The Strain: Season 1, Episode 7 – For Services Rendered


UK Pace Review – Broadcast on digital channel Watch
The Strain: Wednesdays at 10pm
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WARNING this review contains SPOILERS.

Joan’s husband is returning home from business, but stops off for a drink. The housekeeper Neeva calls him to tell him that Joan is unwell, she has the children and doesn’t want to bring them home. Phone calls are not easily connecting with the stuffed up networks.  He takes a taxi home to find it’s too quiet on the street. A neighbour shuffles along, and then tries to eat them both. They jump in the car, except the driver doesn’t bother to move the car. Instead he jumps out and starts firing his gun, which gets him killed. Joan’s hubby also doesn’t move to the front seat to drive away, instead runs into his house, where he finds his now transformed wife and yet more danger.

Nora, Eph and Abraham are talking weapons and tactics in Abraham’s pawn shop basement room. Nora tries to rationalise the vampire’s silver allergy using medical terms, while Eph poo-poos all their theories. Abraham remains adamant that his personal experiences trump their scepticism. It remains unclear as to whether killing The Master will lead to all the offspring dropping dead; it’s true that in biological terms that makes no sense! Getting evidence out to the public however is also problematic as the internet, phones, etc. are all slow/hacked. They hatch a plan to use Jim as bait to catch Eichorst and the Stoneheart suits.

Flashback to Poland in 1944. Young Abraham is working as a carpenter in the concentration camp.  Someone in the camp has carved a Jewish talisman out of wood, and has been found out by their Nazi capturers. Abraham (A230385) owns up, expecting to be punished. Alternatively he is given a new job: to create a large ornate box…

Gus is being processed by the police. They’re not interested in listening to his information on the infected person who attacked both him and Felix, and they killed in self-defence. Surely there’s a gross looking dead body left behind as evidence? (Seriously!? The cops didn’t spot that?). No, “weird shit” goes down all the time in New York..

Jim’s hurrying his wife out the door to get her to the medical trial. She’s not convinced her health is his only reason. Eph, Nora and Abraham show up 5 seconds later. In the gap between scenes, Jim owns up to his involvement and the bribes, and within a few on-screen seconds the couple have switched roles: Jim wants to stay and help, Sylvia wants to get out of town. Jim describes the smart German and Abraham confirms that he is Eichorst, and that he knew him before he became a strigoi.

Flashback to Poland. Eichorst checks on the construction of the box. He makes small talk, but Abraham is careful what he says in reply. As Eichorst leaves, Abraham considers the padlock on the door.

Neeva argues with her daughter, who insists they take the children back home. As a nurse, the daughter will go along and take a look at Joan to confirm that she is sick.

Palmer is hoping his new liver won’t be rejected by his body. Palmer’s servant has been with him since birth, great (not) family tradition. They’re blaming the cyber-attacks on the “Citizens for Liberty”. A voicemail from Jim says that he didn’t destroy Redfern’s body, but now demands money; luring Eichorst out. They’re aware it’s likely to be a trap.

Gus is in the lock up. Felix is looking a bit peaky. The cop isn’t so forthcoming with medical assistance.

Jim doesn’t want Sylvia to go. She leaves. Abraham gives him a silver knife.

Flashback to Poland. Abraham picks the lock and opens his door. He grabs a knife, but goes back and re-locks himself in as a drunk Eichorst comes in. They talk of Abraham’s past and the end of the Third Reich. Eichorst pisses in the corner. Russian artillery explodes above and around the building. Eichorst displays the typical superior “moral” high-ground of those persecuting others. He gives Abraham a chance to kill him. But he doesn’t.

Neeva and the kids arrive at Joan’s house. The kids run in. There’s a puddle of yuk on the floor in the hall. The dad is lying nearly dead on the living room floor. Joan appears and attacks the group. Neeva’s daughter gets a scratch on her hand. The light keeps monster Joan at bay; as she descends the stairs her reflection in the mirror vibrates. She keeps coming for them.

Jim is playing the part of the bait in the train station. Eichorst arrives and asks about “the Jew” and issues threats. He goes all monster-voice for a bit. The group try to follow him as he leaves. They lose him in a tunnel. Abraham still sees him and follows him on to a train. All the passengers seem unwell, all coughing and spluttering. Eichorst gets off the train before the doors close, Abraham does the same. They have a chat on the platform, after Eichorst avoids a few swings of Abraham’s blade. Formerly The Master’s sword. Eichorst goes in for a kiss with his forked tongue, but is stopped by a silver bullet from Eph. He runs off, and catches the next train – by clinging to the outside with his nails, like a Garfield toy on a car window.

Flashback to Poland. Eichorst waves a sandwich in Abraham’s face. The box, the coffin, is finished.

Neeva and the kids are hiding from monsters. They are saved by a group of hooded “good guy” strigoi militia types. That’s new. The leader asks about injuries and takes a good look at everyone. He sees the scratch on Neeva’s daughter’s hand. The leader shoots her dead.

Unanswered questions

  • So, the population are all starting to become hypochondriacs, and monsters appear to be freely roaming about the streets, but the authorities still appear none the wiser?
  • Palmer is still technically human at this point? Possibly. He calls the big bad “Your Master” to Eichorst. Why is he the boss then, if he’s the weak and feeble one?
  • No Vasily this week? He found out where all the strigoi are hiding. What’s keeping him?
  • So there are “good” monsters as well as bad ones? What took them so long to show up!?

My Favourite Bit
Not really any stand-out moments this week. I suppose the visual of Eichorst clinging to the side of a train made me giggle.

Overall Rating
Empty Star_76Empty Star_76Empty Star_76 2 out of 5 stars

I’m getting a little frustrated with how stupid the people are, particularly the authorities. I suppose the time frame for this series is quite short, it’s only been a few days since the initial aeroplane incident. Now, with all of the vampire/strigoi attacks which have happened openly on the street, why has neither the public panicked, nor the police even noticed?! Usually in movies and TV, at the slightest inkling that there is a threat to the (American) public, there is pandemonium in towns, and the military pops up out of nowhere. Here: nothing! Sure, “weird shit” happens – but people are DYING. Still no? OK then.