What We Do In the Shadows Season 3 Finale Review: The Portrait

The only thing you can’t beat is an unbeaten heart.

This is the finale of What We Do In the Shadows titled “The Portrait.”

We open in on the traditional standing for a painting, a Portrait. All are in attendance, including the Baron (Doug Jones) and the number one Vampire…. their Hellhound.

Guillermo knows how vampires grieve in that they don’t… especially with one of their own. Whilst standing, Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) bums out everyone by prompting a good word in Colin’s (Mark Proksch) death. Oh, Nandor (Kayvan Novak) stands up for him being included in the portrait that Donal Logue is painting.

Guillermo realizes since the balance is askew, with a new one taking his Boringness’ place. Hint hint.

We also learn that Donal took up the arts in season 2 for Grounded for Life. The fact that they took the time and painted the cast of Grounded for Life, and the Front Gate of CBS Radford, the ER gaffer (all courtesy of the Donal Logue Collection).

As he’s making magic with vegetals and regaling the crew with his stories of being on set that seems to bore the others to tears, we now are supposed to believe their Rembrandt can fill Colin’s absence.

Among the straight-faced bickering about how Colin is no longer with them, Nandor takes a stand. I mean, outside of the position he cannot move from. He’s out, with only the panache one of Half Baked’s best punchlines.

The insolence doesn’t sit well with Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), but the group needs to all let out some steam before the real words flood out. We’ve just lost cabin pressure.

There’s a reason for this outburst. Nandor’s having a shitty year. From all episodes, he’s been left with a shuddering shoulder romantically, and you have to be freezing to leave a vampire out in the cold!

You factor that in with the death of one of his own. It’s got someone cogitating about what life is really all about as an eternal. His ennui goes into worry when Guillermo gets a hold of this news.

He can finally confront his feelings with his Master, though Nandor can’t even follow his own non-beating heart. The fact that he isn’t Nandor’s ‘carry on’ for his walkabout doesn’t sit well… nor does Guillermo.

He is no longer in servitude to his master, though, even in departing, Nandor thinks him such. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts.

Nandor knows that Nadja and Laszlo (Matt Berry) want a fucking vacation and he’ll be damned if he’s the last one standing ‘like a fucking loser.’ Ouch. Stakes in Guillermo. A strike on the vampire slayer.

Nadja is having a row with Laszlo as he cannot clearly accept Colin Robinson’s ghoulish demise. Let’s be honest, we could make an Odd Couple spinoff.

Nadja wants to reignite a wet bundle of sticks hubby with a trip to the UK. His inconsolable dick is still limp in honor of what was through this season was an unexpected gift… him and Colin actually bonding.

And though Nadja storms off from her hubby’s BRO-ner, Guillermo has things to attend to with her. Chiefly, her co-leader. This leads to an amazing VCR video of a special vampire explaining what transpires when taking the helm of a Council means. It leads to one of the highest positions in England. This is fate calling. Nope. It is text bombing you. Instead of being a big fish in a little pond, she can be a goddamn shark across the pond.

The only problem is her flank. Laszlo swears off Jolly Ole’ and never wants to touch toe on the soil.

Guillermo’s freaking out because he believes the band is breaking up and he doesn’t want to be as his master says the sole fucking loser.

Though Guillermo tries to get Laszlo to already his homeland more, in the midst of crafting a sonata for his fallen brethren, we learn a few tidbits. Clubs in London are recursive with which you are born into. ALSO, he was expelled from a lineage of drinking and brotherhood and decided to make a new start in America. This new birth seems to be something recurring.

Though Guillermo is trying to play Laszlo against his beloved, the time on the Portrait is ticking. How do you get everybody back together when there is no everybody? This is not simply a family picture. These are combined years of pain, love, and triumph. Fuck your 90s K-Mart family photos. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing (though they have a few to spare).

Guillermo isn’t winning over any fans with his Master, especially since the Guide (Kristen Schaal) is totally digging on his travel channel.

Nandor is super happy for once and wants to embark on something that is out of his reach.

This calls all to finish the Portrait.

At the final standing, Guillermo brings to light (hisss) something very important. Though Laszlo swears he’s immutable to Colin’s passing, though Nadja craves for England with Lazzie vehemently swatting that fly down, Nandor announces his resignation with bellicose fashion.

We also find out why the English lad was expelled. He chose love over stature. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes I’d seen in all three seasons.

This prompts her to reveal why she wants to go to England, for she’ll be on the high table, the upper crust. Even the Guide didn’t know about this knowledge.

With their jubilation riding high, Nandor thinks it’s his time for his journey. Guillermo thinks differently, and with the portrait finally finished, Logue out!

It’s a pity the same couldn’t be said for Guillermo and Nandor. They are no longer Master and Servant. It is a battle of wills as much as it’s one of the emotions with ensuing violence. It is in spite of Nandor thinking that his Familiar’s skills are something of a novelty that we see the kitten has claws.

Only back to the wall, hackles up, we truly see what our mettle is made. This includes proving this Master that he’s the sole protector of him, nearly threatening to kill him, just to show he’s capable.

The thing is this was a fight that was brewing, whether we wanted it or needed it. Fomenting or not, sometimes you just need to work out your feelings through an unflinching stance.

This ultimately works out, as Nandor’s convinced that his familiar is indeed a bodyguard and would like him to continue that throughout his journey.

Should this succeed, Nandor on Al Qolador will give Guillermo that what he wishes for most. He says his word is his bond, and I’m all for it. We can use a new Familiar in the house next season.

Though Guillermo’s happy saying that goodbye he wasn’t in the first act, he’s seriously not happy saying goodbye.

The Guide happened to get Nandor a bon voyage card with the Wraiths signatures, shitty as they are. Nadja gives her deuces, and gathering up her hubby, they are ready to fly… or sail.

Back at South Amboy Train Station, NJ, Nandor awaits a train. It is the Gold Standard of us mortals, though he’s incapable of knowing that.

At the NY/NJ Port, Guillermo helps Nadja in her coffin off to England. There’s only one problem. Laszlo’s shipping off Guillermo with his wife to the homeland.

the train station, a forlorn Nandor must choose to stay or go without his beloved Guillermo. He chooses the latter.

We learn that Lazslo’s subterfuge was at his own expense. He wants Guillermo now to be her bodyguard, though, by his own admission, she needs no one to keep her safe.

We also are keen to in the homestead, Laszlo is not exactly alone. We have a new addition or remix to the family in the name of baby Colin Robinson! That energy they siphoned had to go somewhere!

As we close out the season, Laszlo hangs the Portrait. And we are welcomed to a new type of horror… an already growing at an alarming rate baby Colin Robinson.

Overall, this season was a rollercoaster, but like a really good one. One of those unyielding old-school wooden ones where you don’t know if you’re going to fly out because it was constructed fantastically, but the bumps are wicked hard to stomach. You emerge from it not knowing what happened, but your agency will totally recommend it to your friends and will happily go on it again. Kudos to the writers this season. This was a true work of art.

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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