for making her mother return the kids.

This show is trying to bring back the respect-your-elders bit of community wisdom that is sorely needed in a vampire world.
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I agree.

the way they keep reiterating "stupid, stubborn and selfish people get killed" it must be relevant to some yet unspoken theme. "respect your elders" is probably part of it. Thats gonna become pretty important eventually.
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And the Darwin award goes to that random cab driver...I mean Like really? It was a fight or flight situation...No scratch that, it was a FLIGHT SITUATION and he got out his car even though he saw those vamps using their projectile tongues. Panic can make you do stupid sht but HOT DAMN! lol
I like the new Vamp group. That vamp leader doesn't mess around, he would have dropped those kids without any hesitation. Looks like, it's going to be a 3 way all out war.
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It's a new record ! Five minutes in, it's already stupid ! (cab driver)

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I have a feeling the ninja vampires belong to a different master, and that Eichhorst's and his master are moving in on his turf (I haven't read the books, this is only speculation). I doubt every master wants the world to end, what would they eat? lol

I'm so freaking happy the nanny lived.
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I don't think its a turf war but a philosophy war.

If you have elders in America who wanted to over run the world they could have already done so.

Ergo if one master starts to go world wide infection and others don't like that idea they're bound to step up and do something.


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I'm not sure if there's supposed to be multiple "Masters". I'm pretty sure he's the Master, because he's the first, the progenitor of the disease.
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I think he's The Master because he was born so long ago that he thinks like a medieval warlord and Master sounds cool.

I don't think he's the progenitor but just one of a few really old Vampires, Elders if you will. This one just has a superiority complex.
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Wikipedia gave me the same sort of feeling.
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Totally forgot to watch this. Got my parents into Boardwalk Empire (after failing to get them to watch Deadwood).
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Two great series. though I'm still disappointed Deadwood died.
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They've really jumbled up the order of things in the series compared to the books, but I really don't think it makes a difference.

Aaron Douglas (BSG's the chief) seems to show up wearing minor characters in so many shows these days. It's becoming weird.

Yeah it's bad that some of the people definitely suffer from 'stupid horror person' syndrome. But you have to force yourself to ignore these things and enjoy the ride. I know it's difficult to believe that New York has had selective cell and internet service for the last few days an no one has resolved it. Seeing as they have I don't know, the stock exchange maybe. It would be government priority number one. Also that not one of the characters has thought to get out the city with Eph's video on his phone and upload it outside cyber attack lines. i could go on but you get the idea.

It's still one of the best things on tv at the moment damn it!
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Jumbling things has improved things drastically because the first book has ten slow , tedious hours of utter boredom, followed by three hours and vamp hunting/tracking intensity.

So far the series has had 3 to 4 episodes of not so exciting sci-fi, but it has turned into just what it was meant to be: A damn good sci-fi with ghouls, evil overlords, nazi conspirators,undead superninjas, w/ street thugs, geeks and senior citizens pressed into the battle. Some very interesting characters will join the battle.
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Maybe that's what "The Strain" means. The "Masters" form of Vampiric infection is a "corrupted" (as that leader of the "BlackulOps" Team put it) or mutated strain of the original.
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I agree with you fully Tim and then some. The thing that got me really pissed again was, why are there so many idiotic fools on this show. The last time was a stupid female doctor who refused to continue killing these vampires and now happily joining the team on being the Expendables 4. This week is them running at snail pace and not being abled to shoot the german vamp dead after injuring him at the subway platform. Then there's the stupid cab driver who despite seeing the monsters attacking his cab windows wanted to play cowboy with his gun, rather than driving away asap. Or the nanny's daughter for being so stubborn and nonchalant in bringing the kids back to their homes despite the terrified pleas and protest from mum. Deserved her ending for being a b*tch!

I like the concept and illusion of horror on The Strain. It has that unique scary feeling with the spooky medieval master vampire and war torn Hitler german thingie and feel of a good TV production; but seriously writers, pick up the pace and make it more believable, will ya? yes?
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But there are a lot of stupid people in real life too.....
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For Nora to go from advanced crybaby to Annie Oakley overnight should tell you how much the show leapt ahead in circumstance. They seem to have fast forwarded confrontational aspects in the show , without overtly changing the timeline. Producers wanted to make things more exciting I guess. You don't see stuff like this til very late in the book. It wouldve bored viewers to tears. Now I see that the next few eps will draw more from "The Fall" and should be really amazing.

We're not dealing with lurching zombies here. The Strain will eclipse The Walking Dead, if it hasnt already done so.
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I also thought Nora's transformation from one episode to the next was a bit of a jump but more than that Eph's backwards somersault to "lets use the media and waaa why am I not in charge" seemed odd.

