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The Strain - S4E2 - The Blood Tax

Previously on The Strain, “The Worm Turns”

“The Blood Tax” catches us up with the members of Team Setrakian who were left behind in New York City. Three months prior to the events in last week’s “The Worm Turns,” Dutch and Abe were captured by a squad of strigoi raiders. Thankfully, Dutch was able to hide The Lumen in a rooftop vent before being taken. Unfortunately, they’re split up; Abe to an unknown facility and Dutch to a clinic in the Bronx.

Images: FX

She, along with the other women residents, is valuable thanks to her B+ blood type. Not only are they being farmed for their blood (which the strigoi really like for some reason), but they’re being impregnated so they can produce more B+ donors. Dutch sulks and scowls so much it’s a wonder her plan to use a center worker to escape wasn’t discovered sooner. When a fellow inmate, Sherry (Jess Salgueiro) suffers her second miscarriage, she worries she’ll be killed; so Dutch instructs Sherry to take her place in the getaway laundry cart. They’re caught, but Dutch manages to imply that the worker had sexually assaulted them and he’s taken away instead.

They’re not out of the woods, yet: Dutch and Sherry are taken to The Partnership’s chief medical officer, Sanjay Desai (Cas Anvar), who was instrumental in getting the Master’s factories running and starting the breeding program. If you’ve not yet read our exclusive interview Cas Anvar, make sure to do so here.

Gus has teamed up Creem (Jamie Hector) and together they run an underground black market; since money is obsolete they get by on stealing things people need that aren’t being supplied by The Partnership. Gus enlists his cousin Raul (Michael Reventar) to get his guys into the Partnership facility where Raul works in exchange for shelter and all the Freedom Bars he can eat. Raul doesn’t like the job, but it’s how he’s able to survive in a world where if you’re not useful in some capacity, you’re killed. Things go tits up pretty quickly and Raul is forced to flee with Gus and leave his job and life behind. This doesn’t sit well with Creem, who views Raul as a liability. Gus assures his business partner that Raul will be an asset, but Creem doesn’t seem convinced. Either way, Gus isn’t about to abandon family.

Eph keeps his promise in provide the rebel fighters with medical help, but can’t help but notice that their operation leaves a lot to be desired. He warns Alex (Angel Green) that her crew is sloppy and not really making a difference. She should focus their firepower on bigger targets like the building he saw being pumped full of blood. Alex is okay with this plan, but wants Eph to stick around and help them be better rebels. The world refuses to let Eph be ain’t-shit, I guess.

This was a fine episode; definitely not the best or as entertaining as last week’s premiere. For four seasons we’ve watched the main characters play a game of will they or won’t they become one team. Now that we’re in the final days of the series, it’s clear that they’ll help each other when needed, but they’ve taken different paths of resistance. Dutch’s predicament, while gross, provides some much needed clarity on the Master’s plans for society.

Still, I need more New Zach next week. I enjoy hating that kid.

Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast. 

The Strain S4E2
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Performances - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Action - 8.5/10

"The Blood Tax"

The Strain - S4E2 - “The Blood Tax”| Starring: David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Corey Stoll,Richard Sammell, Jack Kesy, Miguel Gomez, Ruta Gedmintas, Jonathan Hyde, Natalie Brown,Rupert Penry-Jones

User Review
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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

3 Comments on The Strain - S4E2 - The Blood Tax

  1. For the podcast
    Episode was ok for me-not as interesting or entertaining w/o a 😍uinlan appearance
    It was all about sertrakian & mainly Dutch but some old faces have resurfaced: Gus/Creen or is it Creen? 323 million poor/Sanjay who, the last time we saw him, was pleading for help under a crushed vehicle/even the Lumen survived the blast.

    Now that med facility where Dutch is held-r they artificially inseminating these women to breed b+ positive babies for strigoi to feed on? That’s so sick…..Dutch should’ve said 2 hell w/it & escaped instead of pleading to help that girl get away-now both are trapped-and that poor dude!

    The best part of episode for me, surprisingly, was Eph. Eph was being Eph per usual but he scored some points for helping to kill that group of strigoi. I liked how sister called him out when he chastised them on their current activities-she’s like instead of telling us WHAT we ought to do, why not help us do it.
    That’s all I have this week.

  2. For the podcast

    I liked this episode. My baby Gus is back looking hot and being badass. Of course he still makes poor life choices but he wouldn’t be Gus if he didn’t make poor life choices.

    Eph irks me so much when he’s on that you forget he actually has a brain. It was kinda badass how he blew up those strigoi. But that sista with the crew don’t know about how the strigs even work. Smh

    Poor Dutch. Nobody would want to be there. And are they eating the women who no longer deliver babies or something? That’s just sick! And she will never eat pineapples again!

    I love me some Abe! But he is so fucked! He hasn’t gotten any white in a while. He’s probably gonna die soon.

    That’s it. Not sure where it’s going but it’s always a good week when we don’t have to see New Zach. Cause fuck that kid!

    That’s it! Can’t wait too hear the podcast!

  3. I’m gonna just be honest, I swear I fell asleep and was dreaming for the majority of this episode. I’ll watch it again at some point, but in my dream state I could swear Gus had hair, Sanjay was still alive and repping the Indian presence in the apocalypse, and Ke$ha was possibly pregnant but hates pineapple. So yeah, I think I dreamt the episode. Oh, and Fuck New Zach probably.

    Sorry Sarah, at least Devin won’t let you down. Sorry Nina, although Devin probably will let you down. Hey John, you’re awesome!!

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