Just when viewers thought The Strain had lost its ability to intrigue, the better half of the second season breathed life back into the dragging plot. It seems that the better half of the second season is really where the story should have progressed. With the introduction of the latest character, Quinlan, the show may have just found their new fan favorite. Having The Born mainly focus on introducing him was probably the series’ best decision. Although his backstory seems to be a lot more extensive than what was shown, the episode was still able to find a balance in keeping The Strain’s characters’ stories progressing without boring the audience.
The Born first brings the attention to a wounded Eph lurking around a yet unknown city. Considering that his plans for getting his bio-weapon went to hell, thanks to Eldritch Palmer, the defeated scientist found comfort in at a local tavern. Downing his sorrows with some bourbon, Eph eventually made his way back to the loft the team was bunking in. It is unclear how he was able to leave Washington, DC so easily but, for the sake of story telling, the show just breezed by it with little explanation.
The other characters were faring out a little bit better. Newly formed couple Fet and Dutch seemed to have been becoming more than just late night, skinny dipping buddies. To no one’s surprise, Fet was catching the feelings a little bit more than Dutch. As the two woke up together, he asked if she wanted to move the rest of her stuff into their room. Since most of Dutch’s belongings were back at her old apartment, the two made a trip back to her old loft to find an old friend.
Yes, Dutch’s ex Nikki was still alive and hiding out in their old apartment. How Nikki was able to survive for so long is a bit of a mystery, but that did not matter to Dutch. The hacker greeted her old lover with open arms and kisses, completely forgetting that Nikki ditched her in the first season of The Strain. It was apparent to everyone, but Fet, that Dutch was still not over her ex and this did not sit too well with the lovestruck European. Though the re-introduction of Nikki into the group actually gave Dutch’s character more depth than just the cool hacker, the love triangle angle seems kind of silly. Considering that Fet has only been sleeping with Dutch for less than a week, his jealousy seems a little forced.
Continued forced scenes that focused on moments of love drama brought The Strain: The Born to a slower pace. Bringing the attention onto Eldritch Palmer and his continued courting of his assistant Cocoa Marshmallow, the two shared what had to be one of the most awkward scenes of the series. After several days of Eldritch trying to impress his young assistant, Cocoa ended up making the first move on a reluctant Palmer. It was clear that this is where their storyline was heading, but such little development in Cocoa’s character make her seem more a plot device to either change Palmer for the better or worse.
Luckily, The Strain: The Born focused more of its attention on the backstory and motivation of new character Quinlan. Viewers were treated to two flashbacks stories to give some insight into how old the character is and how long he has been a warrior. From what The Born showed, Quinlan began his fighting days as a gladiator in Roman times. He was quick, agile, strong, and seemed to show a disdain for bloodshed. What makes Quinlan different from other Strigori is his ability to walk in the sunlight and his self-awareness.
The other flashback brought viewers back to a familiar time. Quinlan entered the same small village that the Master inhabited earlier in The Strain‘s season premiere. Sensing that the Master had jumped bodies into Sardu, Quinlan arrived just a little too late. Although it has yet to be revealed in the show why Quinlan has been tracking down the Master for so long and why he hates him so much, but the interaction in the latter part of The Born gave a little bit more insight. It seems that Quinlan has been traveling this long hunt because of something that the Master did his mother. Though yet to be revealed in the series, the writers alluded that the Master may be the reason for Quinlan’s condition.
As a whole, The Strain: The Born was an entertaining watch. Though the moments of blossoming romance and teenage-like love triangles were slow moments this week, the introduction and action scenes with Quinlan easily made up for it. Considering how the episode ended, it is unclear if viewers will get a chance to see a lot more of the daywalker this season, but his screen time is highly welcomed.
Opinion By Tyler Cole
IGN-THe Strain: “The Born” Review: Human Flesh and Demon Blood