The Strain Season Finale Review: “The Master” (Season 1, Episode 13)

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The finale also changes our understanding of what Eph and company are up against with the Master. Although some may complain that him being able to survive exposure to direct sunlight (and escaping the group’s assault on Gabriel Bolivar’s bachelor pad immediately after revealing this fact) is a bit of a cop-out, I’d wager that no viewer of this show legitimately thought the Master’s time had come this early on. He’s such an intimidating, forceful villain that it probably should take much more than Eph and Setrakian’s ragtag group to destroy him.

That said, sunlight almost burned the Master to a crisp, and we’ll see some repercussions from that next season. There has been no indication that advanced healing is a vampiric trait, so the damage done to the Master’s body may well be permanent. Does that mean he’ll need to have others do his bidding from now on? Or will some new element be introduced to speed up his recovery? I’d bank on the latter, because you don’t survive as long as the Master has without having a few tricks up your sleeve.

After Mariela’s brutal death last week, there were no major exits in the finale, and the group is somehow still united even after failing to kill the Master. Over the season, a few of them faded in and out for various reasons, but they’ll need to stick together now with the Master still alive and a fully transformed Kelly now on the hunt for Zach.

Out of everyone on the show, I’m the most worried for that kid – he’s been through hell, and that he almost ran into Kelly’s waiting arms/jaws doesn’t bode well for his future. Additionally, the fact that Eph has spontaneously taken up drinking again won’t help the already strained father/son bond there.

All in all, “The Master” was a solid ending to a mostly entertaining first season of The Strain. Setrakian’s ending speech was the only real eye-roller in the episode, and even that was somewhat necessary so that the last scene (which would have otherwise been Eph pouring himself a drink, likely beginning a problematic descent into alcoholism) wasn’t a complete downer. The introduction of the Ancients is exciting, and though waiting until next summer for new installments sounds torturous, hopefully the writers will be working hard this fall to ensure that what comes next is worth the wait.

That’s all I’ve got, but leave your thoughts on the finale – and on the season as a whole – below. Even though the series has occasionally frustrated, I’ve really enjoyed reviewing The Strain these past few months, and thank you for reading. See you all next summer!

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