The Strain Recap ‘Dead End’: A Puppet and His Master

In The Strain recap, Eichorst takes center stage as his torture of Dutch reaches scary and disturbing heights as Fet races to try and safe her….

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Thomas Eichorst is a man destined to believe he’s more important than he really is.

Whether it was earlier this season when he thought his body was going to be the new resting spot for his beloved Master only to get passed over for a half-witted rock star named Bolivar or traveling back 70 years to Germany when he thought the Third Reich was calling him when in reality he was just another boilerplate for the Fuhrer to roll over.

In the latest episode of The Strain, we get another glimpse of a flashback this time taking a look at Eichorst’s history before he was forcing a young Abraham Setrakian to carve up a coffin that would serve as a resting place for the Master.

This time history travels back to the days before World War II when Eichorst was just Tommy from the block, charged with selling radios to housewives while hoping their husbands never found out about the purchase. When his sales method fails miserably, Tommy has to face belittling from his boss and co-workers in the latest contest like he’s the German George Mueller hocking radios instead of vacuum cleaners.

All Tommy wants is to feel important. To feel like he’s part of something. Even better, though, is the office secretary named Helga, who for some unknown reason takes a liking to Tommy and even accepts his invitation to dinner. Tommy still didn’t have a purpose, but at least he has a date!

That weekend, Tommy wines and dines Helga at the finest Bavarian Inn where the two star crossed lovers share stories about their hopes and dreams before also sharing a kiss. Helga has aspirations that take her far away from the dreary doldrums of answering phones and filling out radio orders. Unfortunately, Tommy doesn’t have any such drive in his life and really has no idea where he should go or what he should do.

It all changes when Tommy hears a Nazi soldier stand up in the pub and begin railing about Hitler’s plans to save Germany and how all able bodied men should get behind their Fuhrer. Tommy is enamored by his words and like a sign from above when the soldier points his finger at him while saying ‘Germany needs you!’, the lowly radio salesman is filled a sense of purpose and direction.

Outside the pub, Tommy is bubbling over with Nazi rhetoric about how the Jews have ruined Germany and caused the stock market crash. It’s like that soldier’s hate speech popped a cork in Tommy’s head and he’s just pouring out all the hatred that simmered inside of him. Little did he know at the time, however, that his lovely date Helga was Jewish and didn’t take too kindly to Tommy’s spiteful shouting about anyone from her shared background.

Helga dumped him and immediately realized that Tommy wasn’t a special guy searching for the right direction — he was a self-important puppet just waiting for the right person to come along to pull his strings.

70 years later, Eichorst is still nothing more than a hate filled marionette.

With that, let’s recap the latest episode of The Strain titled ‘Dead End’:

It Puts the Lotion On Its Skin

Deep inside the bowels of the Mayfield Hotel, Eichorst is holding Dutch prisoner but not killing her just yet because he has plans for this blonde beauty that require more than just a simple stinger strike to suck her blood. First off, Eichorst brings in the cop that delivered Dutch to him in the first place while making him guzzle Schnapps while explaining to his captive audience that the sweet liquor used to make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside when he drank it.

As soon as the cop swallows down the last drop, Eichorst zaps him with his tentacle so he can taste the liquor again except by proxy of the cop’s blood. He breaks the cop’s neck and tosses him on the ground as he approaches Dutch with that sneering smile on his face.

Dutch: “What are you going to do to me?”
Eichorst: “Everything”

In the history of television, that single exchange may have been one of the creepiest and most frightening phrases ever uttered.

Eichorst is clearly using Dutch as 2015 stand in for his lost love Helga, who had a similar look to the vampire killing computer hacker of today. Eichorst’s next bit of torture involves another taste that he’s been craving lately — he wants Dutch’s blood to get imbibed with the sweet nectar of a pineapple. So he slices and dices a couple of pineapples into perfectly symmetrical pieces and tells Dutch that this is her snack for the night.

Dutch attempts to decline, but then Eichorst reminds her that this isn’t a democracy. She will eat what he tells her to eat or things are going to get really messy in here. Finally, Dutch concedes but eating pineapple is the least of her worries as Eichorst is just wetting his appetite for what will come later.

A Desperate Search

CR: Michael Gibson/FX

CR: Michael Gibson/FX

 

While Dutch is doing her best to stave off Eichorst’s advances, Fet, Eph and Nora are on the hunt to find where she’s been taken. Fet is on a mission to retrieve his lady love and nothing is going to stop him from discovering where the vampires took her.

The cop back at the station told the vampire hunters that Dutch was taken to the Mayfield Hotel, but when they arrives there’s a major surprise waiting for them — this particular hotel is the headquarters for the National Guard. Why would the strigoi have a base of operations just a few feet away from the military force charged to stop them?

Well, one look around and Fet realizes how this really is the perfect hiding place for the strigoi.

It seems years ago, the Mayfield Hotel fell into disrepair and was basically turned into a flophouse for transients and hobos. Eventually, the hotel was purchased by new ownership and they transformed the classic building back to its original luster except one tower was left untouched. That tower has remained dark for years and one look up at the high walls and lack of lights makes Fet realize this is exactly where Eichorst has Dutch.

The problem is there’s no visible entries into the building, but thanks to Fet’s knowledge of the New York sewer system, he remembers that an intersection near here was the same place President Franklin D. Roosevelt used to travel whenever he would come to New York and needed a secret entrance to conceal that he was bound to a wheelchair.

Sure enough, Fet finds the appropriate door, kicks it in and now the hunt is on to find Dutch before Eichorst does whatever he plans to do to her.

The Angel and the Devil

In another part of New York, Gus is getting ready to say his final goodbyes to the Guptas, most importantly his new lady Aanya, who is leaving the city with her family as part of an agreement he made with the Ancients and Quinlan in return for his services. Gus and Aanya share one last night together before he prepares to ship them out of the city with Angel serving as their protector once they are gone.

Gus and the Guptas arrive at the checkpoint at the edge of the city and right on time, Quinlan’s No. 2 Eve arrives to give the family safe passage out of New York. But just past the barrier when the fence lines end, Angel gives the family one final goodbye as he rejoins Gus on the other side. Angel promised to see the family’s safely past the city limits and now they are securely away so he’s fulfilled his duties and wants to stay with Gus to battle the strigoi army attempting to take over the world.

Eve isn’t exactly blown away by Gus’ 60-something, limping sidekick but he assures her that this isn’t any soldier joining the army to rid the city of the vampire threat. This is the goddamn Silver Angel and shit just got real.

The Book of the Dead

So remember last week when Setrakian nearly hopped out of his own skin when he finally laid hands on the Occido Lumen only to get conked on the head and knocked unconscious?

Well, the person who struck the blow was none other than Rudyard — the boy from the convent all those years ago who Setrakian saved and made off with the Lumen. Rudyard isn’t too happy to find out someone was trying to steal his book, especially considering the large sums of money people have been offering him for it.

Even when Setrakian convinces Rudyard that he’s the man who saved his life all those years ago, the boy turned into a man really isn’t all that impressed. What would impress him a lot more is a stack of cash laid out on the table in exchange for the silver plated book with the history of the strigoi enclosed within the pages.

So Rudyard leaves Setrakian tied up to a chair in his apartment as he flees the building to take the book to a buyer set up by the cardinal several weeks ago.

Setrakian is convinced it’s Eldritch Palmer, but when Rudyard’s cab arrives at a closed off checkpoint, we soon find out that this is another buyer the cardinal dealt with that we’ve never seen before. Inside, Rudyard encounters a man named Alonso Creem — who you might remember from earlier this season when Setrakian tried to track down the Occido Lumen and paid him with some rare watches to acquire his services to find the book. It looks like Alonso is in the market for silver plated books called the Occido Lumen but does he already have a buyer lined up?

Maybe Setrakian will get his hands on it after all?

Save Me

CR: Michael Gibson/FX

CR: Michael Gibson/FX

 

Flashback to Germany pre-World War II and Eichorst is now an officer in the Third Reich. He walks down the street and people not only fear him but the pay respect to him. Today, however, Eichorst is being called upon by a commanding officer because a German Jew named Helga claims to know him and had a relationship with him a few years earlier. When he arrives sure enough Eichorst sees his beloved Helga much worse for wear than when she left him after that fateful dinner.

For a brief moment, Eichorst considers taking up for Helga but then he remembers just how good this power feels and there’s no woman that’s going to give him anything equal to this. So he lies and says she worked in the same office as him but she was nothing more than a common thief who stole from them. He turns and walks away as Helga begs for help, but Eichorst will no longer listen to her pleas.

Outside, Eichorst once again feels like a man in charge as he trots down the sidewalk with everybody passing by essentially kissing his ass with a look, a Hitler heil or just staring down and refusing to make eye contact all together. Even his former radio salesman boss, who wants taunted him for constantly ending up at the bottom of the blackboard for contests, bows and scrapes at his feet.

When Eichorst comes to the end of the walkway, he looks up and finds Helga and her entire family dangling from nooses in the middle of town-square. A brief shiver runs down his spine when he realizes that he could have saved her, but one glance at his superior officer and Eichorst quickly flicks his lit cigarette at their bodies and smirks of self accomplishment because he’s finally being paid his due.

Flash forward to present day and Dutch is still munching away on pineapple when Eichorst arrives with a new set of demands. This time he orders her to remove her pants posthaste and then he has one more thing for her to do….

“Bend over”

The commands themselves are disturbing enough, but when Eichorst sits down behind her and begins to reveal his protracted tentacle, there’s no way this is going to end well for Dutch.

Thankfully, while Eichorst was out of the room Dutch was able to snag a can of pepper spray away from the dead cop’s belt and she quickly turns and unloads all of it in the vampire’s face. As he screams in agony, Dutch flees the room and runs for help.

But a few turns down some different corridors only return the same result — this place is sealed off with no escape. Finally, Dutch finds the stairwell but even after running down several flights, she runs into yet another brick wall.

Finally after recovering from the pepper spray attack, Eichorst gently strolls back down the stairs and grabs Dutch by her feet to drag her back to his torture chamber where he will proceed with whatever dastardly and disgusting thing he had planned for her earlier.

Dutch screams and begs for help and luckily Fet and the others are camped out in an adjacent stairwell close enough to hear her pleas. Fet realizes she’s on the other side of the wall so he chips away at the brick with his rebar before blowing it apart with a stick of dynamite he had hidden in his gear.

The trio runs through the hallways, chasing after Dutch’s pained screams for help and as Eichorst continues to drag her behind he just happens to notice a canister sitting in front of him. Realizing that it’s a silver bomb, Eichorst drops his prey and makes a run for it as Fet swoops in and grabs Fet to pull her into his arms.

Eph and Nora drive them back to the hideout as Fet nurses an ailing Dutch in the back. Undoubtedly, Fet is seething with anger as Eichorst once again gets away. But if this exterminator has his way, Eichorst will be the final strigoi stamped out and Dutch will be the one driving the stake through his heart.

Only two episodes to go this season so don’t miss the new episode of The Strain next Sunday night at 10pm ET on FX!

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