The Strain, Guillermo del Toro, Carlton Cuse

‘The Strain’ Spoilers Tease A ‘Radically Different’ Season 3

The Strain really left fans hanging with the season 2 finale and the death of Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro), one of the show’s most beloved characters. Although, anyone familiar with showrunner Carlton Cuse and his work on Lost should know that he has no qualms about doing away with even the most adored characters. Even so, he says Nora’s death, which is a prominent deviation from Guillermo del Toro’s books, served many purposes. It seemed a good time to mix things up on The Strain and what better way to begin than with the death of a popular character?

Nora’s Death Is Real And Permanent

While fans may see Nora’s death as cruel and still as something relatively hard to accept, The Strain‘s producer wants it to be known that it was just as painful behind the scenes. Cuse says that Ms. Maestro is a wonderful person and a talented actress, so making the decision to kill off her character did not come easy. Even so, Mr. Cuse said that her death was necessary to teach the audience that no one is really safe from the strigoi.

Even more importantly, Nora’s demise serves to push Eph (Corey Stoll) into the frame of mind he needs to be in as season 3 picks up. Where is that? Eph will continue to research and develop the bioweapons, as he has been throughout The Strain‘s first two seasons, but he will also play a more active role.

“Eph is really going to be looking to do anything he can A) for revenge and B) to find out what happened to his son,” says Chuck Hogan, who co-wrote the books with Guillermo del Toro. “He’s going to be on a tear in Season 3.”

Big Changes Are Coming To The Strain And They Start With Zach

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For those that have read the source material, it should come as no surprise that Zach Goodweather (Max Charles) serves a much greater purpose than to merely be passed around from one sitter to the next. He plays a significant role, as he develops a unique relationship with the Master, and The Strain showrunner says that’s just what fans can expect to see on the FX series, as well.

“He has a fairly complicated relationship with The Master,” Cuse teases. “What exactly is going on there is one of the big dramatic questions, and we’re doing our own version of it in the series.”

The Strain is one of many shows being recognized for its limited cast of female characters, contributing to the problem of sexism in Hollywood. While Carlton admits that losing Nora and Coco Merchand (Lizzie Brochere) has reduced the percentage of female characters, as well as leaving Eph as the only scientist on the show, he also says the cast is already too big. He did add that they would be taking a bigger interest in the female characters already present on the show.

“We are very excited to do more, for instance, with the [Councilwoman] Justine Feraldo character played by Samantha Mathis. She’s going to be a big part of Season 3.”

What other changes can fans expect, when The Strain returns for its 2016 installment? For one thing, the concept of everyone operating out of a centrally located base has been ditched. When season 2 left off, Setrakian, Fet, Eph, and the Occido Lumen had hopped aboard Quinlan’s speed-challenged boat, so that should give fans an idea of what to expect in that department.

Also, The Strain has been reduced to 10 episodes per season, so the showrunner says the story will advance faster by necessity.

The Strain will return in mid-July on FX.

[Featured image by FX]