Just when viewers thought that The Strain was slowly derailing into boring territory, Quick and Painless revitalized interest in the second season. Taking some time to build up the pace beyond the speed of a geriatric turtle, this past week’s episode made sure to focus more on the characters and still progress the plot. Quick and Painless had spider kids, interesting dialog, beginning of some new alliances, an introduction of a new character, and the long-awaited death of The Strain’s worst villain. Only five episodes in and The Strain has finally begun to find its niche this season.
Considering that last week’s episode was more of a catch-up for Gus’ arc, Quick and Painless brought the attention back to the main characters and plot line. Opening with the newly formed NYC tasked force taking on Kelly and her spider-monkey babies (the blind vampires from earlier in the season). The kids were nothing to take lightly and their small frame made for some agile killing machines.
The attention was later placed back onto Eph and his enthusiasm to travel to Washington, D.C. and spread the news about his newly found virus. Since the city is in a complete lockdown and he was America’s most wanted, Eph’s plans to travel had to well thought out. His first stop was a seedy gay club to get some new/fake IDs from one of Dutch’s friends and the owner. The owner recognized but realized that money was still the motivator and gave Eph what he wanted. Some solid advice was also given to The Strain’s alcoholic scientist-change his appearance.
Taking the sound advice, Eph did just that. In one of the better moments of the episode and the series, actor Corey Stroll finally embraced his natural look and got rid of that horrible wig. Yes, Eph’s look change was just about as drastic as Superman’s disguise as Clark Kent, but it was great for viewers to no longer watch that villainous wig adorn Stroll’s dome. Eph had a new do and new ID to travel to Union Station. All was going well until he came in contact with the same political figure (Barnes) that turned Eph into America’s most wanted quickly recognized him. What later transpired was a turning point for The Strain’s main protagonist and showed how far Eph was willing to go to rid the world of the Strigori.
Fortunately, Eph was not the only one seeing some action in Quick and Painless. Dutch mysteriously found out that Fet was arrested and went down to rescue him from NYC’s resident martial law enforcers. Since Nora decided that traveling with Eph was a blatant bad idea, she stayed with the ever angry Zach and accompanied Dutch. Fet may have been bruised a little, but he was still in good shape. Enough so that the two ended up joining forces with councilwoman’s extermination squad. Nora even contributed more than just a shoulder to cry on a character to confide, she ended up helping the councilwoman to identify those that were infected without detaining them in quarantine for over 72 hours.
There was a sad moment when councilwoman Justine Feraldo discovered that her task force nephew was a casualty of her crusade. Earlier in Quick and Painless, the young officer was nicked by one of the spider monkey vamps. His fate was sealed and the councilwoman could not bring herself to give him a merciful death before he became one of the creatures she was hunting down. Nora had to deliver the fatal dose of morphine. Although sad, the audience did not get any emotional attachment over the past two episodes for council woman’s nephew, so his passing had little effect. It would be interesting to see if this death would push the councilwoman over the edge of sanity and into the realm of crazed retribution.
Although one of the most interesting characters, Setrakian did not add much to this week’s episode. His continued searched for the fabled text that spelled out the way to rid the world of the Strigori further led him on a goose chase to an arms and goods dealer previously seen in season one. The dealer did not have the text but provided some information on where to find it.
The Strain: Quick and Painless may have been one of the stronger episodes of The Strain’s second season, but it still had its moments of uselessness and some plot holes. Zach continued to perfect his scowl and hate his father for his mother (Kelly) for not being around. One moment that did not make sense was Nora’s ease of entering the council woman’s military headquarters. Supposedly, Nora and Eph are the nation’s most wanted and yet Nora was able to enter the facility and introduced herself by full name with little repercussions.
Another moment that the episode could have done without was Palmer’s continued pursuit of his assistant with the upscale stripper name, Cocoa Marshmallow. It is unclear whether this romance will blossom into anything and, honestly, it is rather pointless. One interesting out of this awkward scene of the two dancing was the revelation that Palmer is also looking for the Strigori killing tome. It seems that Palmer may just be turning over to the good side or he just does not want Setrakian to get his hands on the book. For a villain, Palmer’s motives still seem unclear at this point but his betrayal seems imminent.
The Strain: Quick and Painless is definitely a movement in the right direction for the second season. Though there were still slow moments in the episode, the good made up for it. The Strain‘s episode ended with the introduction of a new slayer that was summoned by the ancient ones. Last week’s episode also set up a nice showdown between the main Strigori killing group and vamp Kelly with her blind spider vamps.
Opinion and Review By Tyler Cole
Edited By Leigh Haugh
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