'The Strain' Recap: Nazi Logic and Monster Assassins
'The Strain' Recap: Nazi Logic and Monster Assassins
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on The Strain, everyone in the main cast rapidly started believing in vampires. With denial out of the way, "For Services Rendered" sees them trying to figure out how to stop the world from ending. Since Setrakian's life has been so deeply horrific, this whole scenario is just a walk in the park for him, and he works on getting his new recruits up to speed.

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Terrible Plans

While Nora is learning the fundamentals of silver bullets and her mother is unsupervised somewhere offscreen, Eph argues that they should try to release the video proof they have of the infection. Even if the CDC doesn't care about it, the public surely will. But Palmer's super-hacker is still wreaking havoc with all forms of communication, making the plan an impossibility. Setrakian says that they must instead focus on killing the Master; he believes that doing so will kill all the people infected by him. Eph calls this out for being the contrived narrative device and biological impossibility that it is, but Setrakian won't have any of his logic. He's the one with the sword in his cane, so he knows best.

Since finding the Master means first drawing out Eichorst, the team decides using Jim is their best option. They actually ask him to help rather than forcing or tricking him into it, which is what I expected based on the level of animosity between them. Jim agrees, because he feels bad about the whole unleashing doom upon the human race thing, but his wife is bizarrely offended by his altruism. She asks him to choose between her and Eph and storms off when Jim still insists on participating in the plan. I'm going to assume that she has some long-standing issues with Eph because otherwise her behavior makes no sense.

Poland, 1944

Before we reunite Eichorst and Setrakian, let us take a minute to revisit their long history together. Back in 1944, Eichorst was still human and still unspeakably terrible. After finding an ornate carving done by Setrakian and shooting people just because he can, he puts Setrakian to work on a very important project. Now that Setrakian has been elevated to this special position, he also becomes inappropriately friendly with him. It's jarring behavior, given the circumstances, and demonstrates a complete disregard for the severity of Setrakian's situation. But this is only a preview of the Eichorst we fully meet in this episode.

One night, Eichorst comes into Setrakian's workroom, completely drunk. He resumes his air of comradery towards Setrakian, encouraging him to share his true opinions. Eichorst agrees that the Third Reich is dying, but is hopeful because he has seen a new and better leader able to promise everything that Hitler could not deliver. Throughout the course of this scene, we learn Eichorst's entire philosophy on life and why he joined ranks with the Master. People, he says, want to be ruled and controlled. He thinks Setrakian has taken the attempted extermination of his race much too personally and doesn't understand why he acts so morally superior. After all, he's working for the Third Reich as well.

When Setrakian says that he doesn't have a choice, Eichorst puts his pistol on the table and offers Setrakian the chance to go down fighting. Setrakian doesn't take it. "It's much easier to do nothing," Eichorst gloats, giving us a clue as to why Setrakian is now so bent on action. The scene is long, filled with demented logic and is, in my opinion, the best the show has done thus far.

From One Train Station to Another

Back in the present day, Jim leaves Eichorst a blackmail message in order to bring him to Grand Central Station. Eichorst sees through the deception immediately, but goes anyway. He demands that Jim tell him where Setrakian is and tells Jim to consider his wife dead when he refuses. Jim, Eph and Nora try to follow Eichorst, but quickly lose him. Only Setrakian is able to track him onto a train filled with sick people, possibly displaying the early signs of infection. This is, of course, because Eichorst wants Setrakian to follow him. He is ready to end their relationship at last.

Setrakian is brave and scrappy, but he's also 95 and Eichorst has supernatural abilities. It was never a contest. Luckily, the cavalry arrives just in time to shoot Eichorst before he can choke Setrakian to death. Eichorst decides to give Setrakian another day of life "for services rendered." And back in 1944, we see just what those services were. Setrakian has finally finishes his project. In a reveal obvious from the moment Eichorst gave him the job, we learn that it was Setrakian who built the Master's coffin.

Always Listen to Your Mother

A few other things also happen in this episode. One, Gus is booked for killing the strigoi that attacked him and Felix. The cops don't believe anything he says about inhuman attackers, and to be fair they probably hear that sort of thing a lot. Felix has started showing symptoms of the infection, which is going to be really great for all the people locked in a cell with him.

Two, Joan's nanny, Neeva, continues to have more sense than anyone else on this show. Though Joan's husband tells her to take the children back home, she refuses to do so. The husband learns the hard way what happens when people don't listen to Neeva, and is eaten by his wife. Neeva's daughter, Sebastiane, also learns this lesson. She did not inherit her mother's horror show survival skills, and drives the kids back to their home herself. Once there, they find their father in the throes of infection and their mother in attack mode. They barricade themselves before they can be eaten, but Sebastiane is slightly injured in the process.

Since everything is this house is made of glass, it doesn't take long for the strigoi to break through their barrier. Luckily, a handful of mysterious hooded figures arrive in time to shoot the strigoi through the head. The people who arrive aren't really people; they're creatures of some kind, but it's difficult to tell if they're self-aware strigoi like Eichorst or if they're something else entirely. Whatever they are, they're surprisingly good with children. They manage to check the children for injuries without scaring them, an accomplishment given their appearance. Neeva and the kids are fine, but when they see the small cut on Sebastiane's hand, they quickly execute her. Neeva is horrified, but the figures simply say that she had been compromised. Poor Neeva. She deserved better than this.


The Strain airs Sundays at 10pm on FX.

(Image courtesy of FX)



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