What We Do In The Shadows Recap: Gail

If you’ve conquered nations, slew millions, and lived to see the 1992 Dream Team, you’ve lived. However, if you’ve never truly had somebody that would stick by your side, come hell or high water, maybe you haven’t. It is in this tertiary episode of the third season of What We Do In The Shadows (FX) titled “Gail” that we find you’re only as good as the company you keep.

At the Vampire Residence, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) calls out to Nandor (Kayvan Novak), but he’s nowhere in sight. You see, Nadja needs help updating the Vampiric Council’s website, which looks like it could have been crafted on Geocities. Hey, at least it has a guestbook to sign!

Nandor’s been ‘flighty’ as of recent. Laszlo (Matt Berry) thinks he’s been cranking it at the Penny Pornos, Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) doesn’t know where he’s been, so Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) takes it upon himself to do a bit of tailing, leading the gang to a hotel… only to find Nandor railing Gail (Aida Turturro).

Ya boy’s in love! With Gail coming over to HQ, Nandor’s pulling out all of the stops. I mean, shit, he’s had a dry spell for two centuries. Though they’ve been on and off for the past 40 years, he knows her to the tee… literally with the Bob Seger shirts she rocks.

Guillermo is none too jazzed his master will move mountains and steal his mini-fridge for someone that wouldn’t commit to a relationship. Nadja too has beef with the woman because she shatters Nandor’s heart time and again for not committing to being turned into a vampire. And so the cycle continues, as tonight Nandor’s going to propose to his gal and make her a vampire, that they may spend an eternity together.

Elsewhere in the HQ, Colin is raiding the library, trying to find any sort of history on energy vampires, but is coming up dry. He employs the help of Laszlo but that’s short-lived as the old boy spots an out-of-place book: Cornelius Dong’s Adventures in the Boner Brigade. What makes this titillating tome stand out is he realizes it was never published in hardback and with a curious tug of the spine, the two discover a hidden room, housing Laslzo’s jalopy, seized by the Vampiric Council when the chap was found transporting miner’s across state lines. No, that’s not a spelling error.

As Nandor sets up for the ultimate proposal, both Guillermo and Nadja are at a loss. They have resigned to the fact he only has his focus on one thing, and it’s neither of them. Oddly enough, they both want the same for the guy, which is him breaking the chain… but it’s too late! She’s arrived!

Now we meet Gail and get a feel for her feelings towards the Relentless. She compares her boy toy to a can of sardines- an acquired taste, something you can binge on, give up on and then go back to. If she isn’t a problem for the house, she’ll fare just fine until the problem arrives.

It’s only when Nadja busts in on Nandor bottomless dancing about to Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” that it all becomes evident. Gail is a leech but because Nandor is gaga about her, she’ll never fully become a proper bloodsucker.

As Colin appreciates Laszlo’s ride, the Stutz Laszlo, which runs on petrol AND coal, they both have the crazy idea to go on a road trip. Colin’s already prepared, as an energy vampire, with his road mix of 25 consecutive “Hey There Delilahs” and a trail mix just to shove in the nooks and crannies of the seats. Before they can go anywhere though, they need to get the auto out of HQ and after backing over and then running over Colin, the two agree that it’s best extracted piece by piece.

As Nandor gets the ring from Guillermo to solidify a relationship, other relationships are just forming in real-time. Colin dismantling the vehicle with Laszlo affords them some serious bonding time. They both view the situation as the same, figuring the other one was lonely and in need of saving. It’s actually quite cute and poignant as they both share information about their parents. Colin, we learn is still concerned about his origins, as his father was a flamboyant gadabout in the 20s while his mother was just boring. We also learn that Laszlo was raised by his nanny, who made him learn Latin in the nude, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

No time to dilly on parental war stories, however as hilarity ensues once the air is cleared when both vampires attempt to transfer the car parts through HQ, fucking up and knocking down a bunch of priceless antiquities, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

Back in their fuck/party room, Gail’s about to dip, as Thursday night is Grey’s Anatomy night. Nadja tries to buy time in keeping Gail there, especially since it’s Saturday, not Thursday. The thing is no amount of pleading with someone she’s notorious for not liking will prepare her for the anger she’s about to feel.

It’s a full moon and Gail it turns out to be is a were-woman. Her co-leader has been literally sleeping with the enemy.

