It’s opening night, bitches! With WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3, “The Grand Opening,” Nadja’s Nightclub is ready for business. Everyone in the vampire community has gathered to celebrate and watch mega-superstar-yet-reclusive vampire rap artist Richie Suck (Affion Crockett) perform live. But things quickly go wrong when Richie cancels out of nowhere, and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and the Guide (Kristen Schaal) have to make him change his mind or face the rage of the vampire community.
Meanwhile, Nandor (Kayvan Novak) admits that he’s feeling “inadequate” now that they’ve made Marwa (Parisa Fakhri), his fiance, the “perfect” partner. The next step to make him feel deserving of her is to go through emotional growth and change things about himself that aren’t optimal in a relationship. Sike! Obviously, it’s for Nandor to get his penis enlarged by the Djinn (Anoop Desai); he and Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) sit down for negotiations. Finally, appalled by now-tween Colin (Mark Proksch) and his obsession with Legos and making YouTube unboxing content, Laszlo (Matt Berry) decides to take him out on an outing to give him new, interesting, and fine hobbies, like art theft.
As always, SPOILERS FOR WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3 BELOW.
If there’s one thing that What We Do In The Shadows has always been very good at, it’s using all of its characters to their fullest potential in each episode. To this point in the series, we’ve delighted in the writers crafting interesting and unique storylines, pushing everyone further along their journeys, and blending those individual