The Strain weekly recap: Bad parenting plagues ‘The Third Rail

strain weekly recap bad parenting plagues third rail 111 00040 hires1
“Keep an eye on Mrs. Martinez.”

With those six words, and the decision that goes with it, Doctor Ephraim Goodweather wins the Father of the Year award. Just kidding, he loses it, in a landslide. Eph is many things — a brilliant scientist for one, and a wig-wearing warrior for another — but as far as being a parent goes, he’s basically the worst.

In the latest episode of The Strain, titled “The Third Rail,” Eph accompanies veteran vampire slayer Abraham Setrakian, kill-happy exterminator Vasiliy Fet, and CDC colleague and sometime lover Nora Martinez on a mission to track down and assassinate the Master, eradicating the Strigoi strain once and for all.

STRAIN_111_00004_hires1The only thing Eph wants is to reunite his family, which includes missing wife Kelly, and keeping son Zack safe. Except there’s one major flaw in Eph’s plan: In joining the crusade against the Master, Eph abandons Zack, leaving him alone with Nora’s elderly mother, a woman with a thin grasp on reality, to put it lightly.

There’s a fleeting moment where Eph realizes someone should stay back at Abraham’s pawn shop with Zack and Mrs. Martinez. But rather than volunteering for the job, he asks Nora to serve as babysitter. When she vehemently refuses, a questionable decision in its own right, Eph still refuses to back down. He’s going on the mission, even when leaving an able-bodied adult behind to protect the least experienced members of their little band is clearly the move.

In the end, Zack and Mrs. Martinez are fine, though no thanks to Eph. Nora’s mother nearly runs away from the pawn shop, desperate for a pack of cigarettes. (Another strike, Nora. How could you leave without restocking Mama’s nicotine supply?) In order to keep her from splitting, Zack takes it upon himself to go out and get a fresh pack. He nearly dies in the process, just barely escaping becoming vampire chow, and cracking his precious iPhone’s screen to boot. Zack’s lucky to be alive, and it’s no thanks to his father.

STRAIN_111_00112_hires1Leaving his young son alone with an unstable elderly woman isn’t even Eph’s only major goof of the night. On the way to the Master’s lair, Eph deviates from the group’s plan when he hears his missing wife’s voice reverberating through the abandoned New York City tunnels. As a result, the Master catches Eph, and nearly sucks the life out of him, if not for Fet detonating an ultraviolet bomb at the exact right time, eliminating the group’s element of surprise. The Master retreats, Abraham throws a hissy-fit, and the Strigoi slayers are back to square one. It’s not good.

Also not good: Augustin “Gus” Elizalde’s entire world crumbles around him, when he returns home to Harlem to find his brother and mother turned into Strigoi. He kills his bro, but leaves his mom behind, unable to pull the trigger. (Or swing the bat, as it were.) But even without his family, Gus seems uniquely built for the world of The Strain, much like Fet, as evidenced by his skill with a fire axe. It’s only a matter of time before Gus becomes a major player in Setrakian’s squad.

In fact, Gus brushes elbows with Abraham’s army, when he literally runs into Zack Goodweather at the grocery store during Operation Get Grandma Some Cigarettes. Instead of sticking together, Gus waves Zack away, opting to track down the store’s vampire while the kid has a chance to escape. It’s too bad; aligned with Gus and his fire axe, Zach could’ve been in good hands. Certainly better than with his deadbeat dad.

Movies & TV

Is the end near for Pied Piper? ‘Silicon Valley’ season 6 delayed, might be the last

Season 6 of Silicon Valley might not premiere until 2020, as HBO has delayed production on the season until summer 2019 due to showrunner Alec Berg's work on another HBO series, Barry. Season 6 could be the final one for the show.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Movies & TV

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' will seem muddled to mere muggles

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brings magizoologist Newt Scamander back for more adventures, but the sequel to 2016's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes a very deep dive into Potter-verse lore.
Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Movies & TV

‘Moonlight’ film studio A24 to produce movies for Apple

Indie movie studio A24 has entered into an agreement to produce films for Apple. The studio is best known for bringing Oscar-winning drama Moonlight to audiences, as well as Room and Ex Machina.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.

Remembering Stan Lee, Fantastic Beasts 2 review, Apple goes Hollywood

This week on Between the Streams, we'll discuss the passing of comics and entertainment legend Stan Lee, a spoiler-free review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Apple's new partnership with indie movie studio A24, and more.

College sports are yours to watch live online with an ESPN+ free trial

It can be difficult to catch all the college games, especially for smaller conferences. Well, thanks to ESPN+ that’s no longer the case. Now, you won't need to miss any of your alma mater rival games.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.