October 3, 2016 The Strain – Gone But Not Forgotten (Season 3, Episodes 4 Review)
Airing on September 18, 2016, FX’s The Strain episode Gone But Not Forgotten picks up after a major turn in the storyline. The Master has apparently been killed and Quinlan has fallen dead at his feet. But, not everything may be as it seems as The Strain has some twists to what would appear to be the culmination of Setrakian’s quest.
The opening scene has Councilwoman Feraldo being ambushed by a reporter in an interview about the conscripted fighters. Angry that it seems the reporter is going to turn people against her, Feraldo storms out. The reporter’s story angle is that she is covering the fall of New York. Eph, removes the slugs from an unconscious Quinlan and berates him for the failure of his plan to get back his son Zach. He mocks Quinlan about him being wrong about dying when his father, The Master, died.
Later, Quinlan awakes and tells Professor Setrakian that he must have been wrong about dying when his father did. He is not sure what it means, and tells Setrakian that there is only one place to go for an answer. Vasiliy Fet wants to celebrate the death of The Master, but Setrakian still believes there is a lot of work to do to defeat the Strigoi. Without their leader, they will be disorganized, “feral.” Eph enters and tells them the truth about stealing the Lumen to try to save his son. Fet punches Eph and then Setrakian kicks Eph out.
Back at the Redhook hideout, Eph is awakened by Dutch knocking on the door. He is surprised she is back. Having lost her place to stay after leaving the friends that had left her to die, she needs a place to crash. Zach is locked in the warehouse where his mother Kelly had kept him, hearing a sound outside the door and thinking it is his mother, he calls out.
An uncontrolled Strigoi breaks in and attacks him, Kelly stops him in time and kills the Strigoi. She tells Zach that things have changed. Eichhorst enters and tells her that even though the plan has changed, they must strike back. The conscripted fighters are awakened and split up into groups. In addition to Gus and Angel, prisoners from the Department of Corrections wearing orange jumpsuits, and average citizens who got caught up in sweeps in areas that they were not supposed to be, are all now unwilling fighters against the monsters.
Officer Tardi is asked by Gus for a weapon and is told he is not getting one. He threatens Gus, but he does not back down. Searching a tunnel, Gus, Angel, and several other conscripts are armed only with poles as spears, attacked by Strigoi, they are the only two who make it out alive. Gus notices that the strigoi are no longer fighting as an organized group. Feraldo confronts NYPD Captain Frank Kowalski. She did not know about the “chain gangs,” and wants to see them for herself. Feraldo arrives and speaks to Gus about what is happening with the conscripts. Gus tells her that everything is fine, she does not believe him and leaves, disgusted with what her people had become.
Eichorst tries to rally the Strigoi back into a cohesive group. He talks to several of them who appear more human than the monsters who live in the sewers. With The Master’s control apparently gone, he needs to strike back against those who are trying to destroy them. He chooses two that have ID badges identifying them as employees of Feraldo. In a fine display of the top-notch special effects this show is known for, he cuts open one of them and plants a bomb inside. Fet and Setrakian report to Feraldo they have killed Bolivar, aka The Master. They tell her that now is the time to sweep the city clean of the monsters.
Severely hungover, Dutch wakes up in Redhook. Eph recaps everything she has missed since she was not involved with the group. Nora’s death, The Master being killed, Zach still missing, Setrakian and Fet being mad at him… They discuss their plans, neither has anything better to do except what they both seem to love best, get drunk. Quinlan and Setrakian visit The Ancients to find out what the death of The Master means.
They are stunned by the news that only the body of Bolivar is dead, not The Master’s soul. Setrakian tells them about seeing a Crimson worm slink off into the sewer. Through their interpreter, The Ancients confirm that without killing it, The Master can take another body and be just as strong as he was before. Quinlan draws his sword and threatens one of The Ancients for not telling him this before. He admonishes them for doing nothing more to help rid the world of The Master. He leaves with Setrakian and tells them that they will never see him again.
The two Strigoi fitted with bombs return to Feraldo’s command center. Fet turns just as they blow themselves up, spreading the infectious white worms throughout the room. Many are quickly covered and infected. Fet throws off his coat and rushes to help Feraldo. He shines a handheld UV light on a worm as it crawls into her eye. Under her skin, it sizzles, burning her cheek. Captain Kowalski calls for someone to get Doctor Goodweather to see if there is anything they can do to prevent her from becoming infected.
Eph and Dutch arrive as teams in bio-hazard suits clean up the room. They are led to Fet and Feraldo. This is the first time Dutch has seen Fet since she chose to leave him at the end of last season. They have the kind of conversation that lovers who have broken up, but still have feelings for each other. Eph checks out Feraldo to see if she has been infected. He tells her that they will know in a couple hours, but her chances are not very good.
Fet informs Eph that the same kind of attack happened at two other command centers. Eph checks back on Feraldo. In an emotional, and well-acted moment, she calmly holds a gun at her side as she tells Eph about where she would thought of killing herself if she is infected. That said, one of the things audience’s love about The Strain is how well the writer’s blend Horror with touching human moments, this scene is one of those. She is relieved to discover that she is clean and in, “a moment of extreme clarity,” decides there is someone she must visit.
Ferrero and her men visit the reporter that had ambushed her earlier in the day. She tells the reporter that what she is doing is not helping the fight to save the city, Feraldo confiscates the reporter’s computer and has her arrested. Back in Redhook, Eph and Dutch discover they are out of alcohol and decide to go “out to dinner.” Dutch picks up her burglary tools and tells Eph she knows some places that have not been looted yet. They walk to the taxi Eph had been using to get around.
Adding a bit of humor, Eph has to turn on the taxi’s meter to keep people from trying to flag him down. A Strigoi who had been hiding in the backseat jumps up, but they are protected by the Plexiglas barrier. Dutch stuns the Strigoi with a Taser. Before Eph can kill it, the Strigoi’s eyes light up to signify that The Master is in control. It tells Eph that they have failed. Eph asks it about his son, but it will only say that Zach is with him. When it attacks, Eph shoots it.
Gone But Not Forgotten is a usually slow but important episode. Viewers learn that the trap to kill The Master had been fruitless. The attempt has done nothing to stop the Strigoi from growing stronger. If anything, it has hurt the resistance by causing Eichorst to resort to terrorist style retribution by bombing the human’s command centers, and having Quinlan renounce his affiliation with The Ancients. How all this will play out is yet to be seen. Until then, CrypticRock gives Gone But Not Forgotten 3.5 out of 5 stars.