In The Strain season 2 debut recap, Eph and Nora gear up for a biological war against the vampires while Abraham runs into a different kind of vampire hunter….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Following a near miss to kill ‘The Master’ at the end of season one of ‘The Strain’, the second season picks up what we will assume is just a matter of days later, but before the vampire hunters re-engage in their war to save humanity, there was some additional context given to the history of the Strigoi and the creature who leads them.
The debut episode titled ‘BK, NY’ started with a story told back in the 1930’s as a young Abraham Setrakian sat down for some soup while asking his grandmother to spin him a yarn with another of her famous stories.
This one involved a man stricken with gigantism named Yusef Sardu, who was a nobleman that was beloved by children but seen as a freak by his brother. Yusef was as gentle as a lamb despite his massive size, but due to his bones being bent and twisted courtesy of the disease, he had to walk with a cane — a great sword cane with a snake handle and a silver blade. Sound familiar?
Well Yusef’s brother decided that he needed to be cured and the only way to do it was to have him drink the blood of the great grey wolf. So he organized a hunting party along with their cousins to find the animal and cure his brother’s affliction.
But when they got into the woods, the group ended up going from hunter to hunted.
A creature emerged from the shadows and slaughtered everybody on the hunt with the exception of Yusef, who stayed at the camp because he couldn’t move as quickly as the others. But once he realized his brother and the entire hunting party were dead, Yusef decided to take it upon himself to kill whatever creature was after them.
Yusef entered a dark cave and came upon a small, wiry creature, skin as white as alabaster, feasting on the blood of one of his family members. Yusef decided to stand up to the beast, pulling out his silver sword, ready to do battle. And it last about three seconds.
The creature whipped out its tentacle and snapped at Yusef’s neck before tackling him on the ground and telling him that what was about to happen to him would be a great gift. The creature was going to bestow upon him his soul and spirit so that he would rise again. In other words, this was the Master in his previous form before transferring his soul — in a vomit inducing worm explosion directly into the mouth — into poor Yusef.
Days later Yusef returned to the village but only stayed in his castle and rarely came out and if he did only at night. Upon his return, children from the village started to disappear and every now and again you could hear Yusef’s cane still pounding on the streets late at night as he went back out for a hunt.
Good scary story, but it all ties back into the bigger events unfolding later in the episode and with that let’s get into ‘The Strain’ season 2 debut episode ‘BK, NY’:
The Virus and the Cure
We pick up days after the battle with the Master where Fet and Dutch are both securing the new residence to make it as vampire proof as possible, Abraham is going back to the scene of the crime where he saw the creature he’s been hunting for nearly a century slither away and escape and Eph and Nora are getting back to what they know best — medicine.
As Eph tells Fet — it’s pretty clear he’s a shitty vampire hunter so he’s going back to being a doctor.
Eph and Nora visit a pathology lab where they kill a couple of old friends who are now vampires before digging into the science behind these vampires. The first idea is to make a cure — some kind of antibiotic that could stop the vampire worms from infecting a human subject. The problem is the vampire strain reproduces at such a rapid rate there’s little chance to study it and even less of a chance to stop it.
Eventually after some careful thought, Eph makes a new suggestion — instead of fixing the vampire strain how about destroying it?
They theorize a plan to make a pathogen that could infect the vampire gene and annihilate it but the virus would be perfectly safe for humans. Essentially eradicate the diseased genes inside an infected person but the same chemical would be harmless to a real human.
Eph gets to work building the new lab where he can conduct his studies while also steadily pounding vodka by the glass because drinking fixes everything. He decided to take up his favorite pastime after his ex-wife Kelly not only dumped him but just happened to become one of the blood sucking undead creatures trying to kill him.
Obviously Eph’s son Zach isn’t very happy with dad after he tried to shoot mom in their encounter towards the tail end of season one. Zach is convinced his mother can be saved and Eph just made her run away. This kid is going to be kibble by the end of the show if he doesn’t wise up.
Friend or Foe
Abraham re-visits in his mind the battle with the Master and how close they came to stopping him before he was somehow able to stand in the sunlight for a few moments before retreating into the sewer system below the city. Abraham walks down into the cavernous system looking for any kind of clue that might give him a way to track down the Master again, but instead of finding the ageless killing machine, he is instead greeted by the hood wearing vampire hunting crew we encountered last season.
They take Abraham back to their secret lair where he finds Gus working for the vampires after they first met last season when his brother stole a clock from the old man’s pawn shop. Abraham isn’t very impressed by the fact that Gus is working for the creatures he’s been sworn to destroy for as long as he can remember, but this is an inside look at their world that he has never seen before.
When he reaches the basement, Abraham comes face to face with ‘The Ancients’ – the group of vampires that have been around since the beginning who are trying to take down The Master just the same way our vampire hunting crew has been attempting for the past few months.
Vaun, the leader of the vampire crew working with the Ancients, tells Abraham that the leaders of the sect want to form a partnership to help bring down The Master. It seems he was originally part of their order, but broke free and decided to do things his own way and obviously this is upsetting the balance they’ve maintained for centuries.
Abraham agrees, but first he wants to know how to kill the Master. For obvious reasons — because the Ancients are the same order as him — they don’t disclose how he could die but they will certainly help make it happen. Abraham also mentions a legendary book called the Occido Lumen, which immediately wakes up the Ancients from their deep slumber, which all but confirms the text does exist.
The book was originally a pair of tablets from Mesopotamia that were eventually transcribed by a Rabbi and bound together with a great silver cover and called the Occido Lumen. What’s inside the book is unknown by anyone outside of the vampire circle, but it could be the key to destroying the Strigoi and bringing the Master down.
Abraham heads back to his new abode with a scary partnership in hand although he chooses not to share this information with his cohorts and instead asks them to help him retrieve some supplies from a hidden storage warehouse that he tucked away for a rainy day and it’s currently pouring all over them.
A New Master Plan
While Eph and his team didn’t kill The Master, they hurt him badly and so he tells his head stooge Eichorst that the body he’s living in currently is dying and he needs a new one. He tells Eichorst to get the children ready and he would make his ascension very soon.
The children end up in his possession after Eichorst essentially kidnaps all the kids from a blind school in New York. My best guess is the Master will transfer his soul into a new body and then he has to feast on the children to gain his strength? It sounds similar to the tale Abraham’s grandmother told him at the opening of the episode.
Anyways, while the Master plots out his next body he also calls upon Kelly Goodweather to rise from her slumber and join him as one of the chosen few who keep their name and their soul after being turned into a vampire. He wants to use her to go after Ephraim and without fail Kelly is already muttering the world ‘Zach’ over and over again so the Master plans on sending her as the weapon to infect the vampire hunters and destroy them from within.
Meanwhile, Eldritch Palmer is working to secure a new base of operations for the vampire clan by buying an old warehouse that was once used as a soap factory. They need a place with massive drains so the liquid they will be dumping there won’t get clogged. Palmer is also taken by the cute real estate agent who sells him the property and he even offers her a job as his new assistant at triple her previous salary. While Palmer is busy flirting, Eichorst is getting impatient but the building gets purchased and now the next phase of their plan can begin.
One more thing — Palmer also decides to help the city by offering them an unlimited blank check so he could help pay for this ongoing war with a disease that’s sweeping through New York and scaring the hell out of everybody. It seems like a generous offer, but obviously Palmer has ulterior motives to become the savior of the city in its most desperate time of need.
Abraham leads his crew over to the storage warehouse to retrieve his supplies and inside his locker are boxes upon boxes of weapons and other goodies. Why he didn’t use this last season when they were in desperate need of weapons to kill the vampires, I have no idea.
While trying to remember what locker was his, Fet and the other stumble upon a couple who were actually living in a container after this outbreak started a few weeks back. They were so scared that they thought going there was the only way to be safe.
It turns out they were almost correct.
Before Abraham and the others could escape with a pile of new weapons (including a pretty sweet silver loaded grenade), the Strigoi show up and try to stop them. Eph and everybody else kills the horde, but in the middle of the attack the new couple that they found living in the storage lockers get attacked and infected.
But instead of killing them once the worms start to crawl through their bloodstream, Eph and Nora decide to use them. These two patients, who are newly infected with the vampire strain, might give them just enough time to begin work on a biological weapon powerful enough to assassinate the disease running through their veins and save humanity from a fate worse than death.
Tune into the next episode of ‘The Strain’ on Sunday night as Eph and Nora begin their experiments and the Master starts searching for a new body to inhabit.