The second episode of The Strain doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the thrill of the plane investigation or the massacre at the morgue in the first, but it does function as a solid and very necessary character and world-building episode. “Night Zero” benefited from the novelty of the inciting incident, but now that that’s done, it’s got to beef up both the main players and the core story to ensure the longevity of the show, and that’s exactly what “The Box” does.
Ephraim gets a nice balance this episode. Roughly half of the time he’s discovering new things pertaining to the case, but then the other half, he’s with his family, just being an average person. “Night Zero” laid out the basics of Ephraim’s situation with his wife and son, but “The Box” digs a little deeper, and not just in terms of blurting out new details on their predicament, but rather by letting them behave like normal people.
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