TV Show Review

TV Review: THE STRAIN: Season 1, Episode 11: The Third Rail [FX]


FX’s The Strain The Third Rail TV Show Review. The Strain: Season 1, Episode 11: The Third Rail was a game changer of epic proportions. When Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) and Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand) teamed up with Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) I bet none of them actually believed they would be actually coming face to face with a living vampire.

Opening with Augustin “Gus” Elizalde (Miguel Gomez) returning home to realize …there is no home was such a great scene. First we watch him not only lose his close friend Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce) but due to circumstances he had to deliver the mercy kill himself. We saw his compassion there and how it affected him killing his friend. It’s the little things that make interesting characters. Gus also had to kill his own brother when coming home. If this wasn’t enough, while he was trying to absorb all that has happened, he stumbles unto his mother who is now infected. This almost breaks him and we can feel it. Such brilliant acting and writing, I keep thinking they are grooming Gus for something special. With his mother, close friend and brother all taken by this epidemic, he will want payback. Arming himself with a hatchet is a great way to signal a fresh start.

Back at Abraham’s shop a clever invention (The UV light bomb) by Vasilly serves as the perfect object to build a truce between him and Ephraim. With all that is happening to these characters the only way they are going to survive is to not destroy themselves while on the journey. The subtle lowering of his guard with Vasilly allowed for them to further develop the weapon. This is the beginning of them realizing the can work well together…when given a chance. It’s also another score for the writing on the show.

There was a very interesting scene in the kitchen with Nora, her mother Mariela Martinez (Anne Betancourt) and Abraham. You just have to love the gritty nature of Abraham’s character. After over hearing Nora’s mother say she doesn’t like him because he has a dark soul, he responds by agreeing with her. Abraham was very real and it makes me think The Master (Robert Maillet) did more to him than just break his hands. Something deeper appears to be going on between them. Lets not forget he fed a heart he keeps in a class case early on in the show.

One of the tests that define the depth of a show is to see how well the writers can weave deeper element and thought provoking points of interest in. Case in point, when the team is in the dark subway tunnels, they stumble onto a lot of things left behind. The metaphor that bridged The Third Rail and The Third Reich here was tastefully done. Seeing all the items that suggested homes and families were broken apart by this epidemic was powerful. Once upon a time the Nazis ruined lives and threatened the world and it’s happening again. You could almost hear the voices of the unfortunate calling out in the background. These details make all the difference in the world.

It took eleven episodes for us to get what we have been waiting for….a full face to face with Ephraim and The Master and it did not disappoint. When The Master dropped down and towered over Eph, you could feel the weigh and power of this creature. This confrontation has been long in the making and poses as the first major battle for the team. To Eph, it is the final blow to shatter the logical world he once knew. His expression said it all…he could not properly absorb what he was seeing. The saving moment comes from the teamwork shared by Eph and Vasilly. The UV Light Bomb makes a dazzling entrance and saves Eph’s life. There were so many wonderful little moments in this episode. With only two shows left one has to wonder what the Master did with Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown) and Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel). Both of these characters appeared to be getting a significant gift last time we saw them.

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About the author

Brian Fire

Brian is a screenwriter and visual fx Artist who loves science fiction, drama and follows many TV shows. He is a versatile writer who is published and has written copy for: CompUsa, The California State Lottery and Princess Cruise lines. Every year he attends The Sundance Film Festival and the San Diego Comic Con filling up on his other passions…indie films, comic books and video games.

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