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The Strain - S4E9 - The Traitor

Previously on The Strain, “Extraction”

The Strain handled Eph’s reunion with his misguided, petty, and murderous son a lot better than I thought they would. We miss the first moments of their reunion as “The Traitor” begins with Zach already asleep in the cell they’ve locked him in. Eph points out that the team doesn’t trust Zach, but neither does he. Zach is suspiciously understanding and claims to have seen past the Master’s machinations. He knows Eph took no pleasure in killing Kelly, who no longer truly existed after being turned. The audience might have let their guard down when Zach even admits that the Master sent him there to be a spy, if the audience hadn’t been paying attention to what a little shit Zach has been for three seasons. Still, it’s enough for Eph to approach the situation with a cautious skepticism I wasn’t sure he was capable of; I’m glad to be wrong.

Images: FX

Dutch, Fet, and Quinlan have their needles firmly set to “Zach’s a lying liar who lies” and though they want Zach to be telling the truth for Eph’s sake, they doubt that he is. While Eph works Zach for information, the trio do the same with Sanjay Desai, also locked up but with less hospitable accommodations. He claims the New Horizons compounds are actually working, thriving communities and accuses Dutch of fabricating the video evidence to the contrary in order to gain power for herself and the other rebels. He draws parallels between his actions and those Dutch and Fet have made in fighting the strigoi; they all have blood on their hands, he believes, as they’re just trying to make the best of a terrible situation. This earns him several punches in the face from Dutch, who only stops when Fet takes a suspiciously long time to pull her off of Sanjay.

If Dutch was Good Cop, Sanjay wasn’t ready for Bad Cop Quinlan, who releases Sanjay and drags him into a room where his wife, Selah, is being held. The Born threatens to drain her unless Sanjay reveals the Master’s location, which he does. They later ask Zach for the same information and he readily gives it up. His answer matches Sanjay’s: The Master is holed up on the top floor of the Empire State Building… which still looked a lot like Palmer’s penthouse to me, but whatever. Zach’s double-cross might have worked if Eph wasn’t already so damn suspicious. When Zach cuts his thumb opening a soda can, Eph realizes it was a deliberate signal to the Master; the Feelers can track Zach’s blood.

He confronts his son and Zach finally admits that he’s there to learn the location of the nuke. If Eph tells him, he’ll let him live once the Master arrives. Unable to kill his son — yet — Eph locks him up and warns the others that it’s time to move.

Zach gets off easy for alerting the Master even though he didn’t learn where the nuke is — easy compared to Sanjay and Selah. All season it appeared Sanjay was slowly embracing his Ain’t Shit side, but it turns out he didn’t have to extend his arms all that much. Prior to the vampire apocalypse, Sanjay was a power-hungry adulterer and Selah calls him on it when they’re left alone. Nothing he did was to protect her, but only to protect himself. This is made clear when he offers her up to the Master as the one who gave up his nest to the rebels. The Master breaks Selah’s neck, but doesn’t buy Sanjay’s lie. Zach is now The Master’s official right hand man after the death of Eichorst and Sanjay getting his head pulverized against a concrete wall.

Gus and his crew provide Roman with backup in protecting the nuke, and they take a stash of silver bars to use in case the nuke plan goes awry. Maybe they plan on bludgeoning the strigoi with them? They answer the call when it’s decided they’ll move against the Master at the ESB, even though they’re fully aware it’s most likely a trap. Quinlan volunteers to detonate the nuke once he’s with the Master, even though this means he won’t survive. This has always been a suicide mission for The Born, so this isn’t surprising, but it still impresses Gus’ crew.

Of course, it was a trap and Quinlan isn’t confronted by the Master himself, but the Master speaking through Abby. After Quinlan beheads her, he prepares to fight a room full of strigoi while the others face an attack by more vampires as they descend upon the nuke.

More great work this week from Kevin Durand and Ruta Gedmintas, especially the scene in which Dutch questions is Sanjay didn’t have a point. Are they no different or is that what Sanjay needs to tell himself to live with what he’s done? Considering Sanjay went into Whole, Entire Asshole Mode shortly after being confronted by the Master, I’m gonna go with they are nothing like him.

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 S4E9 Review Score
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10

"The Traitor"

The Strain - S4E9 - “The Traitor” Starring: David Bradley, Kevin Durand,Corey Stoll,Richard Sammell, Jack Kesy, Miguel Gomez, Ruta Gedmintas, Jonathan Hyde, Natalie Brown,Rupert Penry-Jones

User Review
5 (2 votes)
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.

6 Comments on The Strain - S4E9 - The Traitor

  1. For the podcast
    I enjoyed pentultimate episode-not much action yet entertaining.
    I’m going 2 start w/runner up for worst person ever-Sanjay! I know they had 2 keep him alive but if it were me, he’d met his maker sitting In that chair especially after spouting/defending his twisted world view. And did he spit @ Dutch after she pummeled his face?)?! If that was me/ oh HELL NO😡!! RIP a-hole!! it’s ironic that he gave up the info when quinlan threaten to drain his wife yet he threw her under the bus 4 the master. What a dick move by an ultra dick!The only good thing is he got his comeuppance; that scene looked so fake! U could see it was a dummy!😄

    Now onto the demon spawn zach-what an evil whiny little sh$t. I’m glad the group didn’t trust him. When Eph confronted him about the truth, he was wah! Wah! WahI then when he demanded 2 know where the nuke was, eph should’ve bitch slapped then put him down. The absolute worst!

