‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Review: Episode 8- Vampire’s Kiss

Back in Episode Four, we were granted a glimpse into the fallout from Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) turning Jenna (Beanie Feldstein), one of the virgins for the Baron (pour one out), into a vampire. My estimation was that Jenna’s inevitable inclusion into the fold would make the house whole, as Baron Afanas immediately ate the familiar of Lazslo (Matt Berry) and Nadja as if she were a goddamned Ketchup packet.

Jenna is different though. The couple’s familiar was a literal feast which means only a desiccated husk was left. Whether out of some semblance of pity, potential or piety, Nadja turned Jenna. The beautiful thing with creating a Child of the Night is that avarice is on your side. Things are quick for the victim and the perpetrator. Granted, if once converted that moral compass still works, you may find yourself not wanting to kill a human via exsanguination… But sometimes, it might just take that one push over the edge.

Jenna is now feeling the effects of being turned. Having strange dreams causing nocturnal levitation, an aversion to anything religious, even when faced with an Amazing Michaelangelo work or simply a bit of Vitamin-D, the sun. Finding herself on late-night meals, she subsists on any animal unlucky enough to cross her path, though it still makes her look miserable.

Speaking of miserable, Nandor (Kayvan Novak) discovers upon being the Leader of the House that the country he was Lead was no longer a thing… since, like 1401. This doesn’t sit well with him as he a guy without a country, and if you don’t know how depressing that feels, just watch Spielberg’s The Terminal. I mean it sucks for Nandor, but I feel worse for the ticket payers of The Terminal. Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) suggests that his Master can actually try for Citizenship in the U.S. of A. Nandor this Nandor is game…

As Nadia from afar observes her possible ‘apprentice’, she grows disgusted at what she sees. It’s not the bloodletting but rather the lack thereof and not feeding on the Top Shelf libations, humans. The one she granted eternal life to is living like a homeless Vampire. After passing that threshold, Nadja confronts Jenna and vows to take her under her ‘wing’

Speaking of a Vamp without a home, Guillermo is trying to prep Master for his big night. Through his research, he finds that Nandor actually filed back in 1992 and that was for a singular reason- Olympic Dream Team baby! This was a joke I could soo familiarize with as that time, I believe the whole country whether they loved the baskets-of-ball or not just was for the golden starting five: Ewing, Barkley, Bird, Johnson and.. Jordan. I would think that a vampire whose title was “the Relentless” would go totally gaga. Dream Team baby! This type of expectancy would be in Nandor’s favor, but he didn’t complete the process of citizenship in light of the Macarena craze. Even I couldn’t fault him for that.

Nadja in the meantime is trying to find out her convert’s special power. Nadja’s is crawling, defying gravity but though Jenna can’t just yet, Nadja’s still behind her, even when Lazslo callously offends Jenna, calling for her to be put in a cage. It’s not the best look on him when Jenna absconds with her emotions into a room.

As Guillermo is prepping Master Nandor for one of the biggest nights of his accomplished life, Las and Nan are about to teach Jenna her first transforming into a bad. Upon hearing that a random snack for the Baron was turned, Guillermo’s eyes turn from Brown to Blue. I’ve had this scenario before in middle school where you want something so bad but it works out equally as bad. In my case, it was a first kiss. In his case, it was a first/last bite. Always the bridesmaid I suppose. The difference was I had known the girl for a year and she kissed one of my friends. Guillermo’s Vampire known him for ten… but that’s never bitten twice shy for him.

Jenna’s reintroduction into Vampiredom is met on the roof, where her bat form is comely and inelegant, unlike the two trying to guide her along the way.

In spite of this setback, Nadja insists on taking Jenna out to dinner. It’s steak (hissssss) night. What better feeding ground than a literal domicile that calls themselves a House. Yep, they are crashing a Fraternity party.

Garbed in his treasured Dream Team jersey (Number 9, all the time), Nandor proceeds into his possible fate with a set plan in hand. He is to hypnotize the interviewer into simply giving him a Citizenship. However, this doesn’t pan out as in the world, government employees are immune to such trickery. They surmise that maybe their souls are too dead to be receptive, which is super funny, but alas super appropriate. Nandor’s incompetence shines through as well as he not only misguesses the first three words to the Constitution (“Hey you guys” they should really amend it to) but also makes a gaffe figuring that George Washington was our first gay president.

Back at the party, Nadja is trying to have a few guys flirt with poor Jenna, however, she is in the high school sense ‘invisible’. After being invited in through hypnotism, they peruse the meat market, but the guys don’t seem to be perceptive to Jenna’s existence. After a drink is accidentally spilled on her and Nadja trying to vouch for her friend, Jenna explodes. She exits by pushing others out of the way and her anger and frustration culminate in her actually becoming invisible. Nadja is speechless and over the moon as Jenna’s unique power is something very special.

Pumped up from the high of finding her new gift, Jenna goes after the one guy that was a douche- the head of the ska band that was playing the party and rightfully so. Who the hell condones the continuation of ska? Good on ya, Jenna!

At Citizen and Immigration Services, Nandor’s interviewer is nigh at the finish line. He’s nearly survived this task of gross display of ignorance wrapped in a red, white and blue jersey of dreams, but can he cross that finish line? Short answer? No. Upon having to recite the Oath of Allegiance, he isn’t stepped up by the last line, that finished line… just one word. The G-Word. This nearly causes dyspepsia for him but he cannot complete the test until- GOD!

There he said it whereupon fire shot out. Leaving the interviewer stunned, Nandor ultimately did not get citizenship. Something tells me it wasn’t the fire-burp that did it.

Lamenting outside of the building to Guillermo, something snaps in his familiar. First off, one of theirs turned a stranger a vampire. Second off, Nandor hasn’t turned his. Tertiary, I think it will be held until Episode Ten.

With Nandor’s incessant complaining about not having a home and being alone, Guillermo finally laces into him something fierce. He’s sick and tired of just being a familiar and Jenna being turned may have boiled the pot over. Guillermo extols how cool it could be existing eternal and blessed with the ability of flight, which is nothing to shake a stick at my friend.

Though his familiar spake out of turn, Nandor arises on the top of a car and with this fire lit under his ass proclaims that he will be the leader of this new revolution to world domination…. Yeah, but Guillermo ain’t being turned tonight. We might as well call his story Bridesmaid Revisited.

As the night winds down but Jenna is wound up, she suggests to Nadja to watch the sunrise. Therein lie the tragic news- Jenna’s destined to walk the earth at night and only night. Through a plot device she got from Blade, she suggests motorcycle helmets to shield the sun and as dawn approaches, Nadja feels that her pup could leave the cave and thusly start her new journey.

It would have been a poignant moment if those fucking helmets did anything for her theory, so they depart as they burn temporarily. Hey, you’re never too late to experiment!



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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