‘The Strain’ Recap ‘For Services Rendered’: The Vampire Hunters

Abraham and his team come up with just about the worst plan ever to trap Eichorst while a new group of vampire hunters arrive in New York…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

As each week of ‘The Strain’ passes, the intrigue gets deeper and deeper as the vampire plague continues to sweep across New York and what once felt like a slow trickle is starting to feel more and more like a flood pressing against the damn and with every episode the cracks in the damn are getting wider and any day now the entire contraption is going to get buried under the weight of it all.

The vampire hunters are mounting a plan (albeit a poor one) to track down the Master and kill him thus destroying all of his ‘children’ while a series of flashbacks give more history on the relationship between Abraham Setrakian and Thomas Eichorst not to mention Joan Luss is going through some serious changes while another sect of what we can assume are good guys show up mysteriously at the end.

A Good Craftsman Is Hard to Find

Abraham flashes back again this episode to the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camp where he first encountered Thomas Eichorst before he was turned into a vampire by The Master. It seems in those days, Eichorst was The Master’s lackey the same way Eldritch Palmer is doing the dirty work in the modern era in hopes of being turned and handed immortality as a gift for his deeds.

Eichorst discovers Abraham’s hidden talent when discovering that the young man has quite a gift for craftsmanship after finding a ‘Hand of Miriam’ statue hidden underneath his bunk in the prisoner barracks. So Eichorst pulls Abraham off of regular duty and instead puts him in a caged box where he will begin building and crafting a huge project while following the exact blueprints laid out for him before starting the job. Weeks of work are put into the project as Abraham constantly has to deal with Eichorst’s visits in his ‘cell’. Eichorst questions Abraham about Hitler and his reign of terror coming to an end as Russian forces close in on them while tossing back a bottle of whisky. He taunts Abraham by giving him a chance to grab his gun and put an end to his villainy, but when he refuses to go for the weapon, Eichorst notates that sometimes it’s much easier to do nothing.

When the job is completed, it’s revealed that the whole project was building the Master’s coffin we first saw in the debut episode. It’s also quite evident that Eichorst’s taunts and torture of Abraham started more than 60 years ago and the pair are seemingly destined to be connected together forever.

The Plan of Attack

So Abraham has an idea how to draw the Master out of hiding and it involves trapping Thomas Eichorst. To do this, his new team of slayers including Eph and Nora will need to turn to Jim to connect them to the Stoneheart Group and thus an in road to Eichorst.

When they arrive at Jim’s house, he’s in a rip roaring fight with his wife after she discovers he’s been lying to her about this outbreak, how she got into her drug trial and just about everything else under the sun. She bolts out the door and heads to California on her own without Jim in tow. So with nothing else to do, Jim decides to help Eph and his team draw Eichorst out into the open where they will follow him and he will hopefully lead them back to the Master.

It’s a Scooby-Doo level strategy, but still it’s something.

Well, needless to say, Eichorst sniffs them out in seconds and ends up on a train platform alone with Abraham just like those days in the concentration camp. Abraham tries to swipe at him with his silver sword, but the vampire is far too fast and evades his attempts to kill him. He instead picks up Abraham by the throat and prepares to stick him with his sucker, but Eph shows up in the nick of time and unloads a silver round into Eichorst’s leg, wounding him and sending him running to catch a subway to make a quick escape.


Cavity Searches Are No Fun

Gus is in jail and he’s trying to explain to the on duty cop that some bad shit is going down in the streets of New York. The cop is more interested in what Gus has hiding between his toes and up his butt before he tosses him in a cell where he finds Felix laying on the floor, wincing and wheezing in pain. Felix is infected, but no one in this cell knows that yet.

Yet being the operative word because it can only be a matter of time before he turns and Gus has to put his friend down and join up with Eph’s vampire killing squad, right?

What’s the Deal with Palmer?

Eldritch Palmer is still not doing well, even after having a liver transplant recently. He’s still got his loyal manservant by his side during every waking moment of the day. When Eichorst comes to see him, Palmer shows that this may be a relationship of power but it doesn’t all reside on the side of the former Nazi soldier. He makes sure Eichorst knows that the cell phone and internet block is still working perfectly while the blame goes on a hacker group instead of them. He’s unraveled everything in exact order to allow the Master to unleash the vampire plague on the world. And it seems his patience is growing thin when Eichorst can only smile and hand him more excuses about what’s being done.

In the end, Palmer hits Eichorst with a ‘wunderbar’, which is German for ‘wonderful’. Is Palmer connected to the Nazi party as well and Eichorst never knew it?

It will be interesting to see how this entire story plays out.

The Vampire Hunters Arrive

At the Luss household, Joan’s transformation to vampire is complete. She’s vibrating mirrors and lost her hair in a hurry while turning a few more people into the undead whenever she needs a snack. Her husband (played by Battlestar Galactica’s Aaron Douglas) arrives home and after being chased around by a few random vamps, he runs into his wife and she has him for dinner.

Meanwhile, the nanny who took the Luss children out of the house when mommy started to look way under the weather has to answer to her daughter, who wants to take the kids back to the parents. When they arrive, mama Luss starts chasing them around the house because vampires are eternally hungry apparently. She almost gets the nanny’s daughter, but instead just nicks her hand in the attack. While they nanny, her daughter and the two Luss kids are hiding out, the vampires close in on them and break down the glass to finally track them down.

Just then a shot rings out and Joan is skewered by a wooden or silver stake as are the other vampires. When the nanny brings the kids out into the other room we are greeted by a lead vampire hunter flanked by four companions all carrying high powered rifles. The only problem is the leader of the group — who is also coincidentally the only one not completely covered head to toe in black clothing — is revealed to be what I think is a vampire. He carries all the characteristics of a vampire except he still has a nose (remember Eichorst getting dressed a few weeks back). He’s gentle and sweet to the kids as he inspects them to ensure they haven’t been infected. Things don’t go so well for the nanny’s daughter, who got scratched, and thus she must be eliminated.

The vampire hunters put her down before exiting the house as the nanny screams in horror watching her daughter die.


A Few Notes:

The scenes between Eichorst and Abraham are really the best thing ever on ‘The Strain’. Whether it’s the flashback scenes or the modern day version, those are the parts of the show where the acting really stands out. David Bradley may be an awful wedding host, but he pulls off strong yet feeble, fearless yet scared in a way few actors can pull off.

Jim’s wife — well after all that work to save her life, she’s gone. I would kind of assume that Jim would want her gone considering the black plague that’s about to be unleashed on the city but whatever.

More Vasiliy Fett. An episode should not go by without him.

‘The Strain’ returns next week for another new episode on FX at 10pm ET/PT/

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