The Strain Season 1 Review “For Services Rendered”

The Strain Episode 7 For Services Rendered (1)

On the latest episode of “The Strain,” we learned where the Master’s coffin came from; the fate of Joan Luss, and that apparently Abraham’s team isn’t the only one out there fighting the good fight. Or so it would appear. In “For Services Rendered,” the plot thickened, but not in a great way, as the evidence proving that all was not as it seems in New York mounted to a near-overwhelming degree. What I liked about this was that it was subtle. Normally, in a show/film like this, you would get complete chaos after a certain point, but as Mr. Palmer noted, if you give someone a solid enough explanation, they’ll buy it.

Here, it was the fact that the internet and cell phone blackout was being caused by a radical group known as the Citizens for Liberty which, of course, Palmer himself arranged for in a previous episode. With that development taking over the headlines, about the most being said of the plague outbreak was that Joan Luss was spearheading a lawsuit on behalf of the victims of the plane incident. Only problem was, that news was days old, and Joan wasn’t exactly hard at work on that particular case.

No, as her husband- and later on, her kids and housekeeper Neeva and her daughter- discovered, the only thing Joan was working on was spreading the plague. Well that, and feeding on her husband, who got a homecoming to end all homecomings. As did her kids, who arrived home at Sebastiane, Neeva’s daughter’s insistence, only to find their mother in the advance stages of the plague, and not looking too camera ready at all. Just barely escaping to wall themselves in a room, the group was saved by a militaristic-looking cache of soldier types, at least one of which appeared to be a wormpire themselves! (Is it me, or did it look a bit like Gabe?)

The soldiers were clad in black from head to toe, with hoodies and a red-emblazoned insignia of what appeared to be a circled “S.” They were carrying guns that fired silver stakes at the creatures, killing them instantly. After dispatching of Joan and the other creatures about, the lead one inspected the group, letting the kids and Neeva go, but taking out Sebastiane without hesitation after determining she’d been infected, or as he put it, “corrupted.” Not sure what all of that was about, but apparently some of the creatures have more self-control than others, and have formed some sort of anti-wormpire takedown crew. Definitely looking forward to finding out more about that!

Meanwhile, our main team, with Abraham, Dr. Goodweather and Dr. Martinez went to Kent, who was in the process of getting out of town with his wife, for help in finding the Master’s whereabouts. He didn’t know, but he did set up a meet with Eichorst via Palmer, under the guise of blackmail for letting him know where he’d stashed Redfern’s body, which we all know he’d disposed of already- and so did Eichorst. Knowing that Abe must be behind it, he went to the meet anyway, letting Palmer know he’d wrap all of this up sooner than later.

At the subway station, another showdown ensued, as the team faced off against Eichorst, with him eventually coming face to face with Abe on the subway platform. It wasn’t looking good for Abe, but Dr. G. showed up at the last minute and shot Eichorst in the leg, causing him to flee by jumping on the side of a moving subway train and digging in his claws and speeding away! So much for that plan, as the only thing accomplished was that Eichorst promised to take out Kent’s wife on down the line. Hopefully, she got herself out of town in time to avoid that.

That was it, for the most part. We never checked in with Matt, who, when we last saw him, was about to go head-to-head with some creatures. We did see that Gus and Felix got booked by the cops and that Felix was clearly infected and getting worse. Hopefully, Gus will get out of there in time to avoid getting sick himself, and possibly join the good fight against the creatures.

But my favorite part had to be the flashbacks to WWII-era Poland, in which we discovered that it was Setrakian himself that had built the Master’s coffin! I really liked the interesting dynamic between young Abe and the ageless Eichorst, who allowed that Hitler’s time in power was declining, but that a new dominating force would soon rise to take his place- clearly meaning the Master. Not sure why it took so long to happen, but obviously, that time has now come.

Eichorst’s take on the politics of the time was intriguing and clearly meant to parallel some of what’s going on in politics today- note the bit about how, in democratic society, nothing ever gets done because both sides can’t work together. For that reason, Eichorst felt that a dictatorship was clearly the way to go, and noted that the people themselves had elected Hitler, though, as noted by Abe, admittedly under considerable duress. It was also interesting that a young Abe could never quite bring himself to attack Eichorst, even when he gave him a clear shot at it- literally. Such was not the case in present day, but alas, Abe is too old to be as truly effective against Eichorst as he once could have been.

This was another solid, exciting episode, with some unexpected twists and some surprising developments. I certainly didn’t expect the creature-led team of operatives running around killing other creatures with advanced technology! Obviously, this team needs to hook up sooner than later with Abe’s team, assuming he’ll have them, what with at least one of them being a creature himself- if not all of them. (The rest had their faces covered, but it would be a safe assumption that they were creatures as well.) And, of course, the perverse irony that Abe himself constructed the very coffin that had been used to transport the Master to New York in the first place was heartbreaking as well.

What did you think about “The Strain” this week? Are you happy with the direction things are going in? Were you caught off-guard by the creature team? Were you surprised that Abe built the coffin? What will Eichorst do next, now that he knows Abe has a team? Will he get to Kent’s wife before she’s able to leave town? Will Abe and the creature team join forces? Will the general public ever be alerted to the spread of the strain? Let me know what you think down below and see you next week!