The Strain “Runaways” Review
FX’s The Strain continues to tease it’s audience bit by bit with its 4th episode “Runaways.” This show is really testing audiences’ patience with its slow pacing and uneven character development. We know they have to fill an hour time block but sometimes it really feels like we’re watching paint dry. As a huge Guillermo Del Toro I’m confident that when the proverbial shit finally hits the fan I will be on the edge of seat, but for right now I just wish that time would come sooner than whatever pace they have decided to go at.
“Runaways” picks up where last week’s “It’s Not For Everybody” left off. Fresh off his 2nd vampire kill with the vamp hunter Abraham, Eph is finally given a heads up of what is about to transpire and the word “Vampire” is finally checked off the box over breakfast. 2 of the four plane survivors have been beheaded and that just leaves us with Gabriel and the Joan. (Sidenote) Why no one seems to be freaking out about the rest of bodies that disappeared form the morgue is beyond me, but I assume the show’s protagonists will get to that little hiccup eventually.
After getting brought up to speed by Abraham he and Eph decide to visit Ansel’s house, who we know confined himself to the shed in his backyard (probably the smartest thing anyone has done in this show so far) and quickly dispatch of him and the neighbour that was left as food by Ansel’s crazy wife, who of course hung herself after. Before Ab delivered the finishing blow though Eph decided it was a smart idea to get video evidence of what it is they’re dealing with so that he can recruit the assistance of the CDC. In the real world this plan would probably work but of course since it’s television, Eph’s boss has to be a total douchebag and instead of sounding the alarm when he sees a monster on the iphone he calls security instead. I know things like this are somewhat necessary in order to control the pace of the story but idiotic decisions like that still piss me off, television or not.
In between the few cool monster scenes we get to see a Nora go visit her mother for some reason instead of screaming from the hills that the monsters are coming. I get that after last week’s episode that she might not be able to handle the reality of this unique outbreak but I still think it was kind of random that she could remain so composed considering that she witnessed monsters on not one but 2 separate occasions. That little moment of denial is short lived though as some of the bodies from the morgue saw it fit to attack the nursing home Nora’s mother is in. Hopefully this means that she realizes that it’s time to sharpen her teeth and get her “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” one.
Another interesting but short scene was with Vasiliy the pest control guy. After noticing that New York’s longest standing vermin residence all seemed to be getting spooked out of the sewers, Vasiliy takes it upon himself to investigate and is almost immediately made dinner for all the morgue vamps that have now taken residence in the sewers and subway tracks during the day. Hopefully since he got to see up close what’s going on he wouldn’t be so slow to respond accordingly.
All in all, this episode continues with the stop and go flow of the first three episodes which is equally annoying as it is suspenseful. I mean Regina King, who plays Gabriel’s manager, actually witnesses him sucking the blood out of the unfortunate doctor with he nasty tongue and all and still thinks these are problems she could solve by sending another person within tongue striking reach of her client. Things like this definitely induce some eye rolling, but like i said before is just necessary to stretch this story out.
The phones and internet are down though and The Master is putting elements of his plan in place to lock off New York from the rest of civilization. Hopefully in next week’s episode we see what any rational person would do at this point. Eph needs to, but probably won’t, get his ass home and put his family on a plane. Nora needs to do the same and people need to all have a nice long sit down with Abraham and have him indoctrinate them into his world of vampire hunting. This is probably wishful thinking but regardless of what does transpire we will have to wait until next week to see.
If you haven’t yet, check out FX’s The Strain, which is esssentially the vampire story that hopefully puts all these other “sexy” vampire tales like Twilight and True Blood to rest.