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TV Review: The Strain 2.9 “The Battle For Red Hook”
Olympus Athens   |  @   |  

The Strain 209-08

The Strain
Season 2 Episode 9: “The Battle For Red Hook”
Directed by Kevin Dowling
Written by Regina Corrado
Created by Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Ruta Gedmintas, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, Lizzie Brocheré, Joaquín Cosio, Rupert Penry-Jones
Air Date: Sunday September 6th, 2015, 10pm

Last week on The Strain, Eichorst (Richard Sammel) gave Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown) some makeup tips, designed to fool Zach. She fools a cop too, well enough to get into “vampire free” Red Hook. The tentacle that flashed out of the car behind her, helped too. She managed to get her creepy “feeler” adopted children sniffing around the neighborhood for Zach. Eph (Corey Stoll) finally made some headway with his relationship with Zach, by letting him assist in an impromptu surgery on a gun dealer (dealer of everything, but guns were Eph’s purpose). Kelly and Eph finally have that literal fight over Zach, with Eph the victor, thanks to Nora’s (Mia Maestro) help. Palmer (Jonathan Hyde), although now intimate with Coco (Lizzie Brocheré), still won’t share details. We know why, but this is what happens when you have a relationship, Palmer. New daylight vamp, Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) comes to town with a Master vendetta, and seeks out Gus (Miguel Gomez). Remember, he’s soured on Setrakian (David Bradley) after he and Fet (Kevin Durand) fouled up that last showdown with explosives.

The Strain 2.9 “The Battle For Red Hook” review: First of all, has anyone see that opening? So comic book-y.

Note – The scene where Eichorst comforts Kelly is fantastic. It humanizes (evil-y but still) them.

It is really bittersweet watching the interaction between Fet and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas). You can see they yearn for each other. Their silly banter is heartwarming. Maybe not to Nikki, though. Kevin Durand is the best part of this show, alternating bluntness and sweetness in equal measure. I almost thought there was chemistry between him and Nora as well in this episode.

The vamps have infiltrated Red Hook, with the intention of going after our core heroes again. The episode title is indeed the main storyline. Eichorst’s regiment rides in basically, a hijacked boat, cuts the power, and hits the front line. Suddenly, Setrakian doesn’t sound so crazy anymore. Except then he does, when he gallops (or shuffles) after Eichorst alone. Justine mans up (as the mayor flees), and bullhorns the residents of Red Hook to take up arms and fight.

Who won the battle for Red Hook? Watch! I was actually surprised.

There was another smaller battle, as the confrontation between Eichorst and Setrakian heats up. Eph steps in to help, but then seems to run and hide for hours, as Eichorst walks slowly and taunts. The show makes me believe more in Eph’s science than the mystical Lumen.

This episode freaked me out a bit. Strigoi in the dark is not a fun game. These vampires are super creepy, some of the creepiest I have seen.

I must admit, so far, season 1 is the better of the two, but the action of this one and the quality of acting, is carrying this season more than the storyline. I’m hoping that the last four episodes of the season ties up some things. This reminds me at times, of how I feel when I’m watching The Walking Dead, when things don’t quite gel, yet I’m loyal to the characters and the intention of the overarching season. TWD ends up rewarding me, and I’m banking on that The Strain does too.

The Strain airs Sunday nights at 10pm ET on FX.

Image Gallery


The Strain – Next On: The Battle For Red Hook

Justine takes drastic measures to counter a surprise invasion. Nora and Fet perform a useful mission while Eph and Setrakian face off against an old foe.


  1. Again, in what world can this be happening in NYC and not a single soldier or tank from the US military is available to assist? We’ve seen from Eph’s quick trip to Washington DC that the rest of the country is seemingly operating normally and that the “outbreak” is localized to NYC. We all know if this was happening in our world that NYC would be under martial law with the US military in full control of the city. So why no assistance from the government? Hell, the National Guard isn’t even involved! If the reason for no assistance is because the US Government is already controlled by the Strigoi and they are letting this all unfold, then why are the Master, Eichorst, and Palmer so focused on NYC? I have not read the books so I don’t know if this disconnect exists there, or if the show’s creators have bungled this one aspect in creating the world of the The Strain that would make it at least somewhat believable. But, as it is, it’s a huge problem for this show. Yes, I do still watch it. The Strain is entertaining, but too often I am laughing at how silly it is or just shaking my head in disbelief.

    Comment by Hugomarink — September 8, 2015 @ 1:16 pm

  2. I only read the first book, and that was after I watched the first season. Your points are great. I’m more on the “it’s a lot of fun side” too because the “normal” daylight hours are a little unbelievable. I have some rationalizations for it, but I’m also a big fan of crazy unbelievable stuff (Love LOST). I’m hoping there’s a big reveal soon about what the actual plan is though. The Master seems more focused on either revenge or toying with Setrakian and Eph, than on any plan.

    Comment by Olympus Athens — September 11, 2015 @ 9:58 pm

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