So, it would seem reports of the Master’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
The heroes on tonight’s episode of The Strain, “Gone but Not Forgotten,” learned with certainty their immortal enemy was not done in by Quinlan’s sword during the confrontation on Coney Island — the “crimson worm” at his center simply slithered away in search of a new host after Bolivar’s body was decapitated. It was a message delivered to Quinlan and Setrakian by the ancients (Quinlan did not react well to the news), while Eph discovered the unfortunate truth when the Master used the body of an average strigoi to contact him with a threat against Zack. Bad news all around.
At the outset of the hour, though, things were looking up — at least where Fet stood. He was in a celebratory mood, certain the King Rat had been dispatched, confident the task now was a “proper extermination.” Professor Setrakian wasn’t too gleeful, though, pointing out that without the controlling intelligence of the Master, the strigoi on the streets would simply turn feral. Eph, too, was bitter and depressed as he removed bullets from Quinlan’s body, certain that with the Lumen in the hands of the vampires, the monsters would have no reason to keep Zack alive. Eph finally confessed to Fet and Setrakian that he and the Born had stolen the Lumen to lure the Master to the pier — a revelation that turned Fet’s revelry to anger and prompted Setrakian to ask the epidemiologist to leave.
Dutch, however, was far happier to see Eph after turning up drunk at Fet’s place in Brooklyn (where Eph has made himself at home), explaining she’d lost her friends and her way. Suffering from insomnia, she can rarely rest; when she does dream, it’s of her time in Eichhorst’s dungeon. She tries to offer Eph some support, insisting Zack could very well still be alive, but he’s convinced his son is lost to him forever.
That, of course, is not necessarily the case. His son is still in Kelly’s care, though he doesn’t appear to enjoy the same protection he did previously. He’s very nearly stung by a strigoi before his mother rushes in to save him. As Kelly embraces the boy, an upset Eichhorst appears, insisting they must continue to follow the Master’s plan. He’s determined they will strike back…
NEXT: Where are Detectives Benson and Stabler when you need them?
Meanwhile, Gus and Angel, the newest members of the squads forced to rid Manhattan’s streets of strigoi, are roused by some fairly unkind guards and sent out on their first mission — clearing the tunnels down at One Police Plaza. Gus insists most of the men are not prepared to tackle this sort of assignment, but his arguments fall on deaf ears. Their unit is soon under siege in the tunnels, though Gus and Angel make it out alive. It’s then Justine Feraldo arrives to see exactly what sort of activities the squads are up to (after having been accused of letting chain gangs loose across New York during an ambush interview with a journalist in the episode’s opening moments). She doesn’t appear to be terribly pleased with the operation, but leaves without taking direct action.
Little did Justine know her day was about to get considerably worse. Eichhorst has devised a scheme to use the woman’s staffers against her — first by turning them, and then by implanting explosive devices beneath their skin (hats off to Richard Sammel for his Henry V speech). As part of a coordinated attack, two of the German’s secret agents enter Feraldo’s Command Center without being questioned — they detonate moments later, spraying blood worms everywhere. One crawls into Justine’s eye, but Fet, visiting the center to share word of the Master’s demise, manages to kill the blood worm with UV light.
The suicide bombings likely would come as little surprise to the ancients. When Setrakian and Quinlan visit them to inform the elder vampires the Master is slain, the group — deeply upset the Lumen is not in their possession — points out that if the crimson worm that is the essence of his being has survived, so has the Master. He simply will take another host body and return. Quinlan, furious, lashes out and vows he will never come to see the group again.
Having very narrowly escaped a terrible fate, Justine finds renewed purpose — a moment of “extreme clarity,” as she describes it — which prompts her to visit her reporter nemesis, arrest the woman, and seize her equipment. And just at the hour’s conclusion, Eph gets his own surprise visitor: As he and Dutch set out on a mission to find food and alcohol, a strigoi appears, channeling the voice of the Master. Wild and desperate, Eph demands to know what’s happened to Zack. The monster’s reply?
“He is with me, always with me.”