Summer is here, and for fans of small-screen vampires, that can only mean one thing: The Strain is coming back to FX for another season of apocalyptic anarchy. Based on the series of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan – who also executive produce the series – The Strain centers on CDC scientist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), who is one of the first people in New York City to encounter a virulent contagion that gradually turns those afflicted into bloodthirsty monsters.
The titular strain originates from The Master, an ancient vampire who has spent countless years traveling to different areas and decimating the local populations. Tired of hiding in the shadows, The Master now seeks to claim the Earth for himself and his kind, and it’s up to Eph and the ragtag group of comrades he picks up along the way to ensure humanity’s survival.
As the above trailer makes clear, it’s been 23 days since the beginning of the vampire outbreak when The Strain season 3 begins, and the time window for possibly stopping the scourge from overrunning the planet is growing short. As badass former exterminator Fet (Kevin Durand) says near the end of the clip, “if [they] have any hope of stopping this plague, it has to happen now… or never.”
Despite the best efforts of Eph, Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) and the rest of their band of unlikely vampire hunters, fans will recall that season 2 of The Strain did not end very well for the group, which lost a key member at the hands of Eph’s undead wife. Once a relatively mild-mannered (if booze-addled) guy, Eph has slowly but surely become more hardened and cold as the events of the series have unfolded, and it’s safe to say that losing yet another person close to him is not likely to help his mental state improve any.
Up to this point, Eph has primarily been motivated by the goal of securing his species’ survival, but he’ll now presumably be fueled by a desire for revenge against The Master and those who carry out his evil orders. While anger and the drive for vengeance can certainly be an asset when fighting for a cause, it can also cause reckless behavior, which isn’t advisable for a man with a son he’s now solely responsible for protecting. If Eph needs any evidence of the harm revenge can do to one’s psyche, he need only look at Setrakian, who has been unsuccessfully attempting to avenge his wife’s death at the hands of the “strigoi” for decades.
Every time Eph’s makeshift band of heroes get a victory over The Master and his minions, they seem to end up paying for the win dearly. With that in mind, if his ever-shrinking team does manage to inflict a fatal blow to their enemies, just how many lives will be lost along the way? In the world of The Strain, life is cheap and war is hell, and one can only hope that the results end up justifying the costs.
The Strain season 3 premieres Sunday, August 28th on FX.