The Strain #1.5: Runaways Recap

Runaways Episode Summary

Eph joins Abraham on his quest to destroy the passengers and anyone that they’ve infected. Meanwhile, Nora goes to see her mother and Gabriel’s manager Ruby finds herself having to clean up one of his victims. [x]

Pics or It Didn’t Happen

To the joy of Setrakian, Eph is finally on board with hunting vampires. The two of them head to the house of Ansel. There they find that Lisa Marie has committed suicide because she can’t live in a world without her husband.

Eph and Setrakian approach the shed where they find a completely transformed Ansel and a mid-transformation neighbour. Eph insists on filming the entire encounter, so he’ll have proof to show the CDC. Setrakian is annoyed, telling him that it doesn’t matter if he brings evidence in. No one is going to want to believe him.

During this sequence, Eph serves as the audience stand in as Setrakian shares “the rules” with him. Vampires are weak to daylight, to silver and the best way to kill them is decapitation. Eph gets his hands dirty under the supervision of Setrakian in what we hope will be a turning point for his character. How many times does a vampire have to come at you before you realize that something is seriously wrong?

I won’t lie, I do love the staple gun smart phone set up that Eph is going for her.

All About My Mother

Nora decides she needs to do a bit of soul searching and goes to visit her mother. In this scene we learn that Nora’s mother has Alzheimers and is living with assisted care. Nora is both trying to seek comfort from her mother and the comforting one at the same time. When she’s just about to leave the hospital is attacked by a vampire, spurring Nora to take her mother with her.

This scene was a good glimpse into Nora’s life, a life that exists outside of her relationship with Eph. It also served as a way to ramp up the vampire plague. Setrakian did tell us the newly turned are drawn to turn their families, making this a nice touch.

What Is Love? Baby Don’t Eat Me (Don’t Eat Me, No More)

The more we see the concept of love as danger, the more I like it. It makes sense from an
evolutionary standpoint. We all let our guard down when it comes to those we love. We trust those we love and will let them get to close to use (especially when they’re in pain) before we realize that it’s too late.

That being said love and parasite vampires can work other ways. In Scott Westerfeld’s novel Peeps the parasite forces you to distance yourself from everything you love. It pushes you to leave your community and spread the the parasite to other townships, cities and settlements. This forced aversion also stops you from being hunted and explains why vampires would be held back by religious iconography.

There are so many different ways you can spin the vampire. The reason why we here at Death of the Author love things like The Strain and Peeps because they take risks and breathe fresh life into a genre that recently has been viewed as being unoriginal and unwilling to die (Bad joke, I know).

I’ve Made a Terrible Mistake

Fet decides that the best way to figure out why the rat population on Manhattan is participating in a mass exodus is to go down into the sewer system and see for himself. Armed with a flashlight Fet descends into the tunnel system only to be chased by a mob of vampires.

You only need to have that happen to you once.

The way the vampires move is unnatural and creepy. They’re clearly newborns and haven’t gotten used to their bodies yet. It is only because of that (and a little bit of luck) that Fet manages to escape with his life. He will never be unprepared like that ever again.

Meanwhile In the Past…

The big reveal in this episode centers around Setrakian being a prisoner of a concentration camp during World War II. On top of the horrors of his daily existence, Setrakian becomes aware of a monster feeding on the prisoners at night. He witnesses one of these events and names the Master for what he is a strigoi. his grandmother used to tell him stories about these monsters when he was a child, so he knows that he needs silver to kill them.

The way the Master moves in these sequences is visually stunning. He’s clearly not human and also very powerful. Setrakian has no chance in defeating him. When the Master feeds and murders Setrakian’s brother, it becomes the turning point in our vampire hunter’s life. Up until this point Setrakian has had no agency in his life, this is the point where he begins to fight back. We see the beginning of the hunter that we know in the main story timeline.

Another coincidence is that the camp also happens to be run by Thomas Eichorst, who at this point in the story is just a human monster, not a vampiric one. Hopefully the show will go into detail about his transformation and how he comes to work with the Master. I love to hate Eichorst. You want to see him defeated, but every moment he is on screen is a joy.

To Conclude:

The Strain has taken a surprisingly long time to form a group of vampire hunters. Hopefully after the events of this episode everyone will find themselves back on one page. Will Eph finally be able to come to terms with the science versus folklore battle that is raging in his head or will the CDC get to him first? Sidebar: if I’ve learned anything from horror fiction (I’m looking at you Newsflesh series) never trust the CDC.

Will Fet ever meet up with the rest of the group or will he continue to take stupid risks on his quest for the truth?

We’ll find out next week.

Written by
Alexandra is always looking for the next book she can devour. She has a love hate relationship with teen fiction specifically when it comes to fantasy, post apocalyptic and failed shakespeare adaptations.

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