Up until the last few minutes of “The Portrait,” the season-three finale of What We Do In The Shadows felt like a series finale. With Colin Robinson permanently out of the picture, the vampires, showing the emotional maturity and clear-eyed view of life and death that come from centuries of immortality, have decided to...pretend he never existed. And as people (or former people) trying to avoid feeling their feelings sometimes do, they start throwing themselves into plans that don’t involve confronting the loss of the boring, stinky housemate who nevertheless grew on them over the years.
Back in season one, a point that came up over and over again in my recaps was that I wished the vampires would leave the house more. As the show has grown in popularity and prestige—and therefore also, presumably, in budget—that wish has been fulfilled many times over. At this point, however, it feels like a bit of a monkey’s paw scenario, as the vampires scatter to their respective homelands like the ashes of The Baron’s butt cheeks after Guillermo incinerated his lower half.
Thanks to her “yaas queen” work in New York, Nadja has received an offer from the Supreme Vampiric Council to go to London and assume a vaguely defined post that a VHS message assures her “ranks among the highest of all worldwide Vampiric Council positions!” (No chance that the Council is setting her up with that one, no way.) But Laszlo has a sworn grudge against his home country that means he refuses to go back—and she has her doubts about his ability to feed himself, besides. (500 years old, and a gal still can’t have it all!) Meanwhile, Nandor, who’s too deep into his eternal-life crisis to even get upset about Nadja getting credit for his work (whatever that may have been), is making preparations with The Guide to rediscover his groove on an Eat, Prey, Love trip across the grand fjords of wherever.
This, of course, upsets Guillermo greatly, especially once Nandor announces that he’ll be traveling alone. And since he’s the only one in the house who’s willing to talk about how he feels—even his ulterior motives are on the table in this week’s cold open— he confronts Nandor about what he perceives as another abandonment, leading to the pro-wrestling-tinged fight between master and familiar, vampire and vampire hunter, that’s been brewing for a while. Guillermo was part therapist and part Iago on this week’s episode, evoking “chosen family” and “healing” while shamelessly attempting to manipulate the vampires to keep them together in Staten Island. Despite his protestations, even he wasn’t saying what he really meant. And no hugging, damn it!
Once again, it was Laszlo who ultimately proved himself to be the most selfless out of the group, risking his wife’s eternal wrath in order to protect the vulnerable, gooey infant slug-creature that crawled out of Colin Robinson’s bloated corpse. It’s hard to say whether Laszlo really did intend to go to London with Nadja, or whether he planned to send Guillermo in his place the whole time. On the one hand, he did get awfully defensive when Guillermo surprised him in the music room earlier in the episode. On the other, he seemed genuinely excited when she assured him that the two of them would rule England as powerful upper-class vampires. Regardless, I like to think that his love for Nadja is real, as both his speech about why he was expelled from the Sherwood Club and his letter at the end of the episode were both quite poignant. That silver tongued devil.
Season four of What We Do In The Shadows was greenlit back in August, so we’ll have blessed relief from the stomach-churning uncertainty of the season finale soon enough. For now, though, we’re left with a series of questions from this relatively serious, plot-driven episode: Will Nadja be able to forgive Laszlo for choosing baby Colin Robinson over her? (He might not have meant it that way, but she will almost certainly interpret it that way.) How long until Nandor gets his Jansport stolen while he slumbers—or, for that matter, joins another cult? Will Nadja and Guillermo kill each other before they’re reunited with their respective eternal-life partners? Who’s going to feed the Hellhound while Guillermo is gone? What does Donal Logue do about business lunches now that he’s a vampire? Hollywood is a big lunch town...
- Wow, they even took Colin’s pictures out of their frames. That’s cold, man.
- Donal’s a real natural in those interview segments. It’s almost like he’s done this before...
- I loved all the dialogue in the portrait-painting scene, but “The corpse has barely begun to stink, and we’ve got The Tao Of Steve painting our portrait!” was especially good. Nadja gets punchy when she’s upset!
- Speaking of, I have to give one last shoutout for comedic performance to Natasia Demetriou, who really nailed the mixed emotions behind her character’s forced cheer.
- “When he says ‘take five,’ five of what and where are we taking them?”
- “United Kingdom—united ding-dong, more like!”
- A bit of Matt Berry inception there as Laszlo plays Berry’s song “Take My Hand,” a.k.a. the theme from Toast Of London, on piano.
- Aw, the Baron and the Sire are so cute together.
- Great history-nerd joke here: “I cannot wait to see all the wonders of the world! The colossus of Rhodes! The hanging gardens of Babylon! The beautiful unmarked face of the Sphinx!”
- “Speak for yourself. I’m as dry as a nun’s doo-dah.”
- Laszlo attempting to bring the hat along to London proves, in my mind, that his act of subterfuge was a last-minute decision.
- Not sure why RuPaul’s Drag Race came up twice on this week’s episode, but I am certainly not complaining. Dare we dream of RuPaul guest starring on season four?
- “My darling, I will see you when we are kissing the ground of your native land and making love on the bones of those who scorned you.”
- If baby Colin Robinson joined up with the baby from Twilight and the baby from Lamb to form a weird-baby supergroup, they’d conquer the infant world within weeks.
- My internet search for information on a historical hotspot of uppercrust debauchery called the Sherwood Club of London unfortunately turned up nothing. So let’s agree that Laszlo once belonged to the club from Snuff Box. See you next fall, my wonderfully filthy children of the night.