The Strain- Season 1 Episode 11- 11% Of A Plan!

RatMan is busy building weapons in OldMan’s basement, ’cause vampire apocalypse. Experiments! Make the bangs bigger! Eph’s kid wants to record it, but it doesn’t matter, ’cause the UV flash bomb doesn’t quite work. Eph being an F, acts like a jerk. RatMan cheerfully throws an insult back. RatMan has a sense of humor! Eph doesn’t! Eph’s feelings are hurt, but after a few kind words from RatMan all is well. Surprised Eph didn’t need a hug. OldManFormerlyFrey looks on in fatherly amusement. It’s a beautiful moment of sausage bonding.

Break#1: Subway, Giraffes and finances, Kevin Spacey dances something about retirement planning, then one of the nice inmates from Orange is the New Black talks about how awful PayPal’s security is. Evidently the audience for The Strain are old people’s money and not nitpicking nerds!

best ever ashtrayBack to  OldMan’s house. Nora’s mom, who has dementia, throws things around the kitchen looking for a ashtray that had a lot of sentimental value,  then notes that the OldMan has a dark soul, which surprises… no one.

Gus (remember that guy!?), having escaped from the prison bus, heads home, while wearing the orange prison vest. No one notices! He gets home and smells an awful stench and notices his brother standing there watching a football game. Vampires love football! A fight ensues, human bro kills vampire bro and human bro actually shows some emotion about all that. Take a cue from all that Eph.

Eph and Nora are talking in the basement, he wants to leave Nora behind when they go vampire hunting to look after Zack, in case Eph doesn’t come back. That and he’s a selfish asshole, as Nora notes she’s leaving her mother behind. She says go to hell and starts loading weapons!

RatMan and OldMan head out, with OldMan looking very dapper in a fedora and trench coat. Vampire killing is fashionable work! Fighting evil is not an excuse for not looking good! Plus he’s sentimental! About knives.

Zack begs his dad to come along and kill vampires. ‘Cause really, doesn’t that sound found?! Eph, being a stick in the mud, says no, then proceeds to lock his son into the OldMan’s fortress/house/pawnshop. Lock up kids, Eph is on vampire patrol!

Break 2: AHS: Freak Show looks stylishly great. Trailer for Hector and the Search for Happiness, looks good, Simon Peg stars. Car commercial. Cheesy Taco Bell one about the new dollar menu. Retro looking tattoo artist hawks a non-Apple watch device, so whatev. Geico does a non gecko commercial. More cars, for the Chevy Cruze. Ad for local Lawyer, which features a rapper, ’cause nothing says trustworthy like lawyer with a rapper.

Zack is listening to music! Nora’s mom bugs him about that damn ashtray. Zack tells her to get lost and then gets into the armory and pretends he’s Carl from the Walking dead! Again Nora’s mom bugs him, this time asking for cigarettes. Terrible role model! Meanwhile, the bread delivery truck is rolling around town, passing by busted stores and general low grade pandemonium. More looting! More TVs! Very light those flat screens. Easy to run with. Has anyone told them about the crappy channel variety in an apocalypse? And is there bread in that truck? Is it days old bread? Is it stale?? Is there anything to put on the bread? A turkey club sounds good right now…

Gus tries to call his mom, but there’s no answer. Aren’t phones supposed to be down? Maybe the 2G is up! Analog FTW! He hears banging in a room and finds his vampire mother sleeping. Again he breaks down in tears, ’cause yeah, he’s having a really bad day!

fortress-of-solitude-supermanBack to the Fortress of Pawnitude! (savor that wordplay) Nora’s poor mom is wailing at the gate, begging Zack for the key to be let out. She needs cigs REAL BAD! So Zack decides to go get cigarettes to calm her down. So kind! But not smart. Not like Carl from the Walking Dead. Get back in the pawnshop!

The team heads underground into the subway tunnels, looking for The Master so they can kill him. But not bread, ’cause there’s plenty of that!

Break #3 Trailer for Dracula Untold, ’cause that guy is just misunderstood, see? Another expensive car. Red Lobster is having endless shrimp. Food commercials are odd for a vampire show!  HTC phone makes fun of the iPhone! Now there’s an expensive motorcycle commercial. Then a car insurance commercial. A spot for The Bridge, season finale coming up!

Back to the dark, dank subway tunnels, cause The Master isn’t big on interior design. Lots of sounds of trudging through water and mysterious blue and green lighting from UV lamps!  They come across discarded bits of humanity, cause vampires don’t need wallets, shoes or stuffed animals. Comfort is a uneaten human!

Zack’s on the streets. More looting! People looking for phone signals! Abandoned cop cars! Worst Monday ever!

The team comes across sleeping vampires. They don’t kill them, in hopes of surprising The Master with a special party! Naturally Eph does something stupid, thinking he saw his missing wife Kelly. OldMan says the obvious, “We must keep moving!” Always good in a vampire nest.

Gus packs up supplies and then leaves his now awake vampire mom behind. Can’t kill Mom, even when she’s a bloodsucker! And he’s learning! Sharp is better then blunt aka, grab an axe. Then he chops the head off Mom’s landlord with particular glee. Yay, no more rent! Always look on the bright side, even during the breakdown of society!

Team JLA is still underground on the subway tracks. Subway comes along, not the good kind with weird smelling bread and daily value meals. Now humanity is on the value menu!

Commercial#4: Another awesomely freaky AHS: Freak Show commercial. Expensive car commercial #4892, but this time it has redhead in it. Hilarious Subway spot on exercising based on 19th century farming practices. Smartphone/NFL spot. American Express hawks its App. Funny one about Allstate insurance. Beer, no wait Coors Light, that’s not really beer. Gotham preview! Tomorrow! 5 hour energy drink. Another commercial about. Oh really who cares at this point? Too many breaks.

Eph and RatMan argue! OldMan breaks it up. Vampire steps on the third rail and dies. Mmm, cooked vamp. Eph notes there’s another way to kill them. Ratman notes they can’t haul around an electrical transformer. Zing! No comeback from Eph!

Zack reaches a store as the radio blares the degrading situation. Why is it even on? Two teenagers enter the store. These looters are looking for snacks to eat and trade! Zack runs to avoid them and heads to the basement. Never go in the basement Zack, never! ‘Cause that’s were a vampire girl is sleeping. Or napping ’cause then she disappears as he heads upstairs. He runs into the teenagers, who get distracted by the little girl (who eats them) and then into Gus! The wonder twins activate! Gus tells Zack to split as he heads in to deal with the munching vampire girl. Yay, sharp objects!

gandalf the whiteBack underground as the Fellowship of the UV Lights continues traveling. Eph crawls into tight crawlspace! Given the choice, always crawl through the tiny hole! I’m sensing less then 11% of a plan!!! No one follows ’cause they’re smart or at least not pigheaded stubborn. Eventually he reaches a large room and calls all clear, so the others follow as vampires converge on the entrance to the hole.

Then Eph hears the voice of his ex-wife Kelly (who met the master last week)and of course, leaves the others. Eph is still in love!

Another commercial break, fifth one! I guess FX is behind on their bills? Or the special effects are expensive! Time for an ice cream sandwich and to pet the cats.

RatMan holds off vamps as the others crawl through the tight, dark hole. (go away Freud, I’m not listening!) RatMan gets stuck, vamps follow, but Nora pulls him through just in time, into the large room. No sign of OldMan or Eph, who is still following the voice of his wife. Eventually, Eph finds the Master’s beautifully carved coffin, opens it, digs through dirt, finds nothing. (Not even worms?!) Vampires surround him! The Master crawls across the ceiling, hops down and confronts Eph, tell him he’ll take everything from him, his wife, his son and nice jacket! Everyone else arrives (finally!) and RatMan throws a UV bomb! Na na na na RatMan! TheMaster scampers away!

Back to Zack, the JLA basement and the nice old lady who needs a nicotine patch. Zack slowly creeps on her, calling her. She doesn’t move, her back is too us! Has she been bitten? Is she hungry? Don’t know, but  Zack moves closer! Slowly she turns to the camera. Zack, still not bright, moves closer still! Her face appears and she’s still human, fooled ya! She says thank you and takes the packs of cigarettes. Don’t take up smoking, it’s a bad habit!

the-strain-coffinBack to the  underground cave. The team throws a fits over the botched plan and Eph being a dumbass and wandering off. OldMan takes an axe to the coffin. Clearly a frustrated artist! Then everyone heads out to  continue the hunt. The OldMan is driven, wanting to finish things when they’re so close.  Others say no, as they’ve lost the trail. OldMan fumes, a more and that’s it for this week kids.

It’s great to see the Master is cunning and a bit of a strategist! I’d take that as a sign to gather an army and 100% of a plan. But hey, all that apocalypse adrenaline probably makes it hard to think!

Next week: More vamp hunting and the return of the Vampire Commandoes from however many episodes ago!

Take Aways this week:

Who doesn’t keep a baseball bat by the door? Be prepared people!

Even smart looters wear red shirts.

It bears repeating! Sharp weapons! Very useful!

Don’t take half-tested experimental bombs to a vampire fight!

There’s a Carl in every dystopian show. CAAAAARRRRLL? Where are you?