As I was pretty sure after his escape from the FBI and him already trying the Head of the CDC with the media route that he should have realized it was over and time to start killing.
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"We're not dealing with lurching zombies here. The Strain will eclipse The Walking Dead, if it hasnt already done so" I think you could eventually be right about this, and I have such high hopes for The Strain, but while TWD has suffered many missteps and long, overly drawn out arcs, they have GREAT characters..something The Strain is not doing quite as well... I don't dislike TS's characters per say but some of them come off really weak, but I guess they just need more time to develop.. There's a hell of a lot going on in this show (as well as the books) so I can see it taking a little while to get everything sorted out..
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If it werent for people running off at the mouth, I'd have never watched TWD in the first place because I hate zombie apocalypse crap. TWD shouldnt even be compared to zombie stuff. Its a standout even among mainstream dramas. It just happens to have zombies. People here has turned me on to some good stuff I'd never have given a chance.
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TWD was good the first season because there was just enough drama in a 6 episode series to sustain it.

Each season after that kept increasing the episode count but didn't increase the activity so it became watered-down drama.

You're not missing anything by not watching it antmorris3511.
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Sorry to nitpick but you meant per se, a Latin phrase.

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You are right, don't know why I did that as I am familiar with the correct phrase, not offended.
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I'm not sure who the terminus guys are because I havent watched since approximately s04 ep04. I might binge watch in december to get caught up.
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Ahh, yeah there's def some good stories in 4B, "The Grove" was a crazy good episode. Sorry for once again running off at the mouth about stuff you haven't watched..
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The Walking Dead only has one problem: It's just too repetitive. For three seasons it a great show. By the end of the third season, you realize history repeats itself and in very short order. It then becomes predictable. It does have great characters, but the challenges never change.

TWD is amazing, but it needs new life breathed into it, beyond the same old twisters & rogues.
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I agree with most of your assessment of TWD, but I gotta say I think this season looks promising...I assume you've seen the comic-con trailer? Glad we got to see a glimpse of Beth.. I have a feeling she's got a long, long journey back to the rest of the group.. Although I have a hard time understanding how Rick & Co. are gunna 'team up' with the guys from Terminus... It seemed to me like they were cannibals, unless I'm misunderstanding something, and it has been a while since I watched the finale.. It's made pretty clear in the trailer that Rick doesn't trust those guys at all but why even travel with them?
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That ending was pretty amazing. Did not see that coming. Otherwise a pretty regular episode, with some infuriatingly stupid behaviour from some characters, like the taxi driver at the beginning. Stupidity gets you killed.
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Ya the taxi driver drove me a bit nuts. I mean you literally had a tentacle fire out of the guy's mouth into the window right next to your head. Your first thought is "oh that son of a bitch, I'm gonna get out of the protection of my vehicle and shoot him!" At least Chief Tyrell had the right fucking idea, too bad he didn't live long enough for it to matter.
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Two more scenes of pigheaded stupidity was a really cheesy way to get more vamps attacks into the show. You'd think the producers could do better.
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Much better than last week. I like the nanny and the [vampire hunters] because they seem to have a clue, and they save people. The clueless "s/he gonna die" characters do add some sadistic humor, but I don't like it much when they get others killed, too.

"BlackulOps" doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it? But it also reminds me way too much of "Blackula". :-( Besides, these strigoi seem more ninja or vigilante than a military strike force.
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I liked it, it is interesting, it feels incredibly fresh still. And with the introduction of the VOPS (You know this is a better one simply because is shorter ;) ) it kept things even fresher. Amount of time i was bored = 0. Some comments on what is happening:

I like that gus is still away. Keeping Gus away give us an opportunity to cut away from the main cast, and see what is happening from the point of view of someone that does not know clearly what is happening. Once everybody is on the same camp on a show it becomes tiresome, because everybody part of the same vein in the story. This avoids that.

The flashback gives the characters some life, particularly the German guy since we knew nothing about him, and honestly we knew nothing about Setrakian as well, we are getting to know this people. It was all relevant for me.
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TV.com should contact you about reviewing for The Strain from now on. You seem to get it far more completely than Tim.
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Yesss. I'd really prefer to read reviews from people that actually like the show they're reviewing. Half the time, reading Tim's reviews feels like "Let's see what Tim hated this week."
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Tim has constantly talked about what he likes on the show.

He just also talks about what he doesn't like.

That's kind of the point of a review, showing the good and the bad.

If all you want is a glorified buff job of the show to make you feel good for watching it, why even bother with a review?

