In preparing this post to recap the show’s second season finale, a Google Image search for “the strain night train” brought up some… shall we say, interesting results.
‘Night Train’ is the finale’s episode title, in case that wasn’t clear. Although the name has a quite literal meaning in the episode itself, I have to wonder if perhaps the alternate connotation might explain a thing or two about the show’s writing this season. It’s been lazy, poorly thought-out, goes nowhere and has often been a little paranoid. Oh, and let’s not forget the running joke about calling the vampires “Munchers.” I think I may be on to something here.
In any case, the episode opens with Eichorst supervising the construction of an animal processing plant. He says it’s for sheep when the foreman asks. Subtle. Meanwhile, Fet reinforces the bread truck by soldering a cage over its front windshield. Why is he just thinking of this now?
Eph and Nora prepare to get Zach out of town and take him to his grandparents in Georgia. Setrakian barely grunts an acknowledgement when the kid says goodbye to him, and doesn’t want to smile in a photo. Clearly, he has about as much affection for the brat as viewers do.
Eph says that after they drop Zach off, he and Nora will make another trip to Washington D.C. to find support to produce their bio-weapon. Again? That plan didn’t exactly work out so well for Eph the last time. In fact, isn’t he a wanted fugitive in D.C. right now?
Coco gets all Lady Macbeth with Eldritch Palmer and talks him into being more assertive in order to make the Master show him some respect. That’s really not a good idea.
Eph, Nora and Zach get to the depot just in time to board what is announced to be the last train out of town. Kelly spies on them from a tunnel down the tracks. Great security they have there.
Gus introduces his crew of recently-released gang-bangers to Quinlan, the half-vampire hybrid. After snapping one idiot’s neck to demonstrate that he’s not someone to be trifled with, Quinlan delivers an inspirational speech to get the others pumped up to save the city and make legacies they’ll be remembered for. As if these guys would give a shit about any of that.
Setrakian and Fet go to Mr. Creem’s for the auction of the ‘Occido Lumen’ book. Eichorst arrives right after them and announces himself as Eldritch Palmer’s proxy for the bidding. He taunts Setrakian that the Master wants to turn him into a vampire. Both sides are required to register their banking info with one of Creem’s lackeys, who verifies available funds. (Setrakian has been staked by the Ancients.) Bidding starts off aggressive at $3 million and escalates rapidly. Setrakian’s account tops out at $323 million but Palmer’s account has $351 million. Just as the vampire starts to gloat, Creem’s lackey declares that Eichorst’s access to Palmer’s money has been revoked (Palmer’s doing, of course). Eichorst gets furious, but Creem and his well-armed henchmen make him back away. They then give Setrakian the book, but warn him and Fet that they ought to get to steppin’, because it’s getting dark out and won’t be safe to travel the roads.
Fet and Setrakian get a move on, but are of course ambushed by Eichorst, who forces their truck to crash and attacks it with a horde of vampires. The two are trapped inside the truck and have limited success blowing away the vampires until Gus and his crew show up and start blasting the hell out of the place. (Given that they’re all aiming directly in the direction of the truck, you’d think that Setrakian and Fet would wind up as collateral damage, but apparently their truck is fully bulletproof now.)
Quinlan also shows up to confront Eichorst. He speaks directly to the Master through Eichorst’s eyes, and then chases the Nazi around for a bit, but this leads to nothing. For the 875th time, Eichorst faces mortal danger and simply slips away. He’s good at that.
With the vampire horde dispatched, Gus hops in the back of the truck but finds it empty. Fet and Setrakian slipped out through a convenient escape hatch in the bottom of the truck, which coincidentally was lined up perfectly with a manhole directly beneath it. He also finds a bomb inside. KA-BOOM goes the truck! Oh no, was Gus still inside??
Eph gets separated from Nora and Zach on the train when he heads to the snack car. Sitting across from them is Fonescu, the moron who sold the ‘Occido Lumen’ to Mr. Creem. He clutches his suitcase full of money tightly to his chest. Nothing really comes of this other than to answer the burning question of what happened to that guy who nobody cares about.
The train derails when it runs directly into a horde of vampires standing on the tracks. Nora and Zach exit through the rear and walk down the tracks back toward the city when they’re blocked by Kelly. Nora, who was previously a crack shot, fires blindly at Eph’s ex-wife and misses every shot. Stupid Zach then stupidly distracts her and allows Kelly to get close and bite Nora. Thanks a bunch, kid. To make matters worse, the dipshit then gives his vampire mommy a hug and walks off with her hand-in-hand.
Eichorst arrives at Eldritch Palmer’s office, enraged. Palmer and Coco put up a show of standing up to him and demand respect from the Master. Well, the Master shows up and chomps down on Coco’s neck. I guess that’s the end of her. Palmer cries.
Setrakian and Fet exit the sewer. Gus is right behind them. Setrakian admits that he has no intention of giving the book to the Ancients. Why would he say this? His agreement with the Ancients was that he would turn it over after he’s examined it. All he has to do is say that he needs time to examine it. It’s a big book, after all.
As if Gus had a homing beacon on him, Quinlan appears moments later. Setrakian convinces him to let him keep the book. Here’s a suggestion: We live in an age where everybody’s cell phone has a camera in it. Why doesn’t Fet just take a bunch of photos of all the book’s pages and then let Setrakian hand the original over to the Ancients? Why is the book itself needed?
Eph finds Nora half-dead on the train tracks. “You’re always late,” she says. Ain’t that the truth? Nora tells Eph about Zach and reveals that she’s infected. He stammers about finding a way to “manage” the situation, but Nora knows that it’s hopeless. She touches the Third Rail on the tracks and electrocutes herself rather than be turned. Eph cries.
Alone in his office, Palmer cuts out Coco’s heart, much like Setrakian had done to his wife. Hmmm, could he use this to extract the white goo that he needs to stay healthy?
As the episode ends, Setrakian reads the ‘Occido Lumen’ on a tugboat while Fet ferries them back to Red Hook. Around them, much of the city burns.
And that’s it, the big season ender. Personally, I think this was a lame finale to a lame season of an increasingly lame show. Here are some questions I have:
We know that Fet has a supply of silver, because he’s made those silver grenades that he occasionally blasts vampires with. Where were those when he and Setrakian were stuck in the truck? Lobbing a couple of those out the window would have cleared out a lot of the vampires much faster. For that matter, why didn’t he use some of that silver to line the cage he put on the front of the truck?
The only train out of town runs at night? Yeah, that’s a brilliant idea. And for all the quarantine measures the National Guard has implemented to prevent people from leaving or entering the city, there’s absolutely nothing to stop vampires from walking on the train tracks?
Stupid Zach ruins everything. I hope he gets turned and Eph has to decapitate him.
Honestly, I’m not sure that I’ll be back to watch more next season. I may have suffered enough with this dumb show.