Last week on The Strain, Eph and Quinlan put their plan of rescue and revenge in motion. While they were to trade The Occido Lumen in exchange for Eph’s son Zach and then come face to face with The Master, things did not go completely according to plan. For one, Zach was a no show as The Master pulled the old “Walking Dead” prisoner exchange and nearly got Eph killed by a subordinate Strigoi. However, all was not lost as Quinlan and The Master did engage in one on one combat, well, vampire SWAT Team and The Master on Quinlan combat. Either way, Quinlan emerged the victor and cut off The Master’s head. But was The Master really killed? We did see one remaining “master worm” escape, so it’s assumed that The Master did survive in one form or another leading up to tonight’s episode.
The first clue that The Master survived was the fact that Quinlan is still alive. According to legend, if The Master died, so would Quinlan. Unless the prophecy was wrong, The Master was still alive. Before there is even time to celebrate, Eph comes clean to Setrakian and Fet that it was he who stole the book, not just Quinlan. After receiving a well-deserved punch in the face, the group has become splintered with Setrakian and Fet no longer able to trust Eph. Instead of a celebratory drink, Eph goes home to drink his sorrows away. Now that The Master is dead and they do not have the book, there’s no reason to keep Zach alive.
Lucky for Zach, his mother still has her motherly instinct, as well as her intelligence The Master gave her as she defends him against the Strigoi who no longer have The Master to control and coordinate them. In addition to his mother, he also has Eichorst (who we haven’t yet seen this season) in his corner as well. In addition to keeping Zach alive, Eichorst has his own plans of vengeance.
As Eph is nursing his wounds through some good old booze, in comes Dutch who is also nursing her problems in kind. The two bond the way alcoholics in pain do, by drinking more alcohol and sharing their stories of misery.
Meanwhile, Councilwoman Justine Feraldo is dealing with her own drama. Although she’s in charge of security for New York, she doesn’t seem to know what her police department is doing in her name to deal with the crisis and is blindsided by the only remaining news crew in the city about the fact that they are rounding up criminals (and even just simple curfew breakers) to become their cannon fodder when fighting the Strigoi. After angrily speaking with her police captain, she goes to see them in action and gets a chance to talk with Gus for his perspective. Although she sees the heinous acts committed in the name of security, she ultimately doesn’t see much of a choice.
Quinlan and Setrakian have a meeting with the Strigoi council where they both learn that as long as the “Crimson Worm” is still alive, the essence of The Master remains and he will need to get a new body ad then become just as powerful as before. Because this news was hidden from Quinlan, he’s pretty much done with them.
Eichorst also puts his plan for revenge in action, which is done rather brilliantly. He is able to coach a few semi-intelligent Strigoi to become suicide bombers. Instead of inflicting mass casualties, they just use their blood as shrapnel, infecting more people. While Feraldo has a close call and almost gets infected, she gets a clean bill of health and as a result, her resolve is even stronger than before.
Finally, Eph and Dutch are attacked by a few Strigoi and then before he kills it, The Master speaks through it. Looks like The Master finally has a new body.
Before we can get to that next week, here are a few of the top moments of the episode.