I don't agree with everything Tim says but I enjoy his reviews exactly because he doesn't laud it with compliments and make it sound like someone is paying him to promote the thing. I am then able to make my own judgements on whether I like it after I watch it myself.
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Thanks for the reply, but I'm very familiar with Tim's work as well as that of the other reviewers. Personally, I find his reviews funny, smart and slightly negative. If I'm reading a review of a show, it's probably because I like it. If a reviewer doesn't like certain aspects or episodes of a show, that's obviously understandable. With that being said, I'd still like to feel as though the reviewer isn't being forced to watch the show. (With the exception of pilot episodes.)
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Another great episode loved it keep it up my favorite part is that the smart nanny lived yessss plzzz let this women live threw this thing and i will love this show forever she is by far the smartest person of any horror show i have seen in years lol
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And while I couldn't stop laughing with the taxi scene, everything that has Abraham or Thomas or Abraham + Thomas is awesome. Every single scene with them is impossible not to like. I don't see why you didn't like the camp scenes, Tim, they were probably the only good drama moments of this show. These are the only interesting characters (plus the nanny), everyone else is so dumb and stupid that you will actually find yourself rooting for the vampires. Quinlan (Arrow anyone?) seems interesting too but for some reason I can't understand, I didn't like his voice. I also was expecting him more human-looking, the only difference with the other vampires is that he has a nose and Joker's lips. Duh... :P
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Mr.Quinlan IS a vampire. Not a half human-half vampire. He just has a couple of differences
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I guess producers thought the worn-smooth look was too expensive. The camp scenes depart from New York in a way thats relevant and entertaining. Its important stuff, so I'm glad they didnt keep making it feel like filler. The SS ties in nicely.
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The jew says "i was born in Armenia". Writers must be extremely ignorant because Armenia founded after WW1 and he was totally Ottoman citizen.
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Armenians were citizens of The Ottoman Empire, but The Kingdom of Armenia existed prior to WW1, even as far back as 321 BC (w-pedia).

I suspect the reason Abraham was conceived as an Armenian is to make him a dual witness to human atrocity and to tie The Armenian Death March & The Holocaust into the story. Making Abraham the victim of two Genocides as an Armenian-Jew. Just a glimpse of the scale and timeline of The Master's grooming.
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Just because Armenia as a modern country was founded after WW1 doesn't mean it didn't exist as a province of the Ottoman Empire and an independent kingdom before that. There were Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Ottomans classified their citizens according to ethnicity and religion. There was no one nation to speak of. You had Muslims and non-Muslims at the top, further divided by the region of the empire into such ethnic groups like Albanians, Armenians, Bosniaks, Greeks, Serbs etc.
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Why is slowing down the internet such a farfetched idea. An denial of service attacks can do that to websites, one minute you can get on the site the next you can't, so why can't it be done to the mobile phones. Indeed mobile phone networks have been built with mechanisms to control the amount of phone calls that can be made on the network, it possible that it is this that the hacker is exploiting to keep mobile phones unreliable. And the internet is just under a normal DOS, which experts have feared for years that someone could launch a big enough DOS attack to slow down the internet.

or may be the hoodie vame they are the original strain, while the one on the rampage in New York is the mutated strain. After the best parasite is one that remains invisible and undetected feeding of it victims in the dark.

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DDoS is a legitimate idea, but the sheer size of an attack needed to blanket New York is unrealistic. While relatively simple attack to execute, it would need to target each and every server individually in New York area. It is a directed attack, not something you just execute and it propagates through the network of its own will.
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If Eichorst can quickly move out of the path of a sword, how about make a retractable sword that doubles in length as you swing it? What about shotgun shells shooting silver? Wear silver chainmail around your neck covered by a turtleneck and when one of those throat tentacles grab ahold of you the vampire's done for.
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Colloidal silver would be a kind of vaccine then?
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Smart gal. I've used the stuff to fight off mild infections. It works!
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Have you ever known a gal named George? Was she hot?
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The Stake gun was pretty effective if you ask me. The stuff you're on about probably isn't easily accessible to an epidemiologist and a pawn shop owner.
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or how about silver nano particle lace smoke genades.
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Why not a silver plated Humvee full of silver shrapnel filled pipe bombs, I guess it's a matter of time and effort, can't go to the nearest weapons shoppe and buy silver elfin chainmail +3 or whatever haha :-)
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Wait til you meet Alfonso Creem...
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Actually we have meat him, right? Wasn't he the leader of the Nigerians a few eps back?

But yes, be patient about the silver plated Humvee,
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Hahaha, even before the opening credits I had to stop. The taxi is surrounded by zombies with huge worms coming out of their mouths and the driver just won't start the car, he opens the door and fires all his bullets at only one vampire. This show really makes me see how harsh I was with Helix writing. Damn, at least we have the nanny back, the only human I trust plus Abraham. Ah and the nanny is the only one who can make phone calls despite the jammed communications. See? She's amazing!

