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'The Strain' recap: Bare is the new black

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Gone Smooth” | Aired July 27, 2014

Well, that escalated quickly. In this episode of FX’s hit new show The Strain, we saw part of the Master’s plan unravel as the “surviving” passengers start to take shape into their new forms. We aren’t holding anything back when we say that, either. Let’s just say there’s a very literal reason why this episode is titled, “Gone Smooth.” We’re going to get right to it and break down the best moments from tonight.

1. Thomas puts his face on: The episode starts in what appears to be a dressing room, with makeup and prosthetic face pieces lying on a vanity. Enter Thomas … in vampire form! He has no hair, and his skin is an alabaster mess of veins and blotchiness. His nose also appears to be missing, and in its place is a large hole with what looks like the tentacle feeding tube the zompires have been using to feed off of humans. If you didn’t read our article last week, we affectionately call these creatures “zompires.” Thomas places the prosthetic nose and ears on himself and puts the final touches on with foundation and bronzer. We’re pretty sure every drag queen in the world was taking notes during this scene because that powder job was straight-up impressive.









2. The survivors: The survivors are getting increasingly worse—stricken with blood-red eyes, hearing voices, pained by their gums and having a hankering for blood. Going to the doctor would just be asinine, so Ansel (the survivor who looks like Steve Buscemi and has a family) decides to hang out at home and drink blood from a thawing dish of raw meat instead.









Side note: Why did they only thaw one piece of steak? His wife sees him and looks horrified, but does she call the doctor, police, her mom, anyone? Nope. She just watches her husband turn around and head back to their room.










Gabe (the rock star who discovered his new taste for blood in the last episode) is faring worse than Ansel. He’s backstage after a show when things get … weird. We’re not even sure how to say this, but he flushed his downstairs mix-up down the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. Gabe’s magic zone fell off, it went down the toilet and he has nothing there anymore … and they showed it! We’ll spare you the traumatizing GIF here and just move on.

3. Vasiliy: Vasiliy, the rat exterminator, is a kick-ass character, and we hope they integrate him into the main storyline soon. Vasiliy is wondering why there have been so many rat extermination jobs lately. The answer is vampires, but he doesn’t know that yet. He’s called to the mayor’s house because a rat bit his daughter’s face, but all the mayor is concerned about is the financial and political trouble the Regis Air debacle is causing him.










Vasiliy enlightens them to the fact their apartment building was constructed on top of an old cigar factory, and rats love cigars. He also warns the daughter to stop eating in bed because that is also a contributing factor to a rat creeping up on you and biting your lip. Wait, are you saying that when we pass out with Buffy season 5 blaring on Netflix and a box of Cheez-Its in our laps, that we could be inviting rats to bite our faces? Noted. When Vasiliy leaves, he sees hundreds of rats fleeing the sewers, which can only mean one thing—the apocalypse is near!

4. Jimbo digs himself a deeper hole: We finally found out what exactly Jim’s connection is to Thomas. Apparently, Jim’s wife has a rare form of cancer, and he has done some dirty work for the corporation Thomas works for to pay for her treatments. We guess that’s as good excuse as any to violate quarantine protocol that could lead to the end of the world. Jim starts to feel guilty for letting the van leave the airport during quarantine, and he heads to the corporation’s headquarters. Thomas is there to greet him, much to Jim’s surprise. Thomas hands him a wad of cash as payment for his help, but Jim’s conscience gets the best of him, and he threatens to tell the authorities about the sketchiness that is going on. Thomas will have none of this, and he pulls out his ace card. He tells Jim that if he keeps his mouth shut, he’ll pull the right strings and get his wife into a new, super-secluded trial treatment center. Obviously Jim agrees with this, and we have yet another character who has made a deal with the devil.









5. Should have listened to Setrakian: Nora decides to take investigating into her own hands and tells Eph that she’s going to go visit the old man from the airport (Abe Setrakian). She finds out where his trial is (he’s still in trouble from trespassing on the crime scene at the airport), and she starts to ask him about what he knows. He tells her that he knows the bodies are missing, and now tough choices will have to be made—like finding every passenger on the plane and killing them and anyone else they have been in contact with. Based on her reaction (which was a face that spelled out, “Old man, you cray”), he tells her that she’s not ready to deal with this, and until she is, he has to keep moving. He enlists in the help of a young girl to get the manifest from the plane the Master was on, and the plan to execute them all begins. Who will be first?!










6. The pilot makes a full transition:  Nora and Eph are checking out the pilot, who is in quarantine at the hospital. He’s in bad shape, and they see that his worms are getting hyper. Blood-loving worms, activate!










Later that night, the pilot goes missing from his hospital room, and Jim, Nora and Eph are searching high and low to find him. They split up (naturally), and Jim goes to the basement and finds the pilot slurping blood bags like they’re Kool-Aid Jammers. The pilot is a full-blown vampire now and starts attacking Jim.








Nora and Eph make their way down to the basement, and the only option Eph has left is to bash the pilot’s head in with a fire extinguisher. Frankly, it was disgusting and we could have done without seeing the end result. Somewhere in a dingy back alley, Setrakian is laughing and saying, “I told you so.”

Now that Eph, Nora and Jim realize the severity of the strain, we hope they start taking Abraham seriously. We can’t wait to see a badass vampire-hunting team in action. As always, we’re left with multiple burning questions:

  • What voice are the survivors hearing call their name? Is it the Master?
  • In this episode, Thomas kills a Regis Air CEO and makes it looks like suicide. What is Thomas’ grand plan?
  • Why did four people survive if they are just going to become rabid blood-suckers like the other Regis 753 passengers?

Sound off with your thoughts and predictions, and don’t forget to catch new episodes of The Strain every Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on FX. Until next time … #FangsOut




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