‘The Strain’ Recap ‘First Born’: Father Against Son

In the latest ‘The Strain’ recap, Eph and Quinlan go after The Master, Setrakian discovers the plan and Gus tries to save his mother….

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Killing the Master on ‘The Strain’ appears to be a Herculean task that takes more than sunlight or even decapitation based on the latest episode titled ‘First Born’.

The new installment follows the Master’s half-breed son Quinlan and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather as they attempt to lure the age-old vampire into a trap, only to realize that he didn’t survive for thousands of years without mastering the art of deception himself.

Meanwhile, Setrakian and Fet go on a hunt for the Occido Luman, which is being used as bait to lure the Master out into the open.

And finally, Gus comes to a crossroads about protecting his mother when his friend Angel finds the two of them staying in their old apartment before one of Councilwoman Feraldo’s clean sweep teams arrives to eradicate any threats from the building.

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

Quintus and Invictus

One of the biggest parts of the latest episode was a flashback to tell the origin of Quinlan — the half-human, half-vampire “son” of the Master, whose soul purpose has been to destroy his father.

It seems Quinlan was born after the Master infected his mother while he was still in the womb. The Master didn’t hear the second heartbeat inside the woman he struck or otherwise, the baby would have been killed as well. Instead, Quinlan was born as a half-breed with all the powers of the vampire but without the weaknesses such as turning into burnt toast whenever the sun comes up.

Years after Quinlan was born, he was discovered around 58 AD by a woman named Ancharia, who knew all about his mythology as she rescued him from a traveling circus that had captured him as an attraction known as “The Leech”. After freeing him, Ancharia explained his origins and said that his name was really “Quintus” and that his mission would be to train and prepare for the day when he finally confronts his father to destroy him.

For the next two years, Ancharia trains and teaches Quintus until the Master shows up in an attempt to bring his son back into the fold as one of his own. Rather than fight his son, the Master causes a cave in that traps Quintus inside with his surrogate mother — in other words, he’ll eventually have to succumb to his true nature and feed on her or die.

After several days, Ancharia finally tells Quintus that the only way he’ll have the strength to escape the cave is to feed on her. She slices open her own neck to take the choice away from him and Quintus drains her dry. At that moment, the Master reappears while quickly clearing away the rubble to free him from the cave but rather than join him, Quintus attempts to kill him.

Unfortunately, the Master is too fast and too skilled for his son and the fight is over before it begins. Quinlan escapes but he knows why his existence is so important to the Master — he’s the one creature with vampire blood who he can’t control and that drives him insane. So Quinlan has spent the last 2000-plus years hunting and searching for the Master until the day he can finally finish him once and for all.

Sadly, Quinlan believes it’s a suicide mission because once the Master dies, all of his “children” die with him. In other words, if Quinlan kills the Master, he’s effectively killing himself, too.

The Deal

After stealing the Lumen last week, it’s up to Eph and Quinlan to set the perfect trap to lure the Master into a spot where they take him out. Eph lays out the terms after they capture a random strigoi in an abandoned convenience store and the Master takes over control of him. Eph tells the Master that if he wants the Occido Lumen, he needs to show up along with Kelly and Zack to retrieve the book. Zack has to remain unharmed and unturned or the Master will never get the book.

Finally, The Master won’t know the location for the meeting — only Zack can tell him because it’s a spot they went fishing when he was growing up. The Master agrees and Quinlan believes he’s destiny is about to be fulfilled.

Meanwhile back at the penthouse, Setrakian discovers that the book has been stolen but luckily for him, Fet never trusted Quinlan and put a GPS tracker inside the Occido Lumen. So now Fet and Setrakian can find the book no matter where it goes and the hunt is on to find out where Quinlan is taking it.

When they discover that the destination is Coney Island — Setrakian realizes that Quinlan must have had help getting across the water and that would require a human. It doesn’t take long before they deduce that Eph must have assisted Quinlan in his attempt to take out the Master once and for all.

Search and Destroy


Back at Gus’ apartment, he’s still giving blood on a daily basis to feed his transformed strigoi mother, but the constant donation has left him weak and barely able to stand. Gus ends up putting a helmet on his mother to keep her stinger from striking back at him, but he’s struggling to maintain balance after all the blood he’s given her over the past few weeks.

