The Strain Review: New Strigoi On The Block

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First off, in case you're not aware of the good news, The Strain has been renewed for Season 2.

I know many people don't jump into new television shows right away out of fear of cancelation. Well, The Strain will continue next summer so if you're not watching yet, get on that ASAP. This series will be around for a long time.

The Strain Season 1 Episode 7 gave us some fascinating insight into the Setrakian/Eichhorst relationship.

We also met an interesting new soldier in the war against The Master.

Last week, in my review of The Strain Season 1 Episode 6 I wondered why we didn't see more strigoi wreaking havoc during the eclipse. We now understand the occultation was the tipping point for spreading the virus. There are probably thousands of infected people out there. 

In the opening moments of "For Services Rendered" we met Mr. Luss. Those screams he hears outside plus his strigoi neighbor are meant to clue us in to the fact the virus has spread. I still would have liked to see more strigoi running around infecting New Yorkers but that's just me.

Neeva warns Mr. Luss that Joan is ill, but of course he pays zero attention. Frustrating wasn't it? The dude got what he deserved.

The scene with the cab driver playing action hero was silly yet fun. These are the moments I've mentioned defy logic a bit, but hey they keep the show engaging right? The Strain doesn't take itself too seriously and neither should we. I wish more people would understand that.

The meat and potatoes of this week's installment were the conversations between Setrakian and Eichhorst. Whether in the Poland flashbacks or in the present, this relationship is our link to The Master himself.

At eight years old, Setrakian began hearing about The Master from his grandmother. She tells young Abe that silver harms the creatures. Nora explains it in terms Eph can understand "silver is known to interfere with sulfer bonds in bacteria." He still needs everything explained logically, the old man blames Eph's huge ego. Get with the program already Eph, time's a wastin'.

So what exactly is old Abe's new plan? Kill The Master, naturally.

We kill The Master and his spawn will die. I promise you.

Setrakian

Poor Jim, he was pretty damn brave agreeing to be the bait for trapping Eichhorst. Though we've been unsure of Jim's allegiances in the past, I think it's clear now he truly is on Eph's side. Again, we meet a female character that is totally unlikeable. Did Jim's wife, Silvia, really expect him to turn his back on a city-wide contagion he helped spread? Seriously, this is the woman Jim has risked everything for? We sympathize for our guys, but it's definitely at the expense of the fairer sex.

Let's add Neeva's daughter to the list of female characters we don't like. She should have listened to her mother right?

In our first flashback, Eichhorst bursts into Abe's workshop with a Jewish talisman. Gorgeous craftsmanship, but didn't young Abe tell his friend that he only had six weeks as a carpenter's apprentice? I'm assuming his father taught him well and he's just being modest about his skills.

Eichhorst has proven himself to be monstrous in the past as well as the present. It was interesting to learn his point of view on everything from the Third Reich to why he's in a position of power to this day. Which reminds me, when will we see Eichhorst and The Master interacting in the past? I'm really looking forward to Eichhorst being turned. 

Did you have any clue that Setrakian carved The Master's coffin? That's one I didn't see coming, but it certainly solidifies his connection to both Eichhorst and The Master. By the way, huge shout out to Jim Watson who portrays young Abraham. His performance has been brilliant and you can almost see David Bradley's intensity in his eyes. I completely believe these two actors are the same guy. Great job!

At The Stoneheart Group we learn that Palmer's assistant isn't too happy with his boss' plans. Palmer raised him since birth, his parents worked for the old man's parents. The Nazi in Eichhorst resurfaced when he said "it's disappointing that it's no longer a common practice." Why did Eichhorst use Palmer's first name? Jim's voicemail was pretty ballsy. It was fairly out of character for him, even the audience realized this.

Palmer: You assured me you had this fellow under control.
Eichhorst: It's a bluff. Kent would never have the courage to try this on his own. The Jew is behind it.
Palmer: I thought you were going to deal with him.
Eichhorst: He has more tenacity than I thought.

Jim and Eichhorst have a scary encounter in the subway station. The strigoi tells Jim he's now on the wrong side of history. It turns out, Eichhorst was actually after Setrakian the whole time. Good thing Eph and company manage to shoot the pasty villain before he caused the old man permanent damage.

Again Eichhorst mentions the sword Setrakian carries belongs to Sardu (the Master's real name). I'm sure we'll lean much more about this before the season finale. Cool the way Eichhorst attached himself to the train right? By the way, another clue the virus is spreading were all the face masks and coughing passengers on the subway. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Gus got locked up and his friend Felix is looking pretty sickly. Is the dude going to turn while they're locked in that cell? Eeek!

At the Luss home Neeva, her daughter and the kids come face to face with momma strigoi. Wasn't she the scariest looking of all the survivors? Wonder if that was still Leslie Hope playing Joan? If so, she was completely unrecognizable under all that makeup.

The minute Neeva's daughter swatted Joan's stinger away I knew she was infected. Did you catch the reflection in the mirror vibrating when Joan walks down the stairs? Very cool touch I thought.  

I promised not to discuss the books, but I will say the new guy we met tonight is one of my favorite characters from The Strain. His appearance totally exceeded my expectations. Talk about making an entrance right? Stephen McHattie's voice and the sound effects were wonderfully creepy. However, I did wonder why Eichhorst doesn't make the same sounds. What exactly is the difference between this strigoi and the others? I can't wait to learn more about him. Since his name hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll simply refer to him as the "hooded strigoi."

The hooded strigoi seemed kind and compassionate didn't he? Well up until he shoots Neeva's daughter in the head.

Be quiet. Do not touch her. She is corrupted.

Hooded Strigoi

What did you think of this week's installment? How about that ending, did you see that coming at all? Hit the comments and let me know your thoughts on "For Services Rendered." Remember if you've read the books, let's stick to episode 7 below to avoid spoiling the show for other fans.

Want to re-watch that final scene with hooded strigoi? Watch The Strain online right here via TV Fanatic.

How will our heroes ultimately track down The Master?

For Services Rendered Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (12 Votes)
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The Strain Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

We kill The Master and his spawn will die. I promise you.

Setrakian

Palmer: You assured me you had this fellow under control.
Eichhorst: It's a bluff. Kent would never have the courage to try this on his own. The Jew is behind it.
Palmer: I thought you were going to deal with him.
Eichhorst: He has more tenacity than I thought.