The Strain: The Worm Turns Review
The Strain, season 4, episode 1, ‘The Worm Turns’ had a lot to live up to, after most of what had come before went sky high, as of last season’s finale. If the final season opener was any indication, though, it just might take a while, before the show gets around to doing that.
Ah, but let’s talk David Bradley, for a moment. At first sight, you had to have known what was going on. That She Took a Face, from the Ancient Gallery, and She Wiped Out the Entire Hall!
Wait – that was… dang it. Wrong David Bradley role.
The other Bradley role return, Abraham Setrakian, had something even more absurd to contend with, on The Strain: collaborative dictatorship (and yes – that was more absurd than being worn by a Facedancing fledgling fatale).
Somehow, the low-yield tactical nuke was powerful enough to screen sunlight, but only did enough material damage to convince people to sign up for a Strigoi controlled government. Beyond that, the only real difference, since ‘Illumination,’ was the breaking up of Team Setrakian.
Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) was now navigating the societal underground of Philadelphia, trading his medical skills for supplies, not getting shot, etc.; but often hiding in plain sight, since Strigoi were now actively policing the population.
Here’s the big problem with the scenario, right off the bat: Ephraim made eye contact with several Strigoi, but The Master (Robin Atkin Downes) didn’t recognize him. Maybe The Master no longer felt the need to network – being free to be more hands on, himself. Considering the odds of Eph surviving a bus bombing, however, I’m thinking it was just plot armor.
On the upscale side of New York’s Nuclear Winter (I won’t get into post detonation living conditions – plot convenience, let’s say), the Little Douche Boy – er, Zach (Max Charles), to some – was enjoying pet prospect privileges (with his own pet Spider Kid). New gun, new emo hair (take that, dad), and quality time with The Master’s Palmer edition (Jonathan Hyde), all came included. While the assault rifle did compensate for base line stupidity, being a soft-headed mama’s boy was what made Zach a better prospect, for Master Palmer.
This kid does not deserve a redemption, and never did. The fact that his pet prospect perks will now include a personal maid, to crush on, means it’s going to be a long final season, where his thread is concerned.
On the better side of the new landscape (and by better, I mean interesting), Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand) was ranging the new Wild West with a new face in tow, and the best back-up you could ask for. He had a clear mission, a whole new team to do it with, and – as usual – had the resident beauty all to himself. In this case, it was Rhona Mitra, as Charlotte; so I’d expect every man in his new outfit to go upside his head, for complaining about the state of affairs. Getting Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) to have his back couldn’t have sucked, either; so not a lot of sympathy for Fet, just yet.
To his point, however, their NRA theme park ride has meant a lot of dead militia types – being all ‘Merca about their fellow man, as they’ve been – and Fet was still a big softy. Still a good quality to the guy, sure; but if Rhona Mitra doesn’t solve a big softy….
Of course, Fet wasn’t without plot armor of his own. The notion of Charlotte falling into the hands of some American Amazons barely distracted from the extreme coincidences to Fet’s end of that captivity. Quinlan summed up that scenario well enough; so I’ll just let it slide, until I see what comes of it. It would be a shame to just leave the whole Amazon turn as a disposable means to an end, though.
All in all, ‘The Worm Turns’ had far less to show than I would’ve expected from where last season left off. The source material had a much harsher setting in mind (or more realistic, given the cause); but I get that the series needs to wrap things up in shorter order.
For what it’s worth, I pretty much checked out when the nuke went off. I saw this soft-serve follow through coming.
The bad news is that my snooty critic side has zero interest in such masochistic pursuits.
The good news: my sarcastic-absurdist side can feel snooty’s grip on his chain loosening….
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