Flashbacks help give The Strain much of its good this week as well as a sudden new element into the story. More below.
The Strain: Season 1: Episode 7: For Services Rendered: GRADE: A-
The Strain benefits this week thanks to the past and the present, but the past will be the one getting the most credit as its more flashbacks of Setrakian and Eichhorst back in the concentration camp where when Eichhorst finds a mysterious Jewish artifact, crafted by Setrakian and hires him for a special project which is of course, building the box/coffin. So Setrakian has had a much deeper connection to our main plot than figured from before and obviously has a state of regret to his part in the proceedings of what’s going on now and his character is on a journey of redemption as well as trying to save the world from Eicchorst and the rest of the vampires.
The scenes with Setrakian and Eichhorst in the past are the highlights for how Eicchorst was truly bad even before he was a vampire and has had a connection to Setrakian from the start and is done wonderfully by the deliciously evil performance of Richard Sammel, who is having a ball with this role. Also the performance Jim Watson as young Setrakian is very good, showing shades of David Bradley’s performance and mannerisms of now for then. Both are quite good in the role.
Last week brought upon the game changing element of the eclipse which got vampires out in the open for some to see and two of the witness’ are unfortunately locked up for rightful self-defense in an attack of Gus and Felix, which surprises me how Felix is holding on to dear life since I thought those worms would get him fast. That’s all of that from them, but it shows that they are gaining the upperhand on things, as stated further when Eph wants to put video out but Palmer has all phone and internet down at the moment.
Direct confrontation is their best approach with Jim contacting Eichhorst, who is too clever for them and anticipates their deception from the start. The confrontation of that leads to Eichhorst of course getting away to fight another day but it creates more tension on top of the tension that’s already here.
Another thing the show does is make Jill matter for once as she goes full vampire this week in the other spotlight of the week attacking her family, husband and all, when her housekeeper brings them back and her poor daughter gets struck and offed by the mysterious militarized unit of what appears to be vampires themselves and are a strange but welcomed surprise.
They come in very close to the episode so we aren’t given much context or clues as to who they are but this whole sequence of events give The Strain more credit to its horror set piece aspect, the atmosphere keeps going so well and makes the show’s quality keep going in strong doses, despite some the weaker moments such as when Jim’s wife does leave him after he’s revealed his role in things and there wasn’t much of anything behind it. she just gets upset and leaves, never to most likely to be seen again, and Gus and Felix in hold up to show how shitty the cops are. Granted I agree, most cops can suck, but that’s fault is trying to get us on Gus’ side, which I’m still not. BORING!
But there’s not much advancement with Palmer and his group. Its been quite a few episodes since they took down internet and phones and all, but their next move should be. I get slowburn and build, but since the cards are in their favor, you expect them to start playing their hands right now.
The Strain gets things going and still has consistency going in its favor, though the show could used room for improvement.