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'The Strain' recap: Here comes Ephraham

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “It’s Not For Everyone” | Aired August 3, 2014

Oh, del Toro and Cuse, just when we thought you couldn’t get any more brilliant, you bring us this episode. While last week’s The Strain was a bit graphic for most viewers’ tastes, this week showed us what a crazy wife would do for love, what the insides of a vampire look like, and how to decapitate a 10-year-old girl who just happens to be a vampire. OK, so the graphics didn’t get any less censored, but that’s what makes it so awesome. Let’s dive into the best moments of the fourth episode of The Strain, “It’s Not For Everyone.”

Dissecting the pilot: Remember last week when the airline pilot was all …

Well, now they’re dissecting that pilot in the basement of the hospital; of course no one comes down to bother them during their dissection, and at no point do they decide it’s a good idea to call and notify the FBI/the police/FEMA/PETA/the Girl Scouts/anyone that they just found a dang alien-like creature that could possibly mean death to all mankind.


Jim takes pictures on his phone while Eph and Nora cut open the pilot. They see that he’s “gone smooth,” just like Gabe had in the last episode. His body has basically mutated and evolved into a highly efficient creature overnight, expelling all unnecessary organs. Nora and Eph pull his giant throat tentacle out and flop it on the ground. It’s disgusting and looks like Ursula’s tentacle from The Little Mermaid. Jim finds this as a good time as any to share the fact that he may or may not have let the van carrying the coffin out of the airport after making a deal with the devil. Way to go, Samwise—you just brought about the destruction of the human race! Nora and Eph take the phone from him and leave him behind in the hospital alone.

It’s also worth noting that Eph and Nora got a parking ticket outside the hospital. Nothing like a $20 fine to take your day from bad to “I should have just let the vampire eat me.”

The hacker girl: Eldritch seems to have gotten his confidence back after meeting the Master and is back to doing business in his skyscraper. He and Thomas are walking through the next steps in their plan, which apparently involve blacking out the entire city so the Master can complete his takeover of the world. In last week’s episode, we saw Thomas kill the CEO of Regis Airways, making it look like a suicide. That, combined with the whole carbon monoxide poisoning scam, has catapulted the mayhem to come. Thomas and Eldritch bring in a renowned hacker to cause the blackout, and lets just say she’s one fierce chick. We can totally see her being the Master’s trophy wife, if he’s into that sort of thing.


Eldi’s plan doesn’t stop there. He takes things further by manipulating that Maggie chick, the Secretary of Human and Health Services. He tells her that the bodies from the morgue were taken by the armed forces, and that a terrible virus unfortunately infected them all while on the plane. We aren’t exactly sure what he needs from her yet, but he passes out mid-manipulation. Then, a team of doctors appears to let him know a liver is ready for him, and Eldi is all sorts of confused, because he should have received his “miracle” from the Master by now. Word of advice, old man: Take the liver and run.

Gus stealing cars: What the French are they doing with Gus’s storyline right now? In this episode we follow Gus and his lowlife friend as they steal a car so they can sell it to some gang.


All this tells us is that Gus is addicted to money and needs Abraham to find him and recruit him into his vampire-hunting crew.

Ansel and his wife: Are you ready to get weird? Ansel’s wife comes home to find their family dog dead in the backyard. Hearing snarls and growling coming from the shed, she opens it to find Ansel. He’s locked himself inside and is pleading with her to get out before he uses his protractable proboscis to drain her like a Capri Sun. She just stands there and stares for a while because she’s really smart, and then eventually shuts the door when he scares the crap out of her. To make things even more awesome, the neighbor comes over, griping about the noise their “dog” is making in the shed. Ansel’s wife plays along and says she doesn’t have the heart to discipline it and asks the neighbor to do it instead. So what happens next? The neighbor takes off his belt so he can beat the dog (oh, hell no), and the wife shoves him into the shed to be eaten by her mutating husband.


This scene gets a giant eye roll from us because it seems highly unbelievable that someone would do that. The only explanation is that the wife already has some underlying mental issues. Otherwise, why? Just, why?

Setrakian and Eph unite! Eph and Nora decide to track down others who may be infected, and they start with the French family. When they get to the house, they hear creepy-children music in the basement, and when they head down to investigate, little femme fatale is down there waiting.

As her tentacle/python/whatever tongue is trying to latch onto their throats, Setrakian appears and slices her head off! He doesn’t hesitate at all and tells them that the dad is lurking near. As if on cue, the dad appears, fully transitioned into a vampire. Setrakian decapitates him too, and Nora officially loses it, rambling about how it’s wrong to kill these “humans.” Really, Nora? You were fine playing operation with the pilot, but Setrakian killing the man-eating father-daughter duo who were trying to suck you dry is too far? Eph tried to talk some sense into her, but as Setrakian affectionately put it, “Decapitating people and burning them alive is not for everyone.” Here’s the good part: Eph and Setrakian bro up, light a match to burn the bodies and get the party started. Yippee-ki-yay.


Here’s what we know:

  • The vampires from the plane can turn other people into vampires (see: creepy French girl and her dad).
  • Eph has finally joined the Setrakian train. Go team Ephraham!
  • Nora can’t handle the truth.
  • Ansel’s wife is nuttier than squirrel turds.

Sound off with your predictions, and be sure to watch The Strain Sundays on FX. Until next time … #FangsOut



The Strain airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX.


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