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Pictured: Harvey Guillen as Guillermo. CR: Russ Martin/FX

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ Review: Season Finale – Long Game

Most don’t live for saying “Goodbye”. There’s such permanence to the phrase, even though we know in reality that’s not always true. I personally try deploying alternative ways of expressing the same sentiment. “Talk soon”, “Au Voir” and my personal favorite, “Bon Voyage” are a few examples. Alas, with a heavy heart that we wrap on the inaugural season of What We Do In The Shadows (FX), a show that is bringing pure unabashed comedy to the Golden Age of dramady. In this season finale, we see what happens when the immortal must lay to rest one of their own. As for the show itself, “See You Soon!” (Getting another season.)

We’re first greeted with the sight of what is done in the light: dark shit. This is the side Familiars don’t show you. Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) chops up victims and mop-ups blood but never gives up on his dream of one day being turned a vampire by his Master, Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak). “Roll Tide!”

It’s nightfall. Guillermo is giddy about receiving the mail. Hey, unless it’s an Amazon box or a love letter, I ain’t giddy about the mail so this must be something special. ‘Parently, Nandor’s test results have come in. No, nothing bad. Can vampires, being the horn bags they even get VD? No, this is his ancestry results. He did not beg for this. He didn’t even ask for it, though he was suspicious of stealing his semen. Now, the thing with that is that it turns out, Witches crave Vampire ejaculate for their spells.  No, this cause for a celebration. Master has 200,000 living direct descents living at the moment. Take that Ghengis- oh wait. He does have one living in Staten Island which Nandor is giddy about. He’s akin to a kid. He’s petulant, has some insightful moments, but is ultimately loveable.

Calling a meeting to reveal the good news, Nadja and Laszlo bristle at the fact that Guillermo got everyone (himself included) DNA tests. Colin (Mark Proksch) happily accepts his, and with a self-appointed drumroll, it literally says that he’s 100% white.  There isn’t much of a shock to the system itself to those outside of the recipient. He reminds Nandor that Ghengis Khan has over 16 million living descendants today. Oh, Colin, you beautiful wet blanket. Meeting adjourned.

Guillermo later that night takes a crack at his own results. He’s Mestizo, as am I. He’s got a bit of this and that in him, but a funny fruit grows on his Family Tree. The Dutch side of him is named after Van Helsing (hissss). I mean, he finds it funny because they are a myth, aren’t they? Therein lie the seed for the second season, but if the seed of a peach is non-edible, isn’t he… Feeling sick to his stomach at the thought, he realizes he had Garlic for lunch. Ain’t life just a peach? {Strike One}

As the Night Lives On, Laszlo (Matt Berry) is preparing for the shorn of his one true love, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou). It’s topiary people, get your heads out of the gutter (but slightly keep them in). Laszlo is commemorating his love by crafting a very front and center topiary for her. His employing Guillermo was probably then a bad idea as Nandor bought (not brought) wooden garden stakes for tethering down the bush for crafting. I mean, come on, would Valasquez prepare his canvas with a coat of cyanide?

Armed with nothing but an earless teddy bear and nascent gumption, Nandor, flanked by Guillermo and Colin, approaches his Great (times 30) Granddaughter with a flight up to her window and rapping on the window. Ninety-four can be young for a vampire, so little does Nandor know, the real world mortality doesn’t play in their sandbox. Shocking the poor woman who is 94 to death, Nandor places the blame on both Colin and his Familiar. It’s not the best limelight (hisss) that Nandor is in, but it does show that no matter how many lives you’ve lived, you can still be a petulant child.

At the abode, Nadja indulges in literally hidden pleasures as she pulls out of the archive woodcuts of her lust for life, Gregor (Jake McDorman), who is consistently decapitated with each life lived. This is the stuff you would undress the mattress for. Or hide under. Now imprisoned in a Poughkeepsie Psychiatric Facility stemming from the fifth episode, his mind awakes once more. It’s all due to a paean with which she sings, lamenting her situation.

Her siren song hits his ears and with near Herculian strength (or that of one on PCP), breaks from his constraints, snapping a dude’s neck, busting through a window and stealing a car. I mean, sometimes when you call a dog, they listen… and we all know where dogs are descended from…

Later on, outside of the church, Nandor has summoned his roommates for attending a family funeral.  Laszlo and Nadja immediately rebuff him. As Laszlo points out the stained glass, “It’s the Jeebus-Man!” Good line. Colin is more than willing to enter as Energy Vampires can not only day walk but also attend as they are feeding grounds for boredom. Preach! It makes him not only one of the coolest vampires but also one of the strongest in the series going forward.

Living up to his name in a time of need, Nandor convinces them to all go inside to dire consequences.

In the church, they are all burning and bleeding from their eyes. They maintain respect for the dead until Nadja and Laszlo are done with it. This is one of the funniest scenes because as Colin dips out to watch tv, Nandor’s hands are aflame. Guillermo attempts to extinguish with Holy Water, which is basically putting a gas fire with regular water. In fact, it probably makes it that much worse. I call that joke as flames. {Strike Two}

Retiring to their tombs, Nadja and Laszlo settle in for a night’s slumber with the passion of a Hallmark movie. It’s just another night.

However, roaring along the freeway is her steed, her knight in… Jeeze, Hallmarked a telephone pole. Nope, he picks himself up, puts on his best suit and tie (which is a motorcycle helmet) and slams the throttle for the course on Nadja. This type of bestial fervor could only be reserved for Vikings having sex on a sinking ship. However, his Call of the Undead awoke Nadja and though she tried her damnedest to shoo her Centerfold off, Laszlo was a bit quicker.

It turns out Laszlo was the dispatcher of Gregor the entire time. Whether it was Street Theif to Naval Officer to Steed Warrior to Mouse (spoiler, he Lazzie was the Puddin), Laszlo was there at all turns. The reason being was for love. That four letter word which causes revile and reconcile. In a bit of tenderness or growth, Laszlo grants clemency on the poor soul and allows him to live out his life. Is Laszlo losing his touch?

With their love reignited (probably a phrase), Nadja loves Laszlo’s topiary of the celebration of undying love: a leafy sculpture of her likeness. It’s his magnum opus.This can only be ‘topped’ by a now dejected Gregor (Jeff) wanting to just ‘Wanting to get on his bike and go.’ He’s immediately lopped off at the perfect angle by the what I can only assume is piano wire, really taut piano wire.  Laszlo’s not losing his touch, but now more refined. Hey, there’s no accounting for Fate.

Ending this already amazing series is where we started, Guillermo and Nandor. As Guillermo once again tucks his Master in, his Nandor has a bone to pick. Guillermo ducks the question of his ancestry, however, Nandor DRIVES the point home. He tried to save his Nandor, but only nearly tried to kill him, albeit by accident. He already is on record for killing two other vamps. Nandor relentlessly assures his Familiar that he all is not that all bad, but proceeds to berate him. challenging his intelligence. He also throws one year on his sentence as being a Familiar. The fever is in him now.

He’s been treated like garbage the entire season. In an attempt to box up what Laszlo chastised him for, he picks a few up wooden daggers. Shuddering at his thought and throwing them off, all spike the trio of their painted portraits like shuriken. {Strike Three}

About Robert Kijowski

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