Episode #5: "Runaways"
by Dan Tomasik
The infection builds toward widespread outbreak as Eph and Setrakian strive to cut it off.
As stated previously, every scene with Abraham Setrakian is the best scene of an episode. For “Runaways”, he has the most screentime since the series began. Holocaust flashbacks, breakouts, and the Silver Nail Gun of Abraham; “Runaways” is the most engaging episode of the series so far. John Hurt was originally cast for the role, but David Bradley has proven himself the better choice for the role. Everything he says or does has an unmistakable edge that adds credibility to what he says, as well as a suitable amount of ominous menace to convince us to ignore what we think we know. He is not a wholly good human being, not wholly just nor wholly righteous, but he is the best chance the human race has against this threat. He can also be hilarious and inspiring with no effort whatsoever. Whether it’s schooling Eph on the “strigoi” (Romanian for “vampires”) while cooking eggs, chastising Eph’s car and relationships, or modifying carpentry tools into vampire combat weapons, Setrakian sells both the impossible and the ridiculous. He’s like Jesus, except older and more prone to kicking ass.
Some of his presence is rubbing off on Eph as well. Maybe it’s just the opportunity to shoot a nail gun loaded with silver nails at a vampire chained up in a shed that has excited Eph’s inner monster killer. Maybe it’s coming face-to-face with an 80-90 year old holocaust survivor/vampire slayer/carpenter. Maybe it’s alcohol withdrawal making Eph want to kill first and ask questions later. Perhaps it’s just Corey Stoll finally getting payback after being so helpless during season 1 of House of Cards. Whatever it may be, Eph is adopting more of Setrakian’s world view and resolve, turning himself into a savior for mankind.
While no date has been established for the outbreak by any character, wary viewers are picking up on the details others ignore. Such as that Bolivar didn’t survive by random. He has a concert set to take place during the eclipse. A concert that will be filled with goth maggot deathheads spewing fake blood and pretending to devour each other as their antichrist savior rampages on stage. Bolivar’s people are already used to covering up his behavior when it gets out of control and nothing can be allowed to stop this concert. If only the fools knew what they were really doing, but such is the nature of television. Vasiliy has found the rest of the victims that disappeared after episode 1, turned and bloodthirsty for any living thing they can find in the sewers. An entire vampire army just waiting for the order/opportunity to be unleashed.
This is one of those episodes that prompts fans to promptly and rabidly request “More! Now! NOW!” the moment it ends. The series is on the edge of exploding, we want to see what happens!
A little decapitation here, some neck snapping there, bloodsucking all around, even our first few bullet wounds. The show is getting into a good violence rhythm, but the body count remains limited thus far. That’s due to change soon, however.
Oozing wounds, sucky stingers, a hanging body, a couple survivors still going through the stages of transformation around their kids, giant monsters that suck your Holocaust bunkmate’s fluids in the night, and a growing population of nightwalkers in desperate need of bibs. Pretty standard monster stuff.
Nothing too out-there this week, but finding Annie’s corpse strung up in the house was a bit of a kick. Quite a steep drop in morality in quite a short period of time for quite a dedicated Christian. The Bible does not look kindly on such deeds.
WIBTOVE (Why It’s Better Than Other Vampire Entertainment):
The Silver Nail Gun of Abraham. When Abraham Setrakian became a worker at Blink’s concentration camp, he turned a 6-week apprenticeship as a carpenter into the key to both survival and retaliation. A hammer and nail/stake is the classic vampire killing tool combination. However, vampires have a bad tendency to resist and struggle as you hold them down to get that pesky stabber in, thus leading to the greatest vampire hunting weapon since the holy water squirt gun; a nail gun with silver ammo. It wounds, stuns, and restrains strigoi while allowing one to keep their distance. Abraham Setrakian, you brilliant, blue-collar, golden oldie slayer of the undead.
Episode Score: 8.7