The Strain: The Box Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Okay, so we all know the box made its way safely into the city. Meanwhile, the four plane survivors are released, in a sea of media hell, while still showing symptoms, vampiric symptoms. And, of course, all the “dead” corpses in the morgue have gone missing. Honestly (if you can believe it), all the artery sucking takes a back seat to some serious character development in The Strain's second episode entitled, “The Box”.
Directed by David Semel (American Horror Story; Beverly Hills 90210), “The Box” takes us further into Ef Goodweather (Corey Stoll)'s private life as he has to deal with his divorce and custody battle, not to mention AA meetings. We also visit Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley in jail and learn that that heart we was feeding, last episode, belonged to a woman whom he failed to save. At the end, we witness the old and mysterious Eldritch Palmer (Johnathan Hyde) finally getting to meet this...character he had arranged to have been flown over from Europe in a giant box of soil. However, we, the audience, still don't quite get that good a look.
We are now two episodes into del Toro's The Strain and I have to wonder when the series is going to catch up to its trailers. The big eclipse over New York City? We all already know it's coming. Perhaps the buildup would be more enjoyable if we'd all been kept in the dark about the impending large event. It's almost as though the previews gave us too much of a spoiler. They should have hit us with that by now so no one would know what to expect next. Or, are these events commonly known from the book trilogy and they're just filling the rest of us in?
I'm trying to not be preoccupied and enjoy the character building as it happens. I'm really curious how Kevin Durad's Vasiliy Fet develops. I'm sure there is something to this series worth waiting for. We'd all be disappointed if it were just another vampire/deadly virus storyline. Guillermo del Toro is an artist that usually delivers in the new and the different. I'm not giving up on him yet.
Follow Mania on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest genre news and reviews.
Mania Grade: B-
Episode: The Box (Season 1, Episode 2)
Starring: David Bradley, Robin Atkin Downes, Ali Momen
Written By: Guillermo del Toro (developer), Chuck Hogan (developer)
Directed By: David Semel