The Strain: Collaborators Review
The Strain, season 3, episode 7, ‘Collaborators,’ was mostly a filler episode. If I were to put a point to it, I’d say it was a way of tying a loose end as simply as possible, while bringing certain perspectives to a more relevant plot element. The title would concern itself primarily with the wartime experience of Fet’s (Kevin Durand) grandfather – relevant to his more recent family history – but may have invited some reassessment of one key character, playing both Eichorst’s (Richard Sammel) & Setrakian’s (David Bradley) side of the current battlefield.
A salvage run, for Setrakian & Fet, gave Fet an opportunity to check in on his estranged father. Given how many supporting characters have simply disappeared from The Strain, it didn’t seem like too big a bother. What’s more, it also brought the Set-Fet paternal bonding dynamic back to the fore. Fet’s diversion would facilitate a flashback story that wasn’t entirely a diversion, itself. At the very least, it featured a current common enemy.
Eichorst opened the episode taking stock of his latest setback. Without silver embedded in his wound, it should of healed itself as readily as any injury Eichorst has suffered, since going über vamp. I guess he was being impatient. That, or someone thought it would just be a bad-ass thing to have him do. Like taking a burn, to lick blood off a silver blade – but that was something else (and relatively indisputable, in terms of legitimate bad-assery).
With Set-Fet back to bonding, and both Eph (Corey Stoll) & Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) still on the outs with the pair, free agent Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) took the time to see how the Deph half lived, for some reason. His interest piqued at their code-breaker work, he decided to join a Deph Cab expedition to ground zero: JFK.
Quinlan having to demonstrate the obvious (regarding apocalypse road etiquette), Eph reminiscing about season 1, and Deph getting something to make the trip actually worthwhile ensued. Meanwhile, Set-Fet – Fet’s find now framing the flashback – went back on the hunt for rival pawn shop silver.
Side note: I’ve lived in NYC, on-and-off, for decades; and something that has always bothered me: certain New Yorkers never use blinds or curtains – even at night. The only reason I brought that up, is the sight of so many houses/ apartments, on The Strain, with bare windows/ glass doors. Sure, boarded, gated, or otherwise barricaded glass could tip-off that someone might be home, or there may be something for the owners to come back to; but I’d still feel safer knowing someone couldn’t just break the glass & enter. There was also the odd bit about Setrakian’s rival pawn dealer – wrecked gate, smashed store, but front door & windows unscratched. Weird.
Set-Fet’s quest allowed the bonding to get somewhere – Setrakian adding more of his hard, long earned experience to settle Fet’s family issues in the right (or at least useful) context. The whole exercise would’ve added up to a pretty simple, self-contained filler story; but at least one element kept it series relevant.
Upon receiving word that his last ‘errand’ for the Master had come around, Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) got his new caretaker (his last assistant was a romantic tragedy), and new head of security (his last one joined the show’s disappeared, like Bolivar’s manager – remember her?) to take him on one last power trip. It kind of went nowhere – the ship was signed for, and secured by someone else. A needling session with Eichorst was enough to embolden the dying oligarch, however; but the Master’s latest prize was gone, by the time he acted on it.
At this point, the emphasis shifted from who was collaborating with who, to the matter of survival versus convenience. In Palmer’s case, it was now definitely the former. While Set-Fet found less satisfaction in his condition, than Eichorst, there was no real reason to honor their agreement. Setrakian did, however, provide something that a corporate Titan like Palmer should understand too well: incentivization.
If the tea leaves didn’t say that Setrakian may one day regret his pittance, just consider the show we’re talking about, here. At this point, even the literal heart-stopper ending (likely prompting another assistant to join the ranks of the disappeared) shouldn’t have come as a surprise; but I guess that’s besides the point, in the long run.
The point is, Bad Whitey’s back.
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