On the Stunning Season Finale of The Strain, an Old Dude Bought a Book

Illustration for article titled On the Stunning Season Finale of The Strain, an Old Dude Bought a Book

The boring, insufferable second season of The Strain has come to a close, and if you were wondering if perhaps Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire apocalypse “drama” would be pulling out all the stops after what can only be politely be described as “slow” build-up, let me assure you it did not. It stayed just as boring, but it somehow got more insufferable.


Here is everything that happened in the finale, after 12 previous episodes of almost purely wasted time:

1) Setrakian finally got the Occido Lumen, as he’d been trying to and failing all season.

2) Vampire Kelly finally successfully kidnapped Zach, as she’d been trying to and failing all season.

3) Nora died.

That’s it, really. In fact, these three sentences could sum up the events of the entire season almost completely, although I guess you’d have to add “Eph and Nora made a virus that kills vampires, but they have no means of doing anything with it.” And maybe, if you were being really generous to this waste of a show, you could say that certain characters finally teamed up—Setrakian, Fet, Quinlan, Gus and Angel—but they didn’t as much join up as end up on a boat together, and I don’t have any reason to suspect they’ll stay together, let alone work together to foil the Master.

But really, five things happened on the second season of The Strain, and none of them were that exciting. That breaks down to One Thing Happening every 2.6 episodes, except that four of these things only happened in last night’s finale. And again, let me remind you that the most important storyline of this whole goddamned season is that an old man bought a book. The Strain didn’t even have the decency to follow up on the hints that the auction would turn into some kind of battle between Setrakian, Eichorst, Quinlan, and Alonso Creem’s forces; instead we watched as a person talked on the phone to the respective banks. (And this was still more interesting than the ludicrous amount of time we were forced to watch Eph, Nora and Zach wait for their goddamned train to leave Penn Station.)

Now, obviously other things happened during this episode, but they were actually just conclusions to utterly worthless storylines that the second season wasted our time with. Coco? The Master killed her, because Eldritch Palmer turned off his bank account because he was pouty about not being allowed to go to the auction (So dumb). Gus’ army? They showed up to kill the vampires who attacked Setrakian and Fet after we had to sit through the auction, and then basically disappeared, having fulfilled their single, random narrative purpose. (I’d say the fact that a vampire gave a bunch of hardened, armed criminals he’d just met a Braveheart-esque inspirational pre-battle speech would be the episode’s dumbest moment, but the dumbest moment is that the speech actually worked.)


Even the death of Nora, ostensibly a main character, is only noteworthy in the sense that for it to occur, Zach—who is, without any doubt, Emperor-King of Awful, Stupid Kids in Dramatic Genre Entertainment—required the kid to make a series of decisions so ludicrously stupid that they seemed impossible for any 8-year-old kid with the power to dress himself could make. Yes, Zach prevents Nora from killing his clearly evil plague-ridden mom, distracts Nora so that Kelly can use her giant mouth-tentacle to murder her, and then goes with Kelly anyways. It’s insipid and insulting to everyone involved, including the audience.

Trying to summarize this finale, let alone this season, requires effort The Strain does not deserve in the least. It is horrible, and although it’s been renewed for its third season, I pray that I will not be recapping this garbage next summer.


Oh! As one final “fuck you” to its viewers, The Strain decided to give a tiny glimpse at what an interesting version of this show might look like when Quinlan faced off against Eichorst for a super-powered vampire fight … that lasted less than 10 seconds. Then Eichorst immediately ran, as if the show was terrified that it might accidentally entertain someone.

Don’t worry, The Strain. You didn’t come close to entertaining me.

Illustration for article titled On the Stunning Season Finale of The Strain, an Old Dude Bought a Book

Assorted Musings:




Contact the author at rob@io9.com.



Dan Entwistle

Great “Assorted Musings” or Greatest “Assorted Musings”?

Seriously, though, well done Rob. It takes an iron-clad mind to review this drek week after week. Mine could only take season one and now I can’t remember what my family looks like.