Review – The Strain Season 1, Episode 04 – “It’s Not for Everyone”

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It’s Not for Everyone is the fourth episode of The Strain and continues the forward momentum from episode three Going Smooth but suffers from again having too many narrative threads. This one picks up literally where the previous episode ends with Dr. Goodweather crushing Captain Redfern’s face in. Meanwhile Ansel is still too proud to seek medical attention but takes radical steps to ensure his family’s safety.

The medical outbreak element is one of the more interesting parts of this series i.e. the tense investigation on Flight 753. Despite being attacked, Eph and Co. continue their investigation and perform an autopsy on Redfern’s body. The examination reveals the parasite is “re-writing human biology.” Vital internal organs such as the heart and lungs are found decomposing, but a whole new circulatory system has been developed in order to house the “stinger”. Eph, Nora, and Jim are in their element and as the autopsy goes on it allows the canary team to react differently to the situation. Eph is still shaken up, but remains cool under pressure and seems to be fascinated with the new discovery. Nora on the other hand is finding it difficult to wrap her mind around the new reality, especially if Abraham Setrakian’s lethal prescription is only way to handle this disease. Jim is consumed by this guilt when he realizes that his actions have lit the powder keg, which potentially could wipe out the entire human race. It’s a great sequence though graphic, and it allows the actors to bring the characters to life in an organic way. Making their emotional response all the more realistic when Abraham Setrakian slays the Arnot family right in front of Eph and Nora.

The other outstanding component in this franchise is the element of horror. Ansel is probably the least interesting survivor, which makes his decision to chain himself up in the shed all the more surprising. When his, Ann-Marie, returns from her sister’s we know something is wrong we don’t see Ansel or the dog. She finds the dog torn to pieces, and a slow intense build up turns our attention to the shed. He tells his wife to leave and never come back and that the voice in his head is saying to “rip your throat out and drink from you.” Clearly he loves his family and would do anything to protect them, which is kind of romantic, but he needs help and Ann-Marie won’t abandon him. Cue the detestable neighbor who reveals he was the one who “hurt” the dog a few weeks ago. He comes over because of the racket in the shed and demands Ann-Marie do something about it. She decides to take out two birds with one stone by leading her neighbor to his death. This shocking turn of events steals the episode. I’ll be curious to see how Ann-Marie will take to Abraham and Eph’s decision to put down her husband.

The other plot threads in this one include Gus and his buddy Felix boosting cars. While Eichorst and Palmer at Stoneheart hire a hacker, Dutch Felders, to slow down the internet to prevent information from getting out while blaming it on the group Citizens United. I’m sure these stories will pay off but this series needs to find a way of telling these stories without breaking up the main narrative. Like the eclipse that’s coming the stories are beginning to line up, but we’re finally going on the offensive with Setrakian the vampire hunter.

Tell us what you thought of this episode in the comments below. Next week’s episode is titled Runaways and airs on FX on Aug. 10, 2014.

The writer of this piece was:
Laurence Almalvez
Laurence has previously written over at
Laurence tweets from @IL1511

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