The Strain is back, and the fight's only getting more complicated.
Spoilers for the Season 3 premiere, "New York Strong," ahead.
While it may seem like we've been following these characters for years at this point (and, well, we have), the timeline of The Strain has really only progressed about three weeks since The Master touched down in New York in his special box. In that time, we've seen a lot of characters come and go, and we've seen the city overrrun, but the war is far from over. In fact, as we quickly learn in this season premiere, things are only getting trickier.
The federal government has finally gotten wise to the strigoi problem, and they've sent elite troops into NYC to try and root out the Master, now living in the body of former rock star Bolivar. Vasily Fet, ever the rodent catcher, is their eye in the sky, hoping he can win the fight with a solid ground game even as time and resources are running out.
Meanwhile, Ephraim is hitting the bottle hard as he waits to learn the fate of his son, while also trying to mass produce a bioweapon that seems to be increasingly ineffective. His life's work is in danger, what's left of his family is in greater danger, and he's self destructing.
On the greater mythological side of the show, Setrakian continues to try and decipher the mysterious Occido Lumen, with help from Mr. Quinlan, who's already relayed to the Ancients that he believes himself to be their only hope. Somewhere in this text is the key to destroying The Master. If not...well, everyone's doomed.
- Fet continues to be a winning character, and not just because he's tough enough to carry around nothing but rebar as a weapon. He's still the ultimate problem solver. He approaches each strigoi encounter as a puzzle he has to solve. He respects his enemy, and he never deals in absolutes. Next to Setrakian, he might be my favorite character.
- The Strain has too often been a show that hints at what we'd like to know more about, but never show us. Quinlan is often a character who embodies that, but in this episode he's an interesting bridge between what we know and what we don't. When he confronts the Ancients, he makes us want to know more while not make us feeling left out.
- That climax. Wow. Every once in a while this show finds a good old gothic setpiece in the heart of New York, and this week it delivered with a gorgeous shootout in a church crypt. That was one of my favorite action sequences of the series yet.
- I really don't understand why we're still stringing along the Eph/Kelly/Zach story at this point. Yes, The Master is emotionally manipulative. Yes, Zach can get to Eph. But when you have your bioweapon-making hero cornered, why not just end it?
- Eichhorst is an amazing character, but I'm truly getting tired of watching him show up, grin, and dash away into the night. We've spent two years learning how powerful he is, so why doesn't he wield more power?
Well, there are clearly some disagreements as to the meaning of the Lumen, Eph's weapon took a hit, and the military is pulling out. Looks like our heroes are going to be back to their old scrappy fighting methods very soon.
The Strain returns Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on FX.