I know it’s every parent’s dream to sometimes have their child be in a zombie-like state for the sake of quiet, but when that state is accompanied by chalky white skin and eyes filled with blood, it should be a tip off that something’s not quite kosher.
Emma (Isabelle Nelisse) isn’t the only one exhibiting strange symptoms after her adventure on the flight, though she is the only one who was pronounced clinically dead that has any screen time (the other vampires who attacked the pathologist last week have mysteriously vanished from the morgue). The four survivors are also having issues after they are released from quarantine when the NTSB (who attribute the deaths to carbon monoxide) takes over the investigation from the CDC.
The survivors also have alabaster skin and red eyes but they also hear a humming noise in their ears, claiming it sounds like “an echo of a voice”. That and a higher tolerance for the taste of blood.
Eph (Corey Stoll) has been removed from the case due to the implied intervention of the shadowy Stoneheart group but continues to pursue his own investigation with the help of coworkers and the flight’s pilot, the latter still wracked with guilt over not being able to safely deliver his passengers to New York.
Everyone’s first priority is covering their asses. No one gives a shit about the truth. –Pilot
I do and you do. And that’s the best shot we’ve got right now. –Eph
Early on in “The Box”, it’s evident that there’s a lot of ground to cover and the episode does a pretty admirable job of touching base with all of the major players.
- Eichorst (Richard Sammel), Stoneheart’s mystery man, pays a visit to Abraham (David Bradley) in prison and it’s obvious that there’s a huge back story between the two of them which is only briefly touched upon.
- Eph spends some time with his son and promises him that he’ll be at the custody hearing the following day. However, there’s a little too much exposition about his character revealed during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting immediately after.
- Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) finally receives a face to face meeting with the Master (though the latter isn’t fully revealed).
- Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand) is introduced as a rather tenacious health inspector with a fondness for “killing vermin” but, beyond that, there’s little ties to any other storyline (which will eventually connect to something, I’m sure).
Overall, “The Box” wasn’t as thrilling as “Night Zero” but it did have enough forward momentum with director David Semel doing an admirable job both advancing the plot and supplying us with some really terrifying images (especially in Emma’s scene).
As long as The Strain maintains its slick production values and has the ability to address a few issues (one in particular is: why were there four “survivors” and were they chosen for a particular reason?), it will continue to be one of the most entertaining series of the summer.
The Strain – “The Box” grade: B+