The Strain Misses with “The Assassin” and Hits a “Dead End”

Due to time constraints over the past week or so, general disappointment, and waning interest, I decided to combine last week’s “The Assassin” and this week’s “Dead End” into one review. It should be easy because there wasn’t much story or substance to either episode.

Yes, I am still disappointed in The Strain and week after week the disappointment grows.

The Assassin

Never used a rifle, thinks he can hit a target hundreds of yards away.

Of course,“The Assassin,” the title for episode ten, was referring to Eph. If you recall, Eph was going to kill Palmer with a rifle he picked up in the previous episode. However, the title could also refer to killing any interest in the show.

Sure, Eph could have been an assassin. Except he told Nora he didn’t know how to use the rifle. “How hard can it be,” he tells Nora when she asks him if he knows how to use it. That’s right, anyone can pick up a rifle and hit a target hundreds of yards away. It’s that easy.

What’s easier is an escape route off the building you were using as a perch. Dutch only had moments to find a way off the rooftop, but somehow she managed to find a way. It’s even easier to get caught.

Cool Cop

Episode spends a lot of time on a one-episode character, but never explains how he identifies Eph.

How did the police officer know Dutch and Eph were the shooters? No one saw Dutch because she was well away from the building’s ledge after Eph fired the rifle. Eph was too far away and with the sun behind it would have been very difficult for anyone to make a positive identification.  

So, how did the super police officer know Dutch and Eph were responsible for the attempted assassination of Palmer? The answer is, he couldn’t. However, it was the easiest way to get Eph and Palmer in the same room so Palmer could brag about his plans for the

We didn’t need super cop to let us know Eichorst was behind police officers transporting her to an unknown location. The series telegraphs its next move like a bad boxer.

The Strain goes NSFW

Things are about to get sooo NSFW.

There really was no doubt Dutch would be rescued from the clutches of Eichorst. It really was no suprise either when she was freed from those clutches. It’s the most tiresome of story device-The bad guy captures the good guy and keeps them around long enough for the good guy to  break out. Of course, this is what bad guys do in poorly written scripts.

The Stain is easy. It’s always been about easy. Easy ways in and out of situations. Easy explanations for everything. The series is finally at the point where we simply don’t care about the characters, because we know there is always an easy way out of whatever situation they find themselves.

I’ve discussed in past articles how there has been very little to development on the spreading virus front. The series has given up any pretense that this vampire virus is anywhere near spreading in the manner we are lead to believe. Oh, sure we’ve heard how bad it is from Eph, Nora, and Gus. We’ve heard from Eldritch and The Master that the vampires will rule the world. But where is it? When’s it going to happen?

Glenn from the Strain

Glenngarry Glenn Ross, Strain style

If The Strain has been bad about character development, plot, and story there has to be something good about it. Right?

The Strain‘s only success has been with its flashbacks and the vampires. The flashbacks are interesting. It’s really the only way the writers can develop the characters, but they’re usually the best part of any episode. Of course, the makeup effects are some of the best on television. Even the neck vagina some of the vampires have is pretty creepy.

The series may have generated some interest in the past, but flashbacks and some good special effects can’t save a series. “The Assassin” and “Dead End” didn’t improve on anything and didn’t move the story along. It’s doubtful with two episodes left in season two, and a whole season one behind us, there will be any change in the series. I will be interested to see if I can watch the last episodes.



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