The Strain season finale leaves us thirsty for more


Sean Koepfinger, Lifestyles Reporter

We’ve tasted blood, and we want more. FX’s “The Strain” has shown us monsters, murder, and mayhem and the season finale gave us even more. Here’s a quick glance at the season, the finale, and what lies in store. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

First and foremost, this season has proven it can stand on its own.  It is not merely an adaptation, but an entity of its own. It was packed full of enough variety and changes from the source material to keep a fan of the books interested. Most notably, is the inclusion of the European hacker, Dutch Velders.

While the Internet shutdown is mentioned in the first book, it is used only as a plot device, and Velders never makes an appearance, let alone teams up with the rest of our unlikely heroes. Velders made her entrance about mid season and at first just seemed to be another background character, and a much needed demographic to the male-heavy cast. However, her conflict with the lead character, Eph, made for a much more relatable character, and her attempts to undo her mistakes made her far more likeable. Plus, she serves as a great love-interest for exterminator turned vampire-hunter, Vasily Fet.

The season also made other changes to the original story, most likely to streamline the plot or avoid extraneous subplots featured in the novel. However, the death of Nora’s mother was probably the biggest change. While her role in the first season and novel was small, she played a prominent part in a rather major plot point of the third and final book, “The Night Eternal.” Whether or not Del Toro plans on using that part of the story in the TV series remains to be seen, but the horror master is bound to have some motivation for killing off the character so early.

Now before we discuss the Finale, there’s one flaw we need to address.  The final episode, titled “The Master,” featured the titular character more prominently than any other episode. This simply reaffirmed the one major flaw this season had: The Master’s makeup.

The master is intended to be an ancient vampire, in possession of a giant’s body. Since he wears a black robe, the only parts of his body we see are his head and hands, but they looked really awful compared to the quality of the hundreds of other vampires we’ve seen on the show. His face and hands both have an incredibly rubbery quality, making them look like a Halloween mask and gloves. Worse yet, his fish-like mouth makes him appear almost comical. It’s hard to believe no one on the creative team noticed this. The cheap quality of such a major character’s costume is highly distracting and takes away from The Master’s more sinister qualities.

Costuming flaw aside, the rest of the finale was brilliant. Our heroes tracked down the master and finally dealt some damage. But in a rather shocking twist, The Master escaped into direct sunlight, leaving our would-be vampire hunters dumbfounded and defeated. The icing on the cake, of course, was a vampire Kelly Goodweather returning to torment her ex-husband and son.

But not all hope is lost. The mysterious, black-hooded vampire assassin, Mr. Quinlan, revealed a third force at work behind the scenes. Clans of loyal Ancient Vampires lie asleep beneath the city, planning to take back the world from the rogue Master.

In conclusion, this finale has given us little resolution, but a lot to look forward to. The next season (scheduled for release next summer) can’t come soon enough. Until then, fellow FX title “American Horror Story: Freakshow” should fill the horror void for you gore-hungry viewers.

Let me know what you thought of this season below.