What We Do in the Shadows: Witches
June 5, 2020 9:31 PM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

When Nandor and Laszlo are abducted by a coven of witches, the others must venture Brooklyn to rescue them.

Nadja battles sperm-stealing witches on an engorged What We Do In The Shadows (Katie Rife for TV/AV Club; rating: B)
It’s downright trendy to be a witch in 2020. I myself admit to having an Instagram feed full of cauldrons and sigils that are really just elaborately staged ads for bath salts—one of the sharper details of this week’s episode of What We Do In The Shadows. “Self-care” comes up a few times in “Witches,” and it’s true that modern-day witches’ potions are more likely to be of the moisturizing and/or exfoliating variety than anything involving toad-foot powder or the blood of an unbaptized infant. (Unless it’s good for winter dryness. Is it?) Sucking down a nice glass of baby’s blood sounds more like something Nadja would do, actually, which may explain her ongoing rivalry with sorceresses in general—that, and the apparent vigor of her husband’s sperm.
Episode soundtrack, listed on Tunefind.
posted by filthy light thief (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's funny, the other day I'd wondered what the deal was with Nandor's romantic life. I remember them saying he'd once had 20 wives or something, but now he lives with this super-horny vampire couple but he never mentions any vampire girlfriends or anything. I'd wondered if he and the other vamps had ever been lovers, since Laszlo and Nadia seem to shag everybody eventually... and here we find out that Laszlo and Nandor have apparently climbed into each other's coffins, while Nadia never had a clue! She actually seemed jealous about Laszlo having affairs, which surprised me because I thought they had a whole kinky poly vampire arrangement. Laszlo certainly never seems jealous about her, but she seems jealous about him!

Last season there was the whole plot about Nadia being kind of fed up with her marriage, and I felt like it gave the vampire house kind of a sour dynamic. It didn't seem like there was much affection in the house then, like it was just inertia that was keeping them all together, and it was kind of depressing. This season they all seem much closer and I like that a lot better, but weirdly enough there have been a few episodes where it seemed like Nadia was more into Laszlo than he was into her! She's genuinely distraught when she thinks she's lost him, while his devotion to her goes out the window when he needs to evade a debt or some sexy witches show up. I'm not sure if it's inconsistent characterization or just a natural outgrowth of their marriage being so ancient. Maybe it's not so weird if their love kind of waxes and wanes, with them taking turns being more invested.

I didn't get the gag about none of the vamps being able to tell Nadia from witch-Nadia. Was it just supposed to be a funny non-sequitur, or was it supposed to mean something and I didn't get it?

After Nandor and Guillermo seemed like they were really going to work out their problems last episode, it was disappointing to see Guillermo being so grouchy and jaded now. Especially since Nandor is trying much harder than we would have expected to show Guillermo some respect, even chiding the other vampires for bothering Guillermo on his break! Guillermo's behavior this week doesn't quite track with the sweet, more hopeful tone of last week's ending. I sense that the writer's room is planning for Guillermo to go full slayer sooner or later, so here they're making a hard swerve to get us back to that plot.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:28 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I didn't get the gag about none of the vamps being able to tell Nadia from witch-Nadia. Was it just supposed to be a funny non-sequitur, or was it supposed to mean something and I didn't get it?
As we've seen in the toothpick episode, vampires really suck at face recognition, just like they fail at most human tasks. Most of the humour of the show comes from their limited ability at mimicking humans and from their complete misunderstanding of human perspective.
posted by elgilito at 4:24 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


This was such a dumb episode I loved every second of it.

The Nadia/Lazlo dynamic switching up seems pretty organic to me - it's a long relationship, there are going to be asynchronious ebbs and flows.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:57 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I cackle every time someone gets Guillermo’s name wrong, whether “Gizmo” or “Elmo”.
posted by migurski at 10:35 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Nandor says he was married once--to 37 women, 35 of whom he loved. This was presumably before he became a vampire.

I think Nadja's upset because Lilith and Nandor were/are friends, and Laszlo didn't tell her about them. She was bored, not mad about his porns, and they were both into the big vampire orgy thing.

Lilith as Nadja was played by Helena Garcia, from The Great British Bake Off.
posted by lovecrafty at 2:14 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


Laszlo certainly never seems jealous about her, but she seems jealous about him!

Laszlo beheads Gregor/Jeff/Del Boy in every reincarnation because Nadja is his sweet baby.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:19 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Lilith as Nadja was played by Helena Garcia, from The Great British Bake Off.

Ohhhh ok that is beautiful and perfect
posted by rewil at 5:11 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Laszlo beheads Gregor/Jeff/Del Boy in every reincarnation because Nadja is his sweet baby.

