In episode two of The Strain, four of the survivors of the airline flight, which left almost everyone dead, begin to show some weird symptoms. The airline and government don't want to have a catastrophy on their hands, so they say the airline had a carbon monoxide leak, killing almost everyone on the plane. The quarantined survivors are noticing some rather strange symptoms being displayed after their release. While all this is happening, Dr Goodweather deals with sobriety and trying to get joint custody of his son.
The first episode was an incredible set-up for the series. It moved incredibly well, and those lucky enough to tape it could fast forward through the commercials, so they wouldn't lose the eerie tone the series sets up. When it comes to episode two, "The Box," it moves much slower to almost a crawl. That's about the biggest disappointment though.
While the focus of this episode is trying to contain this viral outbreak, which creates vampires, one of the cooler scenes within this episode is Dr Goodweather talking to his boss about keeping the survivors quarantined. The back and forth battle goes no where for Goodweather and the viewer will really start to feel the frustration because we all know what's coming down the pipeline, especially if you're reading the comic. It's moments like this, mixed with the horror that create this full piece that isn't just another outbreak or vampire show. It's a much more complex show that brilliantly mixes genres.
There are some changes, as Tony mentioned in last week's recap, from the comic to the television series. A moment in the comic that stands out, which we don't see here, is when the rock star Boliver gets back to his rock star life and has a moment, during the same orgy we see in the show, where he finds his crotch rotting away and black. Obviously, they don't show that in the show, but the scene of Boliver realizing something is wrong with him is highlighted by showing his attraction to blood more than anything else. It's a very cool scene and it makes its point without getting too grotesque.
The ending of this episode was really the highlight though. Isabelle is the little girl from the first episode that comes back to her father at the end of the last episode. She looks incredibly creepy. Her skin is white and gray and without a doubt, she looks dead, but her father is so relieved to see her that he ignores it. The scene, with her in the bathtub, looking forward, without moving, and what happens next really brings the horror element onto television and is a great way to hook in viewers for the next episode.
"The Box" is a good follow-up episode that isn't as good as the first but still keeps the viewer engaged. There are some minor changes between the comic and the television show, but overall, The Strain mixes genres incredibly well and provides an awesome experience. The show is still building and the characters are still being developed, so it's understandable that the build will be a bit slower than the opening to the series, but overall, The Strain is a seriously thrilling and creepy show. The Strain televises on Sundays at 10:00 p.m. on FX.