For a show filled with creatures of the night, The Strain has kept to the daylight a surprising amount in recent episodes. Not only that, but it’s forsaken some of the more simple horrors of season 1 for its more grandiose scale in season 2. (And no, repeated vomiting of worms DOES NOT count as scary.)
But “Dead End” dialed up the show’s tendency toward horror, pulling from monster movies, torture porn, and a few other subgenres for an episode that had some surprisingly dark undertones.
Unfortunately, The Strain’s means of doing so is to put Dutch in a somewhat damsel-in-distress-esque situation, even if she is instrumental in conducting her own escape. As glimpsed at the end of “The Assassin,” Eichhorst has her locked up, a chained collar around her neck, in a hotel room. And by way of a cop, we realize his intentions for her. He forces the policeman to down a bottle of alcohol so that when he sucks out his blood, Eichhorst has made a living cocktail for tonight’s feast.
And he intends to do the same to Dutch, albeit in a perversely sexualized way. He forces her to eat some pineapple for exactly the reasons you may be assuming. He wants to sweeten her up, and though Dutch knows he might not exactly be packing downstairs what with being a reanimated vampire and all, he has other, vile, means of killing.
Eichhorst essentially means to rape Dutch with his stinger, forcibly applying lipstick to her mouth and then demanding she remove her pants. Eichhorst crouches, preparing for one despicably gross act before Dutch turns around and shoots most of a bottle of pepper spray in his face. It temporarily subdues her attacker, and burns a bit of his precious painted face off, allowing Dutch to grab the keys and free herself from this hellish nightmare.
And Eichhorst’s reasons for doing it seem to boil down to the clichéd reason of a lost love, one that came about just as he joined the Nazi party. Before being second-in-command to a powerful supernatural being, Eichhorst was a meek door-to-door salesman who wasn’t particularly good at his job.
What kept him going, however, seems to be the opportunity to see a secretary at work every day. Eichhorst is quite taken with Helga, who tries to bolster his spirits one day after a demoralizing speech from his boss in front of the entire office. He is so smitten that he asks her out to dinner on the spot, but the romantic if awkward night turns south when a Nazi party member stands up in the middle of the restaurant to give a speech.
He points around the room, saying Germany needs people to stand up and protect it. People like you, you, and yes, you Eichhorst. He’s of course taken with the idea, proselytizing about how wunderbar the speech was on the walk home. Helga disagrees, and is shocked with how Eichhorst speaks of the Jews. It’s made all the worse when she reveals she and her family are Jewish, and Eichhorst scrambles to keep her around. He obviously didn’t mean her and her family. Hitler is cool with that kind of Jew! He just hates all the other Jewish people outside of Germany who Eichhorst doesn’t happen to have a massive crush on. Just a misunderstanding, he tries to argue, but Helga sees she was wrong about him. He’s not destined for greatness. He’s right where he belongs.
NEXT: Eichhorst’s descent begins.