The Strain: Occultation Review -

The Strain Review

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  • Episode: Occultation (Season 1, Episode 6)
  • Starring: Corey Stoll, Mía Maestro, Sean Astin, Anne Betancourt
  • Written By: Guillermo del Toro (creator), Chuck Hogan (creator)
  • Directed By: Peter Weller
  • Network: FX
  • Studio: Mirada
  • Series:

The Strain: Occultation Review

Still waiting...

By Kimberly McCall     August 18, 2014

Well, the good news is that the story has finally caught up to the series trailer. Sort of. The eclipse is beginning and all Hell is starting to break loose in Manhattan. I must admit that despite my ongoing confusion about whether or not I’m actually enjoying The Strain, “Occultation” was a pretty decent episode.

Directed by Peter Weller, the opening scene grabs our attention with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) again treating us to his true form while displaying some quality subdued evil.  As the darkness descends, other infected are cutting loose in the city streets, but The Master is still nowhere to be seen.

There is also some delicious character development this week beginning with Kevin Durand’s Vasiliy Fet. At this point, we all know what he’s seen underground and we follow him from his now vampire ridden pest control office to the apartment of his estranged parents, whom he hasn’t seen in two years. In this heartfelt scene, Vasiliy begs them to leave the city and we learn that the badass rat catcher was once an honored architecture student who changed direction, ruining his relationship with his father.  Despite the plea to his parents, it seems clear that Vasiliy has no intention of trying to make an escape. Perhaps his talent for architecture is a bit of foreshadowing?

Meanwhile, Eph (Corey Stoll) is finally captured by the FBI after being ratted out by Kelly (Natalie Brown)’s new boyfriend (Drew Nelson). Same deal, Eph begs them all to get out safely. Of course, no one listens and Kelly and Zach (Ben Hyland) prepare to watch the impending eclipse. Eph manages to escape custody only after both FBI agents are taken out by infected creatures in the streets. He heads for the pawn shop and finds Abraham (David Bradley) and Nora (Mia Maestro), who has brought her slightly senile mother (Anne Betancourt) there for safety.  The “hero” team seems to be assembling.

Despite the quality material in this particular episode, I just keep waiting for my first “wow” moment of the series. I think for The Strain to be a television success, it had to grab people from the start and not let go. Instead, we’re all still waiting to be grabbed.

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MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 8/18/2014 3:58:48 PM

 I've been grabbed from the get go. Don't know what the reviewer is waiting for. Its's a well done show.

Butchman 8/18/2014 4:30:38 PM

 I was grabbed from the first episode but thought this was actually one of the weaker episodes... the whole FBi scene was especially weak.

Newdude718 8/18/2014 5:14:27 PM

 I'm so confused at how the reviewer has graded the show and bashed it. This is a straight A series I have not seen one episode I did not like.  I literally hate watching the end of the show cause I wanna see more 

rkngl 8/18/2014 5:59:53 PM
They seem to be doing it right. They are following the comic but, at the same time, creating their own scenes and threads. Some of the best lines were kept, (Now you show up!).

Of course, what works in a comic doesn't work in a tv show. (In the comic, Eph's escape from the FBI and Felix's infection would be somewhat unbelievable for a TV show.) And if they keep playing it right, the Master will only appear on the last episode, the final showdown (at least, that's what's on IMDB). Next episode seems to be another set of flash backs, and the next one is Assault on Precinct 13 in strigoi mode.

And they seem to have introduced another main character from the comic, although he plays a minor part in this episode. But I want to see him punching strigoi's in the face when hell breaks loose! Now, will Fet, Gus, and the nigerian dudes from the chop shop, join the team please?

And will they bring the other characters from the comic as well (I am talking about the stranger ones, those who read the comic know who I am talking about)? Because they haven't yet explained the Master's origin and it's relation to Setrakian. And why this is all happening now. And why four were kept alive...

Maybe the best episode so far, but the show will only heat up when the crap hits the fan and the hunt begins next episode! There are seven episodes to go, according to IMDB, and they seem to be following the first comic book. Which means the second will be saved for a second season. In the mean time, I am waiting for the third book to come out.

makabriel 8/19/2014 5:10:33 AM

 So there's a book, comic and TV show..  I'm reading the book now and so far the pacing is very different.





ryanwareham 8/19/2014 6:04:57 AM

as someone who started reading the books Because of the show, each episode has had WOW moments for me.

i'm now about 30% of the way through the first book (actually just finished the occulation bit in the book) and while the book is leaps and bounds ahead in some areas, don't let your knowledge of future events and pacing of a tv show detract that for many, it is delivering the goods each week.

DarkLloyd 8/19/2014 8:09:12 AM

 Yes. It is Very off pace from the books. Just as the comics are Very off pace from the books. But regardless this is a great show for me. 
I've read the books and gotten the comic series, so far, I just really dig the world. 
But, I really am jarred by the pacing. the weekly format and the cliffhanger ends just break the tension for me. That is the main reason I like Books so much, nothing breaks the momentum but you.

Even so I like the show and can't wait to catch it every week. I also like the little new bits they've added.

Also they must be doing something right, last time I heard they were number 3 in the weeklys for veiwership.

P.S. This not allowing quotes bullshit needs to end.


ryanwareham 8/19/2014 8:48:40 AM

@Lloyd: im happy enough just able to post again...quoting seems so far removed from the equation that its honestly a sad state

jdiggitty 8/19/2014 9:38:46 AM

 Does Keven Durand look incredibly odd in this show to anyone else? Like they colored his hair with shoe polish or something?

aegrant 8/19/2014 11:20:41 AM

 I read the books a while ago so some of the things that are happening in the show seemed to happen earlier in the book - like Gus getting arrested. but i do like this show so far. I saw a tweet saying that it has approved for a second season on FX.

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