The Strain Season 3 Review – Definitely My Favourite

Back to it. Season 3 is definitely my favourite. More Rupert Penry-Jones, more back-stories and some unforeseen surprises in the storylines. This season is shorter than the previous two having been reduced to 10 episodes rather than 13 so there’s more story in less time. Without further ado, lets get it on. Spoiler’s ahead.

Season 3 starts with the little film narrated by Setrakian relating to how shit things have gotten. Now the strain isn’t just in New York. Outbreaks have been happening all across the US and even overseas but in the US, military resources are being pulled from NY to aid with quashing the other outbreaks so NY is quickly going under.

Fet has been recruited by Justine Feraldo to help the Navy Seals navigate the underground tunnels as they search for the Master who is in Bolivar’s body. I’m not sure if I mentioned that in the last review because it happened last season.

Fet, Setrakian and Quinlan have holed up in an abandoned hotel and whilst Fet is out with the Navy Seals, Setrakian and Quinlan are busy trying to decode the Lumen for any signs of how to destroy the Master. So far, no luck and Quinlan his losing patience. I can understand his impatience. He’s been preparing for this fight for over a thousand years and it’s difficult to stay patient when the final battle is within his grasp. But where’s Ephraim in all this?

Eph has gone back to his old family home, hoping that Zach will turn up so he can take him back to Red Hook or Kelly will show up so he can kill her. Kelly does show up and she offers Eph a deal. If he brings the Lumen to her, she will give Zach back to him. Of course Eph is interested and so arrives at the hotel where he meets Quinlan and informs Setrakian and Fet of the death of Nora and Zach’s abduction.

Quinlan is sceptical about Eph’s sudden return and quickly deduces that Eph has been baited by the Master. After Eph tells Quinlan the deal he made with Kelly, Quinlan offers to help. When the time comes, Eph will get his son back and Quinlan will kill the master before he can escape with the Lumen. I suppose it doesn’t really matter about the Lumen. Once the Master’s dead, there will be no need for it anymore.

Here, we learn more about Quinlan’s character. Apparently, the Master is his ‘father’ but only in the loosest of terms. Quinlan was conceived by two humans but his mother as infected by the Master. There is a law that states that if a pregnant woman is turned then the baby will become a Strigoi but will not carry the worms.

Here’s something I just thought of. Does Quinlan age? He was turned when he was in utero, then he was ‘born’ which must have been more disgusting than a natural birth, presumably he was a baby. Then he grew up to resemble a 40 year old man and then just stayed there even though he’s thousands of years old. Probably best not to think about it.

Anyway, Quinlan has a flashback about an old woman who found him when he was feral and being kept in a travelling circus. She releases him and takes him into her custody, teaches him to speak and tells him his name is Quintus because he was the 5th ‘Invictus’, whatever that means. All we know is that he’s destined to kill the Master.

Whilst travelling so Quinlan can gain enough strength to kill the Master, he finds Quinlan and the lady and traps them in a cave so Quinlan will feed on her and get enough strength to escape. He does drain her but only because she’s dying and she wants him to escape and so allows him to feed on her, much to his protest.

When they say Quinlan is ‘indestructible’, he’s not really. Whilst they’re trapped in the cave, the lady mentions that they both will die so presumably, Quinlan will die if he doesn’t feed. Although he doesn’t die from being shot or stabbed, I think his head is still his weak point.

Whilst Fet and Setrakian are in pursuit of Quinlan, Eph and the Lumen, Eph meets with Kelly and the Master. They didn’t bring Zach with them and instead try and kill Eph but Quinlan shows up and prepares for battle. However, just as Setrakian and Fet arrive, so do the Navy Seals who are now Strigoi. They fire upon Quinlan and wound him but they are dispatched by Setrakian with a silver grenade, just as Fet throws his own which incapacitates the Master long enough for Quinlan to chop off his head. That’s at the end of episode 3. I told you things would move quickly.

What’s interesting is that in the next episode, Fet and Setrakian are under the impression that the idea to steal the Lumen was Quinlan’s idea and he forced Eph to help him but nevertheless, they’ve brought Quinlan back to the hotel to tend to his wounds. Eph confesses that he helped Quinlan steal the Lumen so he had a chance at getting his son back. Fet and Setrakian are furious with him but not so much with Quinlan.

I’m sure we can all agree that Eph should have told Fet and Setrakian about the plan. That way, trust will have been kept in place and the more people who are involved, the greater chance of success. I’m sure Setrakian will have told him that the Master would never follow through with the terms of the deal. I’m also sure Quinlan knew that but didn’t tell Eph because that would spoil his chance of getting to the Master.

But there’s a catch. The Master can’t die this early in the Season so there’s something that no one knew about. The crimson worm which is the essence of the Master escapes after he is decapitated. Quinlan is informed by the Ancients that if he did not kill the crimson worm then the Master is still free to take another body and is therefore not dead. Quinlan raises a good point. If the Ancients knew about this then why didn’t they tell him about it in advance? That seems like some vital information.

