Episode 8: "Creatures of the Night"
by Dan Tomasik
Eichorst licks his wounds, strigoi fill the night, Eph & co hold up in a gas station with Vasiliy.
After last week’s blast from the past, “Creatures of the Night” brings the story back to a traditional horror scenario. A group of strangers inside a gas station try to escape before the monsters can break in. Joining the crew is the hacker responsible for crippling cell phones and internet. For being able to get under Eichhorst’s skin in her first appearance, she’s clearly much less cocky in this situation. Also joining them is Vasiliy, who proves himself to be on the same wavelength as Setrakian. These two are a vampire killing team from heaven.
It’s actually somewhat questionable how well Vasily and Setrakian get along. Never have two individuals in this series been so perfectly in-tune with each other, especially not when it comes to killing the undead. Both act decisively, no hesitation, no mercy. The question is, how long can two different individuals who both act so decisively work alongside each other towards a single goal? No matter their similarities, a rift will eventually appear between them. All it takes is a single disagreement to plant the seeds for division. One day the group will be forced to decide who to follow, Vasiliy or Setrakian? Alas, that day is not yet here. So for now, let the Slash Bros. reign.
The Strain has finally hit its stride. No more setup; the monsters are out to play and it’s kill or be killed. The survivors fend off attacks as they struggle to find a safe place to hide, but there are no safe places for them. Not whilst they have Abraham Setrakian with them. For him, The Master has special plans in mind. How cruel that the best weapon they have for combating these monsters may also doom them all.
The “trapped in a gas station” situation never quite reaches the level of great horror, but it’s a strong and extremely active episode after so much waiting around. Eph and Nora are still clinging to their old lives; particularly the fantasy that they can cure this infection without killing people. A new weapon is discovered in the form of UV lights, which not only reveal the parasitic worms, but also burn strigoi faces off within 4ft. Wicked. There is also a wonderful cameo by creature effects god Rick Baker. The greatest monster makeup professional in the business and he’s on The Strain. 10 minutes later he is killed on The Strain, but he has more than enough screentime to satisfy his fans & admirers.
Bring on more!
Very, very much violence. Shooting, burning, slicing, hacking, smashing; so many strigoi, so little time. This will most likely become the standard for the series. Bring your slaughter bib.
A classic “survivors trapped in a station by monsters” scenario. Outnumbered, outpowered, and time is running out as the beasties work on finding a way in. Can our heroes escape, or will this be their last stand?
Strigoi Kill of the Week: Abraham Setrakian
Three silver nails to the face, then decapitation with an ornate silver sword.
Vasiliy shoots Jim in the face as a mercy killing, then puts three more into him after he goes down to make sure.
A woman flees a gas station surrounded by strigoi...and actually gets away.
WIBTOVE (Why It’s Better Than Other Vampire Entertainment):
The strigoi don’t just burn up or turn to dust when they die. So much vampire media is about trying to make the death of one of these beasties beautiful, dramatic and mesmerizing. On The Strain, they bleed just like everyone else (in fact they have more fluids spurting out than most), and fall to the ground with a “thud”. The corpses stay put and there is rarely anything even remotely attractive about them. Teens, you don’t want to be a vampire, all it’s gonna get you is a 6-foot stinger protruding from your mouth and a silver nail in the face.