Season 1 Episode 1
When a plane lands in New York City with everyone on board dead, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of the CDC’s Canary Project, and his team are called upon to investigate. Harlem pawnbroker Abraham Setrakian races to the airport, convinced that what looks at first like a mysterious viral outbreak might be the beginning of something infinitely more sinister...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.fxnetworks.com/thestrain" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
Inside The Strain - The Story
Inside The Strain - The World
JFK, February 8, Night Zero 20:00
A flight from Berlin comes in for landing in New York. One flight attendant urgently calls another to the back. On her way, she checks on an arrogant rock star, Gabriel Bolivar; a French girl, Emma; and an annoyed woman, Joan Luss. In the back, a freaked out coworker tells her there's something alive in the cargo hold. He heard a thumping, even though there are no animals on the manifest. They get down on their hands and knees and open the hold, but see nothing. But with it closed again, something thumps violently until it breaks through. We catch a glimpse of a monster as it comes at them.
In the air traffic control tower, they notice the flight has simply stopped on the runway. Bishop, the guy in charge, goes to inspect. The plane is off, quiet and dark, with its door closed. The plane feels cold. The windows shades are all shut.
Police pull up and they call for reinforcements.
20:35, Astoria, Queens
Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather struggles to put on his tie and make it to a court-appointed therapy session. He greets his waiting young son, Zach, inside. Eph tries to put a positive spin on the fact he's late, his estranged wife, Kelly, tries not to be annoyed. He ignores his buzzing cell phone as he recaps all the things he's done, per her wishes, to fix their marriage. But she says he's just not "present" and she's moving in with Matt, a dude who works at Sears.
Eph struggles to make his case as his wife kindly, politely, tells him she's leaving him. Both of his phones won't stop ringing, and finally he leaves to take the call about the plane.
21:15 at the airport Eph greets his colleagues Jim Kent and Nora Martinez at the scene, where the FBI is ready to take control of the plane. Eph goes into a speech that Jim and Nora have clearly heard before about how deadly a virus can be and how quickly it can spread, including to whoever walks onto that plane if it's infected. The FBI backs down.
Harlem 21:28 Two heavily tattooed, desperate-looking men walk into Abraham Setrakian's pawn shop hoping to sell a watch for silver, which they've heard he buys. When Setrakian leans over to inspect the watch, the thief, Chris, tries to grab a wad of cash from under the plexiglass. He's stunned when the old man grabs his wrist and presses a knife into it, giving a menacing lecture about how quickly he could kill the thief by opening a vein before the other gets a shot off. The two run scared, leaving their gun as ordered.
Abraham sees news of the flight on TV and takes note it's coming from Berlin.
Setrakian goes through a hidden door and down into his workshop, where he takes out an ornate silver sword-cum-walking stick with a wolf's head grip. He sits down and talks to a deformed heart in a jar. "He's back. I don't know whether I have the strength to do it all over again. This time, I cannot fail," he says. The heart twitches. "Feeling hungry?" Setrakian asks it.
He opens the jar and takes out a small knife, using it to slice his finger. When he drops the blood into the heart jar, small tentacles come out from everywhere and attack the blood droplets as if they were miniature piranhas. "Enjoy, dear," Setrakian says, almost lovingly.
Eph and Nora suit up to board the plane. He tells her about his court-ordered therapy and the situation with Kelly. Nora references their own relationship during the year he and Kelly were separated, which Eph never told Kelly about.
Jim waits outside with Eph's milk as Eph and Nora board the plane in full protective gear.
Everyone on the plane is dead.
There are no signs of struggle, no markings. Eph concludes it was sudden and painless. All the plane's windows are closed except one. They find evidence of ammonia.
Eph kneels down next to the young French girl, Emma, frozen dead in place in her seat. He reports his findings back, including that her tongue is pale and there's no frothing or blood.
When they use their UV flashlights, there are splashes of something all over the plane.
They split up to search, Eph takes the rear of the plane.
Zoom in on a dead passenger's hand. It twitches.
Around the back cargo hold the UV light shows smears of something everywhere.
Nora finds the cockpit door is opened. Jim urgently tells her it should be locked and that she should get out, but she wants to take a look.
She's peering into the captain's mouth when he moves. She wheels around and the arrogant rocker, Gabriel Bolivar, is standing behind her. So is Joan Luss. Eph radios for paramedics. There are survivors.
Stoneheart Group, Manhattan, 22:00
Thomas Eichhorst rides the elevator. Something is not right about his eyes. He goes to visit Eldritch Palmer. Reginald Fitzwilliam, an employee Palmer raised from a child, is a administering his dialysis, although he is head of security. Fitzwilliam leaves them alone. Palmer knows what Eichhorst is and a reference is made to the fact he cannot feel cold. "The cargo has arrived safely, and all four survivors have been found," Eichhorst says.
Despite the frigid temperature in the room, Eichhorst's breath is not visible. He admits he misses breathing sometimes.
JFK, 22:05 The CDC boss, Everett, joins them. Eph is keeping the four survivors under quarantine, but Everett is worried about PR and wants Eph to talk to the families, even though they have nothing to tell them.
In quarantine, Nora tries to talk to Joan Luss, a high powered attorney who isn't very cooperative.
Nora and Eph talk to Captain Redfern, who doesn't remember anything after landing.
Another survivor, the nerd, Barber, complains of a noise in his head.
The rock star, Bolivar, is primarily concerned with scoring drugs. Eph isn't sure how much of the goth rocker look to buy. Boliver takes off his long wig and confesses he's just in it for the girls.
