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The Strain: Series Premiere Recap Podcast

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Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler will recap the premiere episode of The Strain, “Night Zero”

The hosts are just grossed out at this point.  Rob is wondering whether they are vampires or zombies.  The Strain has 13 episodes so they’re definitely gonna be here for a while.

Josh thinks this is a weird show.  It’s unlike anything that’s on right now and it’s scratching off the Walking Dead itch he has been having since the show ended. It has a little bit of a 24 vibe because of the cast. Josh thinks it is a very weird vampire show.  He hasn’t read the books and decides to just enjoy the show.

Rob agrees it’s like a Post Show Recaps All Stars because of the cast who also appeared on other shows aside from 24 like Game of Thrones and Lost.  A lot of familiar faces here.

Rob comments that the show is interesting but it takes a little bit of time to get into the cool stuff by the end.  Josh has got vague notions about what’s happening.  He doesn’t understand why Sean Astin is working with the Stoneheart Group and how did they vampire turn all of the passengers of the Regis flight.  Just based on where they left off with the ending, Josh feels the pace of the show is going to be frantic.

Rob has got a lot of questions and asks Josh to talk him through it. Rob says the coolest scene of the episode is when all of the dead people getting autopsied and they come alive and kill the guy conducting the autopsy.  When a happy song is playing, something very disturbing is more likely about to happen.  Rob is confused if the four people on the plane are zombies.  The creepy guy with flickery eyes has to be a vampire.  Rob is just having a hard time putting these people into the appropriate categories of what they are.  There are some mysteries that need to be solved.

Because people didn’t listen to Abraham’s advice to destroy the coffins, these people are in deep trouble.  The beating thing in the jar that feeds off Abraham’s blood seems to belong to someone that Abraham cares about.  Obviously, Abraham has dealt with something like this before.  We can assume that Abraham is some sort of a vampire slayer.

Josh says he would not be surprised if there are no Nazi and World War II scenes considering that Guillermo del Torro is the director.  Josh is also expecting some holocaust flashbacks with Abraham being a holocaust survivor.

Ephraim or F is an A+ employee and an “F” father.  He has got some ego issues.  Rob’s biggest issue with Ephraimis why does he have to drink milk all the time.  Josh says he’s a specific guy and if you are a genius, then you have to be crazy.  Josh foresees that the boyfriend of F’s wife is gonna be eaten by a vampire.

The narration that opens and closes the episode seems confusing and Josh doesn’t know how that ties into the story so far.  Or perhaps there is a romantic factor behind the Stoneheart Group.  Maybe love is going to be a big theme on the show, being that F wants to reunite with his family and be with his kid.

Sean Astin’s character seems like a good guy but turns out to be the prospect”mole” for the season.  This show is occupying Josh’s interest in terms of the mole patrol.  We have to be on high alert regarding Sean’s character.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be putting a star actor for nothing.

The big thing living in the coffin is also in question.  Is he the man in charge or is he just working for the Stoneheart Group?  What they’re sure of is it has to be shipped to New York.  Josh gets the vibe that the creature is a valued guest. It may be a tornado of blood-sucking disaster that works on its own.  What the creatures does to Mikhail seems to be over the top yet Josh thinks it’s awesome.

The autopsy scene is the best TV scene of the week for Josh. Good music choice.  Josh is excited to see the vampire-zombie thing that’s going on.  He thinks it’s super cool.  The rockstar guy is a unique, interesting character.

The show starts with an ill-fated airplane ride which is interesting.  Josh hopes he gets the answers to the questions as to how they became a vampire.  Rob likes that it’s not an airborne virus.  It seems you really have to get the thing on you.  And that’s where you’re gonna see the nasty scenes.

Josh thinks the show is veering into a fantasy element or leaning on some sci-fi.  Josh would classify the genre as pure madness.  It’s a show that is not like anything on TV.  He thinks we’re heading into something epic.



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  • Linus Wesley

    Loved it! Del Toro is one of my absolute favorite directors so I’ve been looking forward to this show for a long time. I’m glad you guys are covering it because it makes it even more fun.

