'The Strain' Recap: Eph Joins the Fight
'The Strain' Recap: Eph Joins the Fight
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on The Strain, the government was inept, a guy's penis fell off and Eph smashed his friend's face in with a fire hydrant. You know, typical Sunday night stuff. This week's episode, "It's Not for Everyone," begins with the immediate aftermath of the aforementioned face-smashing. Eph doesn't even bother with moral and legal questions about what he's just done. He's a scientist, and if the science tells him that Doyle was clearly no longer human, he isn't going to question it. That saves us some time.

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Beheading in the Right Direction

Eph, Nora and Jim perform an impromptu autopsy on Doyle's body. He too is missing his genitals, which doesn't even seem like a blip on the radar anymore. When Eph cuts him open, he finds that Doyle's organs have shriveled and entirely new ones have grown in their place. This rewriting of the host's body is how the parasite reproduces since it obviously can't do so by other means.

Eph now believes Setrakian about the whole "We have to chop the heads off everyone" thing. All things considered, he's coping with this revelation well. Jim, not so much. Consumed by guilt that he's probably unleashed an unholy plague upon New York, he confesses that he let the coffin through security. He explains that he's in massive debt because of his wife's illness and that he only did it to save her. Eph is unsympathetic. He punches Jim in the face, says, "You're dead to me," and flounces. Again, no wasted time having a moral dilemma. 

Eph and Nora realize that, since Emma's father said she returned home to him, she probably has the same condition as Doyle. They go to her house and find her in all her creepy child glory, stinger ready to feast on their flesh. Just when it looks like they're going to be taken down by an undead 8-year-old, Setrakian shows up out of nowhere and decapitates her with his sword-cane. And while Eph and Nora are having small psychological breakdowns, he decapitates the father too. Based on the preview, it looks like we're going to be seeing more of Setrakian and his history next week, and I for one cannot wait.

While Eph recovers from this quickly, Nora simply cannot deal. Here, we have the age-old science fiction debate over whether those turned into something else are still human. Eph comes to the seemingly correct conclusion that they are not, and that killing them isn't the same as killing people. But Nora can't help but consider Setrakian's plan of exterminating their patients instead of helping them. She leaves, and the team of Eph and Setrakian is formed.

Be Kind to Your Neighbors

Now that Doyle's story is over, it's time to revisit another survivor. Ansel is getting sicker, so his wife Annie takes their kids to stay with their aunt. When she returns, popping what I can only assume to be anti-anxiety pills, she finds both her husband and her dog missing from the house. After saying a few prayers, she ventures into the backyard and finds her dog's bloodied body behind a shed. She seems to immediately realize that Ansel killed her.

Annie hears noises from inside the shed and correctly assumes that it's Ansel. After tearfully asking the door why he killed the dog, she does the most stupid thing possible and goes inside. It's always a good idea to go into a dark and confined space with someone who, at best, just murdered a dog, am I right? Even Ansel has more sense than her; he's in the late stages of the transformation, but has managed to chain himself to the far wall so that he can't hurt anyone. He begs Annie to lock him inside and stay away, which she only does after he describes in detail how he wants to rip her throat out.

Having locked her homicidal husband up, Annie buries the dog. Her vigil is interrupted by a very rude neighbor, though, who yells at her about the noise the "dog" is making from inside the shed and generally treats her like crap. He also reveals that he hit the dog at some point in the past, which seems to send Annie over the edge. She invites him to discipline the dog himself since she "doesn't have the heart," and proceeds to lock him in the shed and listen while Ansel tears him apart. Was this out of anger over the neighbor having hit the dog? Was she trying to feed Ansel and thus take care of him? Is she just crazy as hell? We may never know.

Billion Dollar Ego

Palmer and Gus also get brief storylines this week. Gus' revolves around him returning to crime in order to take care of his mother. This is presumably meant to illustrate his character and potential for whatever comes next for him, but right now he's just stealing cars. But hey, he returned a stolen clock, so he's karmically even for the day.

Palmer continues to be the worst. Eichorst is the actual Nazi, yet somehow I still find Palmer more repulsive. It's probably the fact that he's willing to doom an entire city, and perhaps the entire world, because he can't accept the fact that everyone dies. I'm going to die, you're going to die and billionaires with intense god complexes are going to die. Just because you can afford to buy a black market liver doesn't mean you're special, buddy.

Nevertheless, Palmer is unable to get over himself and hires a hacker named Dutch Velders to cripple all the cell phones and Internet in New York City. Without social media and other forms of communication, it will be much more difficult for people to mobilize against the disease. He also has a meeting with Maggie Pierson, who is a secretary of some kind and seems important. He tells her that he got a call from the White House and that the government seized the plane victims' bodies to cover up their true cause of death: a military biological agent. For some reason, Maggie finds this story plausible and agrees to stand with Palmer on the issue, whatever that means.

For his part, Palmer is all done standing. He swoons while talking to Maggie and has to have an emergency liver transplant. Eichorst can't be reached, and Palmer starts to wonder if he's going to get the "miracle" he's been promised. No word on if he knows that the miracle will make his junk fall off.


The Strain airs Sundays at 10pm on FX.

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