Photo: Michael Gibson / FX

The Plague Is Here, But Who's Owning It?

So many characters, so many punctured necks; who's doing well in the war against disgusting vampires?

We have ourselves the beginnings of a real plague! Despite the slow-to-action efforts of Ephraim and his new BFF Abraham, the vampire grossness is spreading through an uncertain number of plane victims as well as new people infected through other attacks.

The Strain is still not done introducing new characters as the canvas expands and the entire city becomes a playground for The Master and his bloodsucking followers. Keeping track of them all is not easy, so here's the scorecard for who's winning and losing the war for New York City's soul and blood supply this week.

(Note: not appearing in this episode were Ephraim's estranged family -- oh thank goodness for that -- as well as Gus, his best friend, his druggie brother, and their devout mom.)

  1. Hitler

    We flash back several times to the Holocaust, where The Master was allowed to cause even more misery, killing concentration camp prisoners in their sleep. So, once again, fuck Hitler. Now we can blame vampires on him, too.

  2. Dr. Evanston

    The urologist called in to do a house call to check out Gabriel Bolivar's lack of private parts is sucked of her blood shortly after she arrives.

  3. Mariela Martinez

    Nora's poor mom is likely suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia in the nursing home where she lives. She keeps asking why she can't go home and finally gets her wish when vampires attack. But now she has to live with Nora and that's got to be the worst.

  4. Nora Martinez

    After weirdly and inexplicably bailing last week on the worst human plague she's ever seen, Nora this week finds herself being useless in a whole new way: by dragging her mother into this craziness. On the other hand, she probably saved mom's life.

  5. Jack Noon

    The sleazy clean-up guy who was supposed to neutralize the scene of Gabriel Bolivar's carnage is instead eaten up. Maybe he'll return and serve as his own clean-up guy.

  6. Anne-Marie Barbour

    After last week's episode, it seemed like we were going to have a full-on crazy wildcard character to shake things up and get in the way of Abraham's crusade. Instead, she hung herself on the staircase of her home, rosary in hand, suicide note asking for forgiveness for not being able to go on without her husband Ansel. She will be missed.

  7. Ephraim's Awful Wig

    It's still awful, but not as all-over-the-place as it was when he was being attacked by the airline pilot.

  8. Ansel Barbour

    He gets beheaded and torched by Abraham and nail-gunned and camera-phoned by Ephraim. There are probably worse ways to go, but I can't think of many. At least he got a big meal out of his jerky neighbor first.

  9. Lauretta

    Vasiliy's co-worker at the pest control offices clearly has a crush on him, but she's not so enamored that she can't give him useful information about rats and use the delightful phrase, "Ballsy as you please."

  10. Eldritch Palmer

    He's got a new liver, but won't be able to have any more surgeries because he's basically about as frail as tissue paper. Will he live long enough to become a vampire? It's still not clear, but why would they let him linger on for so long otherwise?

  11. Jim Kent

    Oh, this asshole. Well, Ephraim was ready to write him off, but he redeemed himself just a tiny bit by helping Ephraim escape the CDC office. He seems like he wants to help, and he's regretful about the whole betraying-the-human-race thing, but he's still a weasel.

  12. Everett Barnes

    A spineless CDC bureaucrat, but he's still got enough power to send Ephraim scrambling out of the building when he decides to turn the guy in. He also does not appear to like watching videos on someone else's phone, no matter how important they may be.

  13. Joan Luss

    She's just not feeling well at all, suffering from a sore throat, light sensitivity, horrible red eyes, and a weird feeling she gets when her daughter's neck gets too close. She thinks she can go jogging and feel better, but let's face it, girl needs some blood and soon.

  14. Ruby Wain

    Gabriel Bolivar's manager is absolutely horrified to discover that her client is eating people and is even good enough to cancel his concert. She's also not some helpless coward who's going to hop on a plane and forget this ever happened. She calls in a clean-up guy to fix the situation. Unfortunately, that doesn't go so well.

  15. The Strainees

    Cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers infected with the virus are found by Vasiliy. They are many and they seem pissed off and hungry.

  16. Neeva

    This nanny gets the children the hell away from Joan Luss after seeing her eyes do that weird sideways snake thing. You get the feeling that if Joan did attack all of them, she'd at least put up a good fight.

  17. Ephraim Goodweather

    Ephraim finally did something right by aligning himself with Elderly Bad Motherfucker Abraham Setrakian, but he still looks like a total goof holding his little cell phone camera up while Setrakian does the dirty work. Yeah, yeah, he's gathering "evidence," whatever (dirty pumping hand motion), but to document a plague that could wipe out the human race, couldn't he maybe upgrade to a real video camera? Clearly the CDC no longer trusts Ephraim anymore because as soon as he presents his proof, his former boss narcs him right out.

  18. Thomas Eichorst

    The Master's man doesn't do much this week, but we do see him back during World War II looking exactly the same and not having aged at all, as Abraham has said. It's just great makeup!

  19. Vasiliy Fet

    Vasiliy is still quite the charmer and he's very brave, if a little stupid, for going down into the sewer to see why all the rats in town are acting weird. When he sees that there are actual horrible vampires down there, he manages to get away cleanly.

  20. Gabriel Bolivar

    Of the four initial plane survivors, Gabriel is the only one who's still around and who's been eating regularly. This week, he even gets two rounds of home food delivery! This is the kind of thing that makes New York the greatest city on earth!

  21. Abraham Setrakian

    Abraham is shown, as a young man, going to a concentration camp, where he first witnesses The Master's doings after growing up having heard tales. In the present day, he beheads a few folks on his kill list and introduces Ephraim to his nail gun full of silver nails. He also makes eggs for Ephraim and even cleans the dishes, which is really just a very nice thing to do.

  22. The Master

    The Master is not messing around, even if he needs a benefactor and a box full of soil just to get to New York City. Although you have to wonderful how powerful he is if he had to troll a concentration camp to find victims to eat. Abraham says he strikes at places of hopelessness, which does not speak well of modern-day New York City. But given that the Strainees are dwelling just across the street from the World Trade Center site, it's not. The Master's master (heh) plan appears to be working, if that plan was to cause chaos, misery, and a viral outbreak in New York.

Readers liked this episode
What did you think?