Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Strain, Season 2, Episode 5: Quick and Painless

Feraldo’s tactics continue – including armed men enforcing mandatory evacuations and killing any vampires they find. They’ve already learned things like ensuring the white goo doesn’t touch them. But not, it seems the use of UV light. Or to shoot creepy children on general principles. Especially super-fast wall-climbing vampire kids that are Kelly’s kiddy minions. Even if they weren’t vampires they should have been shot

They also seem to believe that vampirism is only passed on by neck bites. Uh-oh.

Dutch arranges for Ephraim to get new IDs so he can leave the city (sending him though, from what we can see in the brief milliseconds, is a gay bar to do so). He then goes home to convince Zach that killing all the vampires is going to happen soon and going to be awesome. Zach still thinks his mum is coming back to him. Ephraim is amazingly not sympathetic, kind or decent about this because he’s a terrible person.

Nora tries to convince Ephraim to be sensible especially since getting all three of them through security checkpoints to deliver the plague would be difficult to say the least – so she offers to stay behind and look after Zach. They’re still playing the romance and Nora finally puts her foot down – she’s not going with him. She’s going with Dutch to try and get Vasiliy out of prison after his bombing last week.

Ephraim also tries to avoid attention by changing his appearance – and shaving his head.

Dutch and Nora find pandemonium waiting for them with Feraldo talking sense and trying to get people to calm down and support her and go into quarantine if needed. When Nora hears that they’re quarantining people for 3 days and offers them a quick and easy way to diagnose the infected. In exchange for Vasiliy’s release (he is being awesome in custody). When Dutch sees his face she goes full on mother-just-saw-her-child-come-home-with-a-bruise. The police do know why he set the bomb though and are even somewhat impressed by how he did it – still civilians and bombs are a bad idea. And he has all the info for killing vampires – UV and silver which he tells the police.

In turn the police tell him about the spider kids being so dangerous to kill. That sounds like fun to Dutch and Vasiliy. They go with a police squad to go hunting spider vamps. Showing them all the shiny vampire hunter tools (though a bullet to the head is as good). They also get vampires in the walls where Vasiliy repeatedly puts his head to holes he opens and just begs to be bitten.

Nora shows Feraldo how to find the infection worms under UV light. When she finds an infected Feraldo doesn’t know whether to kill him or wait until he turns – Nora thinks it should be the infected’s or their family’s choice. Or their family. She also wants Nora to check her nephew – who is infected. Nora tells her how utterly hopeless it is and how she tried to cure an infected and just couldn’t. We have a powerful moment when Feraldo has to make that choice followed by her desperate grief and confession she can’t do what she’s been asking her own people to do. Nora does it for her and injects him with Morphine.

Shall we pause to be amused that Nora, a fugitive with Ephraim hence the fake IDs, just walked into a police station and announced to everyone who she is? Sure, I didn’t expect Ferlado to care – but you’d think she’s hesitate.

Ephraim manages to use his credentials and fake ID to leave New York – and ends up on a train with Barnes, his old boss. What a coincidence. He decides to sit opposite him. His old boss seems to be hiding who he is (he was the head of the CDC who basically sold out humanity). Ephraim is terrible at hiding, unable to lay low or not brandish his credentials around.

Ephraim them confronts his terrible boss and throws him out of a train because why not? Y’know he could have just not sat next to him and risked his entire cover! Barnes wouldn’t have even known him! Ephraim is the worst. Barnes is a comic book villain of ludicrousness.

Despite all his attempts to sabotage himself, Ephraim finally arrives in DC

Abraham goes to see a Mr Green who he thinks has the Occido Lumen. He also reminds us all he’s a badass with a sword. With some very shiny items to trade. He doesn’t get the book. Why did we have to have this long scene. But he is followed by Fitzwilliam who now wants to help

And we have to catch up with Eldritch doing stuff for reasons – having dinner with Coco Marchand. I do like the line “denial is a special privilege of the rich” that was a good line. Everyone universally praises Eldritch for being awesome – and a Cardinal appears who seems to be looking for the Occido Lumen for him.

As they go back to his tower, Eldritch is increasingly not good at hiding how evil he is (hint #1 Eldritch, don’t comment that devastating building fires are nice hint #2 change your name, Evil McEvilson). He also tries some clumsy flirting with hints of wanting to introduce her as “more than an assistant.” And they dance.

We then see a plane ominously arrive in a New Jersey airfield with their “client” cutting through a fence and leaving.It looks like Quinlan may be back in the game?

There seem to be a predominance of POC criminals on this show – similar to the book in that regard. There’s a lot of Black and Latino gang members – and then Nora who really needs developing more to be the moral compass she could be – and now she plays nanny while he is the driven saviour. They need to develop her more, they need to make her something other than the check on Ephraim’s behaviour.

May this episode’s defiance and doing things with other characters as well as doing her own thing. please be a herald of more to come. The same with Fitzwilliam – let’s get these characters doing something

In some ways I kind of admire that Feraldo has done a lot even though they clearly have so little idea of what they’re doing. At the same time… why do they have so little idea of what they’re doing? Ok they don’t have Abraham but aren’t they doing any investigating or experimentation or questioning? Still she was pretty awesome this episode and it was nice to see more complexity from her

Is it just me or is this slow really really really really slow? I think it’s the multiple storylines creeping long and some are unnecessary (Coco and Eldritch for one).