  • StephenDrabek

    I was very underwhelmed by the pilot. I kinda liked the stuff with Walder Frey but beyond that I struggled to keep interest. I’m assuming it will get bonkers pretty soon so I’ll keep going for a couple more episodes but it definitely did not hook me like the beginning of The Leftovers did.

  • Guillaume Schmitt

    I do think there is a nazi angle coming since one character is a holocaust survivor, the coffin came from Berlin and the German actor Richard Sammel often plays nazi character especially in “Inglorious Basterds” and “Un Village Français”

  • Guest

    Wow, I was cringing with almost every line of dialogue. I don’t think I’ve seen such a ridiculous show. Crap like this really makes me appreciate the quality of Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.
    So it seems that when Josh decides he wants to like a show, it really doesn’t matter how bad it is, he’ll just like it.

  • Edward McNamara

    Wow, I was cringing with almost every line of dialogue. I don’t think I’ve seen such a ridiculous show. Crap like this really makes me appreciate the quality of Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

    So it seems that when Josh decides he wants to like a show, it really doesn’t matter how bad it is, he’ll just like it.

    Why in the world would the CDC have one lone coroner working on such a potentially cataclysmic case? Playing music in a dark lab all by himself? Come on, every scene in this show is totally disconnected from reality and only serves a childish plot. This is something a group of kids would produce.
    The ATC boss walks up to the huge human lump, stands over it and never thinks to call others over?
    The CDC leads open the “cabinet” full of soil, wearing no protective gear, and poke through the dirt?
    They brush off the old man who knows every detail of a case in which they’re struggling to find answers?
    Crap this bad is not fun to watch, its an exercise in utter frustration. It’s insulting to sit and be subjected to some writer’s half-baked story, that requires the audience to ignore all the flaws. How many people sat in silence during initial run-throughs of this? Is Del Toro so surrounded by Yes-men that no one spoke up and pointed out how bad this was?
    Why would the bad guys hire some arrogant, petty gang-banger to transport their incredibly important cargo? He was a half-second away from turning the whole operation into a shootout with SWAT. Oh, but don’t worry, just a few strokes of the writer’s pen and that problem is solved.
    They’d better come up with a damn good reason why a professional who has dedicated his life to protecting the public, and trained for years to fight the spread of disease, would let the van pass through, knowing it is carrying the source of some unknown, highly deadly vector. What, he’s in over his head with gambling debts?
    Do you think that medical examiner was trained to rip off his protective gloves the moment he gets contaminated? Why would anyone pick up the beating heart from a dead body and hold it close to their face?
    I know that enjoyment of this genre takes a suspension of disbelief, but there are limits. Walking Dead finally figured out how to get it right, but this show is off to a horrible start. They’re asking way too much of the audience. The writer job is to tell us a story that pulls us in, instead we’re confronted with one gaping hole after another that requires us to choose between a face palm or dropping our sense of inquisitiveness with each poorly acted moment.
    I don’t understand how Josh can enjoy this, he’s so intelligent.
    And Rob, please, don’t apologize for “asking questions.” Feel free to have your own opinion. This show sucks balls.

  • Edward McNamara

    I must add: I knew it was going wrong when you’ve got a high-level CDC investigator who not only fails to respond on her radio, even when they’re begging her to reply, but does so at the exact moment that she decides, for no discernible reason (she was curious?) to ignore repeated orders to stay out of the cockpit. Ok, so we have a main character, who is in a job that is all about protocols and when an unprecedented event occurs, and she is entrusted to be one of two people on board the plane, she pokes around, breaking rules,violating direct orders and ignoring radio calls. Fire that bitch immediately. Oh, but she’s hot and of course there is a predictable affair between her and the other main character, so, that’ll be interesting… boring. I sure hope we get to sit through more of his family counseling sessions. And how long until they use his son to make a cheap attempt to engage us emotionally.
    Is this show actually targeted at literate adults?