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'The Strain': The best and worst moments from 'Intruders'

Season 2 | Episode 8 | “Intruders” | Aired Aug 30, 2015

On the latest episode of FX’s The Strain, “Intruders,” we continue the desperate search for the ancient Occido Lumen, Gus’ attachment to his new family, and Zach’s long stream of defiance against his father. The episode seemed to be yet another filler. One has to wonder if the quality of the show would benefit from a shorter season. Many fans have suggested that this would be the fix for the sedated plot progression, and the show’s often stagnant and repetitive feel. We have to say, we completely agree. Despite the criticism, though, The Strain never fails to entertain and draw viewers back each week.

Here are some of the best moments from “Intruders,” as well as some moments that left us scratching our heads.

The Good

Kelly finally putting on makeup: It looks like Kelly took our advice and let Eichhorst teach her how to properly apply makeup and facial prosthetics. He’s also schooling her in the art of acting human, which includes controlling her twitchy and erratic movements. I don’t know why they didn’t do this from the beginning, but maybe it was just due to a scheduling conflict. Eichhorst is a busy man. Either way, we’re grateful that we didn’t have to look at Kelly’s terrifying vamp-face for the entirety of the episode.

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Eph and Nora fight off Kelly: The highlight of the episode was Eph and Nora fighting off Kelly in the batcave. After Zach wisely lets Kelly inside (more on that shortly), she starts trying to lure Zach to her by telling him Eph never cared about him. This doesn’t work, because as soon as Kelly and her Feelers start trying to kill Nora and Eph, Zach realizes he may have made a mistake. Whoops!

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May we point out that de-wigging Eph seems to have upped his fighting skills? He did a great job fending off Kelly and her chirping babies. Nora wasn’t half bad either at defending herself, even though we thought for sure she was going to get nicked through the stairs. We would love to assume Zach learned his lesson from this, but you know what they say about assuming … plus, it’s Zach.

Eichhorst and Cardinal Macnamara: Eichhorst truly deserves more screen time on The Strain. Richard Sammel is a brilliant actor and makes Eichhorst one of the more believable and compelling characters on the show. Eldritch Palmer and Setrakian are both duking it out in a bidding war with Cardinal Macnamara over the Occido Lumen. Eichhorst, being the omniscient creature he is, steps in and demands Macnamara tell him where the ancient book is. Macnamara refuses, so Eichhorst infects him so the Master can see his thoughts and figure it out himself. The scene itself wasn’t anything out of this world, but Eichhorst was in it, so it was a win.

Quinlan: If you missed our love letter to Quinlan, we’ll say this again for you: We freaking love Quinlan and he’s the best thing to ever happen to The Strain. He’s compelling, exciting, totally badass, and played by an incredibly talented actor (Rupert Penry-Jones). Plus, his character made last week’s episode arguably the best one since last season’s epic gas-station episode, “Creatures of the Night.”

Quinlan pops up at the Tandoori Palace to recruit Gus for his team. Much like Eichhorst’s scene with Macnamara, there was nothing monumental about his alley chat with Gus, but his mere presence made it memorable and captivating. Let’s just say that if Quinlan is onscreen, we don’t dare get up to refill our wineglass.

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The Bad

Gus’ storyline: Speaking of Gus, his involvement with Angel and the Guptas is perplexing. We understand his fascination with Angel, and maybe he feels responsible for looking out for these people now, but it still doesn’t justify him latching on to them. Our guess is that he’s lonely after losing his mother and is using these people for company and to feel like he has a purpose. That’s all well and good, but then give us a scene showing us that this is his motive for making Tandoori Palace his new hangout. We need something to help us understand this random new relationship.

Gus and Aanya finally kissed in this episode, which would have been sweet if we felt there was any connection between them. And then there was the scene where Gus called Aanya “baby” …

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You know when you’re watching a show, and something so awkward happens that you sincerely feel embarrassed for the character, and you can’t even look at your TV again for a solid two minutes? This was one of those moments. He called a girl whom he just met, and whom he kissed for the first time one minute ago, “baby.” Hopefully, someone else found this as cringeworthy as we did.

Nora’s reaction to Eph’s confession: We want so badly for Nora to be a fierce female character we can root for, so maybe our dislike for this scene is more personal. Eph tells Nora what really happened in Washington, D.C., and she reacts in a calm and understanding way. We wanted her to stand up and tell him what every fan of this show is thinking—that he’s a total ass for gallivanting around in D.C. while Nora was at home trying to keep his vampire ex-wife from killing his son. Never mind the fact that he didn’t come clean about what happened with the assassin Eldritch sent. They are supposed to be in this fight together. We love Nora, but her inability to stand up to Eph is getting frustrating.

Zach making terrible life choices: Our annoyance with Zach Goodweather has nothing to do with the actor and everything to do with what the show is doing to his character. The fact that Zach chooses to let Kelly into the batcave seems like an insult to his intelligence. He’s not five years old, and he’s aware of what these vampires can do. Yes, he’s young and he wants very much for his mom to be okay again, but it still doesn’t mean he’d be dumb enough to open that door for her.

They have to make us like Zach for at least one episode, because right now, no one really cares if he lives or dies. And if no one cares about his fate on the show, then there’s no point at all to the Kelly and the Feelers storyline they’ve been pushing all season long. Someone, please help us like him!

 

What did you think of the latest episode, and are you pleased with how the season is going? Let us know below! Until next time … #FangsOut.

xoxo,

TeamTSD (Liz and Lindi)

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

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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