The Strain weekly recap: Lighting up the ‘Creatures Of The Night’

strain weekly recap lighting creatures night 108 00483 hires1
Ephraim Goodweather has seen the light.

On “Creatures of the Night,” the eighth episode of FX’s The Strain, the good doctor and his companions went toe-to-toe (or nail gun-to-bloodsucking tongue, in more cases than one) with an organized army of Strigoi. The monsters cornered Eph and friends inside a convenience store, working as a unit to smoke the humans out. It’s a far cry from the mindless, droning zombies of The Walking Dead, and with good reason; unlike those brain-dead walkers, even the most feeble vampire on The Strain can be used like a pawn on the chess board, with the Master calling the shots from abroad.

STRAIN_108_00590_hires1That’s right: the vampires have “a caste system,” according to Abraham Setrakian. The Master sits at the top, but certain Strigoi have more freedoms than others. Nazi vamp Eichorst, for instance, is one of “the chosen,” gifted by the Master and able to retain a semblance of his former self. Eichorst isn’t used to physical damage, either, which explains why he took a gunshot wound to the leg especially hard this week.

The new vamps terrorizing New York City operate under the Master’s control, and while they’re otherwise simple-minded, it won’t stay that way for long. According to Abe, even the youngest Strigoi will mature within a month — but that’s a far future problem, considering the dangers he and his companions face now.

It’s “From Dusk till Dawn” inside of a convenience store, as a group of strangers slug it out against a group of vampires, gathering and gaining numbers outside the mart in preparation for invasion. Both sides suffer casualties. Numerous vampires go down swinging, thanks to well-placed ultraviolet light blasts to the face, and makeshift Molotov cocktails. Humans die, too, including one of the employees, as well as a patron played by make-up effects legend Rick Baker, in one of the show’s greatest cameos to date.

STRAIN_108_00463_hires1

We also suffered our first series regular loss: Jim Kent, the CDC mole played by Sean Astin. During an early encounter with the vamps, Jim is exposed to one of the deadly blood-worms. Eph and Nora Martinez are able to excise the worm they see in Jim’s face, but it’s too late; the virus has spread, the worms are everywhere, and Kent knows it’s only a matter of time. Eph refuses to kill his “friend,” even though it’s what Kent wants; he would rather die than turn.

Lucky for everyone, Kent gets what he wants, and Eph doesn’t have to make the choice. That’s because the group has a new friend: vermin exterminator Vasiliy Fet, now fully aboard Team Ephraham, thanks to his serendipitous encounter with the group while raiding a medical supplies facility for UV lights.

STRAIN_108_00041_hires1As the vampires close in, and the argument over Kent’s fate reaches a fever pitch, Fet steps up to the plate and shoots Eph’s traitorous pal to death. It’s not the sweetest meet-cute between Fet and his new friends, but it’s a cold-blooded decision that allows him, Eph, Nora, Abraham and a computer hacker named Dutch (the same computer hacker responsible for screwing with the Internet and cell phone signals in NYC) to escape the convenience store and drive off toward freedom.

What Eph’s group lost in an old friend, they gained in new ones. Fet over Kent is an upgrade, no two ways about it. And even though they don’t know it yet, Dutch brings assets to the table that they might be able to use against the Master’s plan. Beyond the new recruits, Ephraham have new tools at their disposal: Ultraviolet lights they can use to burn and stun these monsters. They also have the knowledge that the vampires aren’t just instinct-driven blood-suckers, but manipulatable monsters that can operate under the guidance of a structured plan.

Perhaps the most important new tool in Eph’s belt, however, is renewed nerve. Though he’s furious with Fet for killing Kent, Eph finds himself in the same predicament moments later, as he stumbles upon a delivery truck driver infected with the strain. Rather than leave him for dead — rather than allow him to turn — Eph begrudgingly puts a bullet in the man’s head.

It’s what Jim would have wanted.

Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 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.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

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.
Movies & TV

From 'GLOW' to 'Haunting of Hill House,' these are the best Netflix Originals

Netflix's stable of content has grown quickly, and the streaming service now boasts dozens of shows produced in-house. Looking for the cream of the crop? These are our picks for the best Netflix Original series.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

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

Brie Larson powers up in the latest 'Captain Marvel' trailer

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Now-canceled ‘Daredevil’ was one of Netflix’s most popular shows

Netflix recently canceled Marvel's Daredevil just a month after the premiere of the show's third season, despite reports indicating that it was one of the service's most popular shows.
Podcasts

'Avengers: Endgame' trailer chills, 'Game of Thrones' teaser, $100M 'Friends'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the Avengers 4 trailer (aka Avengers: Endgame), the latest nothing of a Game of Thrones teaser, Netflix's $100 million barter to keep Friends, and much more!
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

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

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 Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.