the master from the strain

The Strain Series Finale Recap: Master Blaster

By Matt Webb Mitovich / September 17 2017, 8:04 PM PDT

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The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers from the Season 4/series finale of FX’s The Strain.

FX’s The Strain wrapped its four-season run on Sunday night by going out with a (very) big bang. But who all perished in the boffo blast?

The heroes’ grand plan of course was to take the nuclear option, as it were — hiding the warhead they had hunted down in a “forgotten” water tunnel located 800 feet beneath the city’s streets. There, they would lure the Master into the elevator cage and then explode the cables, sending him plummeting to the bottom. And while Quinlan kept his adversary busy, Fet decided that it would be his fate to detonate the bomb, vaporizing the Master, Quinlan and himself, while leaving the cityscape above safe and structurally sound.

Dutch was no fan of this plan, finally avowing her deep-seated feelings for the rat catcher and beseeching him not to make the ultimate sacrifice. Fet had to marvel/chuckle a bit at the dire circumstances required to finally make his sometime-love interest get mushy, but he stuck to his guns. That led Dutch to ask Eph to talk their colleague out of the suicide mission.

Eph would do a bit more than that, though. Because when it came time to spring the trap — after Dutch, Gus and the others lured scores of strigoi to the tunnel entrance site, and Quinlan shoved the Master (and Zach) into the about-to-drop elevator — it was Eph who (not surprisingly, at all) rushed into the smaller cage and sent himself 800 feet below, to be the trigger man.

That would be far from the last, or biggest, twist. Down in the tunnel, Zach looked on as Quinlan and the Master slugged it out, with the former literally going for the jugular by ripping out his rival’s throat, only to ultimately get his noggin stomped into goo. With his dying gasps, the Master urged Zach to shoot his father, but the lad instead unloaded his gun into the monster. The Master, betrayed, went to turn Zach into his new host, but Eph intervened. All the good doc got for his brave effort, though, was a mouthful — and then some! — of wormy parasitic goodness. Like, all of it. Every damn worm. Easily one of the year’s Grossest TV Moments.

At first, Eph seemed to be enough of his usual self to lumber over to the warhead and resume the grand plan. Before he could flick the actual switch, though, he fully turned into the Master’s new host and invited Zach, with his new raspy voice, to rule humanity at his side, as Vader and Luke “father and son.” With what would be his final seconds of life, Zach for once — for once — did the right thing, reaching to detonate the bomb whilst hugging his pop.

Flash-forward five years and Fet’s voiceover explains that the strigoi army, lacking a “central intelligence,” became dumb, easy kills. Also, Earth’s atmosphere was recuperating slowly but surely, now allowing several hours of sun a day. The interim government kept a handful of strigoi alive imprisoned in a cell because, Fet snarked, “What could go wrong?” Roman, we were told, help lead the city’s renewal and Gus left for the countryside to help refugees, while Dutch helped get the ol’ Internet back up and running.

In another positive sign, rats had returned to the city, Fet noted while tracking some rodent dung — shortly before bumping into Dutch on a riverfront walk, after what seemed to be an extended time apart. He asked if he could join her for a walk and she agreed, as Fet’s voiceover observed that although the Master had aimed to use humankind’s love as a conduit for the strain, “It was love that saved us all and gave us the world, our world, back.”

What did you think of The Strain‘s series finale?

The following recap, by the very definition of the word "recap," contains spoilers from the Season 4/series finale of FX's The Strain. FX's The Strain wrapped its four-season run on Sunday night by going out with a (very) big bang.



Biographical Information







Known Associate(s)

Pedigree Information



Other Relatives



Portrayed By

Doug Jones
Jack Kesy
Paul Aspland
Aaron Lazar
Jonathan Hyde
Corey Stoll
Robin Atkin Dowens (voice actor)


First Appearance


  • 1 Physical Appearance
  • 2 Powers
  • 3 Helpers/Assistants
  • 4 Ascendancy of The Vampire
  • 6 Trivia

Physical Appearance [ edit | edit source ]

By the time of his arrival in New York, he was inhabiting the body of Jusef Sardu, a Polish nobleman from the 19th century afflicted with gigantism, which explains his intimidating physique and height.

Apart from his stature, he retains the traits found in lesser Strigoi. From the six-foot-long apparatus used to transfer the disease as well as to swallow, the lack of a nose, clawed fingers, and completely hairless skin.

