The Master (Robin Atkin Downes) is the father of the vampire virus in the FX series The Strain. The camera shy creature has remained hidden under a hooded cloak for good reason. He reveals his monstrous face in “The Disappeared.”
Professor Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) has flashback to his time in a Nazi concentration camp. After carving the Master’s coffin, he pockets a knife to protect himself from the creature that feeds on the prisoners during the night. The giant vampire easily disarms Setrakian, then mocks his efforts to stop him. He crushes the carver’s hands with his own massive hands, which have only four digits including disproportionately long index fingers. Setrakian cries out for God to help him.
“Where is he? Where is your God?” the Master asks. “I don’t see him.”
The Master is fully revealed during a flashback of Nazi commandant Thomas Eichhorst (Richard Sammel). Eichhorst flees to the Master’s coffin when Allied troops invade.
“Why have you forsaken me?” Eichhorst cries out.
The Master answers his prayers and finally reveals his face. He bears little resemblance to his accidentally sired half vampire offspring Quinlan. Like other vampires his nose has atrophied but not his ears, which are pointy and give him the appearance of a demon, as do his red glowing eyes and translucent throat.
The vampire agrees to turn his acolyte. He uses the claw on his index finger to cut both of their arms, then transfers an unusually large parasitic worm. His eyes roll back back into his head as though he’s entering a trance. It’s clearly a involved process presumably because Eichhorst is allowed to retain his personality unlike typical vampires.
The religious overtones seem to suggest series creator Guillermo del Toro may keep the supernatural origin intact. The Master was originally the archangel Ozryel, who was overcome with bloodlust when he assumed human form along with Gabriel and Michael to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He was cut into seven pieces with the head becoming the Master. It’s unlikely we’ll actually see this origin story on screen but perhaps Setrakian will recount the tale to the ever skeptical Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll).
The Strain airs 10 PM Sunday on FX.