Still, this paves the way for the rest of the season which is basically, Abraham trying to find the Master, again.

What’s Dutch up to?

After leaving Fet and being abandoned by her girlfriend, Dutch regrouped with some old hacker friends and decide to clear out a tower block. Of course some of her friends die and one is infected and the others leave her for dead. Dutch escapes and goes back to her friends place to pick up her share of the food they stole. She notices that her friend is infected and so tells the rest to kill him before he turns and they don’t want to so she cuts his head off right in front of them. Shit.

You see, Dutch is still haunted by being captured by Eichorst and so she gets shit-faced and returns to Fet’s old place where Eph is staying. She too becomes interested in studying the way Strigoi communicate and also the way the Master communicates with the Strigoi. They find the signal and create a device that can disrupt the signal and render the Strigoi immobile using the white noise that they received from the black box of the plane that landed in the pilot.

This device will come in handy later.

But still, it’s not long before she’s back to her old self and shagging her friends. This time, it’s Eph.

Justine’s not happy about the lack of progress since she’s being shafted by the media into why the Strigoi have suddenly started taking back a lot of Manhattan. What’s worse is that the police have started recruiting prisoners to clear out buildings and since these people are not experienced fighters, they’re getting slaughtered.

Gus and Angel are arrested by the police for keeping his Strigoi mother, Guadalupe, in his apartment. They are then recruited into the chain gangs but eventually fight their way out where Gus teams up with Fet to take out a huge nest that’s underneath Central Park. They are successful in killing thousands of Strigoi but the Strigoi come out in full force and Justine is forced to retreat from Central Park.

What about Eldritch Palmer?

Whilst dealing with his grief from the loss of Coco, the Master’s white seems to be wearing off and Palmer is getting sick again. Whilst helping out Eichorst with his evil doings, Palmer has recruited top physicians and scientists to try and find the secret of the white to make is alright for humans. When all the tests have failed, Palmer meets up with Abraham and offers him a deal, he will give up information about the Master in exchange for the formula to the white. Abraham doesn’t trust Palmer but since he needs information, he demands to know the identity of the Master before any formulas are given.

With his health rapidly declining, Palmer is also equally frustrated about not being told what his resources are being used for. When a container ship from Egypt is brought to port in New York, Palmer is denied access.

Abraham and Fet investigate and are taken to the ‘blood farms’ that are designed by Eichorst and funded by Palmer. They realise the grand scheme of what the Master or at least Eichorst are planning and so are furious.

Palmer is granted one dose of the white and in exchange, Palmer will feed Abraham information so our heroes can stay one step ahead. It works out because Palmer knew that the Master would not come through on the deal of giving him eternal life and it works for Abraham because Palmer will have to keep giving him information to keep getting the white.

It’s eventually discovered what was inside the ship. Two nuclear bombs. One is used to kill the ancients and the other is taken by Palmer.

Inside the Lumen, it states that an event, an occultation will precede the apocalypse.

I think we’re just about at the final.

After Justine and Angel are killed after a final attempt to leave Manhattan and the police have fled the city, the final plan is put in place.

Abraham has constructed a box made of silver and lead that will contain the Master and cut off his communication with the Strigoi which will leave them rudderless and defenceless. Palmer has filled Eichorst with silver bullets which will force the Master out of hiding and to the penthouse to deal with Palmer. What Palmer didn’t expect was that he would be ambushed and the Master would transfer his body into him. So now Palmer is the Master.

The gang show up and after a battle in which Eph is injured; Abraham, Fet and Quinlan manage to force the Master into the box with the help Dutch’s contraption. Now problems are abound. Quinlan, Abraham, Fet and Dutch leave to dump the silver casket into the ocean whilst Eph stays behind in Palmer’s office to stitch himself up.

Kelly and Zach arrive in the penthouse to find out what’s going and why they can’t hear the Master but without the Master’s influence, Kelly goes rogue and tries to kill Eph. Eph eventually kills her and Zach is enraged. Remember when I said that Zach is a little shit? Well now he’s the ultimate little shit because he picked up the detonator to the other nuclear bomb and he’s so angry with his father that he pushes the button.

Just as the gang arrive at the pier with the casket, the explosion forces them to take cover but the casket is blown away and the Master escapes. In the chaos, Eph loses Zach who is taken by Eichorst and back to the Master.

The gang is forced underground just as the Sun is obscured by the radioactive cloud and the Strigoi are able to flood the streets in the middle of the day. So, Zach set off the apocalypse. Well done, you little shit.

All in all, great season. Definitely my favourite. A short season allows for all the drama to injected into each episode with no flab or fluff. It’s everything that we need to know. Ok, we might get less of it but we end up more satisfied and just like at the end of my first season review of Salvation, any show that has the brass nuts to end with nukes, deserves respect. On to Season 4.

By the way, have you checked out my new book yet? It’s called ‘Patient 187’ and it’s really good and written by me.

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