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'The Strain' season one refresh: Get ready for season two

Last year we recapped The Stain‘s first season, created by horror genius Guillermo del Toro. The show lived up to the hype (in our opinion) and brought the right amount of terror, mythology, and—of course—vampires. Season two premieres in a few weeks on July 12, and to get you ready, we put together a quick refresh of what (we think) are the most important things to remember from season one.

Spoilers ahead, if you aren’t completely caught up!

New York City has turned into a zompire zone. The Master has turned a large part of the population of New York City into zompires (our affectionate term for the vampires in this series, since they have zombie-like qualities), and lead character Eph’s (Corey Stoll) wife, Kelly (Natalie Brown), is one of them. She’s camped out underneath a tunnel in New York City, along with hundreds of other citizens who were infected with the Master’s “love worms.” You know, the worms that crawl underneath skin to transform you into one of the Master’s zompire minions. Here’s a cringeworthy GIF to jog your memory:









Eph has been doing the horizontal mambo with his coworker Nora (Mía Maestro), but they’ve been on the rocks the last couple episodes of season one. Her mom died in a zompire attack, and she had a couple of breakdowns. She’s started to buck up a little, though, realizing that she’s going to have to do some monster-slaying in order to save the city from succumbing to the Master. We’re hoping to see some fierce female action in season two.

Vasiliy is a boss: This character absolutely rules. Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) is a New York City rat exterminator, and also happens to be a very skilled architect—which has proven to be helpful, as he and the rest of the Scooby Gang scour the city for the Master’s whereabouts to devise a plan to bring him down. He’s basically the Daryl Dixon of the show—this guy couldn’t get any cooler.









No, Vasiliy, you are.

The Master is straight-up terrifying—and can speak with his mind. We learned that the Master can speak to those he has turned into a zompire with his mind, luring them to the next steps of his ultimate evil plan. In the first few scenes with the Master, we only saw him cloaked behind his Grim Reaper–esque getup, but his monster face was ultimately revealed. While we love this show, we must say the reveal of his face was a bit of a letdown. We appreciate the homage to classic horror film, but to us, this looked more like the mask our fifth-grade teacher wore to our elementary school haunted house.











Zompires on Zompires on … vampires? One of the most memorable and entertaining scenes from the show was when the armed—and eerily humanistic—vampires appear and hunt the newly turned zompires the Master created. These guys get the classic vampire title from us, as they are extremely articulate and have their own agenda. We learned that the Master is one of four “Masters” of an ancient vampire culture. The Master apparently didn’t like being one of four in power, and decided to branch off and start his own world apocalypse. As you can imagine, the rest of the crew wasn’t down with that, and they sent their army of smart vampires after him. We left off with the smart vampires luring in Gus (Miguel Gomez) to help them track down the Master and stop his plan. Gus worked for the old rich guy—Eldi—so he has some information that could be helpful to the smart vampires. They also need eyes and ears during the daytime. Double also, he’s super-hot:









Gus’ end of the deal isn’t too bad either. He gets revenge on the Master for killing his best friend, plus a big payday. Go Gus!

Thomas sucks. The Master’s right-hand man, Thomas (Richard Sammel), initially hired Gus to pick up the Master’s coffin (Gus obviously didn’t know he was picking up a zompire king) and bring it into the city—catapulting the apocalyptic events. Thomas is unlike the other human-like vampires against him, and has no regard for the vampire code or culture. He just wants to see the Master take over the world and do creepy things like this:










Old-man Eldi. Eldritch is an old, wealthy, ill man trying to beat death. He got mixed up with the Master and struck a deal with him in an effort to save his life. Since Eldi has resources at his disposable with his massive fortune, he hired one of the best hackers in the city—Dutch. Dutch brought down the power of the entire city, allowing the Master to send his zompire army out to infect more people. Thomas works at Eldi’s side, making sure all of the Master’s plans are executed accordingly.

Old-man Eldi is also impatient. Eldi got a little antsy toward the end of the first season, begging Thomas to take him to the Master to be turned into an eternal creature of the night. When Thomas finally takes him to the Master, Eldi pretty much craps his pants in terror. The Master feeds him one of his worms, but it only cures Eldi from his sickness and doesn’t change him into a zompire. We aren’t sure how the mythology of this works, but Eldi should consider himself lucky. Has he seen what those zompires look like? They have worms crawling all over their body and walk around like mindless monsters. Oh yeah, and they grow a snake in their throat called a proboscis—see the appetizing GIF of Thomas above for reference. Thomas tells Eldi that he’s going to be on the Master’s varsity team with him, but he has to prove himself first. So what does Eldi do? He throws the Secretary of Health and Human Services off a roof. Watch out, Thomas: It looks like someone’s vying to be Captain.

Abe’s revenge. Long story short, old man Abraham (David Bradley) deserves revenge more than anyone. As a young man, he was in a concentration camp during World War II, and that’s where he first came across the Master. Thomas played a Nazi at this time and basically used Abe as a slave to carve the Master’s coffin. Abe also got his hand smashed after completing the task. Abe eventually escaped the concentration camp, but the Master found him and murdered his wife. He now lives in New York City, runs a pawn shop, and is probably humanity’s last hope. He also has a badass sword that we believe can decapitate and kill the Master. Go, old sword-yielding dudes!

The ultimate showdown. The Scooby Gang had a showdown at a theater where Gabe Bolivar performed his last show—he’s the rock star who infamously lost his downstairs mix-up last season:










The Master, Abe, Eph, and Zach (Eph’s son, played by Max Charles) corner the Master in the theater and shatter all of the windows around them in an effort to burn him alive with sunlight. Instead, the Master escapes while screeching from the pain of the sun. We are left knowing that the sunlight can weaken the Master—but it can’t kill him.

What are your predictions for season two? Check out the trailer and leave your thoughts below!


Liz and Lindi (TeamTSD)

The Strain season two premieres Sunday on FX at 10 p.m.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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