“The Strain” reunites Dutch with her ex-girlfriend Nikki


Love is tough in a world filled with vampire viruses and deadly parasitic worms. Yet, somehow it finds a way on FX’s horror series The Strain. Well, I should say, love triangles, as that’s exactly what’s happening at the moment with Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas from Lip Service), a computer hacker, Fet (Kevin Durand), an exterminator turned vampire fighter, and Dutch’s ex-girlfriend Nikki (Nicola Correia-Damude).

In Season 1, Dutch, Nikki (her “roommate”) and a couple of others including the series lead Ephraim are trapped in a store that is attacked by vampires. Nikki escapes and afterwards takes Dutch’s money and laptop and disappears. After that, the bisexual Dutch becomes close with Fet, and they begin a physical and emotional relationship. Two episodes ago, Dutch and Fet stumbled upon Nikki, who was hiding out with a busted ankle from the virus and killer vamps on her own. Dutch is beyond relieved to see Nikki and all that stealing and fleeing is temporarily forgotten as they embrace and reconnect. 

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Naturally, Fet isn’t thrilled by this development, and doesn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for Nikki. Seeing that Fet is jealous and angry, Dutch stays with Nikki for a while to get her situated. Nikki gets the full sense of Dutch and Fet’s relationship when a drunk Ephraim spills the beans.

This week’s episode has a brooding but more well behaved Fet and fellow vamp fighter Nora heading off to check on Nikki and Dutch, who are now holed up together in Nikki’s old apartment. Dutch is welding bars to put on Nikki’s windows, and looking kind of hot in her gear. Nikki notices and also teases her about looking super gay in that mask and torch. They laugh and it’s easy to see the connection these two still have.

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Nikki’s mom, who DOES NOT like Dutch, wants Nikki to move back in with her. Dutch admits that Nikki’s mom was right in the nasty things she said about her, but that doesn’t stop her from caring about Nikki. The two are about to have some real talk about their feelings for each other when— knock knock—it’s Fet and Nora at the door. Fet is much more well behaved this time around, and at least pretends not to hate Nikki. He warns the women about how his place was attacked last night and to be careful. He invites them to come to stay at their new hideout, but Dutch, sensing the rising tension, tells Fet she’ll think about it. She kisses him on the cheek as he leaves.

Later on, Dutch installs the bars while Nikki seethes about Fet. She asks Dutch if she loves Fet, which she does. An angry Dutch finally confronts Nikki about bailing on her and stealing her money and computer. Nikki admits to taking and destroying the computer but not taking the money. Dutch then questions Nikki about where she’s actually been all this time, because she doesn’t exactly believe her. Nikki sticks with her story but this doubt is supposed to make us think that Nikki is up to something. Dutch breaks out the big guns and tells Nikki that it was actually a relief that she thought Nikki was gone forever. Dutch doesn’t mean what she’s saying, but it cuts Nikki deep to see how much pain she’s caused Dutch. Dutch garbs Nikki by the face and yells, “I have always been in love with you and it has never made me happy!” Damn. They kiss passionately, and tumble into bed.

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After some angry sex, they fall asleep together. Dutch is woken by sounds of a GIANT battle outside. A huge group of citizens is fighting against the vamps and there are guns a blazing and screams echoing through the night. Dutch quickly gets dressed to check out the action, despite Nikki’s protests. Dutch hands Nikki a knife to protect herself, as Nikki says, “This is crazy—you are just one girl. What are you thinking?” Dutch kisses Nikki and tells her she’s actually thinking about other people, which I gather wasn’t something Dutch was known for in her past.

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Dutch gets involved on the battle, and just as she’s about to be attacked by a vamp, Nikki saves the day by killing it instead. Maybe this will help put Dutch’s doubts about her to bed. After some solar powered assistance, the battle turns in the human’s favor. The next morning, Dutch and Nikki meet up with Fet and Nora. Fet compliments Nora for her brilliant idea to blast the vamps, and Dutch looks visibly jealous at his gushing. When Fet finds out that Nikki saved Dutch, he thanks her and lets his wall down a little bit.

While I like the connection between Dutch and Nikki, my guess is that all is actually not alright with Nikki, and she will be exposed for some shady dealings during her iffy timeline. Fet and Dutch seem as though they’ve been headed for a relationship all season, and Nikki’s return is most likely just there to cause dramatic tension between the two, as if vampires and killer worms weren’t enough. If that’s the case, it would be disappointing to see The Strain go that route. It’s never fun to see queer characters used simply as plot devices. Dutch’s feelings for Nikki seem very real, however, so we will have to wait and see where this is headed.