Monday, July 21, 2014

The Strain Season 1 Episode # 2 "The Box" - Recap and Review

FX The Strain Logo Season 1 Episode 2 The Box Recap and Review

This post discusses the episode in detail. Readers yet to read the episode are recommended to skip the rest of the post, if they wish to avoid spoilers.

The episode begins with a quick recap of the previous episode, “Night Zero”.

Gus Elizalde (Miguel Gomez) delivers the box to its destination and tries to figure out its contents. The grumbling noises and the roars coming from inside the box scare away Gus who flees the garage running at full speed.

Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet the big Russian rat exterminator in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

We are introduced to the Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand), Inspector at City Pest Control. The big muscular chap works on eliminating the rat problem in the city and not surpisingly has a pet cat. This reminded me of  Hellboy (another del Toro favorite) also having a lot of pet cats.

At the cargo area in JFK airport, Dr Eph Goodweather (Corey Stoll), Dr Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) and Jim Kent (Sean Astin) examine Peter Bishop's corpse. As readers might remember, Bishop was attacked and murdered by the Master in the previous episode.

Nora notices ammonia discharge, similar to the one inside the doomed flight Regis Air 753.

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Dr Everett Barnes (Daniel Kash) releases the four survivors. Eph tries to keep them under quarantine on his authority.

Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) plans to release disinformation campaign to counter CDC's stranglehold on the passengers. The blame is placed on the airline company's negligence to safety standards. This is supposed to be the cause of the casualties.

David Bradley as Jewish Holocaust survivor and pawn shop owner Abraham Setrakian in jail in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) goes to meet Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) in jail and refers to him by his Jewish concentration camp number A230385”. Thomas was in charge of Abraham's concentration camp during World War II.

Thomas also asks if his antique sword belongs to Sardu. Eichhorst further taunts Abraham by asking if he still keeps her heart.

Abraham retorts by informing Eichhorst that he had slain Eichhorst's friend Dreverhaven and that he will be joining his dead friend soon.

Miguel Gomez as Augustin Gus Elizalde the Mexican gangster in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

Crispin (Francis Capra) gifts the clock, he stole from Abraham's pawnshop, to his mother. Gus chastises him for presenting their mother with a stolen item and decides to return the clock to its rightful owner.

Margaret Pierson, Secretary of Human and Health Services informs Eph that the flight incident is now under the control of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Barnes tries to calm down Eph by advising him about his personal life. Eph loses his cool and grabs his superior by his collar. Barnes promptly removes Eph from the case and orders him to go on leave for a few days.

Eph tries unsuccessfully to reach Dr Bennett at the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Captain Redfern (Jonathan Potts) meets Eph and Nora at a bar. He lets them know that some government agents has brought the box to the flight cargo.

Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Eph Goodweather performing tests in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

Eph and Nora run some chemical tests to determine the nature of the agent that caused the death of the flight passengers.

The duty conscious Vasiliy is making an inspection in a restaurant on a Sunday. Meanwhile, Gabriel Gabe Bolivar (Jack Kesy), his manager Ruby Wain (Regina King) and Joan Luss (Leslie Hope) discuss about their strategy to make money from the Regis incident.

Gabe discusses with Joan about hearing the humming noise inside his head. Joan agrees that she too hears the same. Joan notices blood in her drink and realizes that she has blood in her mouth.

Vasiliy uses his authority to close down the restaurant and orders the patrons to leave.

Jonathan Hyde as wealthy old billionaire Eldritch Palmer in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

Eldritch and his assistant/bodyguard Mr Fitzwilliams (Roger R. Cross) get ready to meet the Master. Mr Fitzwilliams is not comfortable with his employer's deal with Thomas Eichhorst and suggests having a backup plan. Eldritch disregards his bodyguard's advice and declares that he is more excited for the upcoming meeting that anything else in his life.

Eph meets Zach (Ben Hyland) before their court custody appearance. Eph has a very uncomfortable man-to-man talk with Kelly's new boyfriend Matt Sayles (Drew Nelson).

Eph attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Eph confirms his committment to remain sober solely for the sake of Zack.

Jack Kesy as Gabriel Gabe Bolivar in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

During one of his orgies at his townhouse, Gabe can hear the blood pumping inside one of the girls and bites her real hard. After the girls leave, Gabe continues to licks the blood on the floor.

Redfern's pathological report reveals that his body is undergoing metamorphosis. Under the UV light, they notice some movements inside his skin.

Gary Arnot (Steven McCarthy) contacts Eph to thank him for releasing his daughter, Emma (Isabelle Nélisse) to him.

Mr Fitzwilliams gives a friendly warning to Eldritch about his suspicions about Thomas. Eldritch sees the Master's face and is left whimpering in fear.

Corey Stoll and Mía Maestro as Dr. Ephraim Eph Goodweather and Dr. Nora Martinez in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

Eph and Nora reach the CDC office to check on Dr Bennett and the corpses. They realize that all the corpses are gone.

Emma is lying in the bathtub. When Gary approaches her, she attacks him with her newly developed stinger.

The show is getting on nicely with the second episode building on the events that took place previously. 

Kevin Durand and Regina Hope are the new newcomers. They are welcome additions to the show and enliven the show with their screen presence.

Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichorst in The Strain Season 1 Episode 2 The Box

I liked the exchange between Abraham Setrakian and Thomas Eichorst in the jail. This conversation revealed Abraham's backstory and explained his rivalry with Eichorst.

Corey Stoll's discussion with Drew Nelson's character was funny. Credit to Corey for bringing in some much needed humor to the proceedings that can get quite grim.

Special mention must be made of Leslie Hope as ambitious attorney Joan Luss. She sells the concept of an infected victim undergoing change really well.

Guillermo del Toro has put in a lot of efforts to make the show an enjoyable treat for his fans and it shows. The makeup, the sets and the atmosphere - they are consistently excellent and bear the stamp of a master craftsman at work.

Recommended watch for fans of del Toro and/or Horror genre.

  • The song “I Love You from Barney can be heard in the closing scene, when Gary Arnot is attacked by his changed daughter.

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