TV Review: The Strain 4.2 “The Blood Tax”
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The Strain
Season 4 Episode 2: “The Blood Tax”
Directed by J. Miles Dale
Written by Liz Phang
Created by Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Ruta Gedmintas, Max Charles, Rupert Penry-Jones
Air Date: Sunday, July 23rd, 2017, 10pm

Warning! Spoilers below for last night’s episode of The Strain!

Last week on The Strain, it is a new world in New York City after Zach (Max Charles) set off the nuclear bomb in anger at his father, Eph (Corey Stoll). “The Partnership” now rules over their human slaves. Eph does side jobs for survival, but when he is captured, decided to join the cause with the people that rescued him. Fet, Quinlan, and Charlotte (Kevin Durand, Rupert Penry-Jones, Rhona Mitra) were in search of a nuclear missile, and may have found the answer in Roman, a fellow captive (not Quinlan – he showed up after they freed themselves). The Master (Jonathan Hyde) continued to believe in Zach’s potential, despite Eichort’s (Richard Sammel) protests.

Spoilers below.

The Strain 4.2 “The Blood Tax” review: The episode opens with a human freedom worker, Raul, going through the grind of his day – getting up, breakfast bars with his 17 roommates, work, giving blood, going home. Raul is Gus’s (Miguel Gomez) cousin, and he waylays him on the way home. He wants to sneak into where Raul works. His cousin is reluctant, but agrees.

Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) is a prisoner… again (but at least she’s back!). She is being tested for fertility. There are many pregnant women there. Flashback to 3 months earlier – Dutch and Setrqkian (David Bradley) visit Gus who supplies him with his heart pills. When they get back, thre;s a raid and a fire where the Lumen is. Dutch sneaks in, saves the book, and hides it again, getting captured right after. Setrakian was captured too. They are separated. Setrakian has seen this before. Back to the present, Dutch plans her escape.

Eph is taking care of the injured rebel. His sister tells Eph why it’s better to fight.

Gus shows up with his crew to Raul’s job and takes out a sentinel, using Quinlan moves. They break in, and of course it goes awry. The human guard refuses to look the other way and sets off the alarm. Eddie cannot go back. Creem and Gus clash over that. I love Gus taking a stand.

One of the girls freaks out about another missing girl, but Dutch calms everyone down. Desai (Cas Anvar) takes notice. He tries to convince her to be his right hand “man.” She turns him down, after he gives a speech about the “delusional people” and this new world. “Miranda”(Dutch) finds one of the girls crying in the bathroom because she miscarried. Dutch gives her her escape spot, but all three (including the guy smuggler) get caught. Dutch lets the guy take the fall. These are rough times, indeed.

The rebel base cover is blown after one comes back and says his buddy was drained. Eph, like a badass, explains the hive mind, gives them a new hideout, and blows up the strigoi that shows up. Alex is properly impressed. They go head to head, and Eph tells her what she should be doing – thinking bigger, poisoning the blood. “Why don’t we?” she asks.

Despite the fact that both Eichorst and Fet were not in the episode, it was super exciting just the same. Gus and Dutch need air time too. Having Eph get pulled back into the fight is awesome. He is his best when he has a cause. The fertility facility is gross and genius at the same time. Of course they need to breed more humans. Sex in general must be way down merely because of the apocalypse.

Dutch being trapped in that place gave me as much anxiety as the girl in the box (you’ll see). What could they be doing to Setrakian? I’m so worried about him. I thought for sure that Gus would find him or Dutch somehow this episode.

The Strain is really satisfying so far as they move towards the end, whatever that may be.

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


The Strain | Season 4 Ep. 2: The Blood Tax Trailer | FX

Imprisoned as a subject in a strigoi breeding program, Dutch is desperate to escape and find Setrakian. Gus recruits his cousin for the inside job that will put his gang at the top of the new world’s underground economy, but Creem is suspicious of his business partner’s ambitions.

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