FX’s The Strain The Master TV Show Review. The Strain: Season 1, Episode 13: The Master, is much more than a season finale. With Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and team forced out of Abraham Setrakian’s (David Bradley) Pawnshop, the second showdown with The Master (Robert Maillet) is inevitable. While all this is going on, Augustin “Gus” Elizalde (Miguel Gomez) finds himself a kidnap victim somewhere underground.
It didn’t take long after Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) received his gift from The Master that he starts acting every bit the creep. Having him decide to loot Abraham’s Pawnshop after they were rushed out makes him even more unlikable. I’m not sure why he felt the need to take Abraham’s wife’s heart but he will pay for it one way or another. The discussion between him and Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) proves just how ungrateful he is for being granted extended life. Now one has to wonder what does The Master have planned for him if he’s not going to make him one of his soldiers. One thing is for sure he will have to do it without Mr. Fitzwilliams (Roger R. Cross) at his beck and call. I was pleasantly surprised to see Fitzwilliams show he does in fact have a soul. Giving Eldritch a piece of his mind before catching an elevator down was very smooth and long overdue. Part of me wanted to see him give this evil man a bullet but I get the feeling they will see one another again under different circumstances. For now, him quitting without any advance notice works.
Guillermo del Toro must be smiling wide right about now. The relationships between his main characters work very well. Having Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand) and Eph teaming up again to do some recon was pure genius. We know these two can only tolerate one another in small doses. Seeing them work as a team and effectively problem solve keeps both men grounded. Vasilly scores extra points for his knowledge of the history of Gabriel Bolivar’s (Jack Kesy) building and for propping the manhole up in rep for the showdown. Eph gets the award for figuring out it’s the new hideout. That’s right, smart characters at work.
Eldritch Palmer must be trying to make up for lost time. His brief discussion with Margaret Pierson (Maria Ricossa) on the balcony was a classic. When he decided to let Dr. Everett Barnes (Daniel Kash) live, I was reminded of a similar scene in Scarface. Barnes was sweating bullets while Eldritch was making his decision to keep him. Great scene.
After 12 episodes I must say the second showdown was worth the wait. There were layers to this battle that really made it work. Vasilly’s move with the manhole lid made the whole scrap manageable. There was a point where the team could have been over run but they stood their ground and it worked. One of the high points was when Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) got some payback for her mother. Having her hack Gabriel Bolivar’s extended tongue was gruesome but enjoyable. The battle with The Master was very well put together. I have to admit I felt a little cheated when Abraham had the upper hand on the Master and was unable to deliver the final blow. They had him and kept taking to long to make a move. All in all the battle worked and will make the team work harder next time to finish the job. We now know Abraham has no clue how to defeat The Master and this sets up the next season perfectly.
Zack Goodweather (Ben Hyland) after holding his ground in The Master’s den pulls a pretty clever move. Faking not being able to breathe opened the door for us to find out what happened to Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown). Initially I thought The Master was going to grant her some special power. When she showed up at their old home and tried to lure Zack away from Eph, it didn’t appear she had anything extra. When Eph shot her in the shoulder she left but did so with a very determined look on her face. Abraham confirms the worst telling Eph she will not stop coming after Zack. I also thought Abraham’s narrating was on point. Who would have thought all of this took place over the course of a week? Seeing Kelly really affected Eph…drove him back to drinking. The second season is set.
The last scene confirmed what I thought a few episodes back. Season two will feature Gus as one bad boy. He has a lot of payback to get and it appears Quinlan (Stephen McHattie) is prepared to give him some sort of advantage. Watching Gus standing in that eerie room surrounded by Ancient vampires makes you wonder what they are planning to do to level the playing field. Whatever it is…Gus is game and we are in store for one heck of a season 2.
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