Comic Vine Review

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The Strain #108 - Creatures of the Night Review

3

Ephraim, Abraham, and the others are trapped in a gas station.

Warning: Massive spoilers and sad moments revealed within this review. You've been warned.

Ya'll got Funyuns?

While The Strain has been focusing on many different people within each episode, "Creatures of the Night" spends the vast majority of the time focusing on the main group of hunters and Vasiliy. While this approach to the episode is a pretty big change, does it actually work out for the better?

Here's what happened this week. Vasiliy Fet joins with the Strigoi hunters after meeting them at a medical warehouse. The team gathers UV lights in order to protect themselves. Across the street, they find a gas station where they stop off to grab some supplies, food, and other things. Strigoi quickly surround the station and the team is trapped.

In an encounter with the Strigoi, Jim finds he was cut. In the cut, is a worm and Ephraim removes it in a makeshift surgery session. The team discusses a plan to escape but they soon figure out Jim is infected with many worms. After a long discussion about Jim coming back to hunt them, Vasiliy shoots Jim in the head and kills him.

At first glimpse, this episode felt like filler and nothing more. However, this episode does provide some more info about the Strigoi, though some expositions dialogue and some action moments. We now have learned that in a sense the Strigoi have a type of hive mind where they can work together for a common goal, under the guidance of The Master. However, The Master does not have to be present for this, so it's a bit more like a psychic link between him and his "children."

Fans of the books or graphic novels will be excited to know that this is the episode where Vasiliy finally joins up with the rest of the group. He's been hunting Strigoi on his own, so he brings a new dimension to the group and even a little bit of knowledge. His scene with Abraham discussing how to kill the infected feels a bit redundant, but it was a scene that came off as enjoyable and helped establish trust, since Vasiliy really is a one-man army.

The idea of a group of people being stuck somewhere feels like a very overused trope in television and while it did provide a good deal of excitement, the overall episode doesn't move much of the story along. They're trapped physically in this gas station, but they're also trapped in so many other ways. They fear the Strigoi, but the greatest fear for them is not their lives right now, but their lives in the future if this infestation continues. Vasiliy joins the team, the hacker joins the team, and Jim dies. This is a pretty big disappointment considering it followed up such an amazing episode in the week prior.

The choices the characters make within this episode, at times, can feel frustrating, but it works for the situation they're in. They're panicked and have very little options, so when reactions seem harsh and made hastily, well, they are but it fits the scenario, and that's one thing that really stands out here. All-in-all, their decisions are what get them out of this pickle and back onto the road.

Overall, "Creatures of the Night" is a fun ride but doesn't really offer the viewer much progression in the way of story. Sure, there's some major moments here that are real game changers, but the issue feels like filler. The series is still very strong and one of the highlights of the week, but this episode fell a tad short.

25 Comments
Posted by NightFang

R.I.P. Jim.

Posted by VanderSEXXX

Will watch after work later.

Posted by Fallschirmjager
Posted by Chibi_cute

The scene where jim died was a bit a shocker.

Posted by Lycan69

Wasn't that Rick Baker, the silver-haired pony-tailed dude? Pretty cool cameo!

Posted by buttersdaman000

Is anyone else irked over the infection rules on the show? Abraham said that contact with the vampire blood can lead to infection, right? We saw this with Gus's friend a few episodes back. Yet both Abraham and Visily cut off and bludgeon vampire heads close range. How have they not been splattered with blood head to toe yet? I've seen enough episodes of Dexter to know how blood splatter works lmao

Posted by jwalser3

That stupid cashier...

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

This show is SOOOOOOOOO cliche and cheesy but yet I love it. haha

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

This episode felt like it had a different tone or something. Like maybe this episode had a different director.

Posted by Oscuro

George Buza ftw. I was happy to see him

Posted by NightFang

@buttersdaman000: Abraham said the worms in the blood can lead to infection. He even said stay away from the worms win he deadhead the little girl.

Posted by buttersdaman000

@buttersdaman000: Abraham said the worms in the blood can lead to infection. He even said stay away from the worms win he deadhead the little girl.

Yeah I know.....that's why I find decapitation and head bludgeoning impractical....they're bound to be splattered with blood using those methods.

