What We Do in the Shadows: The Chamber of Judgement
September 27, 2021 7:16 PM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Justice is served, both vampirically and also in small claims court.

Back from Atlantic City to the pageantry of the Vampiric Council's Chamber and an MLM presentation for GuyPillow that leads right into small claims court. And we finally find out what happened to Derek from the Mosquito Collectors.

After the Shadows Ep. 4 - Anthony Antranik & Marissa Jaret Winokur
posted by gladly (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I surprised myself by how happy I was to see Derek lived (or continues to exist, more accurately). The Mosquito Collectors driving sadly back to return his mom's van stayed with me. I'm guessing his door to door pillow sales may be the last we see of him, but I wouldn't mind more of Derek and his hellhound.

I loved the whole Guy Pillow bit. Of course Sean got caught up in an MLM. And Charmaine wanted a pillow but the guy part is legally binding!
posted by the primroses were over at 7:32 PM on September 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

Tbh my first thought was that Laszlo would mind trick people into buying the pillows. I'm glad they did the funnier thing, then the sensible thing as a bonus.

I want to see more of the hellhound! (Is he a good boy? Does he eat people, too?)
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:39 PM on September 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

That hellhound seemed like a very good boy. 12/10. Would give scritches carefully.

Lazlo's "blood alcohol" level after consoling himself was hysterical. Matt Berry as drunk Lazlo is too perfect.

Kudos to the production team for those Chamber of Judgement dancers. FX must have bumped up the budget, because that looked great to me. This is the first time I noticed that the throne has giant feet curled up at the base -- with Guillermo's swinging legs above it, that's a great sight gag.
posted by gladly at 8:02 PM on September 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Wow, this did almost nothing for me. Am I the only one who feels the writing has been flat and sitcommy this season?
posted by argybarg at 9:29 PM on September 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Colin trying to annoy the shit out of Lazlo by doing a Jar-Jar Binks voice was great.

And the orientation film by HR was priceless.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:31 AM on September 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

I liked the episode OK but I'm getting maxxed out on Sean. He feels like a character from a different show and I find him more annoying than funny. I think Lazlo's ride-or-die friendship with Sean works better the less we see of it. When we actually see them spend time together and Sean is just this loud, loser-y guy, it makes me think too much about why they'd actually hang out at all. I did like how Sean's lunky friends got into Colin's mystery game, though.

So, why doesn't Guillermo ask Derek to make him a vampire? I doubt Derek would mind, and Derek owes Guillermo a hell of a favor now.

I've wondered if the vampires in this show follow Buffy rules, where becoming one turns you into an evil version of yourself. It was ambiguous when the Beanie Feldstein character became a vampire; her ambivalence about killing went right out the window when she started happily murdering frat boys, and that was played for revenge comedy. But Derek just did not seem like the killing kind, and here we get accounts of him breaking into blood banks and then escalating to feeding on people in public. It's also played as a joke, but it sounds like he tried to resist his vampire cravings but ultimately gave in, in ways that horrify even other vampires. Either it's an ongoing joke about how even "nice" people will be happy to murder if given the chance, or becoming a vampire changes you so you don't mind murdering.

I forgot to mention last week that the Atlantic City episode dropped a pretty strong hint that Guillermo is queer. When the vampires were trying to bond with him in their adorably appalling way and they were grilling him to dish about his sex life, he started to talk about a traumatic realization when he was a tween. It seemed like he was about to say he was gay, or maybe ace. They've also had some jokes recently about people assuming Nandor and Guillermo are a couple, and I feel like they're heading for something where it turns out Guillermo is in love with Nandor. If it turns out Guillermo has unrequited romantic feelings for his master, their dynamic will be even more sad!

They kept calling it HR, but shouldn't it be VR?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:50 PM on September 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

It doesn't make sense that Laszlo would be friends with Sean. It makes even less sense that Laszlo would pull Sean aside to say "it seems like something is worrying you," which is very un-Laszlolike behavior. It doesn't even make sense that Laszlo would reference a "circle jerk," which is way too contemporary a bit of slang for Laszlo. In short, Laszlo, instead of being a multidimensional weirdo and chaos agent, has become a kind of a tired sitcom character with one added note that he's always horny. It's a depressing advent that I hope reverses soon.

(Also, Matt Berry looks really unwell. Is that a plot point?)
posted by argybarg at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

That's funny, I was thinking that Matt Berry was looking healthier! Maybe he's lost some weight, which could read as slimming down to one person or wasting away to another.

"Circle jerk" seems like a phrase that would be very much in Laszlo's vocabulary. It wouldn't surprise me if we find out he invented the phrase one wild night in 1918. He is all about weird sex, porn, etc., and while he can't be arsed to care about a lot of modern life I can believe he'd be quite fluent in the language of modern pervs. He couldn't plug in a toaster but he could explain all the intricacies of key parties and glory holes. (There was that weird moment a few episodes ago when he said he'd just come back from the pornographic penny flickers. Penny arcades probably haven't existed for over 100 years, so... what the hell was he talking about? Where did he go?)

There are times when this show kind of throws characterization out the window for the sake of a joke. I wasn't a big fan of the Jackie Daytona episode because there were just too many ways that it didn't suit Laszlo's established character, but other folks loved it so what are you gonna do? I remind myself that this isn't a drama, so it's not a surprise if there are moments when the characters or continuity get goofy. I'm fine with Laszlo having this bizarre bond with Sean, it's funny in the abstract, but as I said I don't think it works well when you actually see them together for too long. In the film they had a thing where all the vampires were totally devoted to this boring human guy, Stu, and this seems to be a recurrence of that idea. Only Stu WAS somehow kind of lovable in his well-meaning blankness, while Sean just seems grating to me.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

It takes place in Staten Island so it makes sense they have to have at least one Staten Island Guy.
posted by bleep at 11:06 AM on September 29, 2021

My problem with Sean is that it's too much of him too close together. There needed to be a bit of space between the last episode and this one.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:27 PM on September 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

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