The Strain: Creatures of the Night Review (Mania.com)

By:Kimberly McCall
Review Date: Monday, September 01, 2014
Source: Mania.com

Okay. Those of us who never read the book or comic all had the same question about last week's The Strain: Who the hell were those guys in the hoods? For me, as one who desperately wanted to love Guillermo del Toro's series, but felt kind of “meh” about it, this weird and creepy hook definitely improved my interest.his week on “Creatures of the Night”,  the cast used the word, “Vampire” for the first time. 

In the middle of a rapidly infected New York, Eph (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mia Maestro), Abraham (David Bradley), and Jim (Sean Astin) sneak into a warehouse in search of UV lights where they are interrupted by Vasilly Fet (Kevin Durand). The rat catcher shares his experiences in the tunnels with Abraham and it's a glorious meeting of two different perspectives on the problem at hand. These two men unite well, as they are forced to “exterminate” a few creatures out in the open.  Unlike the others, Vasilly trusts Abraham immediately and relies on his guidance as the crew gets stranded in a gas station convenience store .

This 30 Days of Night/ The Walking Dead type episode also brings Eltratch Palmer's (Jonathan Hyde) computer hacker, Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas),  back into the picture as she ends up stranded with the others as they attempt to escape the undead surrounded store. This seems to be the moment where are these characters finally and fully accept what is happening around them. More harsh reality his as Jim is cut and becomes infected, which Eph takes care of with a box cutter. This gesture helps restore their bruised relationship. 

As the group scrambles to assemble an army of UV lights to aid their escape, Abraham puts his faith in Vassily to get them all safely out of the convenience store and past the creatures. This is huge as we haven't seen the old man rely on any other person since all this has happened.  Everything seems a go for escape, until another little worm appears in Jim's face. The story's coward finally redeems himself by asking his friends to kill him; only it's Vasilly who accepts the request, thus killing off the (arguably) most recognizable actor in the series. The episode ends in a flames as the group dowses the creatures in gasoline and escapes in a truck, leaving everything to burn.

On one hand, if you were looking for answers about the hooded characters from last week's Strain, you're not going to get them. I think we've all learned this story moves slowly. On the other hand, “Creatures of the Night” was a great episode with some of the most enjoyable character interacting we've seen so far.  Since the series has already been renewed for a second season, the story can take its time. I can safely say I'm looking forward to see what comes next.


Mania Grade: A
Episode: Creatures of the Night (Season 1, Episode 8)
Starring: Corey Stoll, Mía Maestro, Sean Astin, David Bradley
Written By: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Characters)
Edited By: Sarah Boyd
Network: FX
Studio: Mirada
Series: