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TV Review: The Strain 1.2 “The Box”
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The Strain FX banner

The Strain
Season 1 Episode 2: “The Box”
Directed by David Semel
Written by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, Bradley Thompson, and David Weddle
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, and Ben Hyland
FX
Air Date: Sunday July 20, 2014, 10pm

Last week’s recap: If you haven’t seen the pilot episode, stop reading now!

Last week found Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) of the CDC, a man on the verge of losing his wife and son, called to the scene of a cold, dark plane. He and his partner, Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro), find everyone (except 4) on board dead, seemingly at once and with no pain. A 9-foot soil-filled coffin disappears from a warehouse by being lifted up. A mysterious old man (David Bradley) with a sword and a pet heart appears at the airport with dire warnings of things he has seen before. Another mysterious old man shows up to pay off Gus (Miguel Gomez), a thug who worships his mother, to drive some precious cargo that must be over the bridge before daybreak. We see a monster suck on a guy’s neck and then smash his head like he was Oberyn Martell. And the medical examiner has a close call when a worm-like virus (or virus-like worm) almost gets under his skin. He pulls in out in the nick of time (whew!), only to be felled by the zombie-like vampires (to the tune of “Sweet Caroline”), formerly known as the dead passengers of the doomed flight from Berlin. One dead little girl returns home to her father’s embrace.

Episode 1.2 “The Box” Preview: This week’s episode is a little slower in the beginning as it delves into Eph’s personal life a bit more through the lens of his investigative day. But don’t worry, the latter half speeds it up a bit. To Eph’s horror, the four survivors demand to be released from quarantine under a propaganda umbrella. We meet Vasilly Fett (Kevin Durand), an enthusiastic exterminator. Where does he fit into all this?

The episode does answer tiny questions answered like Whose heart is in the jar? What is Abraham’s connection to the vampire virus? What is happening to the survivors? It gives you just enough to feel satisfied, but there’s still much mystery to unfold to keep you watching. And the dramatic irony continues, as you watch Eph and Nora follow “The Strain”. We know how bad it’s gotten. They just haven’t caught up yet.

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