The Strain

Watch The Strain

  • TV-MA
  • 2014
  • 4 Seasons
  • 7.3  (87,070)

The Strain is a thrilling and captivating horror television series that aired on FX from July 2014 to September 2017. The show, created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is based on their best-selling novel trilogy of the same name. The series stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, David Bradley, and Kevin Durand in the main roles.

The Strain opens with the arrival of a mysterious virus that quickly spreads across New York City. The virus, initially thought to be a strain of influenza, starts to turn people into bloodthirsty creatures called Strigoi. Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in New York City, is tasked with investigating the outbreak. He soon joins forces with Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley), a Holocaust survivor and former vampire hunter, to combat the virus and the Strigoi. Along with Setrakian's colleague and former roommate, Felix (Miguel Gomez), and CDC colleague, Nora (Mia Maestro), Eph sets out on a dangerous mission to stop the virus from spreading and save humanity.

The Strain's unique take on the classic vampire mythos sets it apart from other vampire-themed shows, movies, and books. The Strigoi are not elegant, charming, or glamorous; they are grotesque, violent, and savage. They have elongated stingers that they use to infect their victims with the virus that turns them into Strigoi. The Strigoi are controlled by a master vampire who is intent on creating an army of Strigoi and taking over the world.

The show's cinematography, special effects, and makeup are top-notch. The Strigoi are horrific, and their transformation scenes are genuinely terrifying. The use of practical effects and prosthetics, rather than over-reliance on CGI, makes the show's creatures feel more tangible and real. The show's use of color, particularly red, and its use of shadows and darkness create a sense of danger and unease that permeates throughout the show.

One of the show's strengths is its characters. Corey Stoll's Eph is a complex character struggling with personal demons while battling the virus and the Strigoi. David Bradley's Abraham Setrakian is a fan favorite with his dry wit, tragic backstory, and no-nonsense attitude. Mia Maestro's Nora is a capable and intelligent ally to Eph, with her own heartbreaking backstory. Kevin Durand's Vasiliy Fet is a standout character, an exterminator, and a man with a plan who quickly becomes an essential part of the team.

The Strain also manages to balance its horror elements with humor, particularly through Abraham Setrakian's interactions with the other characters. The show's use of flashbacks to explore characters' backstories, particularly Abraham Setrakian's experiences during the Holocaust, adds depth and dimension to the characters and the show's mythology.

The Strain's first season is its strongest, with its tight pacing, excellent character development, and intriguing mythology. However, the show struggles to maintain its momentum in subsequent seasons, particularly in its third and final season. The show introduces new characters and plotlines that feel somewhat disconnected from the show's original premise, diluting the show's focus and impact.

Overall, The Strain is an engaging and terrifying horror show that offers a fresh take on the vampire mythos. Its characters are compelling, the special effects are impressive, and its mythology is intriguing. While the show's later seasons are not as strong as its first, the show's unique premise and excellent production value make it worth watching for fans of horror and vampire fiction.

The Strain is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (46 episodes). The series first aired on July 13, 2014.

The Strain
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The Last Stand
10. The Last Stand
September 17, 2017
The team is forced to retreat, and Quinlan and Vasily come up with a plan to use the nuke to destroy the Master once and for all
Traitor, The
9. Traitor, The
September 10, 2017
An unexpected guest brings old conflicts to the surface, dividing our heroes, threatening the group's trust. With questionable new intel in hand, they launch a make-or-break final assault on the Master.
8. Extraction
September 3, 2017
Before he has Qunlkan kill him, Abraham tells the others how to defeat the Master. They begin by assaulting the Partnership facility and capturing Desai. Meanwhile, the Master sends Zach on a special mission.
7. Ouroboros
August 27, 2017
Eph reunites with Abraham and Dutch, bringing Alex along with him. Meanwhile, Gus decides to help the resistance, but Creem goes to the Master with valuable information.
Tainted Love
6. Tainted Love
August 20, 2017
Roman takes the others to meet with an old friend of his who can provide them with a plane and get the warhead to New York. Meanwhile, Zack learns a painful lesson about love.
Belly of the Beast
5. Belly of the Beast
August 13, 2017
While Vasiliy and Quinlan acquire the nuclear pit from the strigoi convoy, Eph and Alex head for New Horizons to discover it's secret. Meanwhile, Dutch leads a rebellion and finds Abraham, while in the past, Quinlan finds a moment of happiness.
New Horizons
4. New Horizons
August 6, 2017
Desai forces Dutch to help him calm down a woman undergoing C-section. Meanwhile, the underground takes a heavy blow and Eph and Alex learn of new Horizons.
One Shot
3. One Shot
July 30, 2017
While Vasiliy and Quinlan try to obtain a nuclear warhead, Eph leads a strike against the strigoi in Philadelphia... alerting the Master and Eichhorst to his presence. Meanwhile, Zach makes a new friend.
The Blood Tax
2. The Blood Tax
July 23, 2017
The fates of Gus and Dutch are revealed, while Eph continues to help Alex and her brother.
The Worm Turns
1. The Worm Turns
July 16, 2017
Nine months after the warhead detonated in New York, the strigoi have formed a "partnership" with the humans, offering free medical care in return for blood donations. Eph is in Philadelphia trying to make a life for himself on the fringes, while Vasily and Quinlan try to acquire a nuclear warhead. Meanwhile, the Master plans to raise Zack as his next host body.
Where to Watch The Strain
The Strain is available for streaming on the FX website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Strain on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    July 13, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (87,070)