What We Do in the Shadows: A Weekend at Morrigan Manor / The Exit Interview (Season finale)
September 1, 2023 3:25 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

First, the housemates are invited for a weekend away at the home of a mysterious, illustrious vampire. Then, the vampires search for a missing Guillermo.

The Guide moves her art show to Perdita Morrigan's country estate, turning it into a murder mystery weekend, complete with Colin Robinson's Poirot mustache. Except the mystery turns out to be how Nandor will murder Guillermo once he gets out of his silver cage.

Guillermo flees to hide with his sire, Derek, though most of his housemates find him there. Nandor surveils Staten Island Panera Breads with the help of his new friend, Patton Oswalt. Finally, Nandor holds a ceremony to give Guillermo his fervent wish.

AV recap
Vulture recap (ep 9 / ep 10)
posted by gladly (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Up until Laszlo's fight scene made it obvious, I thought Simon the Devious was behind the Morrigan Manor invite. I guess they used up their guest star budget on the final episode instead.
posted by cheshyre at 5:21 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]

Oh okay I didn’t expect the second one to be double-length! It’s impressive how they manage to kind of maintain broad-strokes status quo, but in a way that still feels true to the characters. Guillermo being unable to kill a person himself feels… correct, ultimately. Derek remains a delight in the small doses we get, too. Loved the ending there.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:36 PM on September 1 [2 favorites]

The silliness just evaporates when Guillermo answers what he thinks is his mother's call. That was such a great move to make their confrontation at Mrs. de la Cruz's apartment, necessarily quiet and small but intense. And even though Nandor is dumb enough to think that Guillermo is a bloodhound, he's still the only vampire who knows how to finish Guillermo's transition.

I'm really glad that Guillermo got to experience and ultimately reject being a vampire. I have no idea if this is going to function as a reset button or not. He cares for the housemates because he genuinely likes them, but they're still assholes? And does his van Helsing blood survive the transition? It felt true and right for the series, but I'm not sure how I feel about the total reset.

The Guide episode just kind of washed over me. Maybe they don't know how to use Kristen Schaal? The Guide is funny, but as a full cast member, it's not quite working. I would have loved it to be another Simon the Devious appearance rather than the Guide.
posted by gladly at 9:08 PM on September 1 [4 favorites]

It occurred to me that Guillermo might have been a lot better off if he'd never drunk that human blood. As a quasi-vamp he had the powers of a vampire but he could still go out in the sun and he didn't need to feed on humans. It was a pretty sweet deal, aside from his weird little monster wings. Now that he's human again, where the heck does he go from here? He's not trying to become a vampire anymore, so why would he go back to working for the vamps and being totally underappreciated and unpaid? Maybe it'd work if they started treating him better and actually paying him, but... well, that's not gonna happen.

The other day I was thinking about the WWDITS movie, and how we saw the sire of a couple of the vamps get killed by sunlight without them being harmed. I'm sure there have been other things like that in this show, too. That convinced me there was nothing to the vampire superstition about how the death of your sire means you'll also die... but then this season finale came along and left me confused all over again about how the whole thing works. The vamps in the movie weren't turned human by the death of their sire, so either this show is throwing continuity out the window or there's something else going on. Maybe it only works if you've been recently turned?

It's freaky when Nandor stops being a goofball and becomes dangerous, but Kayvan Novak always brings it. When Nandor is furious he seems to grow a foot taller in a hurry.

It's nice that Topher got over being a mindless brute and is back to being his smarmy self, with a new crew of zombie bros and a new arm for high fives. Poor Patton Oswalt, though! When Nandor started to put the whammy on him I thought he was going to make Oswalt his new familiar or something. He didn't, so I'm not sure what was going on there.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:02 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]

Huh, kind of a weird double feature. I've appreciated all the Fanfare comments here because they helped me understand what I don't like about this show. I do like a lot! When it's funny, when it's sweet, when it's probing the bizarre bits of vampire lore. And any Mark Proksch. But the writing struggles with any sort of longer narrative arcs in awkward ways, I almost wish they didn't even try.

The Guide seems a totally lost character and her episode didn't really fix that. I loved when she finally called the vampires out on all their bullshit, locked them up. She did what we'd hoped Guillermo could do for himself all these years. And then it just sort of... ended? They promise not to take revenge on her and she lets them out and we're off to Nandor killing Guillermo. The Guide forgotten.

The Guillermo story was more interesting. I appreciated gladly's talking about how important it is that the confrontation with Nandor happens in Mrs. de la Cruz's apartment. She's a great character and her relationship with Guillermo is a nice respite of normality. But the actual conclusion of Guillermo's transition this season sure seems weird to me. I'm also wondering what happens next season. Does Gizmo stay on as a familiar without his main motivation? The whole show has always been about the tension between him being a familiar so he can be turned some day vs. his genuine love and servitude. Now half that tension is gone.

