With so many new series premiering right now, I really need ‘The Strain’ to be over. Although I’ve committed to seeing at least this season out, the show is simply not holding my attention anymore, even when this week’s episode is slightly better than the last few I’ve suffered through.
‘Dead End’ is a particularly Eichorst-focused episode, which isn’t a bad thing. We open with him holding Dutch captive. He’s been drinking (he explains that he occasionally likes to indulge in this one human vice) and acts like a huge creep, even more so than usual. He torments Dutch about all the awful things he’s going to do with her before he finally eats her. He forces her to eat pineapple to season her up for the inevitable meal, and kills a cop in front of her. Rather than steel her resolve or try to face him down with a little dignity, Dutch screams and moans the whole episode, which is disappointing.
In a string of flashbacks to 1931, we see Eichorst before he became a Nazi, much less a vampire. A failed door-to-door salesman, he pines for a pretty girl in his office named Helga but lacks focus or direction in his life until, on their first date together, their dinner is interrupted by a Brownshirt rallying Germans to support Adolf Hitler. Eichorst is mesmerized. The words resonate with him. This is exactly the sense of purpose he’d been waiting for. Helga is disgusted. Eichorst didn’t realize she was Jewish. He tries to argue that Hitler really only hates those awful foreign Jews, not German Jews, but for some reason that logic doesn’t get through to her. She wants nothing more to do with him.
Later, after Eichorst has become an officer in the Nazi Party, Helga is arrested and begs for his help. He turns his back on her and finds her hanged the next day. In front of his Nazi comrades, he acts nonchalant about this, but out of their sight he feels ill.
Back to the present day, Fet, Eph and Nora drive to the Mayfair Hotel where they were told Dutch was taken, but find that it’s the temporary headquarters for the National Guard. They can’t get in. Snooping around the back of the place, Fet notices an old section of the hotel that has been abandoned. The group theorizes that Dutch is being held in there. Fet leads them to a secret entrance in the subway tunnels under the building that he just happens to know about. They break in and head up the stairs.
Meanwhile, Dutch briefly develops a little backbone when Eichorst leaves the room for a moment. She manages to wriggle a can of mace out of the dead cop’s belt. When Eichorst returns, she sprays him in the face, grabs the keys to her chains, and runs. Unfortunately, as she dashes down a stairwell, she discovers that it’s been walled off halfway to the bottom. Eichorst catches up and grabs her.
Fet, Eph and Nora hit the other side of the wall and are discouraged until they hear Dutch screaming. Fet becomes enraged and smashes a hole in the wall with a crowbar, then puts a stick of dynamite inside and blows the whole thing down. (Did he really need to make a hole? Wouldn’t the dynamite have still blown down the wall even if he, say, just set it down next to it?)
They race through the hotel until they see Dutch. Fet tosses a silver grenade, but Eichorst escapes yet again. (How many times can the show repeat this?) Big strong man Fet dashes in and rescues the sniveling, helpless woman. She’s a total basket case afterwards.
While all that’s happening, Setrakian wakes up (he’d been knocked unconscious after locating the ‘Occido Lumen’ book) and finds himself tied to a chair. Fonescu, the book’s owner, doesn’t recognize him until Setrakian explains who he is. Even after that, Fonescu refuses to untie him or give him the book. Setrakian’s appeals that the fate of the world is at stake fall on deaf ears. Fonescu still plans to sell the book (and won’t entertain Setrakian’s offer to buy it) so that he can fly away to Tahiti.
Fonescu eventually leaves. Sometime after that, Setrakian gets himself free. At episode’s end, we see Fonescu meeting with the black market dealer Mr. Creem.
Ugh. This storyline is back? Why bother?
Gus helps the Guptas get ready to leave town, but won’t be going with them. He finally gets to bang daughter Anya, though.
Gus made a deal to fight alongside Quinlan, the good vampire, in exchange for help getting the Guptas past the city quarantine. How Quinlan managed to do that is unclear, but the National Guard lets them through. However, Angel the elderly Mexican wrestler turns back at the gate and stays with Gus, who’s thrilled to have him for reasons that still make no sense at all to me. They hop in a car driven by Quinlan’s (human?) partner.
The episode has a lot of pointless business, not the least of which is the damned Gus storyline. It’s also another episode where ultimately not much of anything gets accomplished. Sure, the team rescues Dutch, but she was only kidnapped at the end of last week’s episode as an excuse to give the characters something to do this week, so there’s really no net gain.
Regardless, I liked the Eichorst storylines, even if I’m not sure that he’s a character who needs to be humanized.
Do we really have two more of these to go? Oy.