“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.
– 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” ?