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TV Review: The Strain 1.7 “For Services Rendered”
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The Strain
Season 1 Episode 7: “For Services Rendered”
Directed by Charlotte Sieling
Written by David Weddle, Bradley Thompson, Guillermo del Toro, and Chuck Hogan
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Pedro Miguel Arce, Natalie Brown, Ben Hyland, and Robin Atkin Downes
FX
Air Date: Sunday August 24, 2014, 10pm

My review of The Strain Episode 7 “For Services Rendered” is preceded by a recap of episode 6.

Warning! Spoilers ahead! If you did not watch last week’s episode, do not pass go and do not collect $200!

The Strain Episode 1.6 “Occultation” recap: Foreshadow the end of the world much? Episode 6 opens with satellites slowly orbiting doomed Earth while radio and television voices discuss the plummeting stock market, spazzy cell and internet service, and looting. “It’s like the end of the world.” No kidding. This is my favorite scene in the series thus far as it foreshadows the doom from an omniscient place.

The eclipse is coming…….Strigoi…come out and pla-a-a-y!!

The FBI goes to the soon to be former Mrs. Goodweather’s (Natalie Brown) home looking for Eph (Corey Stoll). They just miss him as he sneaks in to tell his family to “Run!,” but don’t worry…boyfriend Matt (Drew Nelson) turns him in. She’s furious and almost breaks it off. The FBI, not satisfied with Eph’s truth, threaten a nice long jail stay. Shake your head along with me at the blindness of law enforcement. Eph says he will show them the bodies. On the way, they meet the dead medical examiner (I was wondering what happened to him). By meet, I mean he whips out his tentacle and drains them. Eph escapes. The FBI had tried to grab Nora (Mia Maestro) too, but Jim (Sean Astin) warns her and she runs to the only safe place-Setrakian’s (David Bradley) underground fortress. Setrakian had just gotten back from the creepiest basement ever. He barely made it out of that strigoi party. I needed his dropped heart pills after that scene. Cue open gas jets plus lit candles. Turns out Setrakian’s place is where Eph thought of as safe too, and they are all reunited.

Vasiliy Fett (Kevin Durand) goes back to the now creepiest office ever and kills his recently turned vampire boss and ex-crush by sunlight. We get a little insight to his background as he goes to his estranged parents house and tries to warn them to leave the city. The father’s disappointment in Vasiliy’s career choice is palpable and universal. Durand manages to convey a wide range of emotions somehow, while maintaining the same facial expression and voice inflection. No more bad guy pigeonholing for this actor!

Gus (Miguel Gomez) is forced to work with Jim (also forced) by Eichorst (Richard Sammel) to dispose of vampire (formerly known as Captain Redfern) waste. Speaking of our favorite former Nazi… He keeps a pet human on a chain. Gus and Felix later run into the busy dead medical examiner. Gus knocks him down, but not before Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce) gets wormed. Then the police show up.

At work, Matt sees a coworker get attacked. He yells and goes to confront the attackers. I wouldn’t do that if I were you! This is classic dumb horror show/movie behavior. Hey – that guy is screaming in terror. Let me go take a look instead of leaving roadrunner dust in my wake!

The Strain Episode 1.7 “For Services Rendered” Preview: Setrakian has an idea. Kill the Master (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes and physically played by Robert Maillet) and the rest of the infected will be destroyed. Eph is being “Debbie Downer” about it, but Setrakian shuts him up with his “science” Their only lead is Eichorst, so Jim agrees to be bait. His guilt is that heavy. This sounds like the worst idea ever. Felix is getting sicker and Gus is worried. Neeva (Kim Roberts) does not want to return the children to their mother Joan (Leslie Hope) ever. A new player is introduced and we get to go back to 1944 and see the complicated relationship develop between Eichorst and a young Setrakian.

Holy smokes! There are a few scenes at Joan’s house that had me yelling at the TV, “Look out!” about 37 times. I also may never go into the subway again. Sean Astin is playing Jim with not that much range of emotion, but he is managing many layers of conflict, being outwardly shady, then guilty, then subtly shady within the same five minutes. We have to keep a close eye on that one. The final scene of this episode — the new player — was a complete surprise. Even now expecting a surprise because I wrote that, will not negate the surprise that it is for everyone.

The Strain is starting to feel “Walking Deadish,” only in the scene to scene monster skirmishes (albeit much faster, much smarter monsters), the emergence of heroism in likely and unlikely places, and that first season excitement of all the terrifying possibilities. Oh, and the old man hero (RIP Herschel) too.

Check out The Strain‘s Episode 7 trailer:

The Strain 1x07 Eichorst Setrakian

The Strain 107 Young Setrakian Eichorst

The Strain 107 Vampire Tongue Attack

1 Comment »

  1. But…why doesn’t Eph’ show Jim’s wife the video? also last week when Eph’ was arrested…why didn’t he show the FBI the video?

    Comment by Chicks Love Geeks — August 25, 2014 @ 6:32 am

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