‘The Strain’ Recap ‘Bad White’: The Devil You Know

In ‘The Strain’ recap, Eph contemplates the Master’s offer, Zack gets curious and Eldritch tries to bargain for his own life….

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Eldritch Palmer is dying.

That’s been known since ‘The Strain’ first debuted more than two seasons ago as one of the wealthiest men on Earth could not buy his own immortality — or could he?

Palmer struck a deal with the Master where he would facilitate all the financial resources needed for the vampires to take over New York and then eventually the world and in exchange, he would be given eternal life as his strigoi king’s right hand man. Palmer has been an obedient servant for the course of the show and was even rewarded with some of the Master’s white — a small drop of his blood that revives a human to full health but only for a matter of time before another dose is needed.

Palmer’s health was restored for a short time but his betrayal during bidding for the Occido Lumen cost the Master the book he so desperately wanted and to keep the money man in line, he’s now watching his own health fail while trying to prove his loyalty to once again receive the gift of life. Clearly, Palmer hasn’t been turned to a full strigoi yet so he has to at least question the Master’s true intentions already.

Of course judging by Palmer’s actions this week, he’s already looking for help beyond the Master’s reach and you have to begin to wonder if he will be the strigoi’s downfall or if they are just using him for one final time to lay a trap for Setrakian.

Elsewhere, Eph contemplates an offer from the Master, Zack finds out who his mother really is and Dutch finds out that her old friends are very trustworthy at all.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Strain’ titled ‘Bad White’….

The White

Palmer may seem indebted to the Master and his lap dog Eichorst, but he’s not giving up on saving his own life, even if it means experimenting on other humans in hopes of discovering the same substance that has kept Setrakian alive far longer than he should ever have walked this Earth.

Remember to a season ago when we discovered that Setrakian is a very old man, yet he’s still moving with the agility of someone much, much younger and that’s not an accident. Setrakian has a potion made from the worms that turn humans to strigoi that he’s able to ingest and while it revitalizes him, it does not transform him into one of them. Eldritch knows about this substance, but he’s desperate to find the formula that will not only save his life, but potentially free him from the deal he made with the Master that doesn’t seem to be going so well for him these days.

Eldritch is now forced to bow and scrape at the feet of Eichorst while promising to get better numbers at their “Freedom Centers” where New Yorkers can go for treatment while also unknowingly handing over all of their information to the Master and his army of strigoi.

Unfortunately, Eldritch’s secret medical experiments have yielded no positive results and the lead doctor is now backing out of the project because he didn’t sign up to kill people. So now the elderly rich man is running out of options so he makes one final play.

He lures Setrakian to a secret meeting where he comes face to face with his “old friend” while offering him a once in a lifetime deal. Setrakian hands over the formula for the white that has kept him alive for the past 41 years and in exchange, he will withdraw his funding and assistance from the Master immediately. Without Palmer’s influence and cash, the Master’s plan will flounder and fail and it will allow Setrakian the chance to finally end this threat to humanity.

Setrakian not so politely tells Palmer to go straight to hell but after coming clean to Fet about the life-saving formula he was given by another strigoi hunter four decades ago, he wonders if this might be his chance to set a trap for Palmer and the Master by agreeing to the deal.

Mama’s Boy


Kelly is still taking care of Zack although her animalistic instincts flutter every time she hears her son’s heart beat and she desperately wants to take a drink. Zack is feeling a little sick and tired of being cooped up in the same room for days on end with no sunlight and no chance to see the outside world.

Kelly does her best to appease her son by bringing him some books and even a sandwich like any good mother would, but now Zack is starting to miss his father and wondering when they will see each other again. He’s also a little tired of hearing about the Master’s big plan, which still remains shrouded in mystery because his mother isn’t telling him anything.

So one night after dinner, Zack blocks his door from being locked so he can finally wander out into the halls to see where he’s currently staying. Instead of finding an exit, Zack sees his mother feeding on an unsuspecting stranger and he runs away in a panic. Kelly gives chase but when she finally tracks him down, her hunger is too much and she nearly lashes out her stinger for a drink. At the same time, Zack starts having an asthma attack and his mother doesn’t want to give him an inhaler but instead a dose of her deadly worms.

