[TV Review] “The Strain” Episode 1.07, ‘For Services Rendered’

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“For Services Rendered” really dived into the core of Herr Eichorst and gave us the best hour of television yet. The Strain finally feels more focused and driven as characters either make the decision to live, or become part of the horde.

Richard Sammal is a beast as Thomas Eichorst. He spends this week really digging into his scenes. We get to see the depths of his madness and just how driven he is to the cause. His flashback scenes with a young Abraham prove to be a highlight, as the writers decided to give us a moment of vulnerability to the immortal bastard and in doing so, highlight what motivates the man to alley with the strigoi.

But more of that in a minute as for now we’re getting the bookends on a few major storylines. I don’t imagine we’ll see more of Kent’s wife, after the truth is revealed that he’s a piece of shit, she leaves him in the dirt to focus on helping captain hairpiece… I mean Doctor Ephraim Goodweather on the quest to raise awareness about the outbreak. I don’t really understand his motivation.

Which is turning out to be key in this series. As the episodes pass we’re coming to learn more about what makes Abraham so dedicated to fighting off this incursion. He was at one time complicit in this insanity, perhaps out of necessity or naivety, but now he has to pay for his sins. He made the master’s coffin and he must live with that everyday. I adored this reveal as it really helps the burden on the old man’s shoulders.

Whereas Eph has a ruined life, a tarnished reputation, and broken relationships so it’s tough to figure out what motivates the man. He seems driven to raise awareness that he was right about vampires, but as society continues to fall into shambles around him perhaps he needs to remove his head from his ass and start fighting back instead of giving a shit about his reputation. I suppose you could say he’s motivated by the safety of the public, and wants to find the root of the outbreak, but I’m just not buying it.

Gus’ storyline is heading down a predictable path, but one that still proves very interesting now that he’s trapped in a cell with his buddy as he turns. This is going to be a messy conclusion and one that I can’t wait to see unfold.

Then we have the ending. I was honestly so done with the Lawyer mom storyline. I couldn’t have cared where it went, and I just wanted it to end. Or at least so I thought. Because holy hell. The sequence in the house with her in hot pursuit of her children was chilling. The mirrors everywhere reflecting back her distorted image were a nice touch, and how she crawled around on all fours was really something. But, the resolution in the final minutes was really where my excitement hit the roof.

We’ve seen this before. Hell, we’ve even seen it in a Del Toro film, but I was still excited to see Vampires fighting back against their own kind. I was blown away, and intrigued. They look almost feral, whereas Eichorst is in complete control. It begs the question as to how the virus takes hold, and just what type of person can fight back against it. This team of Vamp assassins was the wonderful cherry on top of a wonderfully paced episode. The entire thing wasn’t that rooted in horror, but the opening scene and closing scene more than made up for it, at least for me.

 

Stray Thoughts:

-       Got all the Battlestar Galactica feels when I saw Galen start up the episode. It’s a real shame he was eliminated so quickly.

-       Richard Sammel’s use of “Jew” was totally spine chilling, couldn’t help but shudder every time.

-       For those of you that read the books: I wasn’t expecting THAT character to even make it into season one. I’m super excited, but don’t know what to think.

-       We’ve got a second season, which gives me faith that The Strain may yet find it’s legs and become consistently amazing.

 

 

What did you think of “For Services Rendered” ?

Official Score

  • xxthedaymanxx

    In this instance I”m glad I haven’t read the comics cos those vampire hunters blew me away. Was not expecting that all.

  • Chip Draper

    I’m having a really hard time with the “Pacing” of this show, it has it’s moments and I’m totally on board, than backs off….. I want full on Vampire Apocalypse… “The Virus is running Rampant” yet…. only a handful of people notice.. at this point with all the “Feral” sewer Vamps running around Nights in New York would be a Shit Show and yet….

    • J Jett

      Chip i agree 100%. also the whole “eclipse” deal from last week was pretty flaccid. they built the eclipse up to be some huge game changer and we got what 2 vampires running around assaulting people in traffic jams.

      • Chip Draper

        EXACTLY!!! Flaccid is the perfect word for it!!! The eclipse episode really pissed me off too!!!

  • J Jett

    this new system for comments (Disqus) has kinks/bugs in it. it deletes comments out of the blue.

  • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

    Enjoyed last night’s show, but the flashbacks were the best part.

    And yeah, the eclipse episode really didn’t do anything for me either. A BIG letdown, because in the preview on the previous episode, they teased this hellacious outbreak of chaos and mayhem, but the end result was very disappointing.

    I get the whole point of advertising and baiting your audience, but it seems like I’m not the only one, who had higher expectations for the eclipse episode after all the cock-teasing in the previews.

  • J Jett

    my god this show is beyond incredibly frustrating!!! just when it does
    something/somethings right and very awesomely the writers go and destroy
    any momentum it had started.

    in the scene that was just before Nora/Eph/Abe go to Jim’s/Cancer
    wife’s house Eph himself says (i’m paraphrasing) “WE CAN SHOW THE
    FOOTAGE/PROOF WE HAVE OF THE VAMPIRES TO THE MEDIA/WHOEVER..”.

    then Thelma, Shaggy & Scooby go to Jim’s house and cancer wife
    refuses to even let in the thought that Jim, Eph, etc might be telling
    the truth. so instead of SHOWING HER THE PROOF THEY JUST TALKED ABOUT
    SHOWING THE MEDIA OUTLETS, they just give up with cancer wife and let
    her go on her way being all overdramatic.

    and then the writers had the taxi driver be as horrifically
    stupid as almost everyone else in this STRAIN world. i literally yelled
    out at the tv (at taxi man) “STOP ASKING “WHAT IS THIS?! WHAT IS
    THIS?!!”!!!!!!! lol.

    this show COULD be very good. there are moments of REALLY good
    scenes/moments in each ep but then the inept writers do something to
    ruin that good scene/moment.

  • J Jett

    here’s a link to an article/review that is 100% correct in it’s listing of this show’s most glaring writing mistakes/problems…

    http://film-book.com/the-strain-13-plot-holes-curiosities-questions-th at-plague-the-series/

  • Full Frontal Squashing

    The best episode yet. Hopefully is only going to get better and now it has found it’s legs. The end was awesome.

  • MinaDoll7

    I loved this episode. Richard Sammal’s performance in the flashback scenes as Thomas Eichorst was almost emmy-worthy! I loved the philosophy he tells young Abraham about democracy and choices, made me think for a bit. That attorney was the scariest of the “survivors”, the way she stalked the nanny and her kids around the house. But man that ending with the Vamp Assassins! I had the same reaction I had when Michonne was first revealed in the Walking Dead when she saved Andrea. Gave an almost completely different feel to the show. Can’t wait to find out who they are!