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'The Strain' react: Eph is finally de-wigged in 'Quick and Painless'

Season 2 | Episode 5 | “Quick and Painless” | Aired Aug 9, 2015

Now that’s what we’re talking about. This week’s episode of FX’s The Strain was the best so far this season. With Ephraim Goodweather assuming a new identity to get out of town, and Kelly Goodweather unleashing her chirping babies into the world to scare the living daylights out of people, the episode was nonstop action. It also raised several questions that we need to discuss. Let’s talk about the best moments from “Quick and Painless,” and why Eph thought simply shaving his head was enough of a change to not be recognized.

Spider kids: When a group of cops show up to evacuate and clear out an apartment building, they run into something they’ve never encountered before … the Feelers. This was the creepiest moment so far this season, and a hell of a way to kick off the episode. The spider kids (as they were affectionately dubbed by the police) are faster than normal vampires, can hang upside down on the ceiling, can climb walls, and are absolutely terrifying to look at. Watching them zip around the building and then go cuddle with their mom, Kelly, was something straight out of a horror movie, and we loved it. This has to be one of the strongest and most exciting elements in season two. We just hope we don’t have to wait until the season finale to see them cross paths with Team Eph … and perhaps induct Zach Goodweather into their gang.

Oh dear god, please yes GIF

The best creature hunter in New York: Nora tells Justine Feraldo (who’s posted up at a police station) that she’ll help her with her vamp-hunting project if she frees Vasiliy Fet. Done deal! It seems like the cops don’t really give two licks about holding Fet in jail anyway. In fact, Dutch boasts to them that Fet is “the best creature hunter in New York,” so they bring Dutch and Fet along on another mission. Fet and Dutch play a little game of “my hunting gear is cooler than yours” with the officer they’re with at an apartment building. Listen, the cops may have some nifty gear, but seeing how some of them are still under the impression that you can only get infected by getting nicked in the neck (really?), we’re guessing Fet and Dutch could out-hunt them any day.

They head into an apartment to clear it, and find the shower running. They know something isn’t right, and Fet (being the genius/badass/expert he is) can hear something in the bathroom wall. He starts stabbing holes in the wall to try to kill it, then proceeds to put his face up to a hole instead of shining a light in there first … because dramatic effect, y’all. A strigoi proboscis comes flying out—but, of course, they kill it. We also get a pretty kickass scene of Fet and Dutch dropping a silver grenade down an elevator shaft and sizzling a group of strigoi. Win!

What exactly was the purpose of this little outing with the police? To show viewers that Dutch and Fet are going to be joining up with Team Justine to clean up the city? They could certainly use Dutch and Fet’s knowledge, since they don’t even know about silver. Maybe the scene was just to illustrate and reiterate how much of a total badass Fet is in all aspects of his life, which we’re fine with.

Eph undercover: Eph decides to make a move by traveling to Washington, D.C., with his virus. Since Eph is technically an escaped convict, he needs to assume a new identity and change his appearance. He shaves his head bald, which was probably the show’s way of conveniently getting rid of the wig Corey Stoll was sporting that fans have been making fun of since day one. Twitter was set ablaze with celebratory tweets over the de-wigging of Stoll.

Side note: Why the hell does Eph think simply shaving his head is enough to not be recognized? There are about one million and twelve other things he could have done to alter his appearance if he was that worried about it. He could have glued a mustache on his face, shaved his eyebrows off, gotten a neck tattoo, put his hair in microbraids, or called up Eichhorst to borrow some of his facial prosthetics. Anything! He went through all that trouble to get fake documentation, but we just think he could have put a little more effort into altering his appearance.


Apparently Eph should have taken our advice, because when he’s on the train to D.C., he spots his ex-boss, CDC’s Dr. Everett Barnes. May we remind you that Barnes is in Eldritch’s pocket and is anti-Eph? Eph can’t avoid running into him, and Barnes immediately recognizes him, because who wouldn’t? After a fist fight ensues between the two, Eph decides the best course of action is to throw Barnes off the train. We’re not judging. Desperate times, y’all!

Eldy’s got game: Eldritch Palmer takes the lovely Coco Marchand out to a fancy dinner, and his mere presence gets a standing ovation from all the restaurant patrons.


A friend of Eldy’s, Cardinal McNamara, approaches their tables and tells him, “A certain item you were looking for might be turning up soon.” He’s obviously referring to the Occido Lumen. Hopefully a race for the ancient text makes Abe’s storyline more interesting. On another note, we thought Eldy was the one putting all the moves on Coco, but she seems to be the one hitting on him. We don’t trust her … which is probably a good thing. She most likely has an ulterior motive—or she could just be after his money, because there are no sparks flying between these two.

Episode Assessment:

  • Are we the only ones who continue to be uninterested in Abraham Setrakian’s storyline this season? He’s one of the most compelling characters on the show, but his search for the Occido Lumen isn’t drawing us in. After five episodes of no real progress in his search, it feels sluggish and unimportant. We are, however, excited to see Fitzwilliam thrown back into the mix.
  • The episode ends with a small plane illegally landing in NYC. We then see a hooded strigoi (Vaun-style) hopping in a car. This must be the infamous Quinlan. The Strain fans, rejoice!
  • We’re thoroughly confused by the fact that people are still going out to nightclubs and fancy dinners like nothing is happening. The flow of information may be controlled by Eldritch, but nothing stops word of mouth. There’s no way in hell the people of NYC are not aware of the severity of this vampire outbreak. We find it hard to believe there’s no chaos, there’s no mass exodus from the city, and that the Feds have not yet caught wind of this and infiltrated. Someone please help us understand this.
  • Missing characters: Gus, Eichhorst, and the Master. We’re ready to see all the characters’ storylines come together so we don’t miss out on anyone each week … mainly Gus, because we love him.

Sound off with your thoughts on this week’s episode, and we’ll catch you next time! #FangsOut


TeamTSD (Liz and Lindi)

The Strain airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX.