The seventh episode of this season of The Strain, entitled The Born, begins with a flashback in Ancient Rome, focused on the “Barbarian Gladiator” (Rupert Penry-Jones) – who we recognized to be the new high-functioning strigoi character from the present day in New York. He was sponsored by a senator interested in the dark arts, who ponders why the Gladiator is able to stand in the sun, suggesting he may be a half-breed.
In the present day, Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) and Fet (Kevin Durand) go to her old apartment to gather some clothes, perhaps so she can “move in” with Fet at the base they all share. They find Dutch’s roommate and assumed ex-lover, Nikki, who has been hiding there the entire time. Fet is annoyed with Nikki for simply hiding while they have fought – and he is particularly jealous that Dutch seems ready to return to her immediately.
Abraham (David Bradley) takes Fet’s mind off Dutch by bringing him to a Stoneheart factory in the Bronx, where Fitzwilliam had directed him. They find the empty bus that the blind children were on, and soon, they find the dirt piles and some Feelers. Neither Abraham nor Fet is quick enough to take down any of the Feelers, but before long, they are joined by the Barbarian Gladiator character, who quickly destroys each Feeler.
Meanwhile, Dutch helps Nikki settle in, and Ephraim (Corey Stoll) returns from Washington. He’s been stumbling around, addressing his shoulder wound with liquor and then drinking the rest. Later, Nora (Mia Maestro) patches him up, and he explains that they’ve been thwarted by Eldritch Palmer, yet again. She tells him about their close encounter with Kelly and the Feelers.
Next, the Barbarian Strigoi reveals himself to be named Quinlan, explaining to Abraham and Fet that he’s been hunting the Master for his entire life. In a flashback to 1873, we see Quinlan searching for the Master in a village that has been abandoned by the healthy and taken over by the turned – shortly after the Master took the Sardu form. Quinlan says that the Master was forced to change form after being wounded by Abraham, which has never happened before. Then, he points out that they’ve led him right to the Master’s base, who is in the building with them at that very moment.
Abraham demands that Fet go get his dynamite as quickly as possible, to take down the building with the Master inside. After Fet leaves, Abraham explores and finds the Master’s old body on the ground. Quinlan successfully finds the Master (Jack Kesy) himself, accompanied by Eichorst, while Fet sets up dynamite above them. He asks the Master to explain himself, which goes unanswered. Just as Quinlan runs at the Master to fight him, the dynamite goes off, allowing the Master to escape in the confusion. Quinlan blames Abraham for letting him get away.
Elsewhere, at the Stoneheart building, Eldritch (Jonathan Hyde) and Coco (Lizzie Brocheré) enjoy another nightcap in his office. He admits that he has never been a relationship before, because of his poor health, as she flirts with him more aggressively. She eventually invites herself to his bedroom, and they kiss.
The episode ends with Eph and Fet at a bar, discussing Dutch, Nikki, and the botched Washington attempt. Fet asks Eph what he will do next, and Eph replies “I’m going to kill Eldritch Palmer.”