“What We Do In The Shadows” Season 3 Recap: Everything You Need To Remember
Kayvan novak | FX
Kayvan novak | FX
Few shows on television today are funnier than What we do in the shadows. Comedy FX quickly cut to audiences after its premiere in 2019 and three seasons later, is quickly securing its place among the best sitcoms of the 2020s. The show, based on the 2014 mock documentary of the same name by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, are packed with actors at the top of their game in every episode and are wickedly smart in their writing. Even at the lowest What we do in the shadows remains one of the best, so when the show returned for its third season in September, there was no doubt that it would be full of nonsensical vampire (and vampire hunters) antics. What was unexpected though, was how the series ultimately managed to move beyond its wacky surface to give depth to their characters before culminating in an unusually tense season finale filled with moments that could change the series forever. .
The season begins relatively calmly considering where it is picking up. About a month after Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) slaughtered much of New York’s vampire elite, his fellow vampires “imprisoned” him in a basement cage. Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry) and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) are still debating whether to kill Guillermo, when they receive a message from the Supreme Vampiric Council informing them that the title of Head of the local Vampiric Council now belongs to them. After some arguments, Nandor and Nadja decide to co-direct, Laszlo and Colin Robinson stand back and bond, and Guillermo is not killed – he prepares to be promoted to bodyguard.
Guilllermo is not the only one to rediscover himself. Nadja, once considered the most capable of the group, is blinded by her new position of authority. Demetriou plays Nadja as charming as ever; she is a power-drunk woman whom she clearly never had, and yet she is still so dependent on the support of those close to her. Guillermo, on the other hand, is more capable than ever. Is he respected as a full member of the team? Absolutely not. However, it is clear that Guillermo has finally found his voice, and Guillén channels a sort of mania to show that Guillermo is no longer there only to serve Nandor; he also wants power, and he’s not afraid to do his fair share of manipulation to get it. Guillermo is in his Lady Macbeth era, and it was nice to see him finally get his moment on the throne.
Nandor, on the other hand, once a relentless military leader, has become “limp,” tormented by the discomfort of living aimlessly for 700 years. Novak is perhaps at his best this season, balancing Nandor’s desperation with tumultuous comedic moments, such as his impressions of his fellow cast members in “The Cloak of Duplication,” where it is revealed that Nandor has spent some time in the past. time (unsuccessfully) trying to get an appointment with the receptionist at a 24 hour gym. It’s these concepts that help make the jokes work so well – of course, vampires would use 24-hour gyms. This creativity in the Writers’ Room leads to one of the highs of the season when Nandor, still languishing. on his eternal life, ventures into a vampire “wellness center” that would specialize in curing vampirism. In reality, it is a cult that does not specialize in healing vampirism so much as in singing the Barenaked Ladies.
As Nandor, Nadja, and Guillermo try their hand at reigning, the unlikely couple of Laszlo and Colin Robinson become a true friendship, spending time researching energy vampires, mermaids, and failed lawyer aspirations. The dynamics brought out a softer side of Laszlo and allowed Colin to be funny in a way that didn’t necessarily involve annoying the people around him. Berry and Proksch are the comedic duo of the season, and their unmistakable chemistry carries the season to its stunning final two episodes.
The penultimate episode of the season, “A Farewell,” provides the biggest twist on the series yet, and those wondering why Colin and Laszlo spend so much time together have their answer. Energy vampires only live to be 100 years old, a fact Laszlo hid from Colin, who is celebrating his 100th birthday. After Laszlo does his best to fill Colin’s end of life with joy, Colin passes away. The house is shaken, everyone is trying to figure out how to move on. Guillermo and Nandor come to grips with unresolved feelings and Nandor’s plan to leave Staten Island, and Nadja and Laszlo bicker to return to Laszlo’s home London (something he has sworn never to do) in order to that she could accept a position on the Supreme Vampiric Council. Nandor, allegedly satisfied with Guillermo’s ability to defend himself and ready to embrace his affection for his old familiar, swears to take Guillermo with him on his journey and keep his word to make him a vampire. Laszlo agrees to join Nadja in London, after revealing that he left only because of their classist views towards him.
With Guillermo and Nandor ready to embark on their world tour, and Nadja eager to reach new professional heights, there is only one thing left for Laszlo: to say goodbye to Colin Robinson’s body. He returns, slightly shifted, and leaves for the platforms with Nadja and Guillermo, who help carry the luggage before joining Nandor at the station. As Nadja’s coffin is loaded onto the boat, Laszlo grimly wishes her a safe journey. As Guillermo turns to say goodbye to Laszlo, Laszlo pushes Guillermo into the coffin, sealing it instead. In a letter to Nadja, Laszlo confesses that he sends Guillermo to be Nadja’s bodyguard in London, as he has to stay on Staten Island to take care of other important business. The letter reveals what the writers have been hinting at about Laszlo all season: Despite his outwardly self-centered nature, he is the most sentimental of the bunch. For the first time, he vouches for Guillermo’s skills as a friend and advocate, and reassures Nadja that she will shine in her new role while he deals with unforeseen affairs on Staten Island – raising a version regenerated and baby of Colin Robinson.
There is no doubt that What we do in the shadows set up huge plot points for themselves before moving on to Season 4. Will Laszlo be able to handle the role of guardian of baby Colin Robinson? Will Nadja and Guillermo fight their way through the Supreme Vampiric Council? Does Nandor believe Guillermo rejected him? And how are they all going to find each other when they find each other? It would be easy for the show to come up with a quick and easy resolution, getting everyone together at the start of the season. Hoping they don’t. Hoping they are just getting started. They discovered shocking and exciting new ways to reimagine the show in its prime. If they explore these new avenues they find themselves hurtling down, there’s nothing stopping them from being one of the best sitcoms of the modern age.
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Heather Beattie is a contributor to Thrillist.