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'The Strain' recap: And the Mother of the Year Award goes to ... not Joan

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Runaways” | Aired Aug 10, 2014

“The strain” is finally spreading, and it looks like people are still choosing to make terrible life decisions—like not calling the cops or taking the fact that people have tentacles shooting from their throats seriously. In the fifth episode of The Strain, “Runaways,” we start to see the Master’s plan unfolding in New York City. We also learn that Gabe’s manager is a horrible person; the rats are, in fact, being run out of the sewers by another predator; and Joan thinks her children smell delicious. Here’s everything you need to know about this episode of The Strain.

Ephraham: Poor Eph is having a pretty rough first day on his new “time to save the world from an impending vampire apocalypse” job. Before he and Abraham get straight to work, Eph shares that he’ll need to record the whole thing, so the CDC/federal government/people with tanks and machine guns can help them. This is the first truly smart idea we think Eph has had. Abraham can clearly hold his own with his silver wizard staff, and if Eph can get footage of these nasty vamps, maybe the big guns at the CDC will actually believe him and take action. Abraham arms Eph with a staple gun that shoots silver staples, and they head over to Ansel’s house. They find his wife—who hanged herself. Can’t say we didn’t see that coming.







The Strain, episode 105: Strigoi (Michael Gibson/FX) They find Ansel in the shed, and he seems to have anointed himself a No. 2, as his neighbor is still “alive” in there with him. Team Ephraham slices and dices them and burns down the shed. Eph heads over to the CDC to show his boss, Everett, the video of them killing Ansel. His boss is clearly mentally agreeing that something is messed up, but while he leaves the room to make some calls, Jim shows up and alerts Eph that they found the video of him hiding the pilot’s body, and he’s in huge trouble. They pretty much just think he’s a murderer now.

While Eph rushes out, Jim tries to get the phone from him so they can’t “track” him. Eph tosses the SIM card, but keeps the phone so he doesn’t lose his evidence. It seems like Jim is trying to make up for what he did by helping in any way he can. Pretty sure no amount of apologizing is going to make up for what he did.









Flashback time (yes!): We finally get a glimpse into Abraham’s past and, as expected, he was in a Jewish concentration camp during the Holocaust. He and a friend worked in a carpenter’s shop in the camp, and at night, Abraham saw the Master infecting and draining the others there with him in the middle of the night. We also see Thomas as a Nazi officer!










Not that surprising, since he’s a complete and total jerk, but we had a feeling he may have been a vampire for much longer than the early 20th century. Who knows, he may have been a vampire at that time already, but from the way his character was portrayed in this flashback, we’re guessing no.

Worst mother EVER: As if Joan (the lawyer survivor) wasn’t enough of a coldhearted *cough* already, we witnessed her transitioning amongst her children. She’s sick at home—which, by the way, looks like Tony Stark’s house—and lying in bed with a pale face and red eyes. Her children come bouncing into her room to bring her breakfast, along with their nanny. Joan’s vampire conscience thinks that they themselves are the breakfast, and she’s seduced by the blood thirst to stare longingly at the veins pumping in their necks. Their nanny, luckily, rushes them out of the room, and Joan is ruder than ever to her, complaining about anything she can. Then Joan’s eyes do the flicky-thing (see: Gabe sans magic zone below).










Joan doesn’t realize what’s happening to her, and the nanny doesn’t care to find out. She goes to the movies with the kids, and we’re hoping they never come back. Joan didn’t let them leave without sniffing them goodbye, though. She literally smelled her children like an animal before the nanny got them out of the house. Ephraham is coming for you, Joan.

Gabe’s manager is a terrible human being: Remember that urologist that was supposed to make a house call for Gabe? Well, she comes by and Gabe is all, “Fantastic. Thanks for dinner.” His manager sees Gabe’s tentacle and watches him drag the doctor away to eat her. So what does she do? Why, what any self-respecting citizen would do: Call a cleaner. Yes, she calls someone to cover up Gabe’s murder and leaves out the fact that he might be an alien. The poor cleaner shows up and starts wiping up blood and telling Gabe what his cover story should be. Needless to say, Gabe gets dessert.

Vasiliy: At work, Vasiliy talks to the secretary (you know, the one who is head over heels in lust with him) about how they’ve been seeing more rats than ever all over the city. Vasiliy, being the expert he is, knows that something must be forcing them to leave the sewers. He decides to investigate and heads down into a sewer alone. He finds something slightly alarming. It’s the herd of vampires from the morgue!










They’ve apparently made their home down there, with whoever else they’ve turned. Vasiliy manages to escape and climb up to the street. The sunlight streaming down burns the vampires, keeping them from crawling up after him.

Nora: She’s still not coping well with what she saw in the last episode. I suppose dissecting a creature that used to be human and almost killed you, and then watching a vampire child get beheaded, could be hard to handle. Nora gets a call that her mom busted out of her nursing home again and heads over there. Her poor mother fails to understand why Nora can’t just take her home. It is actually pretty sad to watch. Don’t worry, though, Mama Martinez! All of a sudden, there’s a commotion in the hallway, and we see that a vampire is in there eating people! Nora whisks her mother away frantically, and it looks like she’s going home after all. Maybe this whole vampire outbreak was all just a plot by Nora’s mother to get out of the nursing home. Yup, that’s definitely it.

This episode was full of information, and leaves our characters at a turning point: Believe the impossible and fight, or hide in your room and cry and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns to try and conjure up the cojones to do something? Seriously, WWBD?










Sound off with your predictions below. And if you can’t wait until next Sunday, check out this awesome behind-the-scenes video, in which the cast discusses the mythology of the show. There are also shots of how they created that disturbingly awesome pilot autopsy scene. Enjoy! #FangsOut



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


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