The Strain: Season 1, Episode 12 – Last Rites


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UK Pace Review – Broadcast on digital channel Watch
The Strain: Wednesdays at 10pm
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WARNING this review contains SPOILERS.

Synopsis
Eldritch Palmer is not at all well.  Eichorst taunts him.  Palmer thinks The Master will come and save him, especially after all the work he put in getting him here.  Eichorst isn’t so sure.

The gang get back to the pawn shop.  Zack seems fine that they’re late, and he had extra responsibilities to attend to whilst they were out.  Mrs Martinez just looks pissed off.  Abraham goes back downstairs into his “lair” and uncovers his “wife” – or what’s left of her.

Flashback: Albania 1967.  A man (Abraham) is trying to buy a horse to take him to Castle Dricht, or the ruins of.  The locals aren’t particularly interested.  They may, or may not, have already heard about the well-dressed German gentleman asking similar questions.  In the end, he pays over the odds for the horse.  Abraham gets back to his house, where his wife Miriam is waiting for him.  He looks to be in his 40s at this point, but Miriam looks like she’s 25!  However, Miriam has a leg brace and a crutch to help her walk.  She asks him to be careful when he goes to the castle.  He promises that he will, and that they will settle down and adopt (?) children when they are safe.

Back to the present.  Abraham is caressing the jar containing the remains of Miriam, lost in thought.  Nora brings him a drink.  She spots the heart in a jar and starts to ask questions.  Abraham gets angry.

Gus accosts a previous associate in his car – your basic car-jacking.

Vasily is checking the maps.  Eph comments on Abraham’s reaction in the tunnels the previous night.  NOW he’s asking questions!  Dutch shows up at the shop; “Did you miss me?!”  She’s got a plan… or perhaps it’s a “win”.

Dutch can hack the emergency broadcast system, and wants to make Eph famous.

Gus is still driving about town with his hostage.

Abraham takes a nap.

Flashback.  Young(er) Abraham reaches the ruin of the Castle.  Random personal effects are strewn around.  He drops a rope down a (dry) well, and climbs in.  There’s a tiny crawl space.  Of course, he goes right on in.  His horse waits patiently up top.  Abraham finds a nest.  He’s about to start killing them, when they start to speak directly to him.  So he runs off.  Back through the tiny crawl space.  His rope is gone!  Eichorst taunts him from above.

Dutch and Vasily are on the roof.  Dutch is getting ready to hack into the emergency system.  Vasily tries some dead pan humour.  Dutch shares a little of her background.  Her pseudo-British accent is apparently due to a previous girlfriend, and a move across the pond.  Vasily enquires whether she’s interested in men or women.  She gives a suitably cryptic answer, so she’s presumably open to suggestions.

Mrs Martinez notices that Eph is preparing a speech.  It seems Nora used to be good at that.  Nora comes along and has a go at her mum for being out of bed!  But she doesn’t question where the menthol cigarettes came from?

Gus and his hostage get to where they were going.  Creem gives Gus his supply of guns.  Another car shows up.  They make a delivery.  Gus checks the bag once they’ve left.  It’s full of cash.  But Gus is interested in picking up what they paid for, as it’s clearly worth even more.

Dutch is pretty much ready to put Eph on screen.  Abraham starts to again explain his motivations.

Flashback.  Abraham is climbing out of the well.  Bare fingers on brickwork.  Somehow he kept hold of his cane!  His horse has been disembowelled.  He runs back to Miriam, but she’s gone.  Her leg brace is left behind.

The gang are ready to broadcast.  Eph is live and sending their message.  A vampire (Gabe, maybe?) attacks Mrs Martinez.  Others attack.  Eichorst arrives at the door of the shop.

Gus and Creem get to the container and open it.  There are vamps in there!  They shoot at both the vamps, and each other.  The good vamp army show up – AT LAST!  They grab Gus and drive off, leaving Creem to just stand and stare.

The vamps are trying to get into Abraham’s basement.  The gang barricade the door.  Vasily lays out an unconscious Mrs Martinez; Nora cries by her side.  NOW Nora will take up a sword, screams and kills her mom.

Flashback.  Abraham sits and broods in the dark.  Miriam appears at the front door, she’s a vampire and has two vampire children minions.  Abraham goes in for the kill.

Nora is crying.  Abraham takes the sword and cleans it.

Flashback.  Abraham is sad over the decapitated corpse of his wife.

Eichorst gets into the shop.  He talks at Abraham so that he can hear.  Abraham uncovers Miriam’s heart and looks at it.

Flashback.  Abraham is praying.  He asks forgiveness for what he is about to do.  He cuts out his wife’s wormy heart.

Abraham says goodbye to the heart in a jar.  They get out through the back.  Eichorst sees the heart.

Palmer is in his hospital bed.  The Master pays a visit.  He begs to be saved.  The Master feeds him a drop of his milky white blood.  Fitzwilliam comes up with a tray, Palmer isn’t in his bed.  He’s standing outside in the rain, laughing.

Unanswered Questions:

  •  So, what exactly is the motivation of the vampire army?
  • Did Abraham keep his wife’s heart just as a keepsake? After all that, he just left “her” behind?

My Favourite Bit:
Abraham’s backstory.  I think, personally, had the entire series been about Abraham and the vampires from the 1940’s onwards, chronologically, it might have been a bit more engaging.

Overall Rating:
Empty Star_76Empty Star_76Empty Star_762 out of 5 stars

Still this series seems to be all “middle”.  Presumably, had I read the books beforehand the whole premise may make more sense.  I would have thought that the creators would have included enough information to bring the newbies up to speed.  As above, I might have told a chronological story, instead of revealing bits and pieces in flashback.  I’ve said this before but, I see absolutely no reason why the main character(s) should belong to the CDC, and then subsequently have no science basis nor any search for a medical cure within the rest of the story.  Instead they simply trust Abraham and his fairy tale explanations.

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