After the world of “The Strain” was constructed in the first episode, “The Box” gave the show, and the outbreak, room to grow.
Viewers were introduced to a new character, an exterminator named Vasiliy Fet. It’s not entirely clear how he will play into the fight against the contagion, but he’s got a certain talent when it comes to getting rid of rodents that could come in very handy. He’s also funny, which is going to be desperately needed as the world falls apart.
There was also an explanation of Setrakian’s history with The Master. It turns out he’s known The Master’s minion Eichorst a long time, dating back to the former’s concentration camp imprisonment during the Holocaust. Eichorst visits his old foe in prison simply to let him know The Master can’t be stopped, but don’t expect Setrakian to just go along with that. He plans to use that sword hidden inside his cane to kill the head vampire once and for all.
Speaking of The Master, Eichorst also introduces him to Eldritch Palmer. As The Master speaks to the old and dying man, it becomes clear Palmer might be regretting what he got himself into. The promise of immortality is a powerful drug, though.
Meanwhile, the CDC releases the four survivors, against Ephraim’s many protests. In fact, his fighting back gets physical, resulting in him getting dropped from the case entirely and sent home. With the infected survivors free to roam the city, it creates an entirely new set of problems. For instance, Bolivar brings groupies home and ends up biting one of them — hard. He kicks them out, but is last seen lapping the blood up off the ground. It’s going to be an interesting trip for the goth rocker.
The pilot who survived the plane seems to be the only infected who actually cares about finding out what’s happening to him. He makes contact with Eph, who points him to a hospital for diagnosis. After looking at him under UV light, it’s plain to see the worms are in his body, giving Eph and Nora an idea of what they’re up against. If only they knew the true danger ahead of them.
After all, it’s the ones who “died” on the plane that pose the biggest risk. Ephraim and Nora visit the morgue only to find all of the bodies gone, along with anyone who might have been living in the office. He also gets a call from the distraught father who’s daughter returned to him at the end of Episode 1.
He just wants to thank Eph for sending his little girl home, which causes quite a bit of confusion considering she’s dead. Eph dismisses him as being in shock, but by the end of the episode the father is dead, courtesy of a little blood-sucking by his daughter.
At least Ephraim is doing a bit better on the domestic front. His wife still left him and he may lose custody, but he was mature enough to simply ask that the new man in his ex-wife’s life treat her and his son well. As tough as fighting an outbreak may be, being the bigger man in that situation is no easy task.