FX‘s The Strain For Services Rendered TV Show Review. The Strain: Season 1, Episode 7: For Services Rendered opens with Joan Luss (Leslie Hope) in full transformation mode while her husband, Roger Luss (Aaron Douglas), arrives just in time to get a welcome home kiss. With the passing of the eclipse and all the hell that broke loose, why didn’t someone warn poor Roger? It’s kind of comical that he watches his wife on a TV and is not bothered by her eyes or the fact that the neighborhood is ghostly quiet.
When Abraham (David Bradley) mentioned having a new plan in the last episode, I doubt power tripping was on his mind. While going over his plans with Ephraim (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Maestro), we notice an interesting change in Ephraim’s attitude. The fact that Abraham mentions a character called “The Master,” doesn’t change the fact that people are getting infected and killed. The back and forth banter between them comes to a halt when Nora decides to play referee. She is also letting us know that this will be her future role in the trio. The true brilliance in this scene is how the layers are written and slowly unfold. When Abraham tells Ephraim “we will prevail,” he is not just giving him a pep talk. His words trigger another important concentration camp flashback that is setting up something important. If anyone knows about prevailing, it’s Abraham. The man not only survived a concentration camp and cruel soldiers, he also managed not to get killed by The Master.
Meanwhile, Gus (Miguel Gomez) and Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce) find themselves in a prison cell. Felix is infected and things are going to get very interesting if he transitions in a cell full of people. During this scene we learn that Gus is much more than a simple street hood character. Early on it appeared his role was written in so he could be brutally killed and never arch. Watching him show concern for his friend Felix, shows he has basic compassion and lifts his character up. This may change the game and allow him to live a little longer.
Ephraim, Abraham and Nora head over to Jim’s (Sean Astin) home and with things escalating, he comes clean to his wife, Sylvia Kent (Melanie Merkosky) about his dark role in all of this. During a discussion that causes his wife to leave, we watch Jim sober up and feel the weight of what his poor actions have done. Up to this point he was in selfish mode and showed no signs of really changing…until now.
During a showdown in the subway, Abraham is almost infected by Eichorst (Richard Sammel). It is here we find out where all the flashbacks are leading and come to appreciate some very clever writing. It turns out when Eichorst selected Abraham for that artistic job back in the concentration camp, he was not only selecting the right man to build The Master’s coffin…he was grooming his future nemesis. Now we understand why Abraham is carrying such a heavy burden, he is on a collision course with Eichorst and The Master. He is a hardened man but has a ton of heart. His patience with Ephraim makes more sense now too.
Neeva (Kim Roberts) after being pressed by her daughter Sebastiane (Shailene Garnett) decides to return Joan’s kids home. While doing so we watch Joan meet her end and introduce a band of vigilante vampires. Yes, a group of military style vigilantes. I’m not sure where this is going and these characters seem to have a sense of humor. Hopefully, they plan on working with Abraham and his team.
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