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Abraham Setrakian: And All The Girls Say - "He's Pretty Spry For An Old Guy"

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Any time you see a Jewish character fighting a Nazi who works for a superhuman bent on world domination, I think there are gonna be some Nietzsche references. Funny thing about Nietzsche- he was an atheist, but he wrote at length about preferring Judaism to Christianity, because so many of its stories were about actually rising up and overcoming adversity in this life, rather than just enduring it and waiting for the next one. After his death, it became fashionable for antisemites to ignore that part and pretend that he was a giant bigot just like them, but he wasn't. Anyway, once you get Nietzsche and vampires in the same story, there is one quote that is bound to come into play somehow.

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

There's already been some discussion among other characters about just how dark Setrakian's soul has become. That alone would be enough to satisfy the "monster' part of the quote, but I think the payoff is going to be a bit more literal than that. My impression last season was that at some time in the past, probably not recently, but maybe like around 1980 or whatever he had "taken the white." It's worn off a bit, so he doesn't have Eldritch's obvious "Popeye strength," but he is in amazing shape for somebody over 90. Assuming that he's taken the white eliminates the question of "how?" and only leaves us with "why?" Did he do it on purpose with a blood sample, to kill more vampires? Did The Master do it by force, so he could keep him around to pick on while figuring out how to grow a mustache to twirl? Or was it an accident, as simple as getting sprayed in the mouth with some blood during a sword fight? There are so many ways it could have happened, and it does such a good job of explaining him seeming a quarter of a century younger than he is, that I am loathe to disregard this hypothesis.

However... this season he is actually working with other high-level vampires against the Master, so from a narrative standpoint it looks more like they're building to him becoming part monster later on, rather than having it already be a done deal. The Watsonian in me says that he's already done the juice, and we just haven't gotten to that particular flashback yet. But the Doylist in me says it's not going to happen until right before another big fight with The Master.

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