The Strain – For Services Rendered Review

In the opener, we meet Joan Luss’ husband, Roger Luss (Aaron Douglas). Joan (Leslie Hope) gives him a lovely welcome home — she’s invited guests — and plans the same for the kids, who should be returning soon. The kids are currently safe at nanny Neva’s (Kim Roberts) house.



For Services Rendered (2014) Poster                            

  by Charles Briede


Setrakian (David Bradley), Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mía Maestro) are preparing for battle in the pawn shop basement. He challenges them to believe what he has to say, pointing out that he’s been right so far. This sets up a series of flashbacks in which we discover that Setrakian’s relationship to Eichorst (Richard Sammel) is complicated and horrible. There’s a nice little surprise in the flashbacks when we see that young Setrakian (Jim Watson) has an interesting connection to The Master beyond what we’ve already seen.


The trio set out to talk to Jim (Sean Astin) as he has connections to Eichorst. Jim finally comes clean with his wife, Sylvia (Melanie Merkosky), and attempts to convince her that the vampire virus is real. She is having none of it and has a particular hatred for Eph that hasn’t been explained to this point. Jim sets off with the three in a plan to snare Eichorst. This is a bad idea. He is smarter than the plan. There is a tense scene between Setrakian and Eichorst on a subway platform, but Eph and Nora step in and save our lead vampire hunter. We also get to see how quickly Eichorst can run when he paces a fast moving subway car.


Previous to this, Eichorst has a meeting with Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde), who is still being subjected to drugs so he doesn’t reject his new liver. Their meeting sets up the showdown between our good guys and Eichorst.


Gus (Miguel Gómez) and Felix (Pedro Miguel Arce) are in jail for attacking the vampire medical examiner last week. Felix got a worm in his hand from the incident, so he’s not feeling well. That’s about all we get; although, Gus gets to show how hard he can punch.


The final scene was quite the capper. Neva and her adult daughter, Sebastiane (Shailene Garnett), return to the Luss household in the morning with the kids only to be greeted by Roger seizing on the floor. Joan is laying in wait in the shadows and makes her move to snack on the endangered group, hitting Sebastiane in the hand. Fortunately it’s daytime, and there’s plenty of natural light in the house, but this only slows down the attack -– and Joan’s friends are still present.


They all end up in the amazing wine storage area, and things look like they are going to end badly, but then a giant curve ball gets thrown. I won’t ruin anything here, but it was a WTF moment that made me smile.