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TV Review: The Strain 1.5 “Runaways”
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The Strain
Season 1 Episode 5: “Runaways”
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Gennifer Hutchinson, Guillermo del Toro, and Chuck Hogan
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Robin Atkin Downes
FX
Air Date: Sunday August 10, 2014, 10pm

Episode 5 review of The Strain coming right up. But first…..

Previously, on The Strain (Spoilers!!):

Episode 4 “It’s Not For Everyone” needs to be watched on an empty stomach. Eph (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mia Maestro), and Jim (Sean Astin) perform and film a secret autopsy on the late, former vampire monster Captain Doyle Redfern. They discover new ammonia fragrant anatomy, complete with a man-sized stinger. This proves too much for Jim who confesses his complicity. Nora and Eph don’t care about his reasons and cut him off both professionally and personally.

Remembering Setrakian’s (David Bradley) warnings, they burn the body after taking some samples. Gus (Miguel Gomez) wavers between the “crookeds and the straights” as he returns the clock his brother stole to Setrakian on one hand, then steals and sells a car on the other. Ansel’s wife Ann Marie (Alice Paxton-Beesely) comes home to find her dog dead and Ansel (Nikolai Witschi) chained up in the shed, alternating between the monster who wants to drink her blood, and her husband who tells her to, “Run!” She chooses instead to bury her dog, pray over her rosary, and feed her obnoxious neighbor to her husband. Palmer finds out that the girl he hired did a great job as the cell towers stopped working and the Internet was super slow. He meets with the Health and Human Services Secretary Maggie Pierson and tells her that a deadly bio agent was on the plane. She owes him for her job so she will follow his advice. He passes out and wakes long enough to agree to his on-the-spot liver transplant, since he hasn’t heard from Eichorst. Eph brings Nora when he goes back to the dead girl Emma’s house, where they are rescued by the sword-swinging, vampire-decapitating Setrakian, who barks, “Get the gasoline!” Nora’s out. She still thinks they’re people.

Episode 1.5 “Runaways” Preview:

I am very glad I watch these in the daytime, as my adrenaline is already spiked with suspense and not a little fear. Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand) is back! And he finds the reason the rats are running. Let your imagination stew on that for a while. Eph joins Setrakian on his manifest journey, still thinking he can gather enough evidence to make the CDC believe him and quarantine the “survivors” along with the dead passengers who walked away. Poor naive Eph! We get glimpses of Setrakian’s concentration camp past where he first crosses paths with the Master (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes and physically played by Robert Maillet). Speaking of “survivors,” this episode revisits Ansel, Bolivar (Jack Kesy), and Joan (Leslie Hope). Which fun vampire virus stage will they be in? Directed by Peter Weller (yes – that Peter Weller), this episode does not let you relax until the credits.

One unique aspect of The Strain is that we started pre-virus and are seeing not only it slowly take hold of the people, but the deniability and cover up of government agencies (with the help of big corporations), which I have to think is a pretty realistic response. Many of those also well-written shows start at the aftermath and how the survivors manage, with flashbacks revealing what life was like before. The Strain takes us along the ride of the change in the world. Is it me or is it getting apocalyptic in here?

The Strain 1.5 “Runaways” trailer:

Eph and Setrakian

The Strain 1.5 Runaways Eph and Setrakian

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