Shane Mahood/FX
August 06, 2017 at 11:00 PM EDT

The Strain

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
David Bradley, Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro
Drama, Horror, Thriller
We gave it a B-

It’s a strange decision for this show to enter its last season, which consists of only 10 episodes, and almost completely separate the entire cast and have everyone not named Corey Stoll only appear in alternating episodes. And, in the case of David Bradley, to have Setrakian solely appear briefly in flashbacks or dreams. Arya Stark posing as him can’t take up that much time.

That being said, “New Horizons” marked probably the strongest episode to date of the fourth and final season. The hour featured strong emotional moments and repeated episode 2’s winning formula of Gus, Dutch, and no Zach. Please, no more Zach. (Mark it down now: Next week is sure to be Zach-centric just to spite me.)

“New Horizons” begins in an unfamiliar place — focusing on Sanjay. It’s date night for the strigoi ally and his wife, who clearly isn’t feeling the vibe. “You know, this is the only normal hour of my day,” he declares. “If you could at least pretend to have a good time.” She rightfully points out that there’s nothing normal about their current situation.

Things get even less normal and more awkward when Eichhorst strolls in to play the creepy third wheel. The Master’s right-hand man wants an update on the baby-making factory and isn’t satisfied that the first B-positive baby is just now about to be born. He thinks the process should be expedited, even suggesting they pull the babies out months earlier to enable the mothers to churn out two per year. Sanjay reluctantly agrees it’s possible. “Should I do more of your thinking for you?” asks Eichhorst. “If you can’t fulfill your purpose, I will find someone who can.” Are we suppose to feel bad for Sanjay? Because it’s not working.

Speaking of the baby-making factory, fresh off her last failed escape attempt, Miranda Dutch is scouting out a new target. “I’m working on it,” she tells Rosalinda as she gives a security guard the googly eyes (sorry Jeremy — you’re old news). Her flirt mission gets interrupted when she’s called up to see Sanjay, who wants her help with The Partnership’s first delivery. Sophie is going in for a C-section, and Sanjay thinks it would be really swell if Dutch could be by her side during the procedure to keep her calm. Dutch isn’t feeling the idea, but she doesn’t have much of a choice. “You got to believe me — there are places out there that would be a living hell for a girl like you,” threatens Sanjay. (For a badass girl?!) He continues: “So turn me down again and that’s exactly where you’re going.” This feeling-bad-for-Sanjay thing really isn’t working.

While the rest of the main characters get every other week off, Eph’s Philadelphia adventures continue to air weekly. As he tries to study the documents he discovered at the end of the last episode, Alex’s still-unnamed brother harasses him about grabbing another truck to poison the strigoi’s blood. Eph has no interest in that, considering the sure-to-be-heightened security. Alex comes over to interrupt and finally give us a name for her brother: Jason. Good for him, having a name and all. Well, probably not, because getting a name could definitely be the first step on the road to death on a vampire show.

And cue: the strigoi storming the high school. The bad guys are doing some damage, but so is Eph. Jason too, actually. Until…he gets attacked by a strigoi. Credit where credit is due: The ensuing interaction is heartbreaking to watch, even if we literally learned Jason’s name one minute ago. “It’s okay, sis,” he says, encouraging Alex to shoot him. When she cries and lowers the gun, Jason looks to Eph, who steps up to the plate. “You make them pay,” declares Jason in his final words. R.I.P., Jason. We really hardly knew ye.

Like Dutch, Gus also returns from a week off. He’s giving his cousin Raul an important lesson on guns, saying, “Never point at anything you’re not ready to kill.” I’m very jealous of Raul for having Gus as his mentor. The lessons get even more Phil Jackson/Zen Master when the former strigoi hunter tells his mentee that a gun is just a tool, while the mind is his real weapon. Yo, that’s deep. The schooling ends when a member of the crew shows up badly hurt and, eventually, dies after an encounter with some guys who wanted his territory. Gus does some recon and tracks one of his new rivals back to their lair. Good news: He finds an entrance through the sewers and vents. Bad news: They’re NYPD officers. (Recap continues on page 2)

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