In The Strain recap, Setrakian meets a hunter who has been searching for The Master even longer than he has and Fet finds out that love really is a four letter word….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Thousands of years before Abraham Setrakian was making it his life’s mission to hunt down the vampire king known as The Master, another creature born of light and dark was stalking the shadows trying to find the man who brought him to life. During the reign of the Romans there was a legendary warrior known as the Barbarian Gladiator. His skin was as pale as the moon, but his blade was as sharp as the sun.
He tore through every competitor he faced on the coliseum floor before a Roman Senator offered him another way to cause bloodshed. This Senator was aware of the power possessed by this brutal gladiator — a warrior born of both demon and human with all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses.
He can walk in the light but has a thirst for blood. In other words, he’s ancient Blade. The Barbarian Gladiator went to war for the Romans, but when he finally threw down his sword and shield and left the battlefield, the empire crumbled and he disappeared into a sea of anonymity. That is until hundreds of years later when the Barbarian Gladiator popped up in Albania in search of a giant named Jusef Sardu. The giant (who we first met in the debut episode for season two) was now sharing space inside his body with The Master, who took him over when he saw this as a better option than the body he was currently inhabiting.
Unfortunately, the Barbarian Gladiator was too late and he never got close to The Master again until now. He arrived in New York just a matter of days ago before meeting with The Ancients to explain how he was going to hunt and kill The Master but he would need help to find him. By the time we met him this week, the Barbarian Gladiator was now known as Quinlan and he’s been brandishing his bone-handled sword from one end of the Earth to another trying to sink it deep inside The Master’s soul to bring him down once and for all.
But why is Quinlan so obsessed with The Master? Stay tuned.
With that let’s recap the latest episode of The Strain titled ‘The Born’….
Following a naked romp in their Brooklyn hideout, Fet and Dutch wake up the next morning ready for more as they get ready to conquer the day. Dutch decides she wants to go back to her old apartment to find some clothes after wearing the same three outfits for weeks since teaming up with her fellow vampire hunters.
When she arrives at her old loft, Dutch finds that the door is locked from the inside and she knows vampires aren’t into turning deadbolts. Fet kicks down the door and a moment later Dutch discovers the ‘squatter’ who has been living in her old place for weeks — it’s her former roommate/lover Nikki. Remember Nikki? The girl who was at the convenience story with Dutch when Eph and the others first encountered her a season ago? Nikki — who left with break neck speed and presumably stole all of Dutch’s money before making her great escape.
Well it seems after she ran away from the convenience store while leaving her lover to die, Nikki sprained her ankle and hobbled back to the apartment where she’s been holding up for weeks. Because she can’t run anymore and she’s scared to death, Nikki has basically been living there, hiding in the closet for weeks just waiting for help to arrive or to stay safe while everything else burns down around her.
As much as Fet wants to leave Nikki there to die, Dutch quickly embraces her ex-girlfriend and invites her to return to home with them.
Back at the Brooklyn hideout, Dutch and Nikki are making dinner like nothing ever happened and much to Fet’s chagrin, they seem closer than ever. He makes his opinion about this situation known rather loudly but despite his best efforts to draw Dutch away from Nikki, she’s already caught in the web.
Fet decides to duck out of this uncomfortable situation by going on a hunt with Setrakian to the location where Fitzwilliam told them to look while revealing some of Eldritch Palmer’s secret land buys around New York.
Following a deadly trip to Washington D.C. that ended with a bullet in his shoulder and two of his friends dead, Eph returns to New York beaten, broken and scarred. The alcohol numbs the pain in his shoulder from the bullet that grazed him, but he’s haunted by the deaths of his friends while also taking two lives on his own during this ill-advised trip to the nation’s capitol.
Eph finds out from Fet and Nora that Kelly is roaming the streets looking for Zack and she nearly succeeded in her goal the previous night while he was wrapped up trying to get a pharmaceutical company on board to produce his vampire killing biological weapon. Eph has a talk with his kid and probably for the first time all season, Zack isn’t a little insufferable ass hat, but he’s still asking a lot of questions about his mother and whether she was the creature hell bent on capturing him last night.
Eph stays vague and aloof enough to stave off the boy’s suspicions, but Zack’s questions about his mother aren’t going away. After coming clean to Nora about what happened in Washington (except for the part where he boned another woman), Eph heads across the street for some more bourbon because the three glasses he had earlier in the day weren’t enough.
This time, Eph actually has something to be sad about because not only did his friends get murdered, but his weapon was handed over to a company that has no intention of using it to stop the vampire threat looming over New York. He commiserates with Fet, who is also in need of a few drinks after the day he’s had (more on that in a bit) and that’s where Eph finally reveals his next plan of action.
Eph isn’t going back into the lab to build a new weapon or trying to find a way to produce more of the old one. He’s going right to the source of this plague and the man who helped start it in the first place — Eph is going to kill Eldritch Palmer.
Speaking of the rich old coot, he gets word that Eph survived from one of his goons but quickly plays it off to his new assistant Coco Marchand as if he’s helping out on the hunt for a killer, who has now taken a few lives.
Palmer decides to spend the day with her out on a helicopter as buildings all over New York continue to flicker away on fare before he retires to the penthouse for a nightcap. A few whiskeys deep and Palmer is feeling tipsy but Coco isn’t done with him just yet. She insists on seeing his bedroom and Palmer begins getting a little nervous.
Despite taking over multi-million dollar companies and orchestrating the apocalypse from a boardroom, Palmer isn’t exactly an experienced lover. Don’t forget until The Master gave him a few drops of liquid pick-me-up, Palmer was a wheelchair bound invalid. Coco doesn’t care too much about his protests and she quickly grabs Palmer and embraces him in a kiss.
While Palmer is enamored with a girl who is young enough to be his granddaughter, something tells me there’s more to Coco than just a quirky first name. Is she a plant by the vampires to keep an eye on Palmer or maybe someone working for the other side sent to infiltrate the Stoneheart Group? Either way, unless Coco has a wrinkle fetish, she’s got more on her agenda than just bumping uglies with Palmer.
New Allies, Old Enemies
Fet and Setrakian make their way inside the construction site where Fitzwilliam told them to look and sure enough they find a bus from a blind school filled with children that would eventually become Kelly’s pets known as the feelers. As disgusted as they are at the notion that the Master would torture children like that, they have an investigation to conduct and it’s clear that this building is more important than just a breeding ground for new vampires.
Fet and Setrakian find the dirt where the Master was nesting before abandoning his old body and choosing a new host, but in the midst of their search, the feelers come out to play and after several shots are fired and none of them are killed, it’s clear that these little vampire monsters are going to be feasting on two vampire hunters before long.
Thankfully, Quinlan shows up like something out of a Rambo movie and slices, dices and shoots through the feelers in no time. He finally introduces himself to Setrakian, who he’s been dying to meet because according to the Ancients, he’s the first person in centuries who has actually gotten close enough to the Master to hurt him.
It seems the Master will change bodies when the mood strikes him, but throughout his entire existence, every transformation has happened willingly. When Setrakian exposed him to the sunlight and nearly killed him, the Master’s body was destroyed and he was forced to choose a new host. Quinlan can’t help but respect that kind of resiliency and strength and his plan is to team up with Setrakian especially given what he discovered today.
Setrakian soon finds out that the building he’s been investigating isn’t just a spot where the Master changed bodies or the feelers were created — this is where the Master sleeps and Quinlan believes the creature he’s been searching for over the last 2000 years isn’t far away. Setrakian quickly orders Fet to level the building with explosives to ensure the Master doesn’t make an escape.
Fet runs to the basement where the foundation of the building rests before telling all the workers on site that there’s been a bomb threat. When they ask who did it, Fet just smiles and says it was him as he wraps column after column with dynamite. Back inside the building, the Master finally appears before Quinlan and Fet as he makes his final stand with Eichorst by his side.
Quinlan says it’s time for this battle to finally come to an end and with each of them standing along with a second, this is now a proper duel. The Master fires back that Quinlan’s fate will end just the same as his mother’s did all those years ago. It’s clear from the sound of things that the Master is actually Quinlan’s father, which would explain their connection not to mention the Barbarian Gladiator’s half-strigoi look while still being able to walk in the light thanks to what we can assume was a human mother.
Quinlan grabs his sword, Setrakian unsheathes his blade and the battle is just about to begin when all of a sudden explosions go off all around them and the building starts to tumble. Fet’s dynamite goes off and the structure falls, but all at the expense of the Master and Eichorst escaping while Quinlan and Setrakian are left empty handed.
Setrakian is devastated but also realizes that he’s the one who gave the order to have the building leveled. Quinland is clearly upset because after searching for the Master for thousands of years, he escaped again after they were standing just feet away from each other.
Quinlan’s ire is understandable and he jets from the premise, still angry at Setrakian and Fet blowing his one chance to bring the Master’s reign to an end.
Back at the hideout while Fet is drowning his sorrows next to Dr. Goodweather, Setrakian reads a tale out loud while Zack sits and listens. Setrakian tells a story about a great warrior who disappeared just before the downfall of the Roman Empire. A warrior who was reportedly spotted throughout Eurasia, but never confirmed to be seen from again.
The name he was given by the Senator who sponsored him out of the gladiator pits and onto the battlefield was The Born. “Is it legend or is it real,” Zack asks.
Setrakian responds back that the answer is the same for both questions — yes.
It appears Quinlan is the same warrior who once fought for the Roman Empire while quietly searching for the creature who gave birth to him and now the pale faced soldier has reappeared in New York City with one mission in mind — find the Master and kill or be killed but this eternal battle is finally coming to an end.
Make sure to tune into The Strain next Sunday night at 10pm ET on FX for the latest episode!