‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Review: Episode 7- … Left Alive.

Picking up where we left off from the last episode, we find the triumvirate of trifle (Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja) still high as kites off of drugged blood. In this syrupy stupor, they literally break their erstwhile Master, Baron Afanas (Doug Jones) in twain, thus ensuring an undignified finality to a vampire so revered, his honorific was “the Undying”. As a gesture of good faith, Laszlo eeks out a modest piece of Earth as Baron’s final resting spot, wedged betwixt Laszlo’s two favorite Vaginal topiaries- that of his wife and that of his mother.

Freshly sober, the trio for the life of them can’t recall how this all came to pass. Guillermo’s (Harvey Guillen) lips are sealed tighter than the sepulchre Baron once called a bed. It is at this point we are met with an Unkindness the likes of which none of the vampires experienced before, prompting them to seek refuge inside. This grand spectacle is simply a harkening from Vampiric Council. The Council’s Herald, played mightily by the awesome Kristen Schaal, summons the party animals (hisssss) to a tribunal concerning the Baron’s untimely demise. The Vampiric Council exists to administer punishment to those willing to step out of the Vampiric Code… so naturally Laszlo (Matt Berry), the epicurean of the house is pretty acquainted with the likes of them. I mean, he turned a baby (a baby!) into a Prisoner of the Night out of no deeper purpose than simply trying to cure boredom. I will say that this particular joke was fantastic, as in my estimation, the mythos of babies being turned had never been broached before. The act is wrong on a few levels but the joke itself is amazing on all the right ones.

As the nightwalkers with Guillermo approach the Temple Of the Blood Devourers (which is nothing more than a commercial building, I assume because the rent was reasonable), they brace themselves. With the demeanor of a rookie’s being called down to the Principal’s office, they part ways with Guillermo, as he has his own dungeon awaiting him.

Nadja, Laszlo and Nandor come face to face with Vasilika the Defiler (Alexandra Henrikson) and Dave Bautista (Garrett the Vampire). Oh, that’s not a typo. The moment I saw them, I just saw a fanged up Drax. This isn’t a bad thing. The guy actually knows how to play a quiet intensity, which I much enjoy. They break the ice asking about Baron and Nandor the Loosest spills the beans. They were just volleying about the idea “as a joke” to Merc him if they feared for their existence. They beg for clemency, as the Council would throw shade at if they saw it, but these two vampires, behind a desk, with a big tome staring at them are living out their sentence. Vasilika makes perfect sense as her title precedes her, but Garrett was framed for turning a baby into the perpetual crapping his pants and not able to experience growing up vampire he is now. I think Lazslo in that moment was not crapping but shitting himself, as Garrett was pretty intent on finding which person he is doing the time for. Wonderful joke though.

Back in a dank backroom, Guillermo meets the other familiars. We’ve now a familiar feeling of how shoddy the familiars are treated, as they had barely operable space in The Sassy Cat. Granted, the company at least has a veggie spread and coffee, so Guillermo seems to be moving up- only he’s not. In the group, they lob lore of Success Stories, familiars that were granted immortality… though not one attendee could say they’ve ever met one.

This table is set for the House of Staten Island. After being treated to an elaborately choreographed dance number, the gang finally meets their presiding judges. This is where I nearly lost it as I was treated to one of the coolest meta-humor jokes in all of my days in entertainment.

Knowing that Viago (Taika Waititi), Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) and Deacon (Jonny Brugh) would make an appearance, as this world coincides with theirs, I was not expecting the boss of this international cabal of DNA diners to be none other than Tilda (Only Lovers Left Alive). As a Jaramusch fan, my heart started racing. It only got better as the “Dark Greetings” amongst them included Evan (True Blood), Paul (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Danny (From Dusk till Dawn), a subpar Skype connection from Wesley (Blade) and the icing on the Red Velvet cake, Colin (Mark Proksch) weighed in on their ‘alleged’ transgression.

As a great follow up, there was a great funny about who skipped out of the trial: Rob (I assume Robert Pattison… or maybe Rob Lowe. You can’t be looking that young for that age), Keifer (The Lost Boys) and Tom & Brad (Interview with the Vampire).

I have to say that this caliber of cameos is stunning and mindblowing for a show that is on its first season. Thankfully, it’s been renewed for a second go around, so I am excite, son.

Upon the testimony of Baron’s familiar, they go to the person I think is the lifeblood of the domicile- Guillermo. Though he’s always the bridesmaid, he admits that he’s the culprit in what would otherwise be considered a killing. To his advantage, the Council believes not a singular second of his word, but I’m sure he has alternate intentions. It’s now or never. He’s either turned or killed. At this point, he doesn’t care. That’s when his Master steps up and incriminates his housemates, proclaiming they all killed the Baron.

As the only thing for the Council to carry out swift justice, they tailor theirs to his- exposure to sunlight.

Going through the Green Mile (Black Mile? Semi-Lit Mile?) Laszlo attempts to make a break, leading to an interesting fight that defies physics. Ultimately, they are wrangled up only to face their slow and painful dispatching… in a well which is pretty fucked up.

As Nandor, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo await their sunny fate, they make a few confessions and laments. Upon dawn break, they begin to feel exactly what the Baron felt. Is this the end of- NOPE. Colin with an oversized umbrella bought from Home Depot swoops in like a noble bat and saves the day. Did you really think he was going to let them suffer?

At this point, we know Colin Robinson is the bat version of a cur or a gnat or anything we don’t want around us, so he savors each moment and feeds off their energy. On the “ride home” (three bats in a box), he pesters them a bit. It’s a Sunshine Day for them.. well at least for one of them.

Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski is a script writer who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He's written for pop culture and film websites alike. You can hear him on Spotify (After the Credits) and reach out on Instagram, X or by English Carrier Pigeon.

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