‘The Strain’ Episode 4 Review: “It’s Not For Everyone”

By August 4, 2014
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Hey everyone. So, I mentioned in a previous review for “The Strain” that I might just have to drink my way through the remainder of the episodes if the show continues going down the ridiculous path it set out on. Last week, it felt like things were starting to pick up speed and head in a rather cool direction, but after last night’s episode, I may as well be watching with a full bottle within reach at all times.

SPOILERS BELOW! DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YA!

In “It’s Not For Everyone,” the series moves slowly forward as we are given a few more details as to what the f*ck is going on. At least we don’t have to deal with Ephraim’s family drama, amirite!?! While it seems like we may be on a good path for this to be another ridiculous vampire show to hate watch on a Sunday night (sorry Sookie), there is still some crazy fun stuff happening on screen – albeit, without any sort of logic maintained.

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Last week ended with the Canary team battling the turned Regis Airlines pilot in what looked like the basement of the hospital. This week, we pick up immediately with what comes next: an autopsy. Now, one would assume a CDC team would conduct an autopsy on something so bizarre and threatening with the appropriate protective gear…BUT NO ONE IS WEARING A MASK! At least they have gloves on, but still! Let’s do our best to leave logic at the door. We’re dealing with vampire zombie reptile people, after all! Plus, this scene is worth it just for the tentacle pulled from the throat moment, if nothing else. Also, Jim finally fessed up to being the mole. It didn’t go over the way he had hoped.

When we are shown Ansel back at his house, his wife Ann-Marie is told to take the kids away but to keep the dog in the house…you know, for company. This dude is going to eat the dog! COME ON! Of course, this storyline comes back around and finds Ann-Marie back at the house discovering the dog’s disemboweled carcass. When she finds her chained up maniacal husband in the shed, things transpire in a manner that had me thinking of the Uncle Frank/Julia storyline in Hellraiser. Well, almost. That is a classic horror film that has characters written in a manner that exudes intellect. Thanks, Clive Barker! In this episode, Ann-Marie quickly goes from what seems like a mild mannered housewife to a psychotic killer. Why? Well, the neighbor wished ill will on her (now dead) dog. So, into the shed he goes! Sure, why not?

Aside from the batsh*t crazy autopsy scene and the crap that goes down in the shed after the discovery of the poor dead dog, not much interesting happened in last night’s episode. Sure, we got more of an insight into Gus. Thankfully, in “It’s Not For Everyone,” his gangsta-ness isn’t as overt. That was getting a wee bit annoying. Miguel Gomez does a good enough job at keeping Gus interesting but the lighting in the scene with him waking up shirtless just made me laugh a bit too loud at the screen. The appearance of Jamie Hector (Marlo from “The Wire”) in this episode made me take things a bit seriously for a second. I wonder if he’ll be showing up for any misdeeds in future episodes.

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This is the point of the review where I am supposed to talk about Eldritch Palmer. We haven’t gotten much of his story in previous episodes aside from the fact that he’s some rich old dude that wants to be immortal. Last week, we found Eichhorst murdering the head of Regis Air. This week, it seems The Stoneheart Group has brought in a pretty young blonde gal hacker to bring down the internet for some reason. It seems this is connected with the airline fiasco but this storyline was so ridiculous that I was yearning for the illogical autopsy to come back on the screen. So, there’s a government cover-up, right? This is the story he is selling. But I really didn’t care and I’m not sure any of the audience watching did either. FX, please…let’s have less of this and less of Ephraim’s family drama. Everyone watching just wants more of the crazy dumb vampire happenings in the city! That’s all people will be talking about anyway!

Earlier, I mentioned that not much else interesting happens. Allow me to bite my tongue as I forgot about the scene in the basement with Emma, the little dead French girl who came home to he grieving father. For a split second, I felt as if this scene was giving a slight nod to Poltergeist. That’s not a bad thing. Plus, what a way for the episode to end! Let’s start with the silly and end with the silly. You know, I may sound like I’m mocking things but for a show as schlocky as this, I appreciated the ending! While it may seem like Setrakian was just waiting off camera to come in with sword a swingin’, it was still pretty cool to see the eventual partnership of Abraham and Ephraim.

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To sum up, not too much happened in this episode worth writing home about. But still: dead disemboweled dog, chained up husband vampire dude, and beheaded french girl. For a silly horror show, “The Strain” seems like it’s kind ofon the right path to achieve the right sort of Sunday night entertainment. That is, of course, until “The Walking Dead” returns.

What do you all think of the new vampire hunting team of Abraham Setrakian and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather? Let me know in the comments below!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.
  • Robert Barton

    First you really cant blame the wife feeding the guy to her husband based on bad writing, for it was previously established that she was mentally unstable, and would it really be that hard to believe that seeing something as horrifying as her husband her pillar in life turning into a monster would be enough to snap her fragile mind and which would cause her to do something drastic.
    Second the reason Palmer is trying to criple New York’s wifi is so news of the virus doesnt spread in time your the one whose dumb if you cant realize this

    • I realize it. I just didn’t care much for that storyline. Was a bit far fetched. Plus, the hot blonde hacker chick…it just seemed too silly. Second, when did they establish his wife was mentally unstable?

      BTW, it’s you’re not your.

  • Keith AllGamer

    I’ve read all three books. I’ll comment on a couple of things in this episode about what jibes with what follows the book and what doesn’t. I’ll try not to spoil anything not related to this episode or what has come before. The series is primarily following the book, which I expect considering del Toro’s wrote the books with the hope of having them be a TV series.

    In the book, most of the stuff with Ken and Gus are handled differently. The whole Jim waving the van through didn’t even happen in the book. The plane events occur during a solar eclipse, and with everyone was pretty focused on that that, it allowed the main vampire to get off the airport property without much fuss. Ken has a larger role in the show, but not surprising since Sean Astin is playing him. Just about everything with Gus is different from the book except that he did drive the box over the river. Most of these two character’s scenes are new to readers and something to look forward to as their roles play out.

    The hacker is not in the book at all, though Palmer may have hired people like that; it’s not covered. Eichost doesn’t even have much of a role in the first book. He’s been given a much bigger part of the series, though he does show up here and there in the later books.

    I’m a little fuzzy on what happened after Goodweather killed the pilot with the fire extinguisher, but I don’t remember them getting the chance to do the autopsy because of how this played out differently with Ken and Redfern in the scene. The autopsy seemed mainly for exposition about the vampire biology and ick factor in the show.

    The rest of the scenes are very much as they happen in the book. Ansel had two dogs, but their fate is the same (and more graphically covered). Ansel’s wife is a bit OCD, as was indicated by her handling of the cross. When she found out the neighbor had whipped one of their dogs, she was so enraged, she lured him into the shed. The end scene with the little girl, her father, Goodweather and Setrakian is pretty close to how it was originally written.

    I do agree with the reviewer that the Goodweather family drama scenes are not that interesting. They are handled a bit differently in the book, but not a whole lot. I was glad to get through them and onto more vampire and vampire hunting action. Knowing where it is all going does give some different perspective reliving the earlier story events. At least with the books, I didn’t have to wait another week to find out more, or worry that the series may get cancelled before all is revealed (always a possibility).