The nice (or sociopathic, whatever) thing about being a vampire is that there are very few problems that don’t go away on their own eventually. For mere mortals, the idea of marrying someone we don’t actually love just because we want to have a big party where we get to wear an extremely fancy hat would be a life-defining choice—but for Nandor, undoing his marriage to his “beloved” Marwa seems like it’ll just be a matter of, well…running out the clock.
Said nuptials are, of course, the subject of “The Wedding,” tonight’s installment of What We Do In The Shadows, which is paradoxically both a very focused—there’s just barely a B-plot here, when Nadja and the Guide break off to recruit the Baron to overcome some body shame to come officiate the ceremony—and a very loose episode of TV. Despite Nandor’s repeated assertions that there’s a conspiracy in the works to derail his wedding, it turns out there’s barely any plot involved here at all.
Which isn’t exactly a critique, since “The Wedding” is mostly an excuse for What We Do In The Shadows to assemble a wide swathe of its great roster of recurring characters and shove them all into a room together. We’ve got the Baron (now restored to his former fuckability by one of Nandor’s last Djinn wishes), the Sire (now speaking English, thanks to some handy flash cards), Guillermo’s old vampire-hunter-turned-vampire buddy Derek, plus last-minute additions Sean and Charmaine. It’s great to see them all here, especially the latter two, who’ve been hypnotized to blithely accept the existence of the undead as a matter of course in a way that lets Anthony Atamaniuk (killing it for two episodes straight) and Marissa Jaret Winokur have a lot of fun.
The focus of “The Wedding,” though, is on Guillermo and Nandor, who’ve fallen back into a familiar dynamic as Nandor’s mounting “Bridezilla” stress rolls downhill to his familiar/bodyguard/best man. As usual, it’s a recipe for both comedy and a little sweetness—especially after Nandor casually brainwashes Marwa into “liking whatever he likes,” and she subsequently begins lavishing affection onto Guillermo, expressing all the stuff Nandor can’t bring himself to ever say to his best…man.
Meanwhile, we get little sketches of love and loneliness in the immortal world—most notably with Derek (Chris Sandiford), who’s having a miserable unlife: Alone, unhappy, and working a convenience store job because he refuses to rob the people he’s been eating, he’s a picture of un-killable despair. In contrast, there’s Nadja and Laszlo, ever the perfect couple, cheering each other on as they both slip off individually to the coat room to fuck a freshly invigorated the Baron and later jamming out together with the wedding band. It’s an easy message to read: Living forever doesn’t mean much if you’re not sharing it with someone who gets you. Hence Nandor’s whole marriage quest this season—and his quiet ambivalence about turning Marwa into a vampire and making her his Forever Bride.
As it turns out, there are a lot of people who object to this particular union, actually. In the less successful of the episode’s two big montage sequences, we see pretty much every single person in attendance at Nandor and Marwa’s wedding stand up and give a reason as to why they’re a terrible match. Most of these motives are typically vampirically selfish—the Guide, for instance, has fallen madly, passionately in love with both Nandor and Marwa, and thus can’t give her blessing—but Nandor himself clearly has his doubts, too, seeming to realize that he’s created, through all his djinn-tampering, an “ideal wife” who only barely likes him, and who he doesn’t really care about at all.
Which is grim stuff for an episode that also has a classic fashion montage with a gargoyle and half the torso of a charred but charming corpse. (That one works, by the way, despite being some undeniably Silly Shit; I’m a sucker for big energy being applied to the classics.) Presumably, though, all this feelings stuff is just groundwork: What We Do In The Shadows has been laying four seasons of track on Guillermo and Nandor becoming…something…at this point, and, what with all this talk of love in the air, it feels like that train might finally be pulling into the station—or slamming disastrously into it at high speed, more likely than not.
- Almost no Baby Colin Robinson tonight, outside of serving as ring bearer and teaming up with Doll Nadja to draw a dick on an exhausted Guillermo’s forehead.
- Nandor’s killer wedding idea: “Six black stallions pulling a wedding cake.”
- Harvey Guillen is great in this episode; Guillermo is always at his best when the patient smile starts to crack and shatter.
- Nandor, making a very reasonable request to have a dodo to feed to the wraiths working the wedding: “What’s the problem here? They’re very slow birds, very easy to catch, they’re everywhere!”
- We don’t get a ton of Nadja tonight, but what’s there is gold: “Rich humans are like veal: Conceptually repulsive, but so buttery on my tongue.”
- And then: “Guillermo, did you kick five holes in the wall and then fuck a chicken?”
- Doug Jones really gets to have fun as the Baron, too, both before and after being restored to health. “Once they dined on the lavish feast that was my visage. But now, I serve them only a charred and flaking peasant’s crust.”
- “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“That he’s still fuckable even though he looks like a burnt log?” This season has repeatedly tapped Natasia Demetriou and Kristen Schaal as a double act, and it’s only getting better.
- All the looks from the Hall & Oates-scored fashion montage: classic Dracula, classic Vincent Adultman, sailor suit (complete with lolly), Scarlett O’Hara dress, old-timey bike duo, Nadja/Guide prom photo, Nadja/Guide cowboys, and, of course, Nadja/Guide in full Cyndi Lauper ’80s mode. Super fun!
- How do you check if a chocolate fountain also works with blood?
- “Happy now?”
“I just got everything I wanted out of this, so…yeah! Big smile.”
- This might be the last we see of Anoop Desai as the djinn (although Nandor does get three bonus wishes from him as a wedding gift). He’s been a low-key delightful addition to so many scenes this season.
- There’s got to be an episode where Laszlo gets the Go Flip Yourself brothers to come fix up the house, right?
- The Sire’s speech: “Time lays waste to all. And love turns to dust. Ruin is inevitable. And all else is prelude.”
Sean, quietly: “He’s got a point.”
- This is a very Laszlo-light episode, but we do get him and Nadja burning it down with a rendition of “Who’ll Come First On The Wedding Night?” Sample lyric: “If his cock feels right and her pussy’s tight!”
- I could have used another five minutes of Nandor’s dumbest wishes.