The Strain: Gone Smooth Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, July 28, 2014
The Strain's third episode, “Gone Smooth” is filled with yummy details not to be missed by viewers.
In the opening moments, we witness a simply constructed, yet fantastic scene in which Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) carefully constructs his own face in front of a mirror. It's not only wonderfully and satisfyingly creepy, but a fun contradiction to what we have been seeing, thus far. While all the other characters are deteriorating, he is putting himself together.
There is also a lot more interest brewing in Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand), who, unlike the big-shots, seems as though he will end up on the street level of whatever is about to hit the fan. His character seems so randomly inserted, yet is somehow so appealing. I can't wait to see what happens with this guy. With all those rats headed for the river, we know something big is afoot. We're also given a reason for Jim (Sean Astin) letting the cargo van through airport security; of course, his wife is dying and he needs money. For me, the real heart in the episode comes from Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Meastro) genuinely trying to care for the doomed plane's Captain Redfern (Jonathan Potts) as he lies in the hospital being overtaken by those icky little worms.
Despite still not reaching the big eclipse form the series trailer, there are still some wonderfully unsettling moments of increasing infection. The nastiest of these is when Gabe (Jack Kesy) turns into a human Ken doll during a blood-spattered bathroom scene, only perplexing us even further as to what the hell is going on with this crazy parasite/vampirism.
At least Nora FINALLY has the sense to seek out Abraham (David Bradley), who pretty much tells her she's useless unless she grasps the full gravity of what is going on. Sadly, it takes poor Captain Redfern going full, hungry undead on Nora, Eph, and Jim to give our lead characters their first, real glimpse into the “virus” they're dealing with. Meanwhile, it looks as though Abraham is about to set out on his own to deal with these creatures he seems so experienced with... and we can't wait.
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Mania Grade: A
Episode: Gone Smooth (Season 1, Episode 3)
Starring: Corey Stoll, Matthew Bennett, David Bradley, Katy Breier, Melanie Merkosky, Sean Astin
Written By: Guillermo del Toro (developer), Chuck Hogan (developer)
Directed By: David Semel