Concerned for Gus’ well being, Angel shows up at the apartment and discovers what’s been happening behind his back. Angel tries to convince Gus that his mother is gone and all that’s left is this monster living inside her body, but he can’t be convinced. Gus believes once the vampire threat is eradicated, his mother can be cured and brought back to him.

Unfortunately, Gus is pushed into a desperate move when a clean sweep crew arrives at his building to check for any possible strigoi threat as they continue to fight back the vampire threat throughout New York. Gus convinces Angel to help him as they strap his mother down and attempt to roll her on a wheelchair out of the building before the soldiers find them. Eventually, Gus and Angel are forced to unleash his mother to escape some of the soldier who discover their poorly disguised rouse, but it’s all for naught.

The soldiers capture Gus and Angel and take them to a prison camp — except they aren’t being put into cells or tried and convicted. Instead, the head soldier tells them that able bodied men — even the criminals — are being turned into the new army that will now go out into the city to tackle the strigoi threat from the inside out.

Of course, Gus and Angel were both drafted into Quinlan’s “human” army a season ago but apparently that idea has fallen by the wayside. Now the pair are part of the crew that are going around the city, sweeping buildings and eliminating strigoi one by one.

The Worm


Eph arrives at Coney Island to wait for the Master to arrive so they can make the exchange — the Occido Lumen for Zack.

What Eph doesn’t know is that his undead wife Kelly has become quite attached to her son since retrieving him several weeks ago. The Master allowed Kelly to retain many of her human memories and it appears she’s gaining even more as she spends time with her son. One particular memory this week floods back as Kelly flashes to the day she gave birth do Zack and he was born as a “caul baby” — a child born inside the amniotic sack — and she believes this means he was destined to do great things in his life.

So clearly Kelly isn’t about to give up Zack and it would seem the Master is growing rather fond of the boy as well.

When the Master finally arrives at Coney Island, Eph holds up the Occido Lumen and tells him it’s time to make the exchange. The only problem is Kelly has brought along one of her “feelers” with a bag over its head, disguised as Zack so when she gets near Eph to make the exchange, she unleashes the evil little monster on her ex-husband.

Eph fights back using the all silver book to burn and fend off the attacks from the feeler as well as Kelly. From the distance, Quinlan finally arrives as he cuts down the Master in a hail of gunfire and it appears that the trap is starting to come together. Of course it all backfires a moment later when the Master unveils his own army — the Navy SEAL’s he captured back during the first episode are now under his control and they know how to fire machine guns as well!

Quinlan eats a ton of bullets while Kelly snatches the Occido Lumen away from Eph and starts to return the precious book to the Master.

Setrakian and Fet arrive just in the nick of time to watch the carnage unfold and they’ve brought along an equalizer — the silver laced grenades that have been so effective in destroying large nests of strigois. The first grenade takes out the Master’s soldiers and the second is aimed directly at him. The Master is wounded badly and despite his own injuries, Quinlan lunges towards his father with one last swing of his sword and he decapitates the monster.

The Master as Bolivar is dead — but at the last second a gigantic worm wiggles free from inside the body and falls into a sewer. Setrakian and the others see the creature get away and it’s further proof that if any part of the Master survives and finds another host — he will still live.

Kelly gets away with the Occido Lumen as well and now Eph has managed to hand the enemy the one weapon the Master truly feared. Quinlan is badly injured and his attempt to kill the Master also failed because even lopping off his head isn’t enough to get the job done. Now it appears the heroes are back to square one as the Master looks to assume a new host, the Occido Lumen is in his control and Eph is no closer to retrieving his son.

The strigoi may have taken a few hits but they are still winning by a mile.

‘The Strain’ returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on FX

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  1. blklips4lp
    Sep 13, 2016 - 01:15 PM

    I need to rewind and rewatch that episode. I could have sworn, the Lumen was given to the guy next to the master and placed in a burlap bag. Then when Fet killed that strigoi with the light bomb I thought the master tried to pick up the Lumen and he got burned and screamed in agony. Then I thought the injured Quinlan cut off the Master’s head and the worm within wiggled away. Then I thought Quinlan died. Never saw Kelly run away with the Lumen. But then again I never saw Kelly after the smoke bomb Fet threw.


  1. ‘The Strain’ Recap ‘First Born’: Father Against Son