Whatever happens from here for poor Guillermo, there’s no going back from pointing a sharpened stake at your master’s heart.
Just a forewarning that everything from here on out is loaded with *SPOILERS*, so read at your own risk! Catch up with all “What We Do in the Shadows” season two with recaps here.
“Collaboration” (dir. Yana Gorskaya)
The strenuous tension between Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) and Nandor (Kayvan Novak) only grows this week when Benjy (Jack O’Connell), Nandor’s former familiar, returns to the Staten Island home so his master can finally turn him into a vampire. Guillermo is not impressed. Nandor’s none too happy to see Benjy either. After a brief master/familiar partnership in the ‘70s, Nandor abandoned his lame helper at a rest stop in Delaware. Luckily, Benjy is too aloof to realize that he was ditched there, and still believes his former master is going to act on his 40-year-old promise, giving Nandor the benefit of playing stupid.
Guillermo sulks in his room, interrupted by Benjy, who requests to accompany him to a local familiar mixer in the city. It isn’t very lively. And then, in walks Celeste (Greta Lee), a familiar friend whom he used to help dispose of bodies with. As it turns out, she’s finally been turned into a vampire by her “12-year-old” master. Truly nothing’s coming up Guillermo. Temptation arises when Celeste informs him that all of her familiars will be turned after eight months of service. It’s a pretty good deal considering the table of decrepit familiars still waiting for their bite of truth, arguing over who’s gonna get the honor first.
Needless to say, Guillermo has waited long enough to finally sit his master down and ask whether he intends to turn him or not, especially after 11 years of loyal service. Nandor refuses to give a solid response. In turn, Guillermo really has no choice but to leave him for Celeste, but not without shedding a tear for the bloodsucker he’s devoted his life to. Even a part of Nandor angrily realizes, yet won’t admit, that he would be helpless without him at his side.
Guillermo arrives at Celeste’s studio apartment with open arms and an understanding that he’s an appreciated member of her community. Nandor, meanwhile, is reminded why he ditched Benjy in the first place. He gets easily distracted, can’t lug around bodies or do anything the same way Guillermo would. It couldn’t hurt to pop in and check on Gizmo and see how he’s doing. That probably wasn’t the best idea considering this is the happiest Guillermo has looked, prior to burning the Baron to a crisp last season. I mean, he’s upgraded from a closet to a full, open-spaced bedroom that doesn’t have a Benjy-stained pillow.
In a rare moment of sentimentality, Nandor makes a plea with Celeste to “be kind to Guillermo.” Glad to see he can be a big softie on the other side of all of those pillaging, dismissive walls he’s constructed. It doesn’t take long for Celeste’s underlings to question her about being turned into vampires. A panicked Celeste suggests they all engage in a spontaneous orgy, seemingly squashing any qualms for the time being.
Before the orgy can commence, Celeste’s masters return home to find the door locked like a parent coming home early while your friends are still in the house. Turns out she’s been fraudulently posing as a vampire the whole time, resulting in a penthouse bloodbath that Guillermo and a cat familiar just narrowly escape. Unhappy in his absence, Nandor materializes to make one last plea for his familiar to come back home. Guillermo deservedly requests a day off every week, better snacks (ice chips won’t cut it) and a general appreciation for everything he does. Nandor agrees with his conditions and promises (for real this time) to turn the lovable familiar into a vampire at some point in the future. Master and familiar are reunited at last.
On the other side of things, as if Laszlo (Matt Berry) didn’t already claim ownership over just about everything, in the midst of draining a nighttime jogger, he hears a car radio playing “Come on Eileen,” much to his bewilderment. Sifting through his records with Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), he realizes that he’s been plagiarized more times than most artists. “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” turns out, is only a cheap imitation of Laszlo’s “Stroke, Stroke, Stroke Your Cock.” I’ll never look at that nursery rhyme the same way.
Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), gleefully excited at the draining opportunity that presents itself, suggests the couple perform their old-timey songs onstage. After having a back-and-forth over each other’s musical tastes, Nadja and Laszlo are finally ready to perform at an open mic night under the guise that only the most prestigious talent are invited onstage. There’s no beating around the bush. They’re bad — like really bad. The tired crowd eventually revolts against them, that is, until they start playing “The Seafaring Song,” produced by Laszlo in 1792, which gets them in a groove. The Beach Boys have some explaining to do for “Kokomo,” I guess.
“Collaboration” provides some good laughs with the singing vampire lovebirds, but its greatest strength is the much needed relationship development between Nandor and Guillermo. And while we may have ended on an agreeable note between the pair, there’s still a lingering Van Helsing truth bomb just waiting to drop in everyone’s lap. Guillermo isn’t quite out of the woods yet.
Why does Nandor participating in the Nixon campaign not surprise me?
Not even burning that pillow will clean what’s been left behind.
Yeah, it’s best you shelf that Olympics tune, Nadja.
“I did all kinds of s**** for him that I can’t even think of right now.”
Colin Robinson and Benjy, funny enough, would be a vampire/familiar match made in heaven.
“You haven’t had an original idea since 1925 when you decided to go down on me for the first time in 200 years.” – That one’s one you, Laszlo. Shame.
Nandor has shown some growth in actually following through with Benjy’s vampire transformation in the end.
Season 2, Episode 9 Teaser Trailer:
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.
Featured image credit: FX
Matt graduated from Keene State College in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Critical Film Studies. A few of his favorite films include “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Army of Darkness,” “Before Sunrise” and “Certain Women.” Having already contributed to Bloody Disgusting, ELF Magazine and The Simple Cinephile, Matt aspires to expand and continue writing with various outlets. If there’s any chance to talk about horror films and/or Twin Peaks, he’ll very much jump at the opportunity.