The graphic novel version of ‘The Night Eternal’ depicts the earliest date of the Master manifesting among humans as the 28th century BCE, which would place him around 3500 years old, possibly older. He was first documented as Thrax, a 15-year-old Roman slave, then a short, but strong legionnaire named Tacitus, and a tall, pale iron-worker. These are the Master’s hosts mentioned in the trilogy, although, throughout his millennia of walking the earth, he has undoubtedly assumed many more forms, including various indigenous peoples from the Americas in antiquity, whence he gave rise to wendigo lore before crossing over into the Old World to join the other Ancients.

Powers [ edit | edit source ]

There are several powers that are hinted to be reserved for only the original vampires. One of which, hinted at by Setrakian, is that they have the ability to see through the eyes of all lesser Strigoi. Another is their amazing strength. While many of the infected retain the physique they had in their former lives, the original vampires have the ability to effortlessly snap a neck or smash in a grown man’s skull. It’s also been shown that they can, for lack of a better term, “blink” through the shadows. Appearing from seemingly nowhere and just as easily disappearing, it’s impossible to physically track them. Consistent with the Season 1 finale, “The Master,” the Master has demonstrated that he is somewhat resistant to the sun’s deadly effects since he was able to survive much longer in the sunlight than a typical Strigoi could.

The Strain – Inside The Strain Old & New Masters

Assumption of the New Host.

Setrakian himself stated that he did not know the Master was capable of surviving extended exposure to sunlight, leading to his dreaded acceptance at the end of Book 1 of the trilogy that the Master was not of this earth. Setrakian did not understand the otherworldly nature of the Ancients, and so treated the Master as an earthly creature – even if an aberration – mistaking the host body the Master inhabited for his actual body and essence. It became clear that more powerful and occult methods would be needed to defeat the Master.

Helpers/Assistants [ edit | edit source ]

Throughout the series, The Master gains followers to assist him, offering promises that only he can fulfill, such as immortality. One of his closest lieutenants, Thomas Eichhorst, is generally the physical manifestation responsible for carrying out many of his orders. It is through him he recruits his other helpers.

In promising Eldritch Palmer, a successful billionaire, immortality, he has gained virtually limitless wealth and resources for his “New Order.” Through his contacts and infrastructure, he is able to gain the help of other mortals.

Kelly Goodweather is one of the few strigoi, to be given sentient access to her memories after being turned. She becomes one of his greatest assets, by using her bond with her son Zach to track him and by doing so also finding his father Ephraim, the Master’s nemesis Abraham Setrakian and his Group.

After the death of his mother, Zach has been willingly helping the master and attempts to gain information on nuclear bomb’s whereabouts from his father as part of a subterfuge mission given to him by The Master.

Ascendancy of The Vampire [ edit | edit source ]

Ever since the solar eclipse, the Master and his minions have tightened their grip on the City of New York, as it allowed them to move freely during the day, without fear of the sun for a time. This is only Step One in the Master’s plan for global domination. There is not one thing in these machinations that does not involve forethought and calculation, as evidenced when the Master had a school of blind children turned into “Feelers” in the hunt for Zack, as all of their senses would be unusually heightened and superior to any normal Strigoi, due to their lack of one sense. The primary, taken steps in the Master’s plan go as follows:

1) Catastrophic failure of the Public Internet.

2) Transport of his casket to midtown Manhattan, crossroads of the world.

3) Alliance to Eldritch Palmer.

4) Attempted acquisition of the Occido Lumen.

5) Transfer of his consciousness to the host, Bolivar.

6) Mass Murder of city’s high-level financial executives, which led to the run on the banks and the hoarding of precious metals (especially silver, the bane of vampires).

7) Build-out of the massive processing plants for the extraction of human blood.

The only reason that the Master succeeded so far is due to the fact that he is able to prey on human weaknesses, such as vanity and greed. If he can appease those weaknesses in a person, such as Eldritch Palmer (his thirst for immortality and power), he can convince them to do his bidding, even if only for a time.

Quotes [ edit | edit source ]

The Strain – Inside The Strain Vampire War

Expansion of The Vampire Sphere of Influence

Trivia [ edit | edit source ]

The deranged Renfield is known for declaring Dracula as “Master” in Hollywood renditions of the classic story. (See further trivia parallels with Renfield under the “Eldritch Palmer” page.)

The Master, also known as Sariel, is a main character and an antagonist. the youngest of the seven original vampires called the Ancients. He is responsible for the strain of vampirism that spreads in New York City. He serves as the main antagonist of the series. 1 Physical Appearance 2 Powers 3…