TV What We Do in the Shadows

“What We Do in the Shadows” Season 2, Episode 7: “The Return” Recap – Helping a Devious in Their Time of Need

Jackie Daytona may be put away in Laszlo’s identity closet for now, but nevertheless there’s a new episode of “What We Do in the Shadows,” and that’s a good enough reason to smile. A guest performer, last seen in last season’s “Manhattan Night Club,” reprises his role, and Colin Robinson, well, gets into a weird, weird confrontation.

Just a forewarning that everything from here on out is loaded with *SPOILERS*, so read at your own risk!

“The Return” (dir. Jemaine Clement)

Returning home from a night at the movies, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) hear a spooky, soft-spoken voice from a sewer drain calling their names. After walking through the s*** pipe, the couple discover that the mysterious voice belongs to the always charming Simon the Devious (Nick Kroll). It turns out that he’s been down there with Count Rapula (Mike Dara) and the terrifying Carol (Christine Ebadi) ever since his nightclub exploded last season, all thanks to Laszlo’s cursed skin hat. Feeling slightly sympathetic, Nadja extends an invitation to Simon to come visit them anytime he wants, under the pretense that the down-on-his-luck club manager wouldn’t be caught dead at their doorstep. Upon walking through the door, however, Simon is already conversing with Nandor (Kayvan Novak), much to their displeasure. 

As Laszlo gives Simon the grand tour, he just pops into a room downstairs that we’ve never seen before and, sure enough, there’s vampire Elvis (Shawn Wayne Klush) just sitting there. Only a sharply written show like “What We Do in the Shadows” will casually drop that Elvis is still alive because Laszlo bit him sometime in the ‘70s, and then just move on like it’s nothing. 

Laszlo follows Simon around the house under the suspicion that Simon is only playing nice to get the cursed hat back, and supposedly catches him red-handed. He accuses Simon of stealing the hat in front of everybody. Laszlo looks stupid when he pulls back the sheet to reveal a bat-shaped sewer trash sculpture, crafted as a token of appreciation for everyone’s generosity. As Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) cleans up, he’s confronted by Carol, who sees right through his innocent familiar facade, sniffing out his slayer tendencies immediately. Carol lunges at the Van Helsing heir and is swiftly disposed of by a broken broomstick. Before he can dispose of the Carol-shaped ash pile on the floor, Nandor happens to walk in. 

Showing mercy toward his familiar, Nandor decides to let Guillermo discreetly clean up the mess and stay hush-hush about the whole thing. Then Guillermo, instinctively, had to point the broomstick toward his master’s heart. And much like Guillermo, my heart was racing. Harvey Guillén is tremendous here at depicting the weight of his own point of no return; Nandor can’t unsee this. For all of Guillermo’s badass vampire slaying skills, it’s easy to see just how vulnerable of a character he once was and where it has landed him. Nandor slowly backs away, expressing a sense of distrust toward his loyal familiar for the first time. 

A house meeting is called, and Nandor and Guillermo keep their worried dispositions to themselves when Simon inquires about Carol’s disappearance. He drops the whole thing, thankfully for them, in favor of the real reason he’s been so courteous — the hat. He wants the cursed hat back even though it literally ruined his life. If that means fighting Laszlo for ownership, then so be it. Nadja rightfully tears Laszlo a new one for keeping the hat, all while he gets “Meet Joe Black”-ed in the street, even though he swore he threw it out. 

Everyone convenes in the s*** sewer pipe where Simon, now in possession of the cursed hat, unleashes the rest of his crew (traitor Elvis included), who are all ready for a vampire rumble under his command. Unfortunately, it goes to show though that even if you have a vampire Neil, a vampire Patrick and a vampire Harris on your side, the hat’s cursed properties will always work against you in the end. The group escapes as Simon melts into the sewer grate beneath his feet. In the episode’s final moments, Guillermo and Nandor walk away from one another, suspicious of what their relationship even means now. 

While everyone else does their own thing, Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), as usual, exploits another form of draining energy: social media. And why wouldn’t he? Getting riled up on the internet over inconsequential nonsense brings out the worst in us, especially when a troll enters the chat. If that isn’t a succulent meal for an energy vampire, nothing is. Insensitive internet trolls wish they could be as creatively draining as Colin. At the rate he’s going this season, he could take over all of New York in a week if he wanted to. 

A random commenter starts to get under his skin after his many, many troll accounts start getting suspended left and right. Getting tired of the back and forth, Colin tracks down the commenter’s information, which puts him on a path to fight his online adversary in Medford, Massachusetts. When he arrives at the designated meeting spot, an actual literal troll walks out of the alleyway shadows. I don’t know what I was expecting but there it was — a massive, blurred troll dongus. 

“What We Do in the Shadows” never fails to impress when it comes to introducing new magical creatures that exist among the core vampires. Without missing a beat, Colin puts the troll on the fast track to sleepyville. The sun comes up and turns the troll into stone, giving Colin the win. All we need is Jack Dorsey to suspend all of Colin’s bot accounts.

Another week, another hilarious episode of “What We Do in the Shadows.” “The Return” featured a great blend of B-plot shenanigans with Colin’s trolling and a major development in Nandor/Guillermo’s strenuous relationship. Based on the promo, next week is bound to be mighty interesting.

Bloody Notations

. I’m absolutely saving that gif of Nadja’s “I like to read when watching the pictures” comment for the next time we get dragged into the tired discourse of moviegoers finding subtitles too demanding for their entertainment. 

  • “Jesus actually hates horses.”
  • Those stakes in Guillermo’s fridge get sharper with every chance Nandor offers him up as food.
  • Bravo to the makeup team behind Carol’s design. Her bulging white eyes and jagged fangs are the stuff of my nightmares.
  • Nothing like decorative sewer trash to show your gratitude. 
  • A team of animators had to render a massive troll dongus just to blur it out. 
  • “Sorry, Fred Mercury, but I am the champion!”
  • That troll is going to make one hell of a discovery to the next person who crosses that alley.

2×08 Promo

You can catch “What We Do in the Shadows” on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on FX. And you’ll find weekly recaps right here on Shuffle Online following each episode. Until then bloodsuckers, sleep tight in your musty coffins, and cross your fingers Guillermo isn’t waiting outside with a freshly carved stake.

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