Change can be frightening. It can also be exciting.
Sometimes letting go in hitting into the unknown is just what the doctor ordered and on this eighth episode of What We Do In The Shadows (FX), titled “Go Flip Yourself”, maybe hitting into that wall that is blocking you requires some literal tools of destruction.
You can’t build it up until you tear it down.
We open the episode on a hot establishing shot of the Big Apple before turning to the Brothers’ Daltry, Bran (Randy Sklar), and Toby (Jason Sklar). They are in la Isla de Staten on one of their most challenging missions yet: the “Mixed-Up Mansion”.
The obligatory introduction over the backdrop of Yez Pike’s “Make You A Believer” is worthy of any slot on HGTV’s addictive makeover roster, including the b-roll of Staten Island in full effect before getting down to the brass tacks with the Inspection of the residence
Because the inhabitants were told to keep the door unlocked for a ‘power meter reading’, the twins Ambush them. There’s only one problem… Upon entering, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) summarily snuffs out Toby.
Laszlo (Matt Berry) doesn’t even notice or care, as he’s simply ecstatic to be in the presence of Bran, even with the cameraman catching Nadja finishing off her celebrity snack.
Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) in the background disposes of Toby’s corpse, Bran addresses the audience. His brother is a little under the weather, but everybody decided to weather on due to Nadja’s ‘guided meditation’, which boiled down to her hypnotizing everyone to forget they witnessed a murder. #GetWellSoonToby
With 8,474 sq. feet of unbridled potential, the inhabitants are now profiled. Laszlo is a part-time railroad worker/graphic designer sick of the lack of storage space for him and ‘his nephew’ Colin (Mark Proksch). He seems to be having the time of his undead life though, even quoting Episode 113 of Go Flip Yourself, citing the current state of the living space as “Frank Lloyd Wrong.”
Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and Marwa (Parisa Fakhri) as the newly married couple claim to have a passion for cooking and seem to be highly dissatisfied with their master bedroom, with their styles both being French Country with a touch of shabby chic. They love the same things and Nandor is clearly getting irritated with her during the interview.
Guillermo and Nadja are two nightclub owners that are tired of coming home to cramped quarters leading to much tension between the two.
Next comes the assessment of the total budget for the renovation. Laszlo wants to give the household’s whole life savings to the project, but once Bran mentions what that entails, Nadja goes on the defensive. Guillermo isn’t fond of the tree leading to a gaping thoroughfare for the raccoons, but Laszlo’s still enamored with what is happening, going as far as to buzz market Milwaukee tools for the camera.
Now it’s up to Bran in convincing everyone to be on the same page, starting with the laptop Pitch.
This starts with knocking out all the walls for an open concept first floor. Secondly, the dank old master storage would be replaced with an all-white his/hers mega-closet for Nadja’s shoes and Doll opposite a dedicated hat wall for Laszlo’s chapeaus. So far, Lasz is digging it, though Guillermo isn’t too jazzed. As for the upstairs attic, Nandor and Marwa’s upstairs would be converted into a master suite. Nandor’s not convinced until option B is proposed for being converted into a man-cave, where women would not be allowed.
Nadja is hating all of it and having none of it, including a wall for hats of which Laszlo only has five, the witch skin being of utmost import. Not to be outdone, Bran pulls out the plan for a master bath with a golden commode and though she doesn’t defecate, she’s interested.
With all possibilities in their noodles, Bran’s left them to deliberate. Nadja’s not worried, as she’s included her hypnosis straight into the camera to include anybody laying eyes on the footage including all on production.
It’s now Decision Time and after a little bit of the drummed-up tension, 3 out of 4 have decided to “Embrace Their Space!”
This couldn’t be sweeter to Bran’s ears, as he wants to up their curb appeal by resodding both the front lawn and back yard, which worries Guillermo for reasons that should be obvious.
It matters none, as the Demolition montage has the entire household happy. Even Baby Colin’s predilection for destruction has a purpose.
Even Marwa seems to be having fun with her menial quarters, complete with a door that locks. After seeing what Bran can do with his 3/4, Nandor is quickly coming around to what could be.
However, some dreams come at a cost. As it turns out, the City Building Inspector’s office (Guillermo) has a bone to pick with the undertaking.
Coming back to the big reveal before the ‘big reveal’, it turns out Guillermo’s living situation legally cannot be called a room. What this means is that to get Guillermo’s room up to code, the budget allocation needs to get rid of Nadja’s gold toilet for Guillermo to have proper ventilation. Additionally, the ‘Home Is Where the Wine Is’ sign for Nandor’s man cave needs to be nixed to close the open septic tank pooling underneath Gizmo’s bed.
On a lighter side, Marwa surprises Bran and shocks Nandor with her own mid-reno addition. From a bar with used saddle seats, earthy tones, and a big screen tv to a mini-basketball court with an NBA regulation net, Nandor is loving his wife even more because he’s loving himself more. This Shangri-la is Marwa’s cave, not his. Ahh, I love a good regret.
As the finishing touches are being put into place, the Big Reveal has arrived and once the blindfolds are removed, Laszlo seems concerned.
Laszlo is revealed to be looking at the neighbor’s house anyway, but from the exterior, absolutely nothing has changed. Outside of a few bright flourishes, neither has the inside either, save for a gorgeous walk-in closet, but his/hers was a lie.
So is Bran, as he’s our old chum Simon the Devious (Nick Kroll). The whole thing from pitch to selling, the 150 episodes, and even the partnering with Kohl’s for the Daltry Living line was all an elaborate scheme to gain access to the Witch Hat.
Ya gotta hand it to him, he totally lives up to his honorific. This is especially true when the crew is his crew. Big Vlad, Blavglad the Exsanguinator, Gonthrapple, Wesley Sikes, the Freak Sisters, Mr. 50s, Evil Steve, Adele Dazeem donning a 525,600 Minutes tee, Freakfest Tony, The Silent One (Craig Burnatowski), Greg, Desdemona the Shrieker (still hasn’t lost her touch), a guy he still doesn’t know, Elvis himself (Shawn Klush), Ronaldo the Elder, Ken the Zombie of his former accountant and last but not least, the boom operator, Count Rapula (Mike Dara) are all part of the ultimate plan. Even Toby, a Naval Flight Instructor and father to three that Simon paid for to study architecture in order to have him as the wingman for the show.
Talk about your truly broadsided Big Reveal.
Simon doesn’t mind the show airing, as his biggest viewership is in airports and hospital waiting rooms, places where minds are elsewhere. This is evident when he once showed the gaping maw of than asshole for 10 solid seconds sans complaint.
The Devious got what he wanted, and after his crew peaces out as bats, with insouciance does their leader but not before making a fumbling exit due to the corporeal curse he’s sporting as a trophy.
After the humiliation, the camera person still needs to get a pre-credits button so that the episode can air and that they may be paid the $1200 as guests. They comply and report that with the cursed headwear no longer in the house, random boiler room fires have ceased and sewage has somewhat dried up.
We get a preview of next week’s Go Flip Yourself. Does Bran get hoisted by his own petard once again?