Goddammit. Just when I was starting to hope that the writers behind ‘The Strain’ might have forgotten about Zach and would ignore him for the rest of the season until the character could be recast again, the annoying brat is back this week. Also making an unwelcome return appearance is Eph’s awful hairpiece.
Episode ‘Fallen Light’ is littered with flashbacks to 2005, in which the bewigged Eph first meets and begins his affair with Nora. Is any of this at all interesting or enlightening? Not really, except that it plays into Nora’s eventual announcement that she no longer loves Eph after finding out that he cheated on her. (Why did he tell her about that, anyway? Moron.)
In the present day, Eph and Nora learn that Zach’s grandparents (Kelly’s parents) are still alive and safe in Georgia. They offer to take Zach in, and Eph decides that would be best for everyone (especially viewers!). Before he can send the boy away, however, he needs to get him out of the city. For that, he’ll need a travel permit, which only Councilwoman Feraldo can provide.
Feraldo, meanwhile, has her own issues to deal with. The Mayor has demanded her resignation over the tax she’s levied on the city’s rich elite. When she refuses, he threatens have the District Attorney indict her and tries to rally support in the rest of the City Council to have her ousted.
In more bad relationship news (because we just can’t get enough soap opera drama on a show about vampires), the ungrateful Dutch tells Fet that she’s leaving him to try to make things work with Nikki. Too bad Nikki doesn’t feel the same way. She packs up her things to move back with her bigoted mother because she’s upset that Dutch didn’t call her during those two days she was held prisoner and tortured by Eichorst.
In the episode’s dumbest storyline – and yet the only one where we see any vampire action – Gus and Angel commandeer a school bus and break into the prison at Rikers Island, which strangely appears to be just one small building with only a single weak fence around it. They have no trouble at all getting in or maneuvering through what’s supposed to be a maximum security facility. The place was overrun with vampires and has been mostly abandoned, but they find one guard still alive inside and a couple dozen inmates. Of the thousands of convicts imprisoned at Rikers, the only ones still standing just coincidentally happen to be former gang-banger friends of Gus, and he somehow knew that they weren’t turned or eaten. How fortuitous.
Gus opens the cells to let his friends out and recruits them to fight with him in Quinlan’s army. On the way out, one of the dipshits can’t help himself and has to shoot the guard, which wakes up the sleeping vampires in the building. This leads to a minor skirmish that claims a few casualties. Outside in the safety of daylight, Gus’ best bud betrays him and says he won’t fight for nobody. He plans to take all the weapons and the bus, until Angel blasts him with a shotgun. This is the very first (and quite possibly the last) useful thing Angel has done on this show.
Setrakian and Fet visit black market dealer Mr. Creem, who is currently in possession of the ‘Occido Lumen’ book. Creem informs them that he’ll be auctioning off the book the following day, and Setrakian has 24 hours to come up with enough gold to outbid Eldritch Palmer.
Setrakian then goes to Quinlan, who agrees to get him the gold on the condition that, after the Master is defeated, Setrakian must turn the book over to him. The old man agrees.
Eldritch Palmer fully expects that he’s rich enough to outbid anyone. His girlfriend Coco is feeling much better after her near-death experience (or, more accurately, death experience). Their good mood is soured, however, when Eichorst stops by and threatens to withhold any more of the white goo that revitalized the both of them. They weren’t aware that they’d need repeat doses. That info puts a big damper on their plans to betray the Master.
Councilwoman Feraldo is informed that the Mayor was murdered. A police detective believes that she or one of her cop lackeys is responsible and swears to bring her down. On the other hand, Palmer sees this as an opportunity and wants her to run for Mayor, believing that she’d be easy to manipulate.
Meanwhile, Eph and Nora tell Feraldo about the bio-weapon they’d developed. They offer to turn it over so that she can use her resources to have it mass produced and distributed. All they ask in return are travel tickets so they can bring Zach to his grandparents. Feraldo happily agrees.
After Gus tells Quinlan that he’s recruited twenty new soldiers for their army, Quinlan says that he doesn’t trust Setrakian to turn over the book after the Master is defeated. If he doesn’t, Gus is instructed to kill him and take it.
This is yet another boring and mostly dumb episode. I am beyond frustrated with the show at this point. I just want it to be over so I can focus on other things. Fortunately, this Sunday is the season finale, and the promo trailer promises lots of shootin’. Hopefully that will liven things up a little bit, but I’ll set my expectations about as low as they can go.