Another week of “What We Do in the Shadows” means another week where Matt gets to smile at vampire foolishness for 30 minutes. I should feel so lucky. Last week’s premiere had a hefty duty of figuring out how the household was going to get themselves out of the mess that Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) created. Putting everyone in charge as the new rulers of the Vampiric Council is not what I expected, but it creates a new internal predicament that I’m sure we’ll see play out over the course of the season. Because if there’s one thing these blooduckers know how to do, it’s create multiple problems, many of which being rectified by Guillermo.
While getting to see Kayvan Novak imitate each cast member’s mannerisms in the name of love, the follow-up episode “The Cloak of Duplication” was a step down that felt oddly scattershot. It was the first instance where the absence of Jemaine Clement in the writer’s room was felt this season. Let’s see if “Gail” picks up the pace!
Just a forewarning that everything from here on out is loaded with *SPOILERS*, so read at your own risk!
Episode 3 – “Gail” (dir. Kyle Newacheck)
“Remember Gail? I’m inside her right now!”
It appears that Nandor (Kayvan Novak) has been sneaking out at night and nobody knows where he could be. The vampire crew track him down to a hotel where he’s caught doing the dance with no pants, with a woman named Gail (Aida Turturro). It’s even funnier that despite Guillermo reluctantly breaking down the door – knowing full well what was happening in there given the echo of his master’s moans – Nandor proudly keeps on going in all his blurred-out ‘okay now this is just Novak just showing off’ glory.
Between last week’s episode and the hotel encounter, it looks like Nandor the Relentless is looking for love, however he can get it, even if it means returning to a human with whom he’s had an on-again, off-again love affair with for over four decades. Nadja (Natasis Demetriou) has the right idea, seeing it as an unhealthy relationship dynamic considering every chance Nandor has to turn Gail into a vampire, she flakes and then breaks up with him. But Nandor’s so lovestricken that he falls back into her arms and stocks up on Strawberry Vanilla Crunch yogurt. Oh, and there’s also the engagement ring – rathern a promise ring he lifted off of a virgin victim – that he’s prepared to present to Gail.
Whether he’s sporting a Michael Jordan Dream Team jersey or, in this case, a Bob Seger T-shirt, seeing Nandor in plain human clothes will always be funny – especially when you couple it with Novak’s dorky smile. We get our first clothed impression of Gail here, comparing her lover to a can of sardines she gets sick of, then comes back to after realizing she hasn’t had them in a while. Nadja tries to be a supportive friend when Gail attempts to rush out of the house before Nandor comes home, only to discover that, under the full moon, the ex-girlfriend is now a werewolf.
This week’s side plot sees Laszlo (Matt Berry) and our favorite energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), still searching for his kind’s origins, back in the Vampiric Council Library. By happenstance, a fake hardcover of “Cornelius Dong’s Adventures in the Boner Brigade” opens a secret room. You can’t slip the false publishing of literary porno past Laszlo’s eyes, of course. What treasures lie inside but Laszlo’s confiscated jalopy. I wonder what he did to get it taken away after 10 minutes.
Excited to see his mechanical beauty again, the two gear up for a ride to Buffalo only to realize they have no way to get Laszlo’s ride out of the room. Also, Colin Robinson purposefully carrying around trail mix just to stick inside the seats of people’s cars is easily one of the evilest things he’s ever done. And that’s including everything he did in “Colin’s Promotion.” This portion of the episode has an earnest back-and-forth between Laszlo and Colin as they take apart the car. I never pictured them as a duo, but it turns out chaos really compliments blasé.
After the Guide (Kristen Schaal) makes them look like idiots for disassembling the car rather than using the built-in garage door, Laszlo and Colin Robinson join everyone else to be supportive by meeting with Gail’s werewolf clan. Guillermo gets defensive, however, when he sees her making out with Anton, the werewolf who turned her. I’m probably wrong, but it seems like they’re hinting at a possible romantic connection between Nandor and Guillermo. If I’m right, I called it, and if I’m wrong, you never saw this.
Rather than engaging in another vampire/werewolf battle, Guillermo feels inspired by the baseball scene in “Twilight,” and suggests a game of kickball in the snow to work out their differences. Everyone’s having a fun time, that is, until Nadja gets frustrated by the repeated assertion that she doesn’t like Gail and accidentally kills her via kickball to the face at full force. Nandor thinks turning her into a vampire will bring her back, and it does, albeit as a hybrid that looks terrifying in bat form. Gail ultimately decides to “Forrest Gump” him, and he seems all right with that.
If there’s one thing to gleam from this week’s episode, it’s “What We Do in the Shadows” has its own Munster Mobile, and that makes me happy.
You can catch “What We Do in the Shadows” on Thursday nights at 10/9c on FX. And you’ll find weekly recaps right here on Shuffle Online following each episode!
Featured Image: (L-R) Mark Proksch and Matt Berry in “What We Do in the Shadows” I 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.