The Strain Review: “It’s Not For Everyone” (Season 1, Episode 4)


Alliances are made and destroyed in “It’s Not For Everyone,” this week’s rather gross but enjoyable installment of The Strain. As Eichorst, Palmer and the Master’s vampire virus continues to fester inside the plane passengers, Eph works alongside Nora and Jim to uncover the specifics of the strain and figure out how to stem its spread. Unfortunately for them, Jim’s blunder in slipping the Master’s box out of the airport has already knee-capped their attempts.

Last week left the trio staring in disbelief at the bashed-in skull of Captain Redfern, who transformed into a vampire practically before their eyes and tried to sink his proboscis into Nora’s neck before Eph finished him off with a fire extinguisher to the head. As members of the CDC Canary team, they’re scientists first and foremost, and almost everything about Redfern’s transformation defies explanation.

Of course, Carlton Cuse, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan understand that we don’t want an entire episode of the characters tripping over their tongues while trying to explain away the vampires, so instead Eph, Nora and Jim get down to business very quickly, dragging Redfern off to perform an emergency autopsy. When Jim questions whether they should bring what happened in the hospital basement to higher-ups, Eph barks, “A monster just tried to murder us, there are no records.” Wow, that was fast. The scene is indicative of a slight change in The Strain‘s biology – more, I believe, than in other episodes, “It’s Not For Everyone” sees the show embracing its innate goofiness. The title might as well be a disclaimer for audiences – do not look for realism here, for there is only camp.

Part and parcel with that goofiness is a renewed sense of gore. The autopsy on Redfern is totally disgusting (in a fun, midnight-movie kind of way), with the lead trio examining everything in an attempt to make sense of what’s been happening to the guy. I won’t go through all the gross little tidbits they uncover, but suffice to say, there’s a lot wrong with Redfern. Again, to enjoy this, suspend your disbelief enough to buy that none of the doctors running tests on Redfern noticed THE GIANT TENTACLE-LIKE PROBOSCIS INSIDE HIM. Or that his genitals had fallen off and turned into a reptilian cloaca. That last one I find pretty strange that Redfern himself wouldn’t have called attention to while on the hospital bed.

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