The Strain: Gone But Not Forgotten Review
The Strain, season 3, episode 4, ‘Gone But Not Forgotten,’ made good use of some earned momentum, courtesy of the last episode. The resistance effort went into capitalizing on a win, rather than just celebrating it, with the headless hierarchy of the Stragoi moving to check that advance. Hardly a breather episode.
The episode also gave one of its more recent character additions something more to do – and be – other than serve as a rallying point; but more central characters had to rearrange their personal luggage.
Quinlan & Eph (Rupert Penry-Jones, Corey Stoll) had little to show, for their huge gambit. As much as the prospect of losing Zach (Max Charles) left Eph (back) in the dumps, Quinlan’s unease (at his own survival) would end in total resignation, after the Ancients shared a crucial detail too late to be of any consequence. Even if Fet (Kevin Durand) has no love for Quinlan, I’m hoping Setrakian (David Bradley), at least, can appreciate his new free agent status.
Is it just me, or did Eph seem a little on the ingrate side? Yeah, Quinlan’s plan didn’t work to his satisfaction; but the Master (Robin Atkin Downes) was going to double-cross him no matter what. Quinlan at least kept him alive long enough for the incidental cavalry to show up. Without him, both Eph & the Lumen would’ve joined Zach in the loss column.
Well, Eph’s brand of blunt self-pity/ self-righteousness got a proportionate response, from Set-Fet (yeah, I’m doing that, now – they’re a pair); so again, with the exit of Dr. Ephraim. As it just so happens that Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) had been circling a similar drain: cue The Odd Couple theme.
Every apocalyptic drama has to throw Human scum into the mix. To date, for example, The Strain has featured oligarchs, hacktivists, corrupt officials, opportunist criminals, and vulture capitalists. This time around, it was the media (what, no lawyers?). After an ambush interview, Justine Feraldo (Samantha Mathis) found herself late to the press gang initiative, partly done on her behalf. It was time to see just what kind of mess Gus (Miguel Gomez) had gotten Angel (Joaquín Cosio) into.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I appreciated the irony of emergency press gangs (conscript suicide squads, really) in the spirit of protecting our freedom. Moreso, Gus pointing out that, regardless of background/ circumstance, all conscripts were in the same boat. With a few extras tossed in (maybe so we could guess who was gun-fodder, and who might be a minor reoccurring character… <snarf>), Gus & Angel went about demonstrating that there was no such thing as blanket equality in their new ‘line of work.’ Same boat; but not everyone can swim – or even paddle.
More ironic was the problem of equality for the Stragoi. In the Master’s… absence, it has been every Stinger for itself (I will never subscribe to ‘Muncher’ – they have no mandibles, and I have a dirty mind). A close call (with an unleashed Stragoi) wasn’t enough to remind Zach of the last time the Master had to reign in Kelly (Natalie Brown) – the Master who wasn’t there, for her creeping on him now.
Eichorst (Richard Sammel), however, was dedicated enough a ranking soldier to pick up the slack. I’d say something about the German concept of Mission Command, but that would be self-indulgent (read a book). His urgent concern for Zach reiterated the boy’s importance (<cough> job security <cough>); but the next order of business was marshaling feral Stragoi, for a response to their collective set-back.
Leave it to a former SS Officer, then, to come up with an ‘appropriate’ response (look up “Operation Greif”); but the very specific number, of a very specific quality, to his promised reward was meant to make one element of that response relevant to our times, I suppose. No doubt, he’s been keeping up on unconventional warfare tactics, over the decades.
Quoting ‘Henry V’ suggests he’s been quite romantic about it, too.
The response was certainly a dousing of cold water (or warm, wriggly white, actually) on Fet’s victory lap; but I still figure Eichorst will be passed over for promotion. Somebody used the Master’s WiFi password, to taunt Eph, remotely.
I think it was Feraldo that covered the most ground, this episode, however. After watching her go through various states of shock, helpless resentment, hope, terror, fatalist resignation, and a Hallelujah moment, her full circle (to ‘How the Police Stateswoman Got Her Groove Back’) did more to establish her character than full seasons of melodramatics, from some of the central cast. I could get used to that kind of character compression, on this show.
What could have become a buddy-cop-procedural, for two down-and-outs, instead focused on the question of balance, between freedom & security. The merits & pitfalls, to the strict control of information, was touched upon. The question of whether everyone deserves a second chance was met with the question of how would it be used.
It’s likely the show will still do the buddy-cop thing, with Dutch & Eph (Deph?); but this episode, at least, managed to get a few decent points across, with minimal melodramatic effort. Encouraging.
Leave your thoughts, on this The Strain ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ review, and this episode of The Strain, in the comments section, below. Readers, seeking more The Strain coverage, can visit our The Strain Page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can go to our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page, our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.