Before season 2 of 'The Strain begins on FX on July 12th, we thought we'd recap season 1 for you, make sure you're up to speed or let any new viewers know what the hell is going on :)
The Strain returns to FX on July 12th. Based on the Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan book trilogy, the first season quickly gained a devoted cult following. Putting a slight twist on the Vampire mythology, "The Strain" is a transmittable ‘disease’ slowly turning the host into a blood thirsty maniac before they "ascend" (if allowed) into an intelligent, chilling monster. Loosely based on the "Strigoi", vampires from Romanian mythology, They have no hair, no nose, front fanged teeth; closer together than most modern vampires, and a six foot appendage used to transmitting the disease.
The premise of the show revolves around "The Master", one of seven original Vampires known as "The Ancients", he rebelled against the other six ancients, and decided to enslave mankind, turn them and ensure vampires ruled the world. Before season 2 begins on July 12th, we thought we'd give you a nice detailed recap of season 1 so you're up to date :)
Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and Mia Maestro as Dr. Nora Martinez
The story starts with a plane landing at JFK International and losing all contact with ground staff. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez and the CDC investigate and on board find all passengers dead except four, including the pilot Doyle Redfern. They spot small parasitic worms and decide it’s some kind of plague disease. Abraham Setrakian, an old man approaches Goodweather and explains all the bodies must be destroyed, and not to let the plane cargo (a large wooden box) leave the airport.
Recently paroled Gus Elizalde is hired by Mr. Eichhorst to retrieve the wooden box from the airport, which he does with the help of Jim Kent, a CDC worker being blackmailed by Mr. Eichhorst, and Gus delivers the cabinet, although frightened by the noises inside. Eichhorst is working for The Master, who has unlimited funds due to his promise to dying billionaire, Eldritch Palmer, that he’ll give him immortality. Later, an airport worker is attacked by a large creature who crushes his skull after sucking the blood from the man’s body.
David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian with Eph
The four plane survivors continue to show bizarre symptoms, but are released from CDC custody, despite Eph protests. Goodweather is removed from the case officially, but continues to investigate. Eichhorst visits Setrakian, and it’s clear these two are sworn enemies. Eichhorst mocks Setrakian, but Setrakian vows to stop the Master from creating an army of “Strigoi”.
Of the four plane survivors, attorney, Joan Luss decides to sue the airline, rock star, Gabrial Bolivar begins to crave blood and soon his penis falls off, and the pilot, Redfern, deteriorates and his body begins to change. Meanwhile, a Mr. Arnot calls Eph to say his daughter has come home, confusing Eph as Mr. Arnots daughter was one of the flight victims. After hanging up the phone, Mr. Arnot is attacked by his daughter using a long appendage which shoots from her neck. Eph then discovers all the plane victims and the medical examiner are all missing; unaware they all came back to life.
Miguel Gomez as Augustin "Gus" Elizalde
We find out Jim Kent has been helping Eichhorst because his wife is terminally ill and Eichhorst has been bribing him with potential treatments for his wife. We also see Eichhorst’s true appearance, he’s a full “Strigoi” (vampire), who uses make up to cover up his lack of nose and hair and general scary as hell appearance. Pilot Redfern completely changes and escapes CDC custody craving blood, Nora, Eph and Jim find him in the basement and after a struggle, they kill Redfern. Jim then explains he’s been helping the other side due to his wife’s illness; Eph kicks him off the team.
Billionaire, Eldritch Palmer, hires a computer hacker, Dutch Velders, to take down the cities internet and phone communications.
Fourth plane survivor, Ansel Barbour, now craving blood, tells his wife, Anne Marie, to take their children to safety, which she does, and when she returns home, she finds her husband has chained himself up in the shed, he explains his list for blood, and doesn’t trust himself. Ansel is soon able to feed when Anne Marie tricks a neighbour into entering the shed when she discovered the neighbor once hit her dog.
Robert Maillet as The Master
When Eph and Nora visit the Arnot house after Mr. Arnot called to say his daughter returned home, they find Mr. Arnot and his daughter, now both turned and infected. Setrakian turns up and decapitates both Mr. Arnot and his daughter. He tries to explain about the “Strigoi”, a race of vampiric beings who feed on blood and want to enslave mankind. Eph believes him, but Nora is repulsed by his methods of killing the monsters.
Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders and Roger Cross as Mr. Fitzwilliam
Bolivar, the rock star survivor, finding it difficult to control himself kills two people. Meanwhile, Joan, our attorney survivor has her children taken away by her housekeeper, who’s scared of what she’s seeing Joan turn into. Eph and Setrakian go to the Barbour house where they find Ann Marie hanging, then find Ansel in the garden shed, along with the neighbor, who’s now turned as well. Setrakian kills them both, which Eph records to show the CDC what the disease can do. However, at the CDC, he finds out he’s been framed for the murder of Pilot Redfern and is arrested, but escapes with Jims help.
We now begin the flashbacks and see the history of Setrakian and Eichhorst. A young Setrakian arrives at a concentration camp during the war, which Eichhorst (who looks the same as he does now and is still human) is a guard at. Eichhorst orders Setrakian to carve a large wooden cabinet, which he begins to do. And later that night Setrakian sees a creature feeding on another camp inmate, and later Setrakian’s brother is the next victim of this creature.
The Strigoi with Eichhorst
Nora later breaks her mother out of a nursing home when Strigoi attack the home, and Vasiliy Fet, a city exterminator comes across a Strigoi living in the sewers when he tracks 100s of strangely behaving rats.
Eph visits his ex-wife, Kelly, who he’s in the middle of a custody battle with for his son, Zach. Kelly’s new boyfriend, Matt contacts the FBI who turn up and arrest Eph. Nora and her mother seek refuse at Setrakian’s pawn shop, where has a secure bunker where he keeps his wife’s still beating heart in a jar. Fet is forced to kill his co-workers after they turn and discovers sunlight also kills the Strigoi. During an eclipse, Eph escapes FBI custody during the chaos of the Strigoi feeding on mass in the streets, something they couldn’t usually do due to the sunlight. Gus and his friend Felix are attacked by a Strigoi and Felix is infected before the two are arrested. Setrakian welcomes Eph to his shop as well where Nora and her mother are also hiding. They gather weapons and supplies before going to get Jim, whose wife has just left him after discovering his involvement in recent events. They decide to use Jim as bait to lure our Eichhorst, who in turn would lead them to the Master. Their plan fails, and although Eichhorst turns up, he gets away.
Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer
Joan Luss housekeeper, Neeva, who’s been keeping Joan’s kids safe and away from their mother, is chastised by her daughter for taking the children and insists her mother returns to kids to Joan. Neeva, her daughter and the Luss children return to the Luss household, unaware Joan has just killed her husband. The group are ambushed where Neeva’s daughter is infected. A group of rebel Strigoi led by Mr. Quinlan, break in, kill Joan, Neeva’s daughter and release Neeva and the Luss children.
Eph, Nora, Jim and Setrakian bump into Fet while getting UV lights to fight the Strigoi, and soon are attacked by Strigoi. While hiding in a shop, they bump into Dutch Velders, unaware of her involvement. Setrakian explains how the Master can control the Strigoi, sending them to kill the group. When attacked again, Jim is infected, and begging to be killed before he turns, Fet shoots and kills Jim. The group then escape.
Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather
Eph saves his son from an infected Matt when he returns to his ex-wife’s home, but his ex-wife Kelly is nowhere to be seen, unaware Matt attacked Kelly, infecting her. Eph and Nora stay to wait for Kelly, while the others take Zack to safety at the pawn shop. Dutch and Fet go to her apartment, which is overrun with Strigoi so she joins Fet and explains how she was responsible for the internet and telecoms going down, but had no idea why.
Felix, while going to jail, completely turns and attacks the drivers. Gus manages to kill Felix before getting away. When Kelly doesn’t show up, Nora and Eph head back to the pawn shop, but not before getting down and dirty ;) They ask a friend of Kelly’s to tell them if she turns up.
