BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

After a tumultuous Season 2 finale, FX's vampire drama, The Strain will return to the airwaves on August 28th. With that in mind, we thought its the perfect time to take a look at what to expect for Season 3. If producer/showrunner/director Carlton Cuse's press release is anything to go by we're in for an even bigger and more explosive season:

"In this season, we're fighting for the fate of New York"

Season 2 suffered from aimless side stories and a big dip in energy mid season but ended with one of their best episodes to date. "Night Train" was exhilarating to watch as all the pieces that were slowly put into place as the episode all came together in an incendiary conclusion. The finale demonstrated Cuse's reluctance to adhere 100% to the original source material and it was riveting to watch the show take unpredictable detours.

Check out a teaser below:

One of the main story lines of the season followed Setrakian as he pursued the illusive book and finally watching him obtain it in a masterfully shot clash of armies. The real emotional gravity in the finale came from the departure of Nora, who ends her own life after being infected by Kelly leaving a devastating void that will potentially be filled by new characters in this upcoming season.

What to Expect From Season Three?

Cuse talked about the origins of the show and how it was sold as a three-season story but everyone at FX was pleased with how The Strain was being received that they then decided to allow the writers more time to explore a fuller story. One major difference between season 2 and season 3 will be the duration. Cuse announced they will be trimming down to a more succinct, punchier 10 episode run which will hopefully improve the pacing problems the show suffered mid-season 2.

The cast, Cuse and writer Chuck Hogan gathered at SDCC to talk about Season 3 and divulge some key story lines to stoke the fires of anticipation. Freed from the original story line, no character is sage and anyone could go next. The new season hopes to carry the fiery energy of the previous finale forward by ramping up the conflict, the strigoi will pose much more of a threat from here on out. This war will be the backdrop for some interesting personal narratives:

  • Still reeling from the losses he endured in Season 2, Fett will deviate onto his own solitary path and peel away from the conflict to reflect on his role.
  • Both Dutch and Eph will branch off and develop arcs with new characters.
  • Quinlan's past will be explored through timely flashbacks.
  • Justine Feraldo and Zach Goodweather will both play key roles in this season.
  • The relationship between Palmer and The Master was under some serious strain in Season 2 so we should see Palmer breaking away from the all seeing eyes of The Master.

Check out another teaser below:

In addition to teasing new stories, Cuse also talked about ramping up the visual palette of the show by diving even further into the graphic novel aesthetic the show uses. So even though the show is deviating from Del Toro and Hogan's books, they will double down on their commitment when it comes to visual style.

“I collaborate very closely with Guillermo [del Toro] along with the director of photography to create that. It’s very distinct and the goal for the show is that it doesn’t look like any other show on TV [...] I think the look is a character, we really want our show to be visually driven as well as character driven.”

Check out a behind the scenes featurette below:

With the full support of FX, the original creators and a growing fan base, it seems that Cuse and Hogan are taking the show in some interesting places. New story lines, a more succinct 10 episode season and the added excitement of unpredictable twists and turns should prove to be a winning combination for season 3.

What changes would you like to see in Season Three?


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