Last week provided some much needed victories for our team of heroes and villains (looking at you Palmer), but in “White Light,” everyone seemed to come up just short, unless you’re Eph and Dutch shippers (Etch doesn’t quite have a ring to it). Still, the combination of character development and action, has the show riding a hot streak.
After three seasons, The Strain has finally found a winning formula. Two weeks in a row, the show has spent quality time providing backstories and flashbacks to fan favorite characters, last week with Fet and this week spotlighting Gus. Of the show’s main characters, Gus has probably been the one most left on his own, even though we know he has a surrogate dad in Angel. In “White Light,” Miguel Gomez gives his best performance to date as he got to shed the tough guy exterior and show real vulnerability.
Speaking of vulnerability, the previous episode was a rare speed bump for Eichhorst, who was down a hand, but he’s back up to no good as “White Light” begins. His new buddy, Sanjay (Cas Anvar) is giving him a demonstration with a dummy, which isn’t acceptable for Eichhorst, he prefers a living subject, prompting him to grab an anonymous assistant (never good to be anonymous on this show) and throwing him up on the assembly line. The young man struggles and tries to get free before having his blood harvested, the only good news for him being that the incinerator isn’t working yet. Sanjay learned his lesson though, considering that the real time that it took on the human subject was longer than the projections.
While one brainchild of Eichhorst is working out the kinks, another seems to be thriving as Gus and Angel make their way to an overcrowded Palmer Foundation’s Freedom Center to have Angel’s gunshot wound treated. Gus is rightly immediately skeptical of some of the clerk’s demands, including filling out forms, giving blood, and providing fingerprints. Everything isn’t all bad there though, we get a tender moment where Gus says of Angel, “This isn’t my father, my father was a coward. This is my guardian angel.” They decide that Gus should head out and Angel will reluctantly meet him at his mother’s house. “It’s my home,” says Guys. “That’s my mom.”
Last week sent us to 1941 Ukraine, while this week it’s 1993 New York City, where we find a beaten and bruised Gus and his mother, Guadalupe. It seems that Gus’ father often takes out his anger on his wife and son, something that Gus’ uncles aren’t willing to accept anymore. “He has a sickness and it’s not going away,” his uncle tells Gus (sounds kind of familiar). His father won’t be a problem anymore as his uncles later return with bloody fists and a message to Gus, “You’re the man in this house now.”
It’s now back to present day Manhattan and it’s time for our weekly meeting between Fet, Setrakian, and Palmer. The old man skips over to his two frenemies, looking more invigorated than ever, clearly last week’s dose of White is doing the trick. Since the last meeting Palmer hasn’t just been sitting around, he has some fresh intel. He passes along information on where to find Cyrus Minow (Jonathan Higgins), the man who wouldn’t let Palmer on his ship. Fet and Setrakian head back to the home base to share the information with Quinlan, who is rightfully skeptical. “I don’t trust the man, but I trust his self-preservation,” says Setrakian. They agree to go after Minow while Quinlan will go give the Ancients an update.
While Fet is busy hunting strigoi accomplices, Eph and his ex-girl Dutch are working closely at his place. The new dynamic duo are listening to Flight 753’s black box. For awhile, it’s just pilots talking about their love woes, before suddenly going quiet, then a loud noise starts blasting through the speakers, shaking the whole room, and strongly affecting Dutch, who passes out before Eph can pull the plug. Looks like it could be three seasons and three basically dead love interests for Eph, but luckily Dutch comes to. There is good news though, Dutch thinks they may have the full recording of The Master and could use it to disrupt his communications. That plan is on hold as she throws up and decides it’s best to rest. Eph soon comes to her aid with soup and a thermometer that he found (don’t worry he washed it!). Some classic flirting ensues, including Eph putting his hand on Dutch’s knee and saying, “I can’t do any of this without you.” TEAM ETCH!
NEXT: Gus must make a difficult choice