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Spoilers for Sunday's episode of The Strain are all over this article! If you haven't caught the episode, yet, feel free to check out one of our other other articles.
Last week on The Strain, Central Park became a very crowded festival of vampiric activity, as the attack on the nest underground was a diversion meant to distract humanity's war effort. The failure of the plan, devised by exterminating badass Vasily Fet, has lead to some further planning, and in the case of Fet himself, some more introspective thinking. Which leads to the meat and potatoes of tonight's episode, "Collaborators," which revealed the fact that Fet has a bit of a connection to none other than Herr Thomas Eichorst.
The prompting for all of this delving into the Fet family's backstory is the payoff for a plot point we saw in a Season 1 episode of The Strain, entitled "Occultation." Against Vasily's very wishes, his father did not leave the city as he had implored, which lead to both his mother and father becoming infected -- which also left the elder Fet with no choice but to kill himself and his wife. While Professor Setrakian tried to comfort Vasily with the fact that his father took "the soldier's way out," this caused our normally stone cold rat catcher to break down a bit.
As it turns out, Vasily was hiding the fact that his grandfather, who changed the family name from "Fetrovsky" to "Fet," did so because he was a collaborator in a German concentration camp. As a Ukranian soldier conscripted to fight for Russia, Fetrovsky and a friend volunteered for "special duty" in a camp run by Herr Eichorst himself. Overcome with shame for actually collaborating with the enemy, Mr. Fetrovsky changed his name, and eventually committed suicide when the guilt was too much. This fate, so eerily close to his father's in its method of execution, is what stirred Fet into an emotional state this week.
Fet's emotional journey, played pitch perfectly by the superb Kevin Durand, is something The Strain has always handled perfectly throughout its three-season run. While there has been plenty of gore and action to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, the personal stories about sacrifice, honor, and defeat have filled the universe with bloodshed and supremacy, making the show a living, breathing animal in and of itself. It's not overwrought or melodramatic in its undertaking; merely it gives the really big moments of spectacle the dramatic counterparts they need to create a show that really does have it all. Seeing Setrakian--a man who sadly lost any chance of having a family himself to the vampire menace--comforting Fet is a moment that proves the humanity of our intrepid heroes and their quest.
Hope you've had enough of a breather with this week's antics, because next week looks to be intense. With just three episodes left of The Strain's third season, Palmer has his strength back, the cargo from the Aurora Cutlass is revealed, and The Master's voice is more powerful than ever. "White Light" shines brightly upon us all next week, and if that title's any indication, it looks like things might be booming in NYC - and not for the better.
Join us next week after The Strain, which airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on FX, as we'll decode the latest chapter in the supposed decline of humanity! Though if you want a little more action before next week's outing, you can watch "Under Siege," the companion web series to The Strain.