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Strain - Recap

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At Murmansk in Russia, Alex and his team of sleepers bribe the gate guards and drive to a freighter at the port. They unload their cargo from the Siberian ice and take it to the freighter’s cargo hold, and then seal the area. One of the sleepers, a medic, dons a protective suit and goes inside to open the case. Inside is the corpse of a World War I soldier, and the medic goes to work.

Jarvis finishes putting the poisoned sweetener on the President’s saucer just as Martinez and his arrive. As they try to figure out what Sophia’s agent was doing with the Siberian soil samples, Martinez drinks the coffee. He starts to stagger in pain, looks up, and sees Jarvis guiltily watching him. The President then collapses, knocking his cup to the floor as the coffee spills on Sterling. EMTs take Martinez to the hospital and Dr. Reed informs Sterling, Jarvis, and Peel that Martinez has suffered a stroke, and they may need to perform surgery to reduce the intracranial bleeding. Sterling goes to talk to Martinez, who manages to tell him that Jarvis poisoned him and that they have to step him from becoming the new President.



Outside, Christina arrives to see her husband and Jarvis greets her, insisting that Elias is a hero for him. After he goes into the bathroom to recover in private, Jarvis leaves and Sterling catches up to Chief of Staff Peel and warns him that they can’t let Jarvis assume the presidency. When Peel demands to know why, Sterling finally admits that they covered up Jarvis’ role in the previous attempt on Martinez at the presidential compound. Peel accepts his explanation but warns that they need ironclad evidence to stop Jarvis. Sterling says that he can get it if Peel will buy him time.

At the sleepers’ community, Sophia is watching a newscast on Martinez’ collapse when Aaron comes in, happy that the president is dying. Sophia berates him, saying that she regrets the measure they’ve had to take. Aaron informs her that they’ve recovered the weapon and Sophia asks him where Michael is. He admits that they have lost contact with Michael and wonders how they’ll get the weapon back to the states. In response, Sophia explains that Jarvis will unwittingly help them.

As Leila finishes calling Sean with the information about Murmansk, Michael finds her and stops her. He warns that he can’t protect her if Sophia learns what she’s been doing, but Leila isn’t interested in her father’s help. She tells him that she called Sean with the information about Siberia and the weapon, and Michael escorts her back home. They’re interrupted when Luis arrives and insists on taking Leila to Sophia after Michael’s daughter attacked him. Michael plays along but then kills Luis as soon as his back is turned.



Sean and Vicky board a train to Murmansk. While Sean accesses the Internet, looking for information on Irina Bogdanov, he asks Vicky why she’s still helping him. She tells him that he knows but refuses to spell it out. Checking the port records, Sean confirms that the Irina Bogdanov is a freighter docked in Murmansk.

The sleeper cuts open the soldier’s corpse and determines that it is in excellent condition due to the frozen permafrost it was kept in. Meanwhile, the leader of the mercenaries that the sleepers are employing complains to Alex about the risks of the corpse and demands more money, but Alex refuses to pay and tells him and his men to stay well away from the clean room.

As the medic cuts open and starts to remove the soldier’s lungs, he accidentally cuts the suit on his glove. Realizing what he’s done, the medic runs to the door and begs the guard to let him out, insisting that it’s safe. The guard considers and starts to open the door...



Reed informs Christina that they are treating her husband as best they can, but there is a risk of another stroke. She enters her husband’s room and sits at his side, and tells him to fight and that she loves him.

At the White House, Sterling checks the surveillance video of the briefing room and informs Peel that Jarvis was near the coffee before the others entered the room. It’s clear that he’s doing something on the tape, but his back is to the camera. Peel warns that they’ll need solid evidence to prevent Jarvis assuming the Presidency. When Jarvis comes in to tell them that he’s calling on the Cabinet to vote, Peel says that the Secretary of State has been delayed two hours. Jarvis reluctantly agrees to wait and leaves, and Peel informs Sterling that the Secretary of State has already arrived, and they have two hours to get the evidence they need.



In his office, Jarvis receives a call from Sophia, who asks him why he isn’t the President yet. He warns her that since Martinez didn’t die immediately, he has to convince the Cabinet to vote him in. Sophia tells him that the poison is working as planned, and Martinez will soon be dead. When Jarvis warns her that there will be an autopsy, Sophia assures him that the poison is untraceable. However, he realizes that Martinez spilled his coffee when he collapsed.

Reviewing the footage, Sterling remembers that Martinez spilled his coffee. They got to the briefing room only to discover that Jarvis has assigned a team to clean the floor.

Michael takes Luis’ corpse to his house while Leila thanks him for her help. He tells her that she has to accept the sleepers as her people, and warns that if she makes any further attempts to escape or warn Sean, Sophia will have them both killed. Sophia arrives and Leila lets her in and stalls for time while Michael hides Luis’ body. Sophia isn’t convinced, but Michael comes out just in time and Sophia asks him outside to talk. She asks Michael to locate the missing Luis.



Sean and Vicky arrive in Murmansk and find the freighter. As they try to figure a way in, Sean asks Vicky why she’s helping, but she says that he’ll never understand. They take out a nearby trawler captain and then use a rubber dinghy to cross to the freighter. Once on board, they discover that all of the crew sealed in the lower levels is dead, killed by some disease. The duo don protective suits and enter the clean room, and confirm that the Russian soldier’s corpse has had its lung removed. They hear someone moving above and intercept the mercenary leader, returning to the freighter. They threaten to expose him to the newly dead unless he answers their questions, and he explains that says that the soldier died of Spanish Flu, and that the sleepers removed the corpse’s lungs and are taking it to the U.S. by passenger plane.



The cabinet gathers for the ratification vote. Sterling arrives and warns Peel that he was unable to get an uncontaminated sample from the briefing room floor. Peel says that they have to proceed with the ratification given their lack of evidence. He tells Sterling to play along or stay away, and they go inside. Peel informs the cabinet of the situation and that they need a majority vote to put Jarvis in command. Everyone votes aye, including Sterling, who plays along.

Afterward, Sterling goes to his office and contemplates what happens. He notices his reflection in a coffee pot and realizes that there’s a coffee stain on his right shirt cuff. Afterward, he goes to his office to consider what has happened, and notices a coffee stain on his cuff.



As Christina continues her vigil at her husband’s side, he goes into convulsions.

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Warning: The Event season 1 episode 18 guide may contain spoilers
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