What We Do in the Shadows: The Escape
October 3, 2021 9:40 AM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

An ancient beast escapes and threatens the existence of all vampires everywhere.

Doug Jones returns as Baron Afanas, resurrected from the vampire residence yard, as our vampire family searches for the escaped Sire, a.k.a. Girly Jim, a.k.a. Gyormn. Two press conferences, two gargoyles, and one trip to the store later, the Sire has a new home and the Hellhound is adopted (beware, squirrels!).

AV Club: The vampires dig up an old friend on a monstrous What We Do In The Shadows

After the Shadows with Doug Jones
posted by gladly (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Never trust AirBnB, man.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:37 AM on October 3 [4 favorites]


I'm loving Kristen Schaal as a regular.

The CG isn't top notch but the art/ vision behind it is consistently stellar.
posted by porpoise at 4:16 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


I love how all the vampires enjoy their immortality ignoring evidence of the grotesque evolution they're heading towards.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:25 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


A really fun episode, and one that deepened the characters of Nandor and Nadja a bit. It gets harder and harder to imagine that Nandor was ever a brutal dictator, when we see him here breaking down into childlike bawling when he thinks he's responsible for the Sire's escape. But we also see his more noble side, when he refuses to let Guillermo serve as bait and steps up to meet his own doom because he thinks it's right. Nadja is clearly upset about how she's let Nandor feel this crushing, undeserved guilt, but when it came down to it she was ready to let him die rather than face the consequences for her own actions. That was disappointing, but I couldn't help loving her during the scene where she thought Laszlo was being torn apart by the Sire and she lost her shit. (And her earlier line about being totally into Laszlo's seduction of a mail carrier spoke volumes about their weird, wonderful relationship.)

Being mostly dead seems to have done the Baron a world of good, somehow. Maybe being buried in the yard for two years gave him time to sort out his priorities, because he came back with a much more jolly outlook!

If vampires have been around for thousands of years, how do they still not know if killing the one that sired you will also kill you? Plenty of vampires must have died, and surely by now they would have figured this out! (But then again, it does seem like vampires aren't great about sharing knowledge. The vampire news network we saw here must not have a very wide audience, given how vampires seem to get a lot of their info from ancient legends they can't agree on.)

This show seems to be following the Buffy rule, about how vampires get more monstrous as the centuries pass. There could be an interesting story about a vain, 1000-year-old vampire dealing with the first onset of hideous battiness. I wonder if there are vampire plastic surgeons around to nip off pointy ear tips and stuff.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:35 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


I really liked the ending of this episode; the Air BnB gag was good, and everyone seemed happy on their farm upstate. But I am sad the very good hellhound won't be around Staten Island anymore.

I like Guillermo's increasing authority. Last episode he was the whispering power behind the throne, and now he's giving out direct orders. Interested to see if the vampires are going to try to regain control.

That press conference was such a hilarious disaster. I was hoping we might get a press cameo and have some minor CNN talking head revealed as a vampire, but unless I missed a joke, I think the vampire press must have their own distribution methods.

I'm befuddled the Sire apparently stayed in a dungeon he could break out of until they forgot to feed him. Seems like the boredom would be a good enough reason.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:37 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Okay, I have a weird theory. The name of the Sire, which Nadja and others struggled with, seemed a bit too close to "Guillermo" for my comfort. I've got a little itch in my brain that suggests that Guillermo is not only a descendent of van Helsing, but also a direct descendent of the Sire. Which means he's carrying a LOT of power. Thoughts?
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:22 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Interesting idea, dlugoczaj!

After I said the thing about vampires fretting about becoming more monstrous over time, it occurred to me that they don't actually seem to care about stuff like that. Like, the vampires we've met seem more attracted to dark, supernatural power than conventional good looks, so somebody like the Baron can actually be sexy to them. They don't seem at all put off by the Nosferatu types; they act like it's perfectly normal or even kind of cool for somebody to have pointy ears and monster teeth. If any of our vamps started to go batty I can picture them thinking it was neat, like they'd leveled up as creatures of the night.

I got curious if anybody had done a D&D alignment chart for WWDITS and I was surprised to find one doesn't seem to exist. I'm not a D&D fanatic but I do think those charts can be fun. Here are my takes, off the top of my head:

Nandor: Lawful evil. He's weirdly diplomatic for a former warlord, and he's the one who's always calling for house meetings. Even his evil is kind of dicey at this point, like he really doesn't relish doing bad stuff and he'd prefer to get things done in a nice way whenever he can.
Laszlo: Neutral evil. He's a total hedonist who puts his own wants first, always. He avoids trouble and responsibility whenever he can. He adores his sweet baby Nadja but judging by the Jackie Daytona saga it seems he's ready to split on his wife in a moment, if it suits his needs.
Nadja: Hard to call. Lawful evil, maybe? She's extremely selfish and petty, but in her own twisted way she actually cares about doing good. She does things that she thinks are good, but her efforts can destroy people's lives and she won't have a clue. She's a weird mix of misguided kindliness and tantrum-throwing brattiness.
Colin: Chaotic evil. He genuinely enjoys inflicting misery, in a way the other vampires don't seem to. As he put it himself, the others hunt to live while he lives to hunt. He probably won't kill you, but he gets off on making you wish you were dead.
Guillermo: Lawful evil. He's an adorable basset hound of a man, but he's also a scheming little creep who is really into plans, rules and what he thinks is fair. Worth pointing out that he's a human who regularly kills, he doesn't have the excuse of being a vampire who must kill to live, so he's arguably the most sinister character in the house.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:21 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I found the Baron riding around on the hellhound and then "driving" the kiddy car hilarious.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:06 PM on October 5 [14 favorites]


I wonder if the writers played much Vampire the Masquerade. There's a sire in VtM, usually thought to be Cain the First Murderer. And VtM had the concept of ancient vampires being incredibly powerful but not entirely sane. Eternal life does odd things to their bodies and minds after a few hundred or thousand years.

Though I guess these things are common enough across vampire lore that it's not Masquerade-specific. Still, this show makes me think of the game quite often. All we need are vampire tribes and factions added. And then it could almost pass for a drunken LARP.

That's one of the things I've loved about this show. On a certain level, they take the lore seriously. There's a deep history hinted at, and strong rules governing what they can and can't do. Gives both the writing and art direction this really wonderful feel.

dlugoczaj, I hope you're right. That would be the perfect ending. Guillermo ends up as the dark lord ruling all of these idiots. His brief time on the throne is a sign of things to come.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 4:48 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I love the Baron! Was so happy to seem him back! I want to party with that guy for sure.
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:45 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


The CG isn't top notch but the art/ vision behind it is consistently stellar.

I was just thinking over the weekend how much I love the CGI in this season. It's definitely not top-shelf, some of it almost seems like it's some weird stop-motion kind of thing, but it just cracks me up for some reason and somehow fits the overall tone of the show. And I agree that the art and vision behind it are great.
posted by vverse23 at 10:20 AM on October 18


I'm sure it's come up in other vampire stories, but I'm choosing to believe they cribbed the vampires can't survive the destruction of the vampire that turned them bit from The Simpsons.
posted by ckape at 9:59 PM on October 24


Loved the episode, but damn near leapt out of my chair cheering when they used Robyn Hitchcock's "The Man Who Invented Himself" (appropriate for the episode) as the closing music. A+ music tastes throughout the show.
posted by jzb at 3:32 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


(But I didn't, because that would have displaced the cats, which is a taboo in this household.)
posted by jzb at 3:33 AM on November 2


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