Kevin Durand as Vasily Fet with Nora, Dutch and Setrakian
In another flashback, Setrakian, armed with a knife he stole tries to kill the Master while it. Unaware of the Masters strength, the Master crushes Setrakian’s fingers and escapes. When the camp is attacked by Allied forces, Eichhorst escapes to a bunker in the woods, where the Master infects Eichhorst, turning him to Strigoi.
Dutch explains to others what she did, that it was for Eldritch Palmer, and if she can break into his headquarters for the Stoneheart Group, she may be able to undo her work and being the web and telecoms back up. Fet and Dutch get into the HQ but are seen and captured. Palmer orders his right-hand man Fitzwilliam to kill Fet and Dutch, but instead he lets the two escape as he doubts what his boss now stands for. The pair return to the pawn shop, but Dutch leaves after arguing with Eph. Kelly is summoned by the master and the two meet.
Planning to infiltrate the Masters underground lair, Eph, Nora, Fet and Setrakian leave Zack with Nora’s mother, who has dementia, but locks the pair in the pawn shop for safety, giving Zack the keys.
Gus meanwhile, returned home after escaping custody, found his family infected and killed his brother and landlord, but didn’t kill his infected mother, who he couldn’t bring himself to kill.
Zach, who leaves the pawn shop to get Nora’s mother cigarettes, is attacked by Strigoi in a grocery store, but saved by Gus, who kills the Strigoi.
Eph and the group at searching underground and find a lair full of resting Strigoi. Eph hears Kelly calling for help and runs off to find her, despite Setrakian telling him it’s a trap. Eph finds himself in a large chamber where he finds Strigoi and finally see’s the master. Before he can kill Eph, the rest arrive turning on the UV light bomb, killing some Strigoi, and causing the Master to flee.
Everyone regroups at the pawn shop, including Dutch who’s returned with computers and a plan. To use the Emergency Alert System (when all TV and radio is taken over for emergency broadcasts) to warn the world about the Strigoi. They manage to do it and Eph transmits his message, but only for a few minutes before the signal is blocked.
Gus goes to a former acquaintance, Creem, to acquire weapons, and discovers Creem has been transporting Strigoi. The pair is attacked, but the rebel Strigoi arrives and rescue/kidnap Gus.
Rock star, Bolivar attacks the pawn shop and infects Nora’s mother, forcing Nora to kill her own mother. Eichhorst then storms the pawn shop with an army, causing Setrakian and the group to flee.
Jack Kesy as Gabriel Bolivar
During another flashback, we learn Eichhorst infects Setrakian’s wife, who returns to find his wife infected. He kills his wife and keeps her heart.
The Master later keeps his promise to Palmer, and give Palmer immortality by feeding Palmer a fluid from his body.
Eph, Fet and Setrakian realise the Master needs his coffin/cabinet and Fet and Eph set out to retrieve the coffin. They’re led to Bolivars theatre and there they discover the coffin. Before leaving, Fet removes a manhole cover to trap any Strigoi who won’t be able to exit through the cover as it’s now flooded with sunlight. Palmer discovers he’s not immortal but just temporarily cured, and The Master assures him he’ll give him full immortality when his work is complete. Fitzwilliam soon leaves Palmer, completely disillusioned by what his boss is doing.
When CDC Director and Secretary of Health and Human Services tell Palmer they plan to quarantine the city, which would ruin the Masters plans, so Palmer kills Secretary of Human Services and along with Eichhorst, they convince CDC director Everett Barnes to join them.
Fet, Eph, Nora, Setrakian, Dutch and Zack go back to the theatre to attack. They kill a group of Strigoi with dynamite and go after the master who’s protected by Eichhorst and Bolivar. They all fight and manage to drive the Master outside, who’s burned by the sunlight, but escapes again along with Eichhorst. Devastated the sunlight didn’t kill the Master, the group retreat, but stop at Zach’s home so he can get his asthma pump. At the house, Kelly is there, she tries to lure Zach, but Eph shoots and wounds her.
Stephen McHattie as Mr. Quinlan with Gus
Mr. Quinlan and the rebel Strigoi explain to Gus that the Master is one of an ancient group of original Strigoi who has broken a truce with humans and turned against the others. They recruit a willing Gus to help kill the Master..
*All images Copyright Fox Broadcasting Company