The Series Finale of FX’s ‘The Strain’ Serves as an Unlikely Redemption Story
The end is here for FX’s apocalyptic-vampire series, “The Strain.” After a four-season run, the final task of taking down one of the series’ most controlling, influential, and vile villains was finally met face-to-face with our main heroes.
The closing season of “The Strain” saw a drastic change in projection. What started out as a tolerable coexistence between the strigoi and the humans – soon became threatened. The ever-powerful character of The Master (Robin Atkin Downes) ordered the vampire-like species to wipe Manhattan clean of all human life.
In the show’s final moments, the battle to finally destroy The Master once and for all becomes somewhat of a power struggle between, Eph (Corey Stoll), Fet (Kevin Durand), Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones), and Zach (Max Charles). The tug-a-war imbalance, taking place in a tunnel, sees the end of Quinlan, bringing the century-long battle between him and The Master to a close.
However, the fight is not over quite yet as The Master transfers to a new body, after getting shot by Zach. This time inhabiting Eph. Excited at the premise of a ruling father and son duo, a now possessed Eph turns to Zach. Although, Zach has other plans once he flips the switch and detonates the nuclear bomb. In an unexpected turn of events, Zach serves as the humanities savior. Perhaps in a somewhat redeeming way for his character, but it’s never seems fully realized. It’s a strange choice by the writers, foregoing Fet his final heroic moment. Nonetheless, the duty has been done.
The talent behind showrunner, Carlton Cuse is evergreen, as his innate ability to handle a series has been proven time and time again after helming major wins, such as “Lost” and “Bates Motel.” Not only does the creator encapsulate quality storytelling with pleasing visuals and compelling characters throughout the entire brunt of each respective series – the endings, albeit at times polarizing, always tie up the main overarching stories. In the case of “The Strain,” much of the same can be said.
The epilogue discloses the world of “The Strain” five years later. Now that The Master has been defeated, the remaining strigoi couldn’t last, and sunlight has returned to the once dark skies. All seemingly ends on a positive note. The world is back to normal… or as normal as it can get after the apocalypse; and alas, Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) and Fet reunite in one final moment.
Some may cite that the show’s rather short four-season run could be in fault of the inconstant mood and tone in which it conveyed. Succinctly, the show didn’t know what it wanted to be. The series began in 2014 as a dark program that was to be taken very seriously. But as time progressed, and the gore amassed, the show finally found its footing. By the final season, “The Strain” had become more of a midnight movie, as opposed to being a serious and broody series like its FX counterpart “American Horror Story.” But for “The Strain” it worked. The show’s entertainment value was still digestible – even in all of its glorious cheese. Midnight movie or not, the series still had a sleek and stellar cinematic aesthetic.
In an age when television series never really seem to die – it appears that the coffin on FX’s apocalyptic vampire series, based on the novels from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is permanently closed. With major series threat behind The Master no longer standing, it would appear that the blood has been sucked dry in a satisfying way.
“The Strain” series finale aired Sept. 17 on FX.