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‘The Strain’ recap: Creepy newbies bring big questions

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “For Services Rendered” | Aired Aug 24, 2014

This episode rocked! The Strain keeps getting better and better with each episode. This week, Abraham stresses to Eph the importance of trusting him no matter what. Surely Eph has no problem with a little blind faith in the midst of a vampire apocalypse. According to Abraham, if you kill the Master, all of his spawn will die as well. Abraham, Eph, Nora and Jim plot to lure Thomas to Grand Central Station in the hopes that he can lead them to the Master.

Spoiler alert! It doesn’t work. Here’s everything you need to know about this week’s episode of The Strain. Let’s go!

Honey, I’m home: We kick things off this week with Joan’s husband, who’s returning home from a work trip. He fails to heed the nanny’s warning about Joan, and takes a taxi to his house. There, he finds a few vampires outside, and runs inside for protection after watching the taxi driver get eaten. Joan is waiting for him inside, and we have to say, Joan is officially the ugliest and most terrifying vampire yet.









It might be that her patchy red hair and pale skin remind us of It, which is extremely unpleasing to the eye. She’s completely cringe-worthy.

The making of the box: Concentration camp flashback time, y’all! Thomas finds a piece of wood that’s been whittled into the Hand of Miriam in the barracks and wants to know who it belongs to. After shooting someone in the head in an attempt to get the responsible person to come forward, Abraham admits that it is his. Thomas thinks he did a fabulous job and assigns him to a new project. He gives Abraham the plans and design for a box—the Master’s box! At one point, Thomas comes in drunk and talks to Abraham while he’s working. They have a friendly political debate in which they discuss Hitler, democracy and power. Harmless, right? Things get a little heated when Thomas starts to taunt Abraham and tells him, “You have a choice, but you’re afraid of it.” Then, to prove a point, Thomas lays his gun in front of Abraham, inviting him to try to kill him if he dares. Abraham does nothing. Thomas picks the gun back up and says, “It’s much easier to do nothing. Safer.” Yeah, Abe got schooled.









As a reward for finishing the box, Thomas brings him a delicious sub sandwich. Who doesn’t like getting paid in sandwiches? Worked for Jared the Subway guy. We know the story of Thomas and Abe doesn’t end there. Hopefully next week we get a flashback scene where Abraham sees the Master for the first time.

Doing time: Gus has been thrown in jail after he and his friend got in a scuffle with a vampire in the last episode. During his intake, he tries to tell an officer that some funky stuff is going on in the streets, but the officer just thinks he’s on drugs. Did the officer see Gus’s abs? We’re pretty sure you can’t look like that if you’re a druggie. We’re just saying.










Gus gets tossed into a giant cell filled with inmates (is that what really happens in jail?), where he finds his buddy hacking up a lung in the corner. He punches a dude in order to get a seat for his friend, and hugs him while telling him he’s going to be OK. Aw! Can Gus be our best friend? So, how many people in that cell are going to die when Gus’s friend makes them all his prison meal?

Jim is in the doghouse: Jim’s wife, Sylvia, knows something is wrong with Jim and keeps questioning him about why he is in such a rush to leave the city and head to Palo Alto with her, where the cancer treatment center is. Before he has a chance to come up with another lie, Eph, Nora and Abe show up. Jim explains to Sylvia what’s going on, but she’s having none of it. At this point she thinks Jim is captain of the crazy train, and forces him to make a choice: Join the band of yahoos in their living room or come with her. Jim obvi has to choose the former, since he catapulted the apocalypse by working for Thomas. Sylvia leaves, and it’s go time for our Scooby gang.

Eldritch: We saw a glimpse of Eldritch this episode, and he was pretty much doing the same thing that he has been doing all season: whining how the Master hasn’t delivered on his promise yet—which we are assuming is the gift of eternal life as a zompire. Eldi was in the midst of receiving a pep talk from his “manservant” when Thomas shows up. Eldi tells Thomas that his manservant has been with him all his life, as were his parents. Thomas, of course, respects this since he enslaved humans in his past life as a Nazi officer. We didn’t find Eldi’s staff loyalty too impressive, as our idea of a manservant is a bit different.








Eldritch wants to know if Thomas has been giving the Master updates about their plan and how smoothly its execution has been. Thomas assures him the Master is aware of the progress. Being that Eldi is a perfectionist, he’s concerned about a voicemail Jim left him, demanding money for the body he and Gus were supposed to dispose of and didn’t. Thomas knows it’s a trap and that Abe is behind it, but he chooses to entertain it anyway in hope of ending them all.

Cat and mouse: Grand Central Station is where Jim told Thomas to meet him in his voicemail, to exchange money for the body they were supposed to dispose of. Thomas sneaks up on Jim, but Jim threatens him and tells him that if he does something now, in public, there are a handful of cops nearby ready to arrest him. Right, because the first lieutenant of the Master is scared of a bunch of officers who probably just got done Netflix-ing a marathon of House of Cards while simultaneously eating themselves into a coma. Not that we know anything about doing that …










Thomas leaves and starts to walk down to the subway, and Eph, Nora and Abe all follow him. Eph loses him, as does Nora, and Abe thinks he’s being all stealth by following him into one of the subway trains—but at the last minute, Thomas walks out of the train and back onto the platform. Abe uses his handy-dandy sword to stop the doors from closing and exits the train, but instead of sneaking up on Thomas—Thomas is already there waiting for him. They have a classic man-versus-evil exchange, and Abe tries to pull his sword on him. Being that he’s as old as the Crypt Keeper and Thomas is a powerful vampire, it doesn’t go too well. Thomas grabs Abe, and his proboscis starts to emerge, when suddenly Eph appears to save the day! He shoots Thomas, slightly injuring him. Before they can get to an injured Thomas, he supermans onto a passing subway and digs his nails inside to stick to it. Come on, Scoobies! Go get the bad guy!

Vampire-Joan is hideous, plus one giant twist: The nanny is still refusing to bring the children back to the house since she still hasn’t heard from the father yet. The nanny’s daughter shows up and insists that they take the kids home immediately. So off they go to the house, where the kids run right through the front door (which has been left open). The little girl finds her father dead upstairs. Then, out of the shadows comes vampire-Joan. The nanny, her daughter and the two children try to run and hide, but to no avail. They are about two seconds away from getting slurped dry when someone shoots a wooden stake through Joan’s skull and kills her. Here comes the giant twist: the guy that killed her is a vampire (at least, he appears to be), draped in a red-and-black hooded cloak, flanked by several men in the same gear. The mystery man asks the children to come to him so he can “make sure they aren’t hurt” This scene was all sorts of creepy. The man notices that the nanny’s daughter has been bitten and kills her with a wooden arrow to the head. Who are these guys? Vampire vampire-hunters? He says he killed the nanny’s daughter because she was “corrupted.” Are they trying to contain the virus as well? Where did they come from?









Like we said, this episode is brilliant. The Strain has finally given us all the background we need on all the characters so the real action can start. So far, here’s where we stand:

  • More and more people are getting infected—the strain is spreading!
  • The Master: Where is this joker? He’s super-scary, and we want to see more.
  • Newbie monsters: Who are these guys? They are clearly a lot more intelligent than the newly turned vamps, and they seem to be working against the Master.

The only thing missing from the episode? This badass.









Sound off with your thoughts and predictions! There’s so much detail in these episodes, and we want to hear what you think. Until next time … #FangsOut


The Strain airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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