Yeah, but it wasn't because Laszlo was jealous, but because Nadja's affairs with Gregor always leave her sad... and Laszlo won't truck with that jive. It seems like he never questions that Nadja loves him, so it doesn't bother him if she has affairs. But for Nadja, things are more complicated.

Nadja almost seemed like she was ready to dump Laszlo last season, but given the couple's behavior this season it almost seems like their actual long-term vibe may be that he loves her but he's also a libertine shag-monster, and she actually craves more of his attention. There was a tossed-off gag a few episodes ago that may have said more about their relationship than we realized at the time. They were trying to show the brainwashed neighbor guy a good time before they killed him, and Nadja flashed her panties at the neighbor. She looked guilty and said, "Sorry, Laszlo. It's his last night..." And Laszlo casually said, "I don't care." They both have affairs, but she's capable of jealousy and he isn't and that "not caring" really bugs her on some level. When he killed poor Jeff that was Nadja's idea of a grand, romantic gesture and it broke her out of her undead midlife crisis.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:38 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


I sense that the writer's room is planning for Guillermo to go full slayer sooner or later, so here they're making a hard swerve to get us back to that plot.

I think Guillermo is reaching his breaking point with being a familiar, although his conversation with Black Peter was hysterical. I agree he's bound to turn full slayer very soon.
posted by gladly at 10:56 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Guillermo appears to be becoming Topher, which is an interesting turn. There’s no money in the vampire hunting business as far as we know, but that could certainly change if he had an idea for monetizing it.

This episode seemed a bit all over the place to me. There were some good gags, but It just seemed scattershot.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:07 PM on June 7


There still was an element of that weird Nadia/Laszlo sweetness, though -- the witch admitted that the last time around she impersonated Nadia in order to get Laszlo to participate. The sweetness was immediately undercut by the way he was fooled by a terrible impersonation it was....but....the implication is that Laszlo's "type" is Nadia.

I'm lightly obsessed with Nandor's characterization. He was a terror as a human warlord, apparently razing villages throughout the Mediterranean and being very successful at all the violence. But it's clear that he's an absolute coward as a vampire. He disliked his old familiar so much he got rid of him...but not by killing him. And he's not just nonconfrontational; he's the first to run away from fights that others instigate! If Guillermo goes full vampire slayer, I hope we get some backstory into why Nandor is so disinterested in violence now.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:57 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Kayvan Novak has said he bears in mind that Nandor was a mass murderer, and he tries to bring some of that to the characterization... but I don't see it at all. Nandor seems like such gentle, ineffectual, fussy fellow, the last vamp you'd ever expect to have been a warlord. His origin is similar to Vladislav from the movie, but Vladislav still had a real dark side and Nandor seems like a total creampuff by comparison. Nandor puffs up about his violent past sometimes, but often he seems kind of embarrassed about the whole thing. If Guillermo does go full slayer and raises a slayer army with his new people skills, it wouldn't surprise me if Nandor is hurt enough that he goes full warlord to take on the slayers and it becomes a real battle... and then in the end they make peace when Nandor finally makes Guillermo a vampire, which was what he really wanted all along!

I'd be curious to learn how Nandor ever hooked up with Nadja and Laszlo in the first place, and how Colin Robinson got into the mix. (I know he "came with the house," but it feels like there's more to his story than that.) It's too bad this show can't do flashbacks, due to the nature of the mockumentary style, because it'd be a blast to see how the vamps met and how they adapted to different eras.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:13 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


As a counterpoint, I believe Nandor was the first one to suggest killing their neighbor after he had been double-hypnotized. But yes, he’s quite effete.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:38 PM on June 8


Effete or not, he defeated the giant werewolf in ritual combat.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:52 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not saying that Nandor isn't capable of violence. These vamps are serial killers, after all. But while he may be literally bloodthirsty, he seems like he's a long, long way from his days as a conqueror, from being somebody who enjoyed brutal violence. As I said, he can sort of brag about his past but it's more like he's bragging about being a bigshot than being a murderer. He likes to talk about being feared at the same time that he minimizes his crimes. I guess he's like a lot of older guys who were wild and destructive in their youth but then they grow up and mature/get soft. He's kind of proud of his rep as a monster but he's also not really that guy anymore. He wants his victims brought to him, he's really not a hunter. Eventually we'll probably see his more evil, aggressive side, and it will be a real shocker because he mostly seems like such a bumbling sweetie now. Either that or we'll find out he's always been kind of a coward and the warlord stuff was a lot of hype.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:10 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


It's too bad this show can't do flashbacks, due to the nature of the mockumentary style

They should totally do flashback-ish stuff by rediscovering a bunch of (non-porno) 8mm/16mm home movies Lazlo made back in the day.
posted by fings at 2:01 PM on July 20


And 1980s/90s videotapes as well.
posted by fings at 2:01 PM on July 20


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