In every episode, The Strain keeps telling us how bad things are getting in the city. Every episode it seems things are getting worse in the city. If we take “Fallen Light” at face value the end is nigh. Until we look at things a little closer and the facade falls apart.
Telephones are still working in the city, but the largest prison in the New York area has been overrun by vampires? The vampire virus and the resulting fallout was so bad a correctional officer locked himself inside a cell?
Are we to believe things are so bad a prison can essentially shut down with no one knowing it or being able to respond to the crisis? But the phones are working so how would this even be possible?
The simplest answer is: It wouldn’t be. The prison isn’t isolated far from civilization. We see people walking around in every episode like they don’t have a care in the world. There’s still traffic. Which would mean at some time someone made a delivery to the prison. A delivery they could not make because the prison was in the hands of the vampires. Why wouldn’t this delivery person call the authorities?
Alonso Creem has his own island. His own island! This virus has gotten so out of control one individual controls an island? I don’t care if it’s a small little island in the middle of New York City, it’s still an island. But the police are still patrolling the city and people are walking around the island. It’s just another day in New York City.
Councilwoman Feraldo has used the virus to create her own police force. A police force which has given her more power than the mayor. This isn’t as far-fetched as it would seem. There are real world examples of people using a crisis to come to power. Lenin, Bush, and Lincoln, to a name a few, have benefited from a crisis. However, there’s no crisis in the city.
Sure, Feraldo, in her speech to the city council mentions how horrible the virus has become in the city. Apparently, this virus is taking the city’s mothers, fathers, children, and blah blah blah.The series hasn’t showed us any of these tragedies. We see love triangles between characters, we’ve seen Eph relapse, and we’ve seen “battles,” but we have yet to see all the tragedy and suffering that keeps getting shoved down our throats.
Do the showrunners and writers even care about The Strain anymore? Or are they just going through the motions of writing a series? There are too many things going on in the series for the writers to keep track. A lot of it’s getting lost in the mix. As soon as Dutch’s love triangle is done the show introduces a murder mystery. Who killed the mayor? The Strain needs to stay focused on the fight against the vampires, leave the love triangles and murder mysteries to other shows.
During all of this I haven’t mentioned one thing about the Duodecimal, the Necronomicon, the Tuxedo Luminous, the whatever-fake-Latin-book Setrakian and Fet have been searching all over the city to find. A book that will destroy all vampires?
An item, a totem, or a book that can destroy whatever evil force is being fought is one of the oldest and stalest of storytelling devices. Some movies have used it to the betterment of the movie. The Evil Dead movies come to mind as a good example. However, the Necronomicon was at center stage of the movies and not another storyline within a bigger story. Plus, it’s The Evil Dead. The movies didn’t take themselves as serious as The Strain is taking itself.
The problem with using the old device is that the series will become all about the book. A series that is already plot driven will become even more plot driven. The already stale characters will become even more stale as all they will do is react to situations created by the search for the book. It’s also another storyline writers have to deal with in the series. They can’t handle what’s going on now let alone introducing more elements into the story.
On the bright side, Sean Astin made a guest appearance in the flashback scenes. In a series this bad we have to take joy in the small things.