Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Strain, Season 1, Episode 7: For Services Rendered

Meet Mr. Luss, evil lawyer lady Joan’s husband, arriving to the backdrop of the news reminding us again that Palmer has found some kind of magical miracle worker capable of bringing down cell phone and internet access and that his children’s nanny, Neeva took the kids to her house after Joan scared her with her growing vampiriness.  

Neeva is going way above and beyond the call of duty. I hope she’s paid well, I’m sure protecting kids from vampiric parents isn’t in her job description.

Mr. Luss heads home- and everything is deserted, scary and full of vampires! While he does an impressive job of freaking out mightily and escaping the vampires that kill his foolish taxi driver, his wife still eats him. Bye bye Mr. Luss.

To our heroes, Abraham shows off his gear and vampire lore – including silver, with Nora providing some kind of scientific explanation as to why. Ephraim doesn’t think the one-by-one killing is actually going to work and he wants to use his video evidence to reveal the threat to the public. Abraham points out that the bad guys have stopped that being a viable option with all the phones and internet down – and he goes for killing the Master which should then kill all the spawn. Ephraim doesn’t buy that because science. Abraham argues back with his considerable experience and research (and magic, but we don’t say that because we’re pretending it’s all science). Besides, Abraham has been right all along – unlike Ephraim; he also adds that Ephraim’s control issues are why he’s arguing. Accurate, definitely accurate

So they need to find the Master, which means tracking down his human servants – Nora suggests Jim. Ephraim pouts.

Time for a flashback to young Abraham in the concentration camp with young Abraham being noticed by the brutal and murderous commandant, Eichorst. Abraham is conscripted to carve the Master’s giant coffin.

In the present, Jim is planning on leaving the city with his wife, Sylvia. His attempts to escape explaining things are interrupted by Ephraim & co. Ephraim isn’t that convincing since he seems more focused on what a bad person Jim is which ends up with Sylvia storming off (and conveniently getting in a bus and out of the writer’s hair). Jim does describe Eichorst which seems to shock Abraham – but hasn’t he already seen Eichorst in the present?  We have another flashback to underscore how Abraham knows Eichorst. Including drunken Eichorst rambling on about government, the terror of democracy and his twisted take on morality – and how fear makes people do nothing.

Neeva is still looking after the Luss kids but her daughter, a nurse (and with a better idea of how much an employee should tolerate) insists on them going home.  There they find the abandoned taxi – but the kids get out and run into the house where they find Mr. Luss on the floor – and Vampire Joan. They barricade themselves in a locked room.

Over to Augustin – he’s been arrested for murder and no-one’s listening to his protests of self-defence, white worms or any other vampiriness. The police just assumes he’s on drugs. His friend, Felix, who got a vampire worm in him, isn’t doing well. The police are complete indifferent to his condition.

Evil Palmer, meanwhile, is still evil and still very very ill. Fitzwilliam still doesn’t trust Eichorst and Palmer is not thrilled because he’s received a call from Jim trying to blackmail them. Eichorst correctly guesses Abraham is behind it – and promises to deal with it.

They go to the station where the exchange of the non-disposed body for money is supposed to take place and Eichorst meets Jim, demands to know where Abraham (who he always calls “the jew”) is and brings out 8 levels of creepy and threats against Sylvia. He leaves and Ephraim and Nora decide to follow him into the empty, dark subway tunnels because it’s amazing how foolish protagonists can be.

It’s not a plan to ambush them with a horde of vampires, but to distract them so Eichorst can get to Abraham. Eichorst spends too long taunting Abraham though and the gang arrive in time to drive him off (rather impressively clinging to a train) before he kills the old man. Still, I do kind of wonder exactly what they intended to achieve and it’s probably best they didn’t end up facing Eichorst.

Back to Neeva and co hiding in the room – just before they’re attacked their vampire hunters all get shot… by a vampire. Another vampire intelligent enough to talk and use weapons has just saved them. And he leads a whole masked and hooded commando squad. Good vampire is all nice and reassuring  and examines them for injuries – he’s a nice vampire!

Until he kills Neeva’s daughter for having an infected nick on her hand. He calls her corrupted.

So we end with a grand revelation – anti-infected vampire vampires! Which comes at the end of… a lot of limbo.

Argh, I thought after last episode we were beginning to see some movement. Everyone knew about vampires, it was time for some vampire dystopia action!

And we got… slooooow. Sloooowness. Most of the episode was, what, playing ominous wandering with Eichorst through a subway? Augustin is under arrest – we know this – so why are these two scenes here when they didn’t advance anything? The whole episode and the only relevant thing in it was the last 10 minutes – in fact, was it even 10 minutes? Honestly, the rest of it was pretty skippable

I also don’t appreciate Sylvia being loaded onto the bus. She existed as a plot device to make Jim do something and then when she wasn’t needed she was quickly shuffled out of the storyline

Also, where has Nora stashed her mother?