TV Review: The Strain 2×05 “Quick and Painless”

Pictured: THE STRAIN logo

Pictured: THE STRAIN logo

Eph takes a trip to the strip club around the corner to prepare for his journey to Washington, to get a new identity of course. Eph assumes he’s taking his new family with him to DC, but Zack is insistent on staying, and Nora convinces him it’s safer for their fugitive status that he go alone. In this case, Eph is showing signs of delusion, thinking he has the problems with his son under control, and weirdly, half-romantically, telling Nora that he needs her. In this episode, Eph accuses Zack of the concept of “Magical Thinking,” but I tend to find a little more faith is needed in a child who has lost his mother to vampires than him hoping for an Xbox from Santa Claus, but maybe I’m over-analyzing. The bigger note in this exchange is Zack insisting that he can fend for himself, which I don’t doubt his ability to, I just doubt my chances of actually seeing it.

Case in point, Nora and Dutch need to go to the police station to retrieve Fet after his arrest. While they, Eph, Abraham, and Fet are all missing from their safehouse, Zack meanwhile lounges around. I don’t doubt the kid’s capabilities, but he was 100% more brave last season.

Back to Eph, if you didn’t think alcoholism and a trip to DC was bringing Doctor Goodweather one step closer to being comparable to House of Cards’ Peter Russo, you were quite wrong, because this week, my prayers have been answered people. Glory Hair-elujah…

THE STRAIN -- "Quick and Painless" -- Episode 205 (Airs August 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Corey Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather. CR: Michael Gibson/FX

THE STRAIN — “Quick and Painless” — Episode 205 (Airs August 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Corey Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather. CR: Michael Gibson/FX

Corey Stoll gets to lose the wig. I do have to admit, Stoll looks like he stands much more confidently in his elegant bald form, but frankly, the episode’s editing dwells on it a bit too long in what seems like some kind of effort of fan-service, but the real fan-service comes later in the episode… and those who were once outraged before maybe won’t feel that way by the end of “Quick and Painless.”

Eph’s trip to DC is probably the most thrilling sequence of the season, or at least the one that has built an entertaining amount of tension and actually escalates to the untimely demise of someone we’ve met before… not that he’s someone we’ve particularly liked, but it’s the first instance I can think of that Eph has committed the murder of someone who hasn’t been turned, or in the process of being turned…perhaps his value of life has been completely shot, or he’s fully committed to the greater good, but either way, we’ve yet to see his full plan of action now that he’s returned to DC.

THE STRAIN -- Pictured: Mia Maestro as Nora Martinez. CR. Robert Sebree/FX

THE STRAIN — Pictured: Mia Maestro as Nora Martinez. CR. Robert Sebree/FX

At the police station, Nora and Dutch find councilwoman Justine Faraldo attempting to calm a crowd of people who need to be diagnosed. Nora offers her a simple UV diagnosis that would take less than a couple of hours in exchange for Fet’s freedom.

Faraldo’s nephew is one of the few truly infected, and Samantha Mathis escalates the emotional importance of the episode by wanting to give him the morphine himself, with Nora assuring her of the right decision with a reminder to the audience that Sean Astin was once in this show. This subplot with Nora could build into a strong subtext for the series about the determined value of life and at what point should it be taken if there is, in fact, no cure.

THE STRAIN -- "Quick and Painless" -- Episode 205 (Airs August 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet.  CR: Michael Gibson/FX

THE STRAIN — “Quick and Painless” — Episode 205 (Airs August 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet.
CR: Michael Gibson/FX

Our weekly vamp-action is provided courtesy of Fet and Dutch consulting with the NYPD to offer help clearing an apartment building of the vampires, which could become an interesting worldbuilding moment in which Fet and Chief have a dick-measuring contest over the best ways to kill these creatures, though the NYPD see direct results of using silver against them. Kelly’s blind children of the night have now officially been dubbed “Spider-Kids” by the NYPD and have provided much havoc in the episode’s opener, but Fet seems to be right at home in eliminating him, considering their tendencies to be pretty much like rats. This sequence begged the question to me, however: how much more dangerous are kinds of creatures The Master can bring forth against Ephraim and the Goodweathers?

The Strain Episode 2×05 “Quick and Painless” (8/10)

Boston, Massachusetts: Evan is a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in English and Journalism. He's had a lifelong passion for film, games and reading things. A living movie quotation machine, and obsessively analytical, Evan will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? It’s always appropriate.) Additionally, he is an aficionado of the superhero genre, old video games and (yes, subjectively) awesome movies.
  • Alvin Anderson

    The Spider Kids were very horrifying and reminded us all of the poor, blind kids kidnapped and helpless in the clutches of the monsters. Very gruesome and effective as new vamp monsters. Haunting images of Kelly ‘mothering’ them. I’m on the edge of my seat watching the story unfold and trying to gleam where they are going to take it all–if they are going to follow the book closely or re-imagine it like Game of Thrones. Either way, good horror TV. The clearing of the apartment house was a close resemblance of the movie “REC”. I can’t wait to watch this story unfold–this is much better than making it into a theater movie.