Jim calls Eph to look at something in the container hold. There's a giant, nine foot tall, hand carved box that wasn't on the manifest.
Eph opens it -- it's full of soil. Bishop is positive it couldn't get past security in Berlin, but that doesn't explain how it got there. Nora notices the box has a latch -- on the inside.
At home, Kelly, Zach and Matt watch a news report about the plane. Zach is confident his dad will handle it. He texts him to make sure he's OK.
Eph texts back that he loves him and will call tomorrow.
Nora gives Eph a pep talk before he goes to talk to the families.
Bishop is on the phone speaking angry German to someone in Berlin about the box when he hears a noise and faint voice that no one else seems to hear. He wanders around the cargo storage area where the box is being kept, heading to the darkest, creepiest part.
He finds a puddle that could be blood and a pulsing something under a cloak. Then the nine foot tall thing rears up, and extends a tentacle from its face area into Bishop's neck. A hollow tooth jabs into Bishop's neck and sucks his blood, holding him in place with a claw hand. Then it snaps his neck, throws him to the ground and smashes his head into pulp before it slithers briskly away.
Eichhorst visits a Latino gangbanger, Gus Elizalde, in Spanish Harlem, giving him a wad of cash as arranged and telling him to pick up the van from the airport with the case and deliver it to Stoneheart. Eichhorst explains this time is special, and reveals files on Gus's mother and his brother, Chris, the thief who tried to rob Abraham Setrakian.
Gus doesn't want to do it, but Eichhorst tells him his mother's immigration status will be fixed and his brother's criminal record expunged. Eichhorst gives him three rules: don't examine the cargo, don't make any stops and make it back to Manhattan by daybreak.
Abraham Setrakian arrives at the airport to find goth punk fans chanting for Gabriel Bolivar. He easily walks through security, then fakes a heart issue to get close enough to talk to Jim Kent about the plane.
Everett sends Eph in front of the cameras and families for a briefing, which is swarming with media, even though Everett promised no press.
Kelly watches the briefing online. Eph breaks the bad news that 206 people died, four lived and they have no idea why. He promises to get to the bottom of things, but he's interrupted when the distraught father of the young girl, Emma, slaps him. He promises answers in 48 hours.
Office of the chief Medical Examiner, 23:40
Eph and Nora video chat with the ME, who shows them a clean incision on the front of a woman's neck. It punctured the carotid artery without damaging the area, which no medical instrument could do with such precision. He found the same mark in the same place on the six other corpses he's checked so far.
He takes out a scalpel and slices into a victim's wrist, which oozes white goo. The ME will know more after an exam.
Jim introduces Eph to Abraham Setrakian. Eph is inclined to dismiss the old man, who says he's seen the disease before and they have to contain it. Abraham doubts they can, which is exactly what "he," wants.
To prove he knows what he's talking about, Abraham mentions the bodies are not decomposing normally. He tells them to sever the heads and burn the bodies. They notice his cane/sword. Abraham is being taken away by security when he asks if they still have the coffin and tells them to destroy it before it crosses the river.
Office of the ME, 3:05 The ME begins his exam alone, to keep the press away. He looks at the body under UV light and notices a strange pattern on the skin.
Back in the plane's cargo hold, Eph and Nora find one of the tiny tentacles, still writhing and looking for food. Nora notices a clump of soil nearby with more in it.
They go looking for the coffin, but it's gone.
They go over the security footage, which seems to show the coffin disappearing. They slow it down and see a black blur seem to lift the coffin off the ground. The footage is only seven minutes old.
JFK security garage, 4:40 Gus puts on his fake ID and gets in the van he's supposed to drive. The coffin is in back. He drives off.
Eph calls Jim, telling him to seal off the airport, and keep all cars in, especially vans.
The police direct Gus to pull over. A dog sniffing the car starts barking. Gus is about to pull a gun, when Jim walks over. The cop shows Jim the Stoneheart business card Gus flashed, and Jim recognizes it. He tells the cops Gus is with the CDC. Before letting him go, Jim whispers to Gus: "You tell those sons of bitches, I'm done. I came through for them, but now I am done."
The ME continues his exam of the plane victims and removes a heart with growths on it that he describes as like new organs. He hears a crash and goes to investigate, when he returns the heart he was weighing is writhing in the pan and tentacles are oozing out of it like worms. He watches in horror as one works its way into his palm. He grabs tweezers and is relieved when he's able to remove it, but his relief doesn't last long. All of the bodies he's just been dissecting are now on their feet, even the ones that are cut open. They approach him hungrily, then attack.
Back at the airport, Jim reports to Eph that the coffin is nowhere to be found.
Abraham Setrakian is put into a holding facility in Queens at 4:05. His name's Armenian. He has a Holocaust prisoner tattoo on his arm.
At Stoneheart, Eichhort reports to Palmer that everything went well. Palmer knows about the old man at the airport, whom Eichhort recognizes as "the Jew," marveling that he's still at it.
Palmer alerts Fitzwilliam that he wants to walk the streets one last time, before "the fall."
4:55 Gus drives back into the city, calling his mom. At her place, his brother Chris is complaining there's only one beer.
Gus crosses the bridge.
A voice over tells us that love is the one thing stronger than hunger.
Queens, 5:29 Emma's father returns home to his dark house. He hears a tap on the window and sees Emma standing there. She walks in, announcing that she's cold.
She's also green, but he's just glad to see her again.
On the next episode...