Edited by HeckTate

@buttersdaman000: I also find those (especially the bludgeoning) a little unbelievable. There is a little suspension of disbelief required for this show, like when they're confronted by a bunch of vampires who just kind of shamble towards them as a group rather than using their tongue-things to hit from range. Very similar to some Walking Dead scenes where the zombies have hold of people but are taking their sweet time when it comes to actually biting them. I was ready to call BS when Ephrim "successfully" pulled the worm out of Jim's face, like how would that thing just sit there on his face in the one place they cut into? You would think it would move around under the flesh (in his veins?) or at least not come up to the surface when they have the UV light on it.

Posted by superior_prime_maybe

Im thinking of quitting this show because of this episode.

Posted by Surza7

really enjoying this show alot so far.With nothing really on for me til Fall,this show has been wanting me to go back each Sunday.Was a pretty big shocker to me also when that scene happened.

Posted by jwalser3

Im thinking of quitting this show because of this episode.

That's a bit much, don't you think?

Posted by Dudelicious

@buttersdaman000: which part of "it's the worms that live in the blood not the blood itself that infects people" didn't you understand?

Posted by buttersdaman000

@buttersdaman000: which part of "it's the worms that live in the blood not the blood itself that infects people" didn't you understand?

What part of blood splatter don't you understand? Did Abraham not say "don't let the blood touch you"? Did Gus's friend not get infected from a little bit of blood (which contained a worm or more)? I'm simply saying it's highly unbelievable that neither Visily or Abraham get blood on them, and in turn infected, from their close range melee attacks. I know the worms live in the blood, that should be obvious from my post.

@hecktate said:

@buttersdaman000: I also find those (especially the bludgeoning) a little unbelievable. There is a little suspension of disbelief required for this show, like when they're confronted by a bunch of vampires who just kind of shamble towards them as a group rather than using their tongue-things to hit from range. Very similar to some Walking Dead scenes where the zombies have hold of people but are taking their sweet time when it comes to actually biting them. I was ready to call BS when Ephrim "successfully" pulled the worm out of Jim's face, like how would that thing just sit there on his face in the one place they cut into? You would think it would move around under the flesh (in his veins?) or at least not come up to the surface when they have the UV light on it.

I can suspend a little belief when need be. However, it's extremely annoying to me when a show contradicts it's own rules or clearly plot armours some characters as we see with convenience of blood splatter. The vampire shambling doesn't bother me as much though. And yeah, I was ready to call BS too. I'm glad the show stuck to it's guns there at least.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice

Edited by Dudelicious

@buttersdaman000: The worms are 3 inches long, do you seriously think they can hide in a drop of blood? Sure, if there was a blood fountain spraying liters of blood everywhere it would make sense that people would risk get infected from beheading Shrigoi, but the Shrigoi doesn't even bleed evidently, as their blood is replaced with a thick, white ooze (look at the 14.03 mark in the latest episdode, the beheaded shrigoi on the ground in front of the gas station).

Posted by buttersdaman000

@buttersdaman000: The worms are 3 inches long, do you seriously think they can hide in a drop of blood? Sure, if there was a blood fountain spraying liters of blood everywhere it would make sense that people would risk get infected from beheading Shrigoi, but the Shrigoi doesn't even bleed evidently, as their blood is replaced with a thick, white ooze (look at the 14.03 mark in the latest episdode, the beheaded shrigoi on the ground in front of the gas station).

You're missing the point. I don't care how big the worms are, all i'm saying is that it's unbelievable that decapitation and bludgeoning do not have noticeable splatter effects when it comes to Visaly and Abraham, but do for everyone else. Go watch the eclipse episode again. Gus bashes one in the back of the head, we get immediate splatter (missing Gus miraculously by the way) all over his friends hand.....and he gets infected. It's the only case of infection we've had like that so far iirc, so you can't say for certain anything about just how the worms infect by blood. However, i'm completely justified in noticing the differences between where and when blood splatter is actually depicted.

If either Abraham or Visaly or whoever do end up getting splattered by blood, and remain unaffected, I would call immediately bull since we have one example and Abrahams direct testimony. So, unless they explain around it, blood leads to worm leads to infection. And finally, again, the splatter, or lack thereof, is unbelievable when it comes to main characters.

Posted by Avenger85

Some serious Darwin Award winners on this show lol. But its still fun to watch. I'm glad to see Vasily finally part of the team.