‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Existential Crises Are Highly Relatable
It feels relatable to have vampires also questioning their lives and what they choose to do, and seeing this week’s What We Do in the Shadows, titled “Freddie,” it’s clear that none of the Staten Island vampires really know what they’re doing. At the start of season 4, we had Nadja and Nandor coming back to the house after Laszlo shipped Nadja off to take care of the being that crawled out of Colin Robinson, and it has since been a steady stream of all of these characters trying to figure out their lives and what makes them happy and being pretty bad at it.
We had Laszlo focusing his energy on baby Colin Robinson or getting too into a home improvement show, Nadja dedicating her entire existence to this night club adventure she wants to do, Nandor putting his heart (and wishes) into finding a bride, and Guillermo trying to live authentically as himself with both the vampires and his family (resulting in him coming out to his family but making them forget about the fact that he wants to be a vampire).
And all of that has led to “Freddie,” an episode that hopefully became a wake-up call for Guillermo in how he’s treated by Nandor (especially) and also showed us all just how unhappy everyone seems to be despite them pretending everything is fine.
**Spoilers for What We Do In the Shadows season 4 episode 9 “Freddie” lie ahead.**
Laszlo as a talent manager
Throughout the season, Laszlo has thrown his support behind baby Colin Robinson. When Colin wanted to get into Broadway, Laszlo shared his distain for musicals but still supported the boy. When he saw his prowess for performing, he became a manager of sorts and monitored how the boy would work in Nadja’s nightclub. The problem is that this episode throws two wrenches at Laszlo, and he’s not great at catching either of them.
First, it’s Nadja not wanting to work with him in how he’s managing Colin. He tries to bring her a contract to sign because the boy is the club’s biggest attraction and she won’t do it and while Nadja is using Colin to her advantage, so is Laszlo. He’s not listening to what Colin wants (which is just to perform and make people happy) and so Laszlo takes him on the road to other vampire clubs despite Colin’s desires.
The second wrench came from Colin growing up. We knew that he grew up fast according to what Guillermo said about buying him clothes earlier in the season. So when Laszlo comes back into the room and we have Mark Proksch back as Colin (with a bad blonde wig on), it is easy to see how much Laszlo suddenly is back to questioning everything about what he’s doing (which forces him to go back home with Colin to Nadja).
Nadja and her nightclub
From the start of season 4, Nadja’s storyline has been completely dependent on her nightclub. She leaves the vampiric counsel to start it, comes back to Staten Island for it, and her entire existence is hinged on its success. In this episode, we get to see just how invested in its success she is and what the downfall of her dream would lead to.
The episode starts with celebrities coming to her nightclub. Sofia Coppola and fellow director (whose film Only Lovers Left Alive did have a brief cameo in season 1, when Tilda Swinton showed up) Jim Jarmusch are sitting at a table, and Sofia and lead singer of Phoenix, Thomas Mars (who is married to Coppola in real life), ask for the celebrity special, and what it means is that vampires are drinking them. Jarmusch passes and thus survives the night and is fascinated by the magic of it.
But it all quickly goes downhill when Colin and Laszlo disrupt her performance schedule and we see just how much Nadja is invested in this and how quickly she falls apart because of it. She’s questioning her entire life outside the club because the club is all she really has anymore and without it, where would she see herself? And so she unravels until she finally picks herself up, starts to try to just accept that the club isn’t going to be a success, and then Laszlo and adult Colin come home.
Nandor and Guillermo
Now, the Nandor and Guillermo stuff is a bit more complicated. Guillermo is seemingly happy and fine throughout this episode until Nandor ruins his life and Guillermo is rightfully upset about it all, but Guillermo’s pain stems from Nandor continuing to question everything about his life. He’s been doing it all season and it has, from what we’ve seen, hurt Guillermo, but this week is very much an attack on the life that Guillermo has been trying to lead.
That makes Nandor’s betrayal sting even worse. Our Princess Weekes broke down the issue with Marwa and what happens with her storyline in this episode, and I just want to add that it is extra horrible that there doesn’t seem to be any remorse in Nandor or any moment when he stops to think about how he’s hurting his supposed “friend” by doing this. Getting to the end, when Freddie and Nandor’s Freddie are seemingly in love, it just feels like a direct attack on Guillermo.
While everyone else seems to be questioning their existence and what they’re doing, I hope this is the fuel that Guillermo needs to leave for a while. He deserves better than what he’s been put through over and over again and maybe that will be good for everyone in the long run.
There’s only one episode left of season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows, and oh god, what’s going to happen?
(featured image: FX)
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