Previously on The Strain, “The Traitor”
The Strain, whether it likes it or not, has the great distinction of being one of the few shows we’ve covered on our podcast from beginning to end. It may not be as critically acclaimed as some of the other shows we cover (The Leftovers — another we covered for its entire run — and Game of Thrones come to mind), but it’s always been a good time. Even when the storylines didn’t make much sense (WHY are people ordering Indian takeout during the vampire apocalypse?), or when they didn’t quite pan out (how ’bout that Lumen?), we were able to find entertainment in the gory violence, the decades-long rivalry between Eichorst and Abraham, and our collective hate for New Zach. That’s why I wish this series finale had been better. Even though it ended pretty much how I thought it would, it wasn’t fun to watch and a lot of the decisions made little to no sense.
Fet’s extensive New York City knowledge pays off yet again when he takes the crew to a tunnel system that is deep enough beneath the city’s surface to set off the nuke without killing everyone… well, everyone not in the tunnel when it goes off. Quinlan suggests drawing the Master out and luring him into the tunnel where he’ll keep him busy by kicking his ass while Fet detonates the bomb. Understandably, Dutch doesn’t like this plan, and when Fet refuses to listen to reason she reveals she was hoping they’d have a future together. It’s as if she and Eph and Rhona Mitra never happened! Still, Fet insists.
Meanwhile, The Master has given up any pretense of a peaceful co-existence with mankind. He sends his strigoi out to kill every human they see and to search every block for the nuke. This is when the first signs of fuckery appeared. Zach, who had no problem with all of New York City starving under The Master’s rule, suddenly looks uncomfortable with the idea of the city being destroyed and him being the Master’s sole companion.
[bctt tweet=”May you see a brilliant city and a beautiful people rise from this abyss. – Quinlan, #TheStrain” username=”ProjectFandom”]
Eph and Fet allow themselves to be spotted in order to lure the Master to their location, and it works. However, when Eph sees a gun-wielding Zach with the Master, he takes Fet’s place underground. Quinlan, having managed to get The Master right where they wanted him, goes down ridiculously fast and easy, but not before ripping out the Master’s throat. In his final moments, Quinlan declares he’s won. But winning looks a lot like the Master stomping his entire upper body cavity into pulp.
Eph moves to detonate the bomb, but Zach fires on him. Despite the Master’s coaching, though, Zach can’t bring himself to kill his father. Disappointed, but not all that surprised, the Master attempts to make Zach his new host, but Eph pushes Zach out of the way and takes his place. Before Eph can fully turn, he tells Zach they’ve won because of him.
Say what now?
Eph’s last act of free will is to activate the bomb. As the new Master, he opens his arms to Zach, telling him they will finally rule as father and son. Zach appeals to any part of Eph he hopes can still hear him, and tells his father he loves him just before detonating the nuke.
That’s right, after a full season and a half of setting this kid up to be the absolute worst, The Strain decided to make Zach a hero. Was it supposed to be poetic that he set off two nuclear bombs; one out of hate and anger and the other out of love? Maybe this would have resonated if there’d been the slightest indication that Zach was still capable of such an act or that he still loved his father.
Once Eph was The Master, why didn’t he just kill Zach? He’d already seen that Zach was no longer under his thrall. Offering to rule together makes no sense, especially when it seems he only kept an attachment to Zach to taunt and punish Eph. Without that, what possible reason could this ancient monster have for keeping an annoying teenager around?
Let’s talk about Quinlan. Invictus. The Born. Did he purposely allow the Master to kick his ass in order to give Fet (but really Eph) time to detonate the bomb? I’m gonna need the answer to that to be yes or my head will explode.
Once the Master was killed, his strigoi didn’t follow, but without a link to the Master, they went back to being mindless creatures who were easily hunted and destroyed. Five years later, they’ve been eliminated (save for a few the government is keeping locked up because that’s a good idea), Roman is a successful real estate developer in New York, Gus helps refugees return home, Fet is back to catching rats, and Dutch has restored the internet. She and Fet finally reconnect and walk off into the sunset (the sun is back; although, only for a few hours each day) together.
One of the things that made Eph switch places with Fet was seeing Fet and Dutch embrace. Nice to see those crazy kids took five damn years to get together after Eph’s sacrifice.
Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast, where I will have so many more thoughts to share.
The Strain S4E10 Review Score
"The Last Stand"
The Strain – S4E10 – “The Last Stand” Starring: David Bradley, Kevin Durand,Corey Stoll,Richard Sammell, Jack Kesy, Miguel Gomez, Ruta Gedmintas, Jonathan Hyde, Natalie Brown,Rupert Penry-Jones