Fans have been waiting ever so patiently and The Strain: Night Train delivered one of the series’ best hours of television to date. The finale did everything viewers have been waiting for and may have, arguably, surpassed all other episodes in emotional draw and action. There were plenty of moments that left fans in a bit of shock, a death of a main character, and more Quinlan. Though this episode did not capitalize on horror, Night Train made up for any shortcomings with a solid hour of good programming.
To start things off, the stage was set for Eph, Nora, and Zach to depart for Washington, D.C. The trio had retrieved their passes to leave the city and the writers were, finally, making the right decision to send Zach away from The Strain series. Unfortunately, the scenario was just a little too good to be true. Strigori Kelly still had her sights set on reclaiming custody of her son and, as the master’s latest pawn, she had the full backing of the mindless strigori to do so.
As the train departed, a mob of vampires stood in the tracks as brainless dummies. The mass amount of vamps put a strain on the train and it derailed. Immediately, Nora knew it was time to run, and her faux-maternal instincts kicked in to bring Zach to safety. It was only a matter of time before Kelly sniffed out Zach’s location – like a bloodhound searching for a scent. The Nora and Kelly (mistress versus wife) showdown commenced, and Nora was kicking some Strigori butt. Everything was going in her favor until Zach stopped her from making the finishing blow and Kelly used her elongated tongue to bite Nora’s wrist.
Even with all the warnings from Eph during this season of The Strain, Zach still missed his mother. Even though she looked like the Cryptkeeper, Zach still clung to his mother in the hope that she was still somewhere inside that diseased, worm-infested body. The two went off together and left Nora to die.
This entire sequence was suspenseful, from the derailing of the train to the eventual death of Nora. It brought a closing to Kelly’s relentless pursuit of Zach and gave The Strain a big death that actually had an emotion behind it. If viewers hated Zach this season, they should really hate him now. Although he is just a kid and Eph was such a terrible father to him, the fact that Zach turned his back on Nora and just left her for dead was both infuriating and sad. Hopefully, her death will catapult Eph’s character into a drunken vampire slayer out for revenge next season.
The other main characters were faring a little bit better in The Strain‘s closer. After an elongated bidding war between Sektrakian and Eichorst, the Lumen was finally in the old man’s possession. Yes, Eichorst was betrayed by Palmer and denied access to the funds for the book. Sektrakian made his way out with the book, but Eichorst was not going to take the loss lightly. As the two made their way to safety, a vampire army crashed their get-away vehicle to steal the book back.
This action sequence was pretty fun to watch, as the odds were clearly in Eichorst’s favor. It seemed that the sore loser had the upper hand until fan-favorite Quinlan and Gus showed up to take the army down. Though the action was a little campy, the scene was desperately needed to distract viewers from the blandness that was this season of The Strain, and any scene with Quinlan is a good watch.The group made it to safety with the book and Gus, Fet, Sektrakian, Angel, and Quinlan left the island together on a ferry.
Eichorst was not taking the betrayal from Palmer lightly and made sure to confront him about it. The dynamic between the two has been tense all season, and it was only a matter of time before there was going to be a blowout. Palmer had been demanding The Master’s attention during this entire season of The Strain and, thanks to Cocoa Marshmallow, his confidence was on high. Unfortunately, Palmer’s latest love interest was blatantly overstepping her bounds, giving terrible advice. Their demands fell on deaf ears and the nagging Cocoa was a casualty of the double-cross.
Cocoa’s death was really nothing about which to be surprised or mourn because her character was becoming a bit annoying to both Eichorst and viewers. Her initial introduction as the street-smart assistant to Palmer made her likable, but their blossoming romance was uncomfortable and dull. As an endgame, her death may push Palmer to finally come to his senses and betray the master or fall in line with the operation at hand. The results are to be determined in the next season of The Strain.
Overall, Night Train was an entertaining watch and injected some well-needed life into this season of The Strain. Although the episode did not completely make up for the slower moments of the season, Night Train showed some nice potential as to what the series could be. Hopefully, Cuse keeps the momentum going next season and delivers some more television gold when the series premieres next year.
Opinion by Tyler Cole
The Strain: Night Train Recap- Entertainment Weekly