Whether you find Schaeffer’s work to be brilliant or incredibly awful, there’s no denying that it takes a certain kind of filmmaker to be able to draw that kind of strong sense of appreciation or distaste, and those are typically from directors who put a lot of themselves in their work.
With the first season of Fargo, Noah Hawley and company did something unheard of in television: he took an iconic American film, and turned it into a better TV show, adapting the dark, twisted humor of the 1995 Coen Brothers classic into a show that both felt abundantly familiar, and wildly original.
While musing over how the story has progressed so far in the second season, something came to light: it’s no wonder that side characters in The Strain have a habit of not living very long once they come into contact with any one of our band of heroes. Sometimes the loss is effective—the deaths of Leigh and Fitzwilliam in last week’s episode are still worthy of lamenting because their characters had been defined.
Here’s a recap of what happens in “Quick and Painless”: Ephraim goes undercover to take Nora’s and his findings to Washington DC, Nora and Dutch negotiate Fet’s release from police custody, Abe consorts with a rare item-finder who should have his own Discovery channel show, and Palmer and Coco get close. That’s it. This week’s episode is sadly underwhelming for a series with so many interesting plot points to expand upon.
The cold opening of episode four connects itself to The Strain in three different ways. The relevancy of the first two to the series are easily discernible. First, the narrative of the black-and-white lucha libre B-horror and the present day horror drama series share the same major conflict: human vs vampire.
Danger escalates within season two’s first three episodes as inter-state highways are closed off and travel becomes heavily regulated. The constant sound of sirens and gunfire mixed with panicked voices in the background serves as a relentless reminder of how quickly humans are succumbing to The Master’s plan.