Once reassembly has finished, Colin admits to never having taken on a task like that, so the piecing together might have been full of errors, even though it looks pretty cherry. It matters none though, as The Guide is pissed. They’ve shattered the blood chalice of Vlad the Impaler, they’ve massively dented the sarcophagus of Amen-Ra, and tore the Shroud of Urine which is more valuable than the Shroud of Turin. This could have easily been avoided if they noticed that it was a fucking garage, with two glaringly big red buttons on the outside and inside.

The Guide jets because dealing with the insurance agency will be more of a head splitter and yet another thing she didn’t need in her night of babysitting her bosses. With that, Colin calls it, but not before accepting a ride from Laszlo in their newly completed pet project. All Colin has to do is top off the tank, which he does to a fire result. It’s okay though, Colin’s all good.

Later, Nandor fesses up to dating a werewolf. She was originally human when he met her, and has only recently been turned. Nadja is livid, her non-pumping blood boiling because as a co-leader of the Vampiric Council, the move of being amorous with a mortal enemy isn’t a good look on them.

Guillermo refuses to intervene, as his plight is course-correcting before his very eyes. All his master wants for is the crew to meet Gail’s clan, mix it up and mend the age-old rift. Once Colin’s game, the rest follow until Nadja relents because she does not dislike Gail! The game is afoot. Oh, that will be taken literally in a spell.

At a public space (baseball field), the initial pleasantries are a little shaky. We also get a glimpse into the natural inclination of Lycans in their human form, running after a car as it honks. It’s the most adorable joke. Nandor apologizes about the abandoned Circuit City incident, prompting a werewolf to their death by playing the most spiteful game of fetch I’ve ever seen.

With the introductions still being a little tenuous, Nadja tries to say hi only to be met with growls and scowls. Upon restarting the introductions one last time, she notices the lack of Gail, until the crew doesn’t. She’s off in the back, smooching it up with Anton (Derrick Beckles), the werewolf that turned her. They aren’t exclusive according to Gail herself. There’s a shocker.

Guillermo will not stand for this and approaches the two, not only as Nandor’s bodyguard but also as his ‘heart guard.’ This prompts Anton to remind his crew to take their HeartGard, which is the second most amazing werewolf joke.

The thing is neither group can trust each other, arriving at an impasse. Only proves as inspiration for Guillermo to solve the situation. The only road to resolve is to Twilight that shit up with a good old-fashioned game of kickball.

The stage is set for a night game of kickball, with a full snow-logged baseball field, flakes descending large. This isn’t your average kickball, however, as both teams have superpowers and animal instincts that can both be to their advantage or their undoing, leading us to our third cute werewolf joke- one of the players catching the ball and burying it.

The supernatural strength of Team Edward gets them in good standing until it doesn’t, when Nadja rockets the ball (accidentally?) at Gail’s dome, killing her instantly. This sends Nandor into a state of desperation, immediately turning her into a vampire to give her life once more. The thing is that this procedure must be done in two ways since she died a werewolf. He must puncture her neck with his fangs, but also puncture his vein, feeding the blood into her open mouth. This is vampiric CPR and a midnight miracle at that.

With spirits running high, Nandor does the riskier thing- proposing.

The rub is Gail’s been married before, and the experience just isn’t her cup of blood. She tables the idea for another 40 years because now she’s eternal. Though our boy is sad, he does accept it. Plus, she needs to fly… to buffalo in the morning for her daughter. She does leave on good terms with the vampires. Now, leaving on good terms isn’t the same as leaving with grace and elegance… but it’s her first night as a bat, and thereby for the grace of a non-existent god go.

At the house, Nadja and Nandor pick apart The Guide’s bang-up job of updating the website, when suddenly a honk is heard. Who is it?

The house rushes outside, expecting to see Gail only are greeted by Colin and Laszlo with their new and improved Stutz wanting to take them out for a drive. They didn’t find Nandor’s sweetheart but were handed something much more indispensable: a night together.

This by far was one of my favorite episodes out of all the seasons. It had everything from answering fans’ questions of will Nandor find love to will two members of the clan hang out that never did before to the dynamic of the children of the night combatting… the children of only very specific nights. It had Janice from the Soprano’s, which is amazing and it held a pocket for Derrick Beckles, whose show Hot Package was fucking brilliant and inspiration of where comedy can go. Moving forward, it could only get crazier.

P.S. Though he could’ve, Colin didn’t drain Laszlo, even though he retains the power to do so. If that’s not friendship, I don’t know what the fuck is.
Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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