It’s safe to say things did not go according to plan on tonight’s episode of The Strain. Titled “The Battle of Central Park,” the hour chronicled what was supposed to have been a decisive blow against the vampires in the continued quest to wrest back control of Manhattan. There’s no question the humans did score some small victories against their supernatural opponents, but by the installment’s conclusion, the vampires still appeared to have the upper hand (well, except maybe for Eichhorst…).
The plan to secure Central Park seemed sound enough — if not entirely fair to the sweep teams conscripted into service against their will. Those teams, whose ranks now include Gus and Angel, were to clear the tunnels beneath the park leading to the massive nest of strigoi Fet had discovered. Police battalions would then wait above ground to further secure the area. It would be up to Fet to make it all the way to the nest before sundown and detonate a bomb filled with silver powder that would wipe out the sleeping strigoi. Fet’s partner? Kate Rogers, the woman from the bar he hooked up with a couple of episodes back, whom he was surprised to learn was the police captain assigned to escort him underground.
Having learned about the mission when Fet stopped by his old place in Red Hook to pick up some extra supplies, Dutch and Eph head to the scene the morning of the raid, setting up a makeshift research station close by the action in the hopes of capturing more data for their strigoi communications studies. Little did Eph know Zack was in the tunnels, dreaming of spending a day in the sun with his dad (instead, he’s gifted his own feeler by Kelly and Eichhorst…just what every boy wants).
The action kicks off at 5 a.m. Gus, Angel, and their fellow “convicts” — a group that now includes a young woman named Maria — are ordered to clear the tunnels with the promise that if they fight bravely, they’ll receive pardons. Angel believes the offer was made simply because no one is expected to survive. Naturally, Gus and Angel come out of the first fight unscathed. Venturing forward, the larger group arrives at a chamber where Maria is sent to clear a tunnel alone, even though Angel offers to go in her place. When the guards draw their weapons and try to force her to follow their order, Gus and Angel seize the moment as an opportunity to seize some power of their own. Gus holds one guard at gunpoint and Angel trains a weapon on her partner. Despite Gus’ best efforts, the situation escalates quickly — soon, both guards are dead, and the group is attempting to find its way back toward the surface.
NEXT: The humans enjoy a short-lived victory