As season 2 of The Strain chugs forward, it’s been casting the intentions of the strigoi further and further aside. That’s not to say that Eichhorst and the Master’s plans are meaningless, but “Quick and Painless” does very little to shine a spotlight on them and their various cohorts. Even Palmer, ostensibly the most present villain on the show, is more worried about his romantic life than the Occido Lumen in “Painless.”
And time away from the villains gives The Strain a chance to propel Abraham, Eph, and the rest of the team’s goals forward at varying rates.
Potentially the most essential movement occurs on the part of Eph, who is bald. I repeat, we now have Corey Stoll in his naturally bald state. This is not a drill, people. The wig is gone, and even if I can’t fully divorce my image of him from his wonderfully villainous turn as Darren Cross in Ant-Man, it’s great to see Stoll freed of his hairy prison.
What’s the reason for the transformation? Well, Eph is going to take the cure/infection he and Nora have created to Washington, D.C., but with Eph still in the news after escaping custody, a different look might help him avoid attention. While acquiring a new name for his ID, he’s given the idea to alter his appearance and soon takes a razor to his despicable hair.
But Eph’s hair isn’t the only thing he’s leaving behind. While he originally wants to bring Zach and Nora with him to D.C., both are less than enthused at the idea. Nora fears what trouble her makeshift family might face if all caught together, and knows that Eph on his own stands a better chance of escaping. And Zach… well Zach just doesn’t want to do anything his dad suggests because he’s still in whiny pre-teen mode.
So Goodweather begrudgingly leaves the two behind and begins his dangerous trek to the nation’s capital. He passes through security at Penn Station (which, as a New Yorker, so obviously is not Penn Station that it’s embarrassing), and continues to avoid detection on the train. He’s suspicious of everyone he encounters though, sending Eph on a winding dash through his train hoping to avoid law enforcement.
Unfortunately, that effort leads him straight into the view of Barnes, his former boss at the CDC. He attempts to evade him but eventually the two cross paths. Barnes tries to talk Eph down, asking him to trust him. But Eph’s wariness has been pushed to the max, and he’s not willing to take any chances. He begins fighting with Barnes, hoping to subdue him, but the fight eventually spills into an outside area between train cars.
Barnes thinks he’s won. Eph has nowhere to run, and he’ll now have to deal with the police. But if he can’t leave the train, Eph has no problem ejecting Barnes from the vehicle, and he sends him flying off the side of the speeding train.
He continues to worm his way into D.C. once the train arrives at its destination, avoiding a cohort of Barnes’ while passing through security. He’s almost stopped by a mysterious urn in his bag, but with the slip of a believable lie that his wife’s ashes are in the urn, he’s let through, free to hopefully spread his cure to the masses.
The other half of the team behind that cure, meanwhile, does her part to assist the fight against the strigoi infection in New York. She and Dutch head down to a police precinct when they discover that Fet has been arrested for his demolitions show in the subway.
NEXT: Abraham makes some inroads hunting down the Occido Lumen, but he’s not the only one looking for it…