This article contains spoilers for What We Do in the Shadows season 3 episode 10.
There is a very different vibe at the Staten Island vampire house in the aftermath of “The Portrait,” and it has little to do with the oil-based nuances captured by Donal Logue. Artistic master-stokes are usually reserved for Laszlo (Matt Berry). What We Do in the Shadows’ season 3 finale seemingly leaves the vampire housemates not only scattered, but with all their plans shattered.
Nandor (Kayvan Novak) gets stuck with a train ticket, like Ilsa left Rick standing on a platform in the rain with his insides kicked out in Casablanca. Nadja believes she will awaken in merry old England with bones to make love on with the vampire she loves. Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) thinks he has to save that extra bag of Oreos to bribe international bill of lading checkers. Laszlo has to fit midday feedings into his schedule.
It seems Colin Robinson’s (Mark Proksch) first centennial is exactly that. He said he was looking forward to a new beginning, and What We Do in the Shadows found a way to fulfill that exact promise. When Laszlo pulls the covers off Colin’s prone, dead, skull-crushed corpse, it looks like the aftermath of the scene when an alien popped out of John Heard’s chest in Alien. It appears an infant Colin carved his own C-section, climbing out of his old body like a new vampire claws to the surface of their first grave. He crawled to what looks like his old room, so he may have some memory of his past life. At least he remembers to bring his glasses with him.
This means we will have more energy sucking exploits in season 4. It means the show can now plumb classic TV tropes about raising babies for satiric turnarounds. It also means What We Do in the Shadows is a very daring show. Introducing children to series hasn’t always yielded the best results. In some cases, like I Love Lucy, it worked. For so many others, it meant the end was coming. But this will also give What We Do in the Shadows a chance to spoof some of the classic sitcom scenarios from a vampire viewpoint. I suppose it’s a good thing it’s not a bloodsucking vampire who needs breast-feeding.
One of the big takeaways of the episode is how Laszlo is a master planner. He knew all along about Colin, is the first to discover the reincarnation, and sets up a foolproof escape plan. This is quite an achievement for a fool, though, who would know better? Laszlo is a fool for love, but a slave to honor, and it is quite impressive how he managed to keep all this under his hat, when he can’t even sneak the Cursed Witch’s Hat into a suitcase without Nadja seeing. The one mistake he may have made is sending Guillermo off to London. Yes, he’s a great bodyguard, and no threat. But all of the care and feeding of the young Colin are the kinds of things which would be traditionally dumped on Gizmo.
Actually, fooling Guillermo was also quite an achievement. The former familiar faced off with Nandor, and won himself a trip to the Tigris River where eternal life is behind door number one. The ending means Guillermo probably won’t be made into a vampire next season. Nadja certainly isn’t going to gift him with eternal bloodlust. But is that any surprise? Guillermo may be a descendant of van Helsings and gifted in the latest slaying techniques. He may have lightning reflexes and an immunity to hypnosis, but he’ll never be made a vampire.
And then there’s that snippet of vampire homelife which comes during the end credits. The scene has Laszlo happily hanging the vampire family portrait, admiring his work, and then being highly disturbed by what sounds like a colicky mini-Colin screaming his, and possibly his neighbors’, lungs out. This is significant. It bodes happily ill for things to come. Of course, we know how diapering and coddling will take up time, along with the fact that a babies’ blood smells so much tastier than that of an adult.
We know Laszlo will probably be up for the midnight feedings, though I’m not sure whether to trust what formula he puts in the bottle. Colin promised his second 100 years will make up for the first century he spent on earth, and he’s off to a howling start. If the vampires thought he was annoying before, they may be woefully unprepared for the full spectrum of tantrums he will unleash. We don’t know yet how fast Colin will develop, but I’m sure next season will have a full episode on his “terrible twos.”
The ending means What We Do in the Shadows is changing the game. Taking up stakes and moving into unknown territory. With the Nandor and Nadja out of town, and Laszlo giving no fucks about the Vampiric Council, it appears it will be temporarily run by Baron Afanas (Doug Jones) and Goëjlrm the Sire. This will probably make things easier for the Dark Shade (Kristen Schaal).
Nadja has proven herself as bloodthirsty a ruler as she is a diner. She has a cutthroat style and a killer’s instinct, even though she got some of this reputation by telling the Vampiric Council she executed Nandor because he was a threat to her rule. Once on the Worldwide Vampiric Council, freed from any shackles of her relationship with her maker and lover, Nadja may bloom in leadership. Who knows? In a season or two, she may be running the whole vampire world. What We Do in the Shadows may take on a new relevance to the international representation of vampires. The vampires may not only rule the Island of Staten, but excel on the world’s stage.
Nothing will change. Everyone’s plans are fucked and they have to go home to Staten Island.
It will save money on location shootings, everyone can pitch in on the raising of the enfant terrible, and Laszlo will have time to wank. One thing we know for certain: Guillermo is not going to be made into a vampire next season.
What We Do in the Shadows‘ “The Portrait” aired Oct. 28 at 10:00 p.m. on FX.