I hate the health care system with the same healthy amount as anybody in this fine country. From long waits to questions asked, it’s even worse when you’re a Vampire’s Familiar and you’re short on time. In the sixth episode of What We Do In The Shadows (FX) titled “Urgent Care”, we’ll see that in some clinics, the Rainbow Bridge is the only option.
Hark! Laszlo (Matt Berry) has made a discovery. Along with the improving telekinesis of Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), frogs injected with his blood have gained the ability to fly. When forced to leap off a balcony, however, Gizmo’s only able to suspend himself in the air for but a few moments before crashing, mangling his angle.
Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) is only as concerned as Nandor (Kayvan Novak) until Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) comes in with a shiner. It turns out that a mark of inflicted violence makes him instantly more interesting. This spells bad news for his health, as he’s unable to feed. Sadly, Colin’s actual life has been really interesting. From Colin discovering a blown-up farmer and his ox to the way he got his black eye, never has The World’s Most Interesting Man In The World had his spot more contested.
Nandor and Colin abscond with Laszlo to his lab for an immediate energy transfer. Nandor quickly backs out of the deal, forcing Colin to feed the traditional way. Laszlo is not happy, but it’s a simpler idea. While sauntering out on Forest Avenue, Nandor tries to get Colin to feed but ultimately gets Colin’s foot ran over, making him a TikTok moment. The cameras are once again out, making both Nandor and Colin internet famous for just existing as their bumbling selves.
Much as they want the attention shifted away from them, John Slattery himself backs up to apologize, only making the night grander for the duo. He offers to drive them to the hospital and though Colin rejects, Nandor accepts, as the private ride is prime for an energy drain. On the road, Colin attempts to drain John at Nandor’s behest, but John’s straight besotted by Colin’s accent. All he wants to do is talk to ‘interesting’ Colin about accents, causing both vampires to abandon ship. At least he didn’t give ’em the hard sell on Sterling’s Gold.
At the Urgent Care for Familiars under the aegis of a 24-Hour Veterinary, Nadja goes all Platform 9 ¾ with Guillermo, as we enter one of the rarified areas open specifically to familiars. None of it looks above board, so John Wick would feel at home. Before Guillermo can bolt, two of the head-caged staff put him under. After some time, Nadja is called up. Guillermo’s healing abnormally nicely, so the veterinarian (Wayne Federman) wants Nadja’s consent for him to be put down. Though she’d rather take him home, his bloodwork, however, shows a bit of an aberration, and for that, he’ll be kept for further examination. If you know, you know. Thankfully, they don’t know about the Van Helsing coursing through Gizmo, and Nadja wants to keep it that way.
From Johnny S. to johnny gown, Nadja finds Guillermo in a drugged-up haze. She tries to hightail it out with him but is intercepted by the vet, informing her of Guillermo’s transgression. As she’s trying to make sense of it, he’s once again drugged and hauled off to be put down. Nadja flexes the powerful pipes, heading deeper into the lair before stumbling upon The Guide (Kristen Schaal), who works as a volunteer. Sadly, I don’t think it’s a choice for the Guide, as servitude is the poor Maiden of the Night’s lot in perpetuity.
Nandor takes the waning and worse-for-wear Colin into a convenience store to drain, stumbling upon a robbery in progress. The perp recognizes Colin from TikTok, affording the cashier enough time to take out the criminal with a bat giving Colin just enough time to unceremoniously (and hilariously) pass out mid-hug, inquiring about the bathroom cleanliness.
Nadja isn’t having any easier a night, knocking back the staff in order to get retrieve Guillermo, who reveals all. The Doc comes in, insistent on putting Guillermo down. According to Nadja, that’s Nandor’s privilege, so she squares off with the Doc as Guillermo helps through telekinesis and super strength in the 11th hour, giving Elizabethan vibes. To be fair, if there was an epoch of a Great Vampire War on the horizon, my guy would easily be the go-to utility player on this battlefield. Are we prepping for something?
At the Vampire Residence, Laszlo’s needed. Colin’s down for the count and time’s wasting, so it’s now or never for the siphoning. While Laszlo informs Colin of what the machine was originally intended for (alcoholic impotence), he neglects Nandor, now zapped to hell. Colin knows if he can drain energy, he can sure as hell give it and proceeds to regale Nandor with some of his more interesting tales from his real name to a famous ex-boyfriend. “Shine on, you crazy diamond.”
Nadja’s reading her beloved the riot act, but it’s too late. She steps up and lies for the treacherous Guillermo. She says everything’s status quo. Laszlo lies. All the conspiratorial two can do now is fly under the radar with someone that can easily make the Residence an honest blip in the Vampire community. (As if they’ve not worked hard enough at making spectacles of themselves all around town.)
Lucky for them, Nandor’s big-dick myopia allows him to buy her bullshit wholesale, even with the evidence literally flying in the face of revelation. Colin has an iota of an idea about it all but his signature abstention wins out in the end. These vampires were held up to scrutiny before the presence of the Vampiric Council in the past… will the next to find out be The Guide? Given her track record for meaning well yet scuttling so much, I foresee a shift in momentum in the next episode, ramping up the stakes (hissss) even more. I’m even more curious to see what the cameras will catch.
A case is being built. Who knows to what extent and how it will land? Hopefully, not like Guillermo.
It’s becoming apparent to me that this entire season has two main characters: Guillermo and Staten Island. You read me right. Staten Island. From its Mall to now its underground urgent care, Staten Island is being fine-tooth combed in a very fresh and exciting way. It’s using smaller, simpler settings not in the house to make the little Isle of Staten way bigger than it is. The whole season thus far has a transient feel to it, leaving nary a dull moment. Speaking of exploring environs, Urgent Care reminded me of the first season episode of Manhattan Night Club, with the Familiar holding area, and just as dingy. Well, excuse my dust. Much like Guillermo’s injury in that episode, things are only going to get worse before they get better.
The casting of comedy dynamo Wayne Federman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as the good Doc was a brilliant move. The show knows and respects its comedic roots and we all know John Slattery is always down to clown. Any addition of the Wilhelm Scream will easily win my approval and the stinger of the amphibian croaking Guillermo’s name drops more questions than answers in our laps. I’m likin’ it. The Guide’s BDSM-inspired nurse collar and accouterment is a front-runner look of the season. Happy Mondays taking us out was a clever, syrupy audio intravenous that will take us into our next journey.
This episode seemed more on the passive side with the juggling of only A and B plots, and I’m not mad at it. The last episode was fucking bonkers, so a little pump on the brakes keeps the momentum of the season in check. We’re getting intimations of Guillermo’s powers festering, and the way it’s been handled thus far keeps us as in wonderment as those around him. Would have I liked to have seen more experiments with feeding on other vampires? Yes. Is that too ghoulish? Perhaps. May that idea have gotten too chaotic for the writer’s room or the budget? Perhaps. We’re still learning about Guillermo in dribs and drabs, like a blood transfusion. We’re continually surprised in each episode with every discovery as Guillermo flies in the face of Nandor finding out, and that gives me life.