The Strain returns for Season 3 on August 28 to bring us more vampires skulking around the grim underbelly of New York City. The show has always reveled in straight horror and action but things look grimmer than ever in its third season; according to the previews, the zombie vampires are currently winning the battle in Guillermo del Toro’s FX series.
The show has been entertaining if flawed for the first two seasons, but it has a change to fully nail its third season. A laggy and sometimes muddled Season 2 fully redeemed itself in the finale, so they’ve got a clean slate to make this new season epic.
More Fet All The Time
Look, Fet is the best character on this show. He started off as a surly city exterminator, and took the transition from rats to vampires with remarkable ease. Basically, everything is great when he is going hard killing some vamps. The actor Kevin Durand said that Fet “has a bigger plan of attack, which is not supported by everyone.” We expect to see some shifting alliances and splintering of groups in Season 3, which means Fet might go lone wolf with some batshit plan. Ultimately, it doesn’t quite matter what he’s doing, as long as he’s doing lots of it.
One Big Win
Things look awfully bleak in the season promos. The vampires have fully overrun the city, and the gang has been chasing the Master for two seasons with no luck. They need to score a major victory to keep us engaged, and change the dynamic a little bit. It won’t be the Master, but it would be sweet if the old man Sertrakian finally defeated his lifelong, Nazi-vampire nemesis, Eichhorst. The other option would be if Eph succeeds in assassinating the almost-immortal billionaire, Palmer. Those are the main baddies available to kill off, and our money’s on the former. The payoff would be much more satisfying, due to the characters’ long history.
Eph Goes Off the Rails
The man has plenty of reason to just lose it at this point. The finale saw his son, Zach, captured by the strigoi (at least he won’t be moping so much) and then Nora got infected and killed herself. And just when they were making it work!
Creator Carlton Cuse promised that Nora’s death would send Eph “in a different direction”, and that he would end up teaming up with Dutch. We expect our hero to go fully rogue for at least an episode or two, before he decides to collaborate with anyone again. From the beginning, he’s represented the measured, scientific approach, so it will certainly change up the dynamic if he becomes the reckless one.
Help from Washington
The vampires are firmly in control and the number of heroes is dwindling. The resisting survivors are going to need to get a boost somewhere. We may well see some reinforcements arrive from outside the city. Remember that last season, Nora and Eph went to Washington to plead for help in manufacturing a bioweapon to fight the vampires. Surely that’s got to come up again at some point.
An Explosive Ending
The Strain was initially pitched as lasting three-to-five seasons. It’s already veered significantly from the source material, but has not even touched on events of the final book, The Night Eternal. While we don’t expect the show to follow that book exactly, there is a pretty major plot point involving a nuclear explosion and a vampire takeover. Expect to see something similar in the Season 3 finale. The promos featuring the Statue of Liberty hint at total vampire domination.
Even if the show chooses not to cover that book, the season will still need to make firm progress toward a series conclusion. Season 3 is set to be shorter than the previous ones, at only 10 episodes, so it seems like a sign the showrunners are aiming for a total of four seasons.
The Strain airs on FX on August 28.