Just in the nick of time — if that’s what you can call it — the Master takes over Kelly and instead of feeding on her child, she opens his mouth and he gives the boy a couple of drops of his white. Zack’s panicked breath slows down and he returns to normal thanks to a late save from the Master. Of course, the Master doesn’t give a damn about Zack or Kelly for that matter, but he is the ultimate bait to get Eph to hand over the Occido Luman and he won’t retrieve the book if he believes his son has already been killed and/or turned into a strigoi.

With Friends Like These


Fet and Dutch seemed like a couple falling in love until their relationship fell apart in a blink of an eye after she discovered that her ex-girlfriend was still alive. Dutch ditched Fet for a renewed relationship with her ex and he was left all alone with only strigoi hunting as a pastime to keep him busy.

Unfortunately, Fet’s job is going to get much harder now after he finds out that the Navy SEAL’s — despite getting attacked and mauled by the Master — are still pulling out of New York and leaving the city to fend for itself. It seems the strigoi threat has spread to Washington D.C. and the military response is to save the capital above all else or the country may fall.

To drown his sorrows, Fet starts pounding booze before meeting a fellow soldier named Kate and he ends up pounding her instead. The one night stand quells some bad feelings for both of them although it certainly didn’t appear like they were planning on getting together again in the near future.

Meanwhile in a different part of Brooklyn, Dutch has hooked up with her old hacker pals as they are scavenging around the city looking for supplies. One of the hackers knows about a condo belonging to his uncle that will be fully stocked with food but the downside — it’s in a part of town that hasn’t been cleared by Feraldo’s troops. The group chances it anyways, despite pleas from Dutch that this is probably not a good idea.

Once they get inside, the refrigerator is stocked and with sunlight shining through the windows, it appears this was a great score. Until a trio of strigoi pop out of the bedroom, killing two of the hackers and stinging a third. Dutch is forced to fight back and has to kill several strigoi on her own while the rest of the hackers run for cover and leave her stranded.

Later that night, Dutch shows up at the hideout —still very much alive no thanks to them — and she takes the food that she needs to survive before leaving them all behind. Oh she also discovers that a third member of the group got stung and he’s currently crawling with worms —so as one last bit of mercy, she lops his head off as the other two hackers scream in terror.

It seems Dutch is finding out her real friends like Eph, Fet and Setrakian would have never left her to die and these people were nothing but cowards just waiting to become vampire kibble.

The Devil You Know


The Master promised Eph a very simple bargain a week ago — he would trade a healthy and still human Zack for the Occido Lumen that currently belongs to Setrakian. It seems simple enough but a deal like that always comes with strings attached.

Perhaps the noose that’s wrapped around this bargain is obtaining the Occido Lumen, which means Eph would have to essentially betray his friends in hopes of saving his son. When Eph finally arrives at the penthouse where Setrakian and Eph have been staying, he comes face to face with Quinlan for the first time. Of course, Eph is taken back after meeting the half vampire/half human killing machine, who is hell bent on destroying the Master.

The initial meeting doesn’t end without a fair amount of suspicion on Quinlan’s part about Eph’s true intentions by showing up right now while also asking a lot of questions about the Occido Lumen. Eph’s scientific mind has never completely allowed him to believe the mysticism surrounding the strigoi or their destruction so his curiosity about this book makes Quinlan believe there’s much more to this visit than just catching up with old friends.

Quinlan confirms his theory when he finds Eph snooping around the safe where Setrakian has the book locked away behind a wall of ultraviolet light that would fry any strigoi who get too close to it. Quinlan confronts the doctor when he finds out about the deal that was offered to him by the Master.

Quinlan tells Eph that even if he stole the book, his son would not be returned to him unharmed and this would ultimately end in the Master getting his hands on a book that he was willing to pay more than $300 million to obtain, which means there’s something very valuable inside. Whether or not this book will reveal a way to kill the Master is unknown, but it’s clear the vampire king wants it and that’s enough for Quinlan to know it’s important.

So rather than allowing Eph to deal with the devil on his own, Quinlan offers an alternative. He will retrieve the book from the safe and Eph will offer to trade the Occido Lumen to the Master for his son. When the Master arrives, he won’t find the book but he will face off with his bastard son Quinlan — the half-breed strigoil hunter who has been training to kill him for the past thousand years.

‘The Strain’ returns next Sunday night at 10pm ET on FX

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