    😍uinlan-did y’all catch his “I’m the baddest mofo “strut” while dragging Sanjay through the hall!?!? I’m like work it daddy!😄😄 nice pecs too! . His farewell 2 the gang was business like-no tears/hugs other than a warm handshake & happy hunting born-o from fet-guess that’s as close 2 a friend Q will ever have. I chuckled at the “hairy balls” comment though it sort of ruined that fan fiction fantasy😄 I wondered if eph dared 2 look then mentioned it 2 dutch😄

    Ronan & Gus had s nice scene; Gus mentions looking 4 Anya & im like who’s that!!? Then I remembered her from S2….that seemed so long ago.

    That’s all I have-1 more episode & its over😢

  2. First of all fuck new zack to you people and we are almost here just 1 more episode of the strain left and idk where we are going. First of all we weren’t in palmers office at all but the Empire State Building that looks just like his office from the last 3 seasons ok Show. 2nd zack has to die next week he has to die idc there’s no way this kid survives next week he has to have his head severed a bullet to the head his bead mashed into a wall or be blown up in the explosion with the master vaporizing them together fuck this kid he needs to die just like Tariq from Power needs to go. 3rd eph wasn’t stupid for once I give him the award of finally being on the same page as everyone here. Sonjay went full nazi this week letting the women he love die it gives me a sadness because his ain’t shitness grew and made me think the master can always use another number 2 and turn him but nope he had to be made a example of. And lastly idk what’s gonna happen next week it can go 1 way it can go another if it goes one way can we get a spinoff show or something if it goes the other way who survives in the end

  3. Hey yall! Fuck New Zack!

    Am I the only one that wishes everyone but Quinlan had died at the end? Heck, maybe they will, but I really don’t care enough about the rest of this group.

    So I’m confused. Did Palmer model his office after the Empire State Building, or was he rich enough to own it? Either way, they look the same to me.

    That said, when Master Palmer gripped up Sanjay and his wife I was cheering. These humans are dummies. Then again, Palmer should just leave town now he knows there’s a nuke. But he won’t, because Palmer petty is stronger than white woman tears.

    New Zack brought his ultimate worst this episode, but I was totally buying the fact that Eph’s son would be dumb enough to cut his thumb on a soda can for a solid 5 seconds long than I should, because this family is trash. May they both be nuked next episode.

    Last note, what do we want to see next week? I want Fet to do an Abe scream, Eph to body slam Zack, and Rhona Mitra to somehow die in the nuclear blast. Cheers

  4. What up Nina, Sarah and John — Fuck New Zack. I knew he was still loyal to the master but the homing beacon blood enraged me. But Zack is at his constantly high level of dirtbaggery so I’ll focus on a different target.

    I AM GLAD Great Value Bobby Jindal (Sanjay) got his melon splattered by The Master. I didn’t know what you’d get if you crossed a Vampire with a Gallagher gimmick, but I guess that’s as close as I’ll get That snake threw his wife under the bus in a failed attempt for what? 20 extra seconds of life? …… Okay.

    With one episode left, I’m not sure how I want it to turn out. Part of me wants that Nuke to be misconfigured and level the entire city, but I’d like to see “the good guys” get a win. I used quotes because Eph is at his core, a shitty person, but he’s better than The Master

    One more week left y’all. Peace!

  5. For the podcast


    Desai & Zach are some of the most ain’t shit characters ever! I feel bad for his wife. She died knowing her husband was an even bigger piece of shit than she originally thought.

    Why did they think the Master wouldn’t come for FNZ? Were they assuming he would only send foot soldiers? This plan was fraught with issues. They should’ve just stayed at the Federal Reserve.

    So how will this end? Would all the strigoi die if the Master dies or would they be uncontrollable killers? At least more so than they already are.

    If only Eph had shot his demon spawn. That deranged emo piece of shit actually looked disturbed by what the Master did. Is there even the slightest chance that FNZ might betray the Master? If he did, would it be too little too late?

    That’s it. Can’t wait to hear the podcast!

  6. Hello Cousin Nina, John, and Sarah,
    First, I would like to say fuck New Zach and his ain’t shit smarmy face forever!
    Second, my job won’t let me be great. I’ve only seen the first half of this episode, because I like to eat and shit.
    Third, what I did see made me want to slap Eph. Did we forget NZ set off a nuclear bomb that set off the vampire apocalypse? Of course nobody trusts that little fucker. The appropriate reaction to first seeing him would be to throw him off a roof, cliff, plane or anywhere with some good height. Sanjay is the type of motherfucker that would say slaves had it good because they had food and board or some bullshit. Fuck that dude and NZ forever!
    Oh man, I’m going to miss this show when it’s over.
    Love you guys. Your coverage always cracks me up.

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