Viewers have been wishing, hoping, and praying, and The Strain: Identity has answered their calls. With an addition of some story progression, moderate action, and some casualties, this past week’s episode was a steady progression from the previous in the season. Although not the perfect 45-minutes of television, Identity was more-or-less an entertaining watch that still managed to leave off with a bit of a cliffhanger for the upcoming week.
The Strain made no hesitation in following up with the tall, strange Strigori from last week’s finale. Though viewers (who did not read the graphic novel) do not know who this British warrior is, it is clear that he was summoned from across the pond by the ancients to help stop the master’s conquering of New York City and he was also the one who trained the vampire swat team that ended up baked like rotisserie earlier in the season. Those faithful to just the television show may not have an exact clue who this new vampire warrior is, but it is clear that he is about business. Considering that he showed little restraint in telling the other ancients that the resident epidemic was their faults and demanded some human hunters to join him, this new character is already a favorite.
Focusing on the other more familiar characters, The Strain’s resident CDC-crime fighter Eph made his way to his old friend’s home in Washington, DC. Lucifer’s lead (Tom Ellis) was Eph’s old friend and drinking buddy Rob Bradley and was Eph’s only connect to help spread his newly developed vampire killing weapon into mass production. Luckily for Eph, Bradley had just the right connection to get the virus into the right hands–a female CEO of a leading pharmaceutical company.
The meeting of the minds was a nerd highlight of this episode. Eph briefly explained the use of the “weapon”, viewers got a little bit more into the background story of how Eph met Bradley, the female CEO took a liking so much to Eph that she gave him two invitations; one in front the board members of the company and another into her sheets. All was going well it seemed but, in true The Strain fashion, Palmer got the jump on Eph. Might have been when news broke about the death of the CDC lead conspirator. Palmer orchestrated an assassin the area to take out all three characters. The only one left who survived the attack was Eph, but it seems he was out of connects and ways to help refine and mass produce his new bioweapon that he signed over to the rights to.
The residents of New York did not seem to be fairing just as easy. There was a nice moment between Nora and Zach in this week’s episode. Zach did the unthinkable and finally cracked a smile. Considering his concern for Nora’s wellbeing, it seems that his anger is really only geared towards his dad. The two had a nice day trip, raiding abandoned clothes left behind in council woman’s Red Hook headquarters before they were escorted back to their home base.
Just when they thought they were in the clear, Kelly and her spider monkey Strigori’s crashed the ride. They had been tracking Zach for some time and finally caught up to him. In a tense scene of The Strain: Identity, Nora and Zach fled into a local cathedral to hide from the deranged mother. There seemed to be little hope for the two and Nora was not the best of marksman. Just when all hope was lost, Setrakian and the others came to the rescue. The mission proved successful but was not without its losses. Eldritch’s former assistant Reggie Fitzwilliam was a casualty and got stung by one of the spider babies. Setrakian decapitated Fitzwilliam before he could become a Strigori.
Other characters were having a little bit of a better plotline. The Strain: Identity caught viewers back up with Gus and his new hangout spot, The Tandoori Palace. He continued to grill the custodian about his past as Angel, the supernatural fighting wrestler to the point the dishwasher finally admitted it in order to shut him up. Aanya later confirmed it for him by showing Gus the tape that Angel watched repeatedly. Viewers also got a little bit more depth into Aanya and a small action scene when the three were making a delivery.
It seems that Eldritch and the master were still making strides with their plans for the city. Before Fitzwilliam’s death, he gave some intel on the three buildings that Eldritch was remodeling with the help of prison construction workers. Sounds like it could be prisons for what is left of the healthy residents of the city. The master even got a new body in The Strain: Identity. In an interesting, but not shocking, change of events, the master bypassed Eichorst’s pleading to be his new vessel and chose Bolivar. Considering that Bolivar was so loyal and seemed to be the master’s new favorite, his body was just what the villain needed to hop into to regain his strength. Eichorst shed a tear or two, but he seemed to remain loyal like a good lap dog the new master, for now.
The Strain: Identity was not without its flaws, but it was a good watch. At this point in the series, it seems little plot holes do not take away from the overall progression of season two. The better moments came in the tense horror movie-esque chase between Kelly, Nora, and Zach. Another highlight of the episode was the scenes in DC with Eph and how politics is still playing a factor in The Strain‘s story.
Opinion and Review By Tyler Cole
Edited By Leigh Haugh
Den of Geek–The Strain: Identity Review