There is another season coming, already bought. May be awhile with the strikes though.
posted by Nelson at 6:54 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]

I love Kristen Schaal, but it really seems like her character was written by someone who was told by the studio "you need to put Kristen Schaal in your show" and took their frustration out on her. At some point it makes these literal evil vampires unsympathetic, that they keep treating her that way.

If they were going to do that thing... (spoilers)
(revealing that the nice things they said about the Guide on video, were actually trying to trick her and Colin Robinson into leaving the house...) then they could've at least made it so that her Saw homage was what made them finally respect her or something. I don't know how much more I can take of her just being a punching bag.

posted by Riki tiki at 5:01 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]

I hope they play up the bodyguard thing, which was where he was 'promoted' to previously.
posted by Marticus at 9:42 PM on September 3

The Guide continue to do exactly what she was planted to do, spill the beans. First it was with the Master, and now, the siring of Guillermo. I think it was a little bit of respect provided to the character by allowing her to setup traps for the respective vampires, playing on their weaknesses (or even supposed strengths), and offering them one more chance to redeem themselves to her. The second I saw the video, I knew it was going to have a twist like Colin Robinson, but I appreciated Laszlo's quick thought to bring it up. Additionally, by having the Guide cage the vampires, it allowed Guillermo to approach Nandor directly, to have that one on one conversation.

Guillermo's decision to return to human was actually something I appreciated because to be honest, "evil" Guillermo isn't the Guillermo we like. We like the Guillermo who finds homes for his hybrid chimeras at a nursing home and does do little thoughtful things. The next season is definitely going to be about Guillermo trying to determine who he wants to be, what his future might hold for him.

I generally enjoyed the conclusion of the storyline, but also agree, the wheels were spinning a little too long in a way that just wasn't that great, either.
posted by Atreides at 6:44 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]

Huh, thought I’d posted it but apparently not: it would indeed have been extremely funny if, when the vampires were in their cages, Laszlo had very confidently declared that he’d figured out that Simon the Devious was behind all this
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:01 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]

How Kayvan Novak Came Up With the Distinctive Accent for Nandor in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

The last video in that link is to a one hour interview with the cast.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:44 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]

I know many people don't like Sisyphean narratives, but there is something very Sisyphean about being a vampire. It is very central to the show. And like Sisyphus at the apex and climax of his journey, we are both like and unlike the vampires. The more things change, the more they stay the same. You can never cross the same river twice, but all rivers flow to the sea. I enjoy the commentary about nature - both that there is something inside of everyone, and that everyone is who they are.
posted by rebent at 3:13 PM on September 6 [8 favorites]

This was on my mind after watching the season finale, but I couldn't find the words to make it make sense, so thank you! This really does seem to apply to the vampires, who can only achieve so much within who they are, because by their very nature of immortality, are somewhat preserved as who they were at the time of becoming a vampire and truly, have little incentive to change. The duality of Nandor killing Patton Oswalt, but at the same time, reflecting on him as a loss friend, and not even recognizing the irony of his words and actions is a good thing. It does create a certain level of opportunity for those moments where a character does step out of their ordained roles, such as Nandor essentially doing what is necessary to help Guillermo return to being human or Laszlo remaining behind to take care of baby Colin Robinson.
posted by Atreides at 6:51 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

I just watched Dracula for the first time in a long time and I was struck by the influence Lugosi's performance clearly had on Nandor- the accent is different but the cadences are extremely similar.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]

How Kayvan Novak Came Up With the Distinctive Accent for Nandor in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

What that article fails to mention is that Kayvan developed it for Fonejacker- his silly show where he used to prank call people.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:07 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]

It occurred to me that the show might be setting up something where the original sire (the ancient gargoyle guy) is killed, and all of the vampires are turned human. Like I said, that would kind of contradict what we saw in the WWDITS movie, where the sire of two vamps was killed and they weren't turned human. But then, since Guillermo instantly aged a month when he became human again, maybe vampires who would have died of old age by now can't just age up and become human again. I don't know, but I think we've got a Chekhov's Gun situation with the original sire. It seems too suspicious that they have this original sire character, and they've now set up this thing where killing a vampire will turn the vampires he has sired human.

Guillermo's refusal to kill surprised me, since I've had the impression that once somebody becomes a vampire they lose their soul and become an evil, super kinky version of themselves. Guillermo had a moment of that, when his eyes were glowing and he was ready to go out and cause mayhem, but then when he was confronted with the reality of killing, his human morality took over. Jenna and Derek didn't want to kill either but then they tried it and enjoyed it, so maybe the same thing would have happened for Guillermo. Or maybe they were just weaker than he is, or they'd always been repressing violent tendencies and becoming a vampire gave them license to explore that. Or maybe it was Guillermo's Van Helsing DNA again, fighting off the urge to go full evil vamp. These kinds of questions really interest me, but I suspect the people who actually make the show care about that stuff a lot less than I do.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:42 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]

Just noting that... the other vampires *were* nicer to the Guide in the last episode? Like, super-noticeably so? I'm a little surprised that people here are saying nothing changed there.
posted by kyrademon at 12:08 PM on November 4

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