Did the show runners of The Strain read our articles? Were they inspired by our ideas? Did they see what was going wrong and decided to change course mid-season?
I have no proof whether they did or not, but watching “The Silver Angel” something seems to have changed. While not exciting in any sense of the imagination, “The Silver Angel” improved on a lot of things plaguing the series since episode one. However, this wouldn’t be an honest review if we left out the things The Strain is still doing wrong.
The episode started off on a different foot from previous episodes. The fade in wasn’t into a vampire den or to Goodweather and the gang, but to a black and white Mexican movie. It wasn’t just any Mexican movie, it was El Angel de Plata vs. El Señor de las Tinieblas (The Silver Angel vs The Lord of Darkness) and it was awesome.
Angel is a lucha libre wrestler who also fights vampires. The movie is a cheesy, Fifties B-movie that, based on the few minutes we saw, ranks up there with The Angry Red Planet, Them!, and Paul Landres’s The Vampire. Regardless of how Angel fits into The Strain, El Angel de Plata vs. El Señor de las Tinieblas is a movie FX needs to get into production pronto!
There was even a little comedy relief. Of course, it wasn’t as funny as it should have been because the joke of releasing the captive vampire on 1 and not 3 was already done in Lethal Weapon 2. Fine, Riggs and Murtaugh weren’t releasing a vampire with a potentially lethal virus, but trying to get Murtaugh off a booby-trapped toilet. The point is the schtick had been done better before. However, it was an attempt at doing something different in The Strain.
The episode was also a return to the Setrakian flashbacks. The flashbacks are usually the best things in the episodes. This time, however, the flashback in “The Silver Angel” wasn’t the best thing, but it did reveal more of the Setrakian/Palmer relationship.
In season one, we didn’t know anything about their past relationship. In season two it was dropped on us and now the writers are trying to develop something with it. So far so good.
The episode even saw an interview with Councilwoman Justine Feraldo talking about the vampires, the virus, and how she was going to save Red Hook like she did Staten Island. The kicker is that it was broadcast on the news. So, the cat is out of the bag. Right? Again, nothing seems to have changed.
There was a brief scene of Gus walking down a city street side stepping what could be considered looters. However, two people running with some things isn’t really anything to be excited about. I don’t live in New York City, but I’d imagine someone running down the street isn’t anything unusual. It’s a step in the right direction.
Another step in the right direction, the missing person photos taped to a street pole and stapled to boards that can be seen as Gus walks down the street. It’s small touches like these that can create a feeling of foreboding and dread. Hopefully, the showrunner and writers can further develop this angle.
Unfortunately, “The Silver Angel” still had problems. Dutch and Setrakian head to Staten Island to recruit Fitzwilliams to join their crusade. Not a problem in and of itself except the two brought swords with them. Didn’t Fitzwilliam go through security before being allowed into Staten Island? How did they get their weapons through security?
We also saw more vampires dangling from fences. Again we saw a vampire burst into flames in the same episode. How are these vampires still hanging around? There should be ash piles around the fences and not corpses hanging from chain link fences.
“The Silver Angel” was a vast improvement over past episodes. It still remains to be seen what the rest of the series holds. With a potential vampire virus killer in the mix and an arrested Fet things could be interesting. We can also pray the rest of the season has less Zach. One can hope.