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The Strain - Runaways - Review: "My Sword Sings Of Silver"

Last Sunday's episode of The Strain, 'Runaways', was the fifth of the season for this freshman horror series. Already renewed for a second season, the show has noticeably improved compared to the first four episodes. Each episode, so far, has felt rushed, but still a fun forty plus minutes of television. 'Runaways' is my favorite episode of the season, so far, as we see Eph align himself more closely with Setrakian and Nora probably realizing she will have to join the fight soon as her little world comes crumbling around her. This is the episode I have been waiting for where everything falls apart and we see constant action around every corner. The series is definitely going to get better and more interesting from here.

My favorite part of the episode was Eph asking Setrakian the questions we all have been wondering; why were there exactly four 'survivors'? Who is The Master and what are his goals? These questions, as well as others, were answered in this episode and it was great to have this information so early on in the season. Eph and Setrakian seem to have formed an instant bond in a short amount of time, with Setrakian wanting someone with Eph's skills on his side and Eph wanting answers. Eph impatiently asks Setrakian if he knows why there are different rates of infection between the "dead" passengers and the four survivors. Setrakian tells the epidemiologist, "Some people get the flu and have the sniffles, while others get the flu and die." Eph's line of questioning comes from the scientist within, not fully grasping the extent of the situation that transcends science, reason and his own background beliefs. Setrakian explains that The Master works through manipulation and disinformation; while the media was focused on the miraculous survival of the four passengers, as opposed to the deaths of the other 206, it allowed the dead to change, return home and spread the disease. The plane, four survivors and the coffin being transferred were all orchestrated distinctly and masterfully by The Master for some grand, nefarious plan of his. It makes me wonder how far back The Master has been planning this scheme of his and what will his eventual reach be throughout the world.

Three out of the four 'survivors' are still going through their metamorphosis, some quicker than others (remember, the fourth survivor, Captain Redfern, was killed by Eph last episode). The episode opens with Bolivar, who has been transforming at a relatively even pace with Mr. Barbour. His scenes were extra creepy and grisly as we learn that The Master can communicate with his infected spawn, whispering instructions to Bolivar from wherever he is located.

Ms. Luss has taken the longest to 'turn', relatively speaking. One of the creepiest scenes was Ms. Luss sniffing and caressing her children's necks. I like when shows with child actors actually have children that can act and the Luss children are pretty good. The slow turn with Luss is in perfect contrast with the quickness of Captain Redfern's. The writers portrayed this very well, so we have a view early on of the strigoi (pronounced 'Stree-goy') and then we can see the slow descent into vampirism with Luss.

One thing I did not anticipate was Barnes turning on Eph when confronted with actual footage of the virus taking root into one of the survivors. I thought Eph would have been believed with evidence in hand. Barnes thinks Eph killed Captain Redfern for whatever reason, possibly to get his quarantine status. We are left with him running away to protect himself much like Nora ran away with her mother in tow from the strigoi from the nursing home.

There were many details of this episode that made it far more interesting than the previous ones. It reminded me (especially with Nora's final scenes) of The Walking Dead and how some of the Walkers would overpower a group of people unsuspectedly. However, where The Walking Dead featured the apocalypse a few weeks after its origin, The Strain has started from a few days before, giving us a first class, front row seat to the turning point. Now it's just a matter of Eph and Setrakian and whomever else they can find to join their side to overcome the strigoi before they reach a critical mass and become too populated to handle.

Thoughts and Discussion

- Did you notice...Bolivar's previous doctor was Dr. Box. Eph and Nora referred to the coffin from the plane as 'The Box'. I thought that was interesting.

- Did you notice...Bolivar's concert featured the eclipse we saw signs for from Episode 1. I'm sure this event will figure prominently in The Master's overall plan somehow.

- Now we know why the rats were running out of that sewer drain a few episodes back; the strigoi that Vasily encountered in the sewers were the 'bigger prey' pushing them out.

- I find it very strange that Barnes would not believe Eph especially with clear evidence that something is going on with the infected surviving passengers. Could Barnes be helping out the enemey much like Jim helped Eichorst? What do you all think?

I hope everyone enjoyed the episode! I would love to read all your thoughts on the episode! Let me know what you thought and where you think Eph and Nora are running away to.

About the Author - Geo N
My name is George and I am from Detroit, MI. My favorite shows are The Blacklist, Hell On Wheels, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, LOST, Sons Of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow and countless other shows. When I'm not watching tons of TV, I enjoy reading, playing hockey, comic books, weightlifting, and writing. Thanks for checking out my post.
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