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WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS -- "Animal Control" -- Season 1, Episode 5 (Airs April 24, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson, Kayvan Novak as Nandor, Harvey Guillen as Guillermo. CR: Russ Martin/FX

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Review: Episode 5- Back To Life

Do relationships stagnate? Sure, but this is usually due to decimation of the spice in the union. We have catchy nomenclature for that- the Seven Year Itch. However, when you and yours have lived for centuries, how do you make it work? Ya just do.. but that sounds pretty pedestrian and even ghoulish when it comes to something as romantic as the Vampire. In this episode of What We Do In The Shadows (FX), Nadja (Natasia Demitriou) takes back her man… before picking up her husband.

Languishing in the Isle of Staten, she along with her night-walker betrothed maintains a status quo. However, she’s like me in my mid 20s with my girlfriend- chomping at the bit to go out, get wild and do something you might regret only making for an even better story you regale kinfolk with when you’re hosting boring dinner parties. Laszlo (Matt Berry) seems relatively content with going home and engaging in a bit of the carnal desire after a night’s stroll, but the embers in Nadja are not fine with that. In an attempt to secure his wife’s non-beating heart, he attempts to feed as she watches. It doesn’t get her blood pumping, but it does it boiling.

As Laszlo hilariously is beaten within near inches of his headache (I mean, they’re immortal, so they can’t die by a human hand) with of all things, the most humiliating of instruments with which to dispatch a pest (broom), we cut more to Nadja, getting her lustful fix on Jeff Sucker (get it?)

If you’ll remember from the Pilot, Jeff (Jake McDorman) is the object of Nadja’s affections, as she is emotionally cheating on Las with Jeff. Having this storied and romantic history with his previous incarnations as Gregor (Carpathian warlord and a steed among the many) before Laszlo, human iteration of Gregor is a simple but honest and kind Gatekeeper. He literally checks the gate for a parking garage. Nadja’s hot-blooded nature is pining for the past and forgetting about the present, as she tries to spark his older, more derring-do side up. Nadja the Aggressor.

Laszlo, now remanded to Staten Island Animal Control, of which Nandor (Kayvan Novak), familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) and Colin (Mark Proksch) are informed of the situation. This is a jail-break, however, amongst the trio have no experience in and it shows.

We actually see one of the rules of the Romantic Undead as they have to be invited into an edifice. Colin cites that it’s not really a thing but I was so glad that Guillermo merely says that mythos or fact, it’s just rude to enter a building without asking permission. Granted, public buildings should be fair game.. but even if ya know the person inside, though it would seem customary to just traipse in all willy nilly- there should be some protocol.

Fresh off of work for the night, Jeff saunters into the night with Nadja at a Carnival. I think that they could not have in the script picked a better place. How could something set up and taken down be more apropos than a carnival. There, Jeff wins Nadja multiple items but not the most important- her interest. She knew deep down this was simply a soul in a vessel and that her attempts at jogging his memory of past wins is lost, so she uses some of her old tricks and (for the life of me wasn’t used in vampire lore yet) used her power to rejigger his memories of past lives.

Thus ensues a very funny showing of Jeff’s past lives, which are basically a thousand times cooler than ours could ever be. They finally meet, Nadja and Gregor through what can only be described as an actors reel It’s amazing. Nadja and Gregor- that would make for a weird rom-com title in theatres, but I would so watch it.

Back at Gen-Pop aka Animal Control room, Nandor finds a way to get in to save his brethren… by being a captured as a dog. I’m sure a lot of his thought went into that and by a lot I mean a little. I love the guy. He means well and has interesting powers but goes off the cuff. If being impulsive was a trait, it feeds more into his adorability.. and Lazslo’s being angered at being captured makes friends with a few of the caged. Win-win.

Ultimately, though we see Gregor through Jeff wanting to ravish Nadja on the dank parking lot pavement, it only takes one cell phone ring to bring her back to reality.

As far as episodes go thus far, I really liked the fact they focused more on Nadja. I hoped that Jeff wasn’t just a throwaway joke in the first episode and they did some interesting things with her powers, of which we didn’t really get to see until now.  I don’t see it as strong as the Manhattan Vampire episode, however, but I think that it’s truly finding its stride and for it, I am eternally grateful for.

 

About Robert Kijowski

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