There’s that old Oscar Wilde truism about how “the gods” punish us by answering our prayers. It applies to life in general and to life in vampire-occupied Brooklyn in particular. In “The Assassin,” the plot-heavy episode of The Strain fans were waiting for, almost every character gets what he or she wants, and it doesn’t end well for anyone.
Eph wants the chance to kill Eldritch Palmer. Setrakian wants the Occido Lumen. The Mayor wants Feraldo to look after the Manhattan elite. Coco wants to know what in the world makes Palmer so secretive about his work.
Well, Eph gets his shot, misses, and gets thrown in jail. Setrakian gets the Occido Lumen and a hard hit to the skull. The Mayor gets Feraldo to move her extermination efforts to the Upper East Side in return for one percent of residents’ income (an unsubtle figure). Coco finds out about Palmer’s netherworldly connections and immediately regrets looking into it.
Last week’s large-scale battle against the Strigoi gets things rolling, but character is doing the bulk of the lifting as The Strain charges towards its second season finale. The fight is followed up with the class warfare sub-subplot. Everything is politics.
Even assassinations are politics and Coco’s looked like an unexpected coup de grace. It was pretty unambiguous before the cut to commercial break, but the swerve into her resurrection didn’t feel cheap in the slightest. Considering her position so close to Palmer it actually makes sense, and we’re rewarded with her shocked look when she discovers the existence of the higher powers that control the Strigoi. I’m just glad we weren’t given a week until we would know her fate (looking at you, True Detective season two).
The Strain is ever so closer to its conclusion this season, and the mileage picked up this week makes up for how stalled last week felt. The show isn’t ending with Eph in his jail cell or Coco bleeding on the street, but it is leaving Dutch in some bizarre Saw-esque imprisonment under Eichorst, and Setrakian is out for the count after stumbling upon the Lumen. Who the hell punched him?
Also, someone please edit New Radicals into Coco waking up in Palmer’s office after coming back to life. It would make my week.