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I'm thinking the VampireOPS are either freelancer as you state or I had the idea that they secretly work for Eldritch.

I mean what is the deal with that dude? He seems to have made the master plan happen, but he doesn't seem to pleased with the Master of Eichorst at all so maybe he is the one in charge of those VampireOPS dude? I mean why is he so sick? Isn't he a vampire or was he waiting to be turned into one?

IMO I think Eldritch is a vampire, much like Eichorst, only that he really doesn't want to embrace that side of him and that is why he is sick. Maybe he is using all resources to find a human cure for it or maybe wanted the master to relieve his hunger without having to actually eat any one.

Let's hope it ends up being something cool.
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Eichorst's part is really exaggerated in the show and Palmer's is underestimated
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Palmer wants the master to turn him but allow him to be autonomous like Eichorst. Those who are turned are controlled by the master, so in a sense he is all vamps turned by his strain
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I haven't seen this episode yet, but last week's episode wasn't that bad? I mean, c'mon, I thought it was alright. Sure, it wasn't great, and I've come to expect a lot perhaps, but it wasn't as bad as episode 2.

I agree the series is all over the place. There are so many sub-plots they could open their own train station soon...
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They reduce heavily as the story develops. At this stage, it is intentionally all over the place, like the virus spreading
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I think last week episode was ruin by people expectation that during the eclipse there would be a massive slaughter of New Yorkers.
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Lol, Blackulops! Love it! Totally agree with you, some of the dialogue and plot lines are soo lame. But then they throw in some outrageously awesome scenes like the penis drop, wife feeding neighbor to hubby, and Blackulops!
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Ninja blackops vampires in hoods? Best vampire show ever.
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Speaking of ninjas, Eichorst aint nothin' to sneeze at.
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He makes a fantastic villain.
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Gotta say I got less guts than Jim, I woulda given them all up to Eichorst at the train station, well sir F is behind the pot plants, Setrakian on the platform and watch out for Nora. Say hi to our new overlord for my wife and me.
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Well I think there is plenty of time for Samwise to be a little coward throughout the season and even into next season.
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Somebody better make a videogame with BlackulOps soon!
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And the text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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Yeah awesome some real help BlackulOps!! We may be saved yet and our faith in not in the hand of this old dude and his idiot helpers! :)
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I read the books so I will say wait and see how it plays out. I will say though that the way they introduced them diverges from the book.
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I'm gonna send you a message, I have a question.
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I disagree, I liked the scenes between Eichhorst and Abraham in the camp. Their encounter at the subway was kind of cheesy, but whatever. The black-ops vamps are interesting, and add a new layer to these creatures. I've been wondering why Eichhorst isn't a mindless drone like most of them, maybe the answers have to do with these guys? Not a bad episode.
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Agreed, the flashback scene were great. We may see Young Abraham as he takes up the sword. Seems inevitable now.

(Minor Spoiler)
Maybe you've wondered why the book is called "The Strain". The Strain is the vampiric infection overtaking Manhattan, but Quinlan and the spec ops vamps are not infected with The Strain. Theyre progeny of the other 6 Ancients and refer to #7(The Master) and his minions as Filth.

The vampiric mythology & hierarchy is very similar to Blade II.
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I liked how Qinlan refers to the Nanny's dead daughter as being "corrupted".
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BOOK SPOILERS

Actually, it's only Quinlan that is not infected and can't spread infection. Rest of the Hunters are ordinary vampires, turned by the three Ancients in the New World. Of course, they do exhibit more self-control than the Master's brood. I suppose it's because they are older and Ancients don't want them drawing attention.

Master's brood can restrain themselves if ordered, but since Master wants them to spread the infection, they are running rampant.
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The vampires just develop further intellectually the longer they survive. A newly born vampire is no more a mature vampire, than a newly born baby is a mature human.
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Yep. They go through phases. Also explains the Vampire Ops group intelligence level.
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Maybe the Leftovers softens me up but I enjoy this show more than you it seems. Now I haven't read this series but have read the Twelve and other vampire lit (who am I kidding a lot) but I am going to more cite a standalone story. Ususally there are more than one source and the story usually goes there is more than one way to become a vampire. I sort of suspect I read a spoiler as to that guy's name and if that is him I guess we won't see him again for awhile. But end of the show preview spoiler....it looks like Vasilily will meet up with Eph next week. And if Abraham gets picked up by the police again, well, Gus will be involved.
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So what was up with Eph wearing the cancer victim's stocking cap? I guess he's ashamed of his toupee, too.



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He's a fugitive lol
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Well, yes, but his toupee isn't.
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It should be.
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