The Strain: It's Not for Everyone Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 04, 2014
“It’s Not for Everyone” is more of a story-propelling episode of Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. We literally pick up right where we left off with Eph (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mia Maestro), and Jim (Sean Astin) standing, horrified, over the mutated corpse of Captain Redfern (Jonathan Potts).
After the gang, despite protest from Jim) performs a satisfyingly gross autopsy, we learn that this vampiric parasite manipulates the host body’s organs entirely, until they resemble anything but human. In the light of all this, Jim decides to come clean about allowing the coffin to pass through airport security. Disgusted with their friend, Eph and Nora set off on the bloody trail of finding more infected passengers, beginning with little Emma Arnot (Isabelle Nelisse).
The best moments of story, however, happen at Ansel (Nikolai Witschl) and his wife, Ann-Marie (Alex Paxton-Beesely)’s house. After re-locating the kids safely to an aunt’s, Ann-Marie returns home to find the dog lying ripped to shreds in the backyard and a changed Ansel in the shed, having locked and chained himself inside. We learn that Ann-Marie is very good natured and religious, so it’s an interesting character twist when she feeds her annoying neighbor to her blood-thirsty husband.
Over at Emma Arnot’s house, Eph and Nora are rescued by Abraham (David Bradley), who immediately decapitates Emma and her father (Steven McCarthy). The conflict comes when Nora insists that there has to be another way to cure the strain without killing people and declares that she’d rather die than kill anyone. There is always a character like this in the face of something supernatural, but it seems a little stretched, here. I mean, they had just performed an autopsy on the captain and saw that everything human had been eaten away. So, it seemed a little sudden that Nora should suddenly become so against killing something that is clearly so dangerous to humankind.
There is also more of Gus (Miguel Gomez) in this episode. He returns Abraham’s clock to the pawn shop and, despite constantly breaking the law, acquires and retains audience support. He’s merely another character with a good heart that has done bad things.
Next week’s episode looks like a World War ll flashback with some anxiously awaited backstory on Abraham. Meanwhile, we’re still building on that pesky climax that we already saw. I think I’d like to read the books/comic so I have something in my head to compare and contrast. I almost feel as though I am missing something by watching this story unfold as a series, alone.
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Mania Grade: B
Episode: The Strain: It's Not for Everyone (Season 1, Episode 4)
Starring: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mía Maestro, Alex Paxton-Beesley, Pedro Miguel Arce
Written By: Guillermo del Toro (developer), Chuck Hogan (developer)
Directed By: Keith Gordon