From FX and the minds of Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse comes the second season in this vampire apocalypse saga The Strain, which stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Richard Sammel, Rupert Penry-Jones, Miguel Gomez, Ruta Gedmintas, Natalie Madison Brown, Ben Hyland, Jonathan Hyde and Kevin Durand. The fourth and final season debuted July 16, 2017.
As the fourth and final season begins, nine months have passed. The world has fallen into darkness, and the strigoi are in control. The explosion at the end of season three triggered a global nuclear apocalypse. The resulting nuclear winter liberated the strigoi, allowing them to move about during daytime, and allowing the Master to establish a totalitarian regime. Preying on the fears of the populace, the Master and his minions have created an unsettling alliance in “The Partnership.” The majority of humans are now working for the strigoi, operating with a single understanding — collaborate or die. With the world in disarray and our heroes disbanded, each of them will have to overcome personal hardship and defy death for even the smallest chance at fighting back… All the while, the Master reigns supreme, furthering his scheme for the end of the world as we know it. In the face of annihilation…do our heroes have what it takes to save humankind?
Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s epic apocalyptic vampire saga has come to an end after four explosive seasons, which were adapted from three novels. Nine months have passed since Eph’s son Zack triggered a nuclear bomb and set off a chain of events (including other nukes) leading to The Master and his vampiric minions ruling the world. The Partnership, as it’s called, is the governing body that oversees New York and several other parts of the planet which makes humans wear arm-bands with their logo on them and make daily trips to the bloodbank to feed their new overlords. Our group of survivors are fragmented, with Abraham and Dutch getting captured while Eph remains in the city to make occasional terrorist attacks on the Master’s forces and Quinlan/Fett roam the countryside in search of yet another nuclear weapon to end the conflict once and for all.
Seeing what New York looks like under modern day vampire rule is intriguing… The Master definitely took notes while feeding off prisoners in the Nazi prison camps all those decades ago and is applying those same horrific values to the human slaves in New York today.. They breed infants with a tastier blood-type to snack on, set up drainage factories (aka meatshops) and although their fancy Partnership commercials would suggest a delightful co-existence, Vampires rule the world bitch – you are living a horrible lie.
Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) is still second in command but he finds himself really trying to prove himself this season because The Master has taken a new apprentice in Eph’s son Zack, who you may remember is the dickhead kid who set off the nuke last season and ruined the world. The Master takes him hunting at the zoo to use a machinegun to kill tigers for some reason and seems to be prepping him as perhaps another vessel for that master worm that resides inside his old gross body. I loved seeing Jonathan Hyde in full blown Nosferatu mode – he definitely doesn’t pack the same charm as he did in previous seasons, but he’s my favourite Master by a mile.
The action has ramped up, the stakes are much higher than before and because the series has come to a close, expect major characters to perish and to do so in exciting brutal fashion. I won’t spoil who lives and who doesn’t, but I was satisfied with the major body count. The final episode of this season and series, was a tour-de-force and I’m happy with how the show ultimately concluded. There won’t be a spin-off, there were no loose-ends to take care of, The Strain ended and it ended definitively. Quinlan got to kick a ton of ass, rivalries were settled in some of the most exciting action sequences of the year and even though I think the first half of this season was a little slow — the later episodes were fantastic and delivered the goods in a huge way.
The Strain was one helluva bold show too. Vampires with long blood-sucking tentacles blasting out of their mouths is not an easy thing to film, let alone having thousands of them take over a city on a limited budget. You can definitely tell when the show was low on money – because most of the fights would take place in some dark warehouse or sewer. The scenery wasn’t always pretty or grandiose, but that B-Movie feel and aesthetic were part of the show’s charm. So while I definitely don’t feel this season was the strongest overall, the final few episodes were damn good and I’m happy with how FX’s bold and ambitious vampire saga went out, especially the feud between David Bradley’s Abraham Setrakian and Richard Sammel’s Nazi vampire Thomas Eichhorst… These two have been going at it for four seasons and to see how their 70 plus year conflict comes to an end was spectacular and supremely satisfying.
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