The Strain-Season 1 Episode 13-Party with The Master!

Season 1 finale time! A newly young(ish) and certainly more tan, Palmer enters the now deserted Fortress of Pawnitude, with his assistant Fitzwillaims. Both look very dapper as they examine the rooms. Palmer wants everything boxed up, except the headless body of Nora’s mom, though it would help the decor in his office. As boring as that is. Also! He wants extra care taken for the heart in the jar, because it really brings out the color in a room!

Oldman's Dapper DraculaThe Old German comes from the shadows (have to get me some of those quiet shoes) and welcomes Palmer back to being able to walk around. Tells him that he will not be vampire, since he got “the white” but not a worm. Palmer gets a little pissy about not being immortal. ‘Cause promises! The German calms him down, saying it’s another test for the Master. He doesn’t let just anyone into the inner circle!

Commercials! Smart move, advertising Dracula Untold. Bad move actually making the movie. Also, buy a car for your iPhone!

Flashback to Eph’s cute son getting a bike while his lovely wife records it on an iPhone. Product placement? (It’s not even a 6!) Then Zack wakes up to gunshots in an unknown house. Cut to downstairs of said mysterious house, where Eph, OldMan and Ratman discuss plans, the Master and what kind of coffee really perks you up during the Zompocalypse. Eph makes a suggestion, OldMan agrees it’s good and Ratman wittily notes they’re in love. Zack joins them and asks when they’re going back home. Zack is no Carl! Ratman tells him there’s no going back home. Eph gets pissy about the truth, OldGuy cautions against hiding the truth and Ratman notes the end of the Honeymoon. He’s done standup!

Meanwhile, Gus is tied up in a chair, mask over his head. Is this that kinda show? Our favorite vampire squad has him! The lead Spec Ops Vamp walks in and takes off the mask. Maybe he’ll be eating Mexican tonight? Nope, Vamp Commander (Vommander?) cuts Gus loose from the chair (why tie him up?), Gus attacks, gets smacked down and then invited him to go for walk down a long hallway. Seriously? What is it with New York City and the huge labyrinth underneath? Do they sell maps of that?

Over to Palmer’s office in his large tower! He’s redecorating, putting the heart in a glass on a shelf, getting comfortable. He demands to speak with the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and to bring her to him. Fitzwilliams says no, he’s had enough, not of vampires running around, just of Palmer looking so young and fresh. A Fitzwilliam redeemed arc starts now! He turns in his resignation letter and splits, as Palmer taunts about not knowing what he’ll do without Palmer’s protection. Fitzwilliams keeps walking. Do spines come in breakfast cereal, ’cause he found the toy prize!

Eph and Ratman are on the streets in daylight, looking for one of the four survivors from the plane. Remember them? Anyway, they’re looking for the Marilyn Manson lookalike who said he lived in part of town they’re walking through. They think the Master might be holed up with him. Because he’s art and music lover? Ratman uses some of his exterminator history to find a hidden tunnel in a certain building. Naturally they decide to check it out themselves, with few weapons and not backup. Yeah, it’s that kinda party!

Anyway, they searching through secret tunnel and you know when you leave the secret back door open, other people can find it. Ah ha, The Coffin! Baby vamps too! who do a terrible job of noticing people in the lair. Why is good help so hard to find? Eph and Rats head back out to bring the others, for a final trench run against the Master. While leaving, Rats starts pulling up manhole covers so that more vamps can’t reach the Master’s camping spot before the full team returns.

More commercials. Buy a damn car already, sheesh! No, no buy some tacos instead? A phone? SOMETHING!

Eph youBack to the new mysterious house. HackerGirl is doing something and drinking. She tries to share the booze, but Eph just dumps it out on some plants and tells her to get back to work. Oh sure, kill helpless plants for no reason!

Meanwhile, Nora’s up on the roof, feeling down about her Mom’s beheading. She tells Eph to keep Zack close, even when they’re out fighting, it’s the only way to protect him. By bringing him vampire hunting. Father and son bonding moments ahead!

Political intrigue time! Cut to the Health and Human Secretary trying to make plans with her assistant (who is/was Eph’s boss at the CDC) to save New York. Palmer and the German enter and ask for her to stop. ‘Cause evil! Palmer asks to talk with Madam Secretary privately, out on the balcony. Meanwhile, the German and the Secretary’s assistant, er red shirt, make small talk. Then Palmer throws the Secretary off the balcony. Boring conversation anyway! The assistant gets a promotion and decides to side with this new political party. Vampublicans? Vemocrats? Vampocrats!

Commercial break! Tv previews! Why isn’t Jimmy Smits in more things???

OldGuy and Eph talk to Zack! They give him a bad ass silver sword and begin teaching the ‘lil samurai about how to kiill vampires. Best party ever! This is like the birds and the bees talk last month. Only pointier.

The team forms up near the secret tunnel to the Master’s Lair (why do we have to type sentences like that?) and OldGuy gives pep talk that amounts to “Kill the Master”. Good plan! Anyway, they enter the tunnels, encounter a horde of vamps held up by the sunlight of uncovered sewer entrances. Ratman whips out some dynamite he picked up from home (why didn’t they hide at his house?) and tosses it at the horde. This kills them and any hope of sneaking up on the Master! Guys, you gotta plan this stuff!

Guess what happens next? Commercials!

Party in the lair! Vamps attack, team kills vamps, rinse and repeat. HackerGirl recognizes an old friend who’s been turned and flips out a bit, but it’s all good. Eph and Zack head upstairs to do more damage, then kill a vampire that looks like Kelly. But it isn’t! Then the German arrives and it turns into a real party. Marilyn Manson too! But he has no backup singers and gets his ass handed to him.

Old Guy heads out on his own to kill the Master, ’cause he’s “smart”. He finds him, then gets taunted by him. The rest of the the team arrives in the room full of covered windows and starts breaking windows to let in the light. The Master gets injured! In the other room, the German gets injured! The Master gets tossed out the window into daylight. He gets a really bad suntan! The other vampires begin to withdraw, feeling his pain. Victory is near! OldGuy goes to finish him off, pauses a bit and then the Master runs down the building and escapes!

Turns out sunlight doesn’t kill the Master, just hurts him really bad. Oops. Someone should have discovered that in their decades of hunting the Master, eh? Good recon work there OldGuy.

The rest of the team comes from the party room and inquires if
the ancient that has taken over New York has been destroyed and get bad news.

Commercials!

gusGus and the Special Ops Vampire discuss things! Gus discusses transporting a certain box/coffin/tiny house to Manhattan and how it cost him everything. The Vommander suggests that vengeance  would be. So helpful! Gus agrees and then runs off. Damn it Gus, quit being so hardheaded! He runs straight into a weird ass room of really old vampires.  Vommander says they’re some secret ancient council who are very important, scouts honor, but for the moment just sleeping and dreaming.

Vommander tries to recruit Gus, saying he’ll get revenge and a rich payoff. Also mentions that an ancient truce has been broken. Infighting among the vampires? Whatever, Gus appears happy to killing vamps and getting paid. Hey, a guy’s gotta eat!

The team piles into the bread van and head to Ratman’s apartment for some shawarma. Along the way, Zack start wheezing and we suddenly learn he has asthma. Pitstop at Eph’s house! They find asthma meds, then Zack looks for photo albums. Oh, he wasn’t having an attack, just wanted memories! Naturally Kelly, the turned ex-wife appears. Eph goes to shoot her, Zack gets so very tearful and Eph can’t bring himself to kill the vampire turned mother of his son right in front of him. Carl wouldn’t mind. Anyway winds up halfheartedly hitting her in the arm, which makes Velly wander off.

The gunshot brings the rest of the team into the house, then the OldGuy warns Eph about Velly coming back, saying the Master will use her against the team, against Eph and against Zack. Eph pours himself a manly drink and takes a manly swig and says “Let him try”. It doesn’t sound very manly!

Everyone piles back into the van. OldGuy laments how the world has changed over the past week, as we pan out to see New York burning. Not a good landscaping job!

Admittedly, we have mixed feelings about this episode. There’s that annoying horror trope moment of the good guy about to kill the bad guy, but then pausing to ponder and look out the window so the bad guy can get away. Yes, yes, we need plot and story but it was a bit frustrating. However, we love the glimpse of all new plotlines arising! Vampire politics, other really old vampires! The Vommander recruiting Gus! Fitzwilliams growing a set and defying the Man. We look forwarding to seeing where this develops next season!

Things We Learned:

Always be sure of your enemies weakness. Especially if you’re hunting him for decades.

The other side of that coin, know your own weaknesses and don’t be an Ephing ass about them.

Zack has plot asthma!

Ratman missed his calling as a standup comedian.

Gus is vary hardheaded.

Quit looking out the window!

That’s wrap folks, season 1 is over. See you in 2015!