The Strain: Runaways Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 11, 2014
Well, looks like Gabe (Jack Kesy)'s concert is officially cancelled since he fed on his emergency urologist... and the guy sent to clean up the mess. Such is the start of “Runaways”.
Meanwhile, Eph (Corey Stoll) gets some quality sit-down time with Abraham (David Bradley) over omelets and we all get a little history on the mysterious "Master" and gruesome virus. He recalls faerie stories of ancient evil when he was young and taken prisoner by the Nazis. Of course, Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) is in pulling rank and a young Abraham (Jim Watson) witnesses others in the camp being picked off one by one by a cloaked creature.
The flashback continues to cut in and out while Abraham confesses his plan to exterminate the infected and combat the rudimentary blood sucking army. These scenes only nail home the point that David Bradley is the real star of this series. His character and acting outshine all the others... well, except maybe Richard Sammel. Honestly, if The Strain were just a story revolving around the two of them, I'd be thrilled,
Luckily, Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand) makes another appearance as all the rats in the city seem to be jumping ship. He decides to explore the Manhattan underground to see what's shaking things up. What he finds living beneath the streets is something right out of I Am Legend. So far, he's hit more of a jackpot than any other character since, up until now, we've only followed the four surviving infected.
I guess now it's safe to say the action has started. Infected are starting to spring up around the city and Eph is finally presenting the larger case to the higher-ups, who, of course, try to contain him as he fights for a city wide quarantine...
...and just like that, this week's chapter ends with Eph on the run from the law and that same damn pending eclipse.
Honestly, this was a decent episode, but I still just don't feel The Strain taking hold of me like I so hoped it would. I continue to think my satisfaction might lie in the book or comic. I keep wondering if this is actually a really great story trying to peek through the crowd pleasing predictability. Meanwhile, there is still some good character acting to watch. Maybe these scattered pieces will turn into a decent puzzle if I keep tuning in.
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Mania Grade: B
Episode: Runaways (Season 1, Episode 5)
Starring: Corey Stoll, Mía Maestro, Pedro Miguel Arce, David Bradley, Kevin Durand
Written By: Guillermo del Toro (developer), Chuck Hogan (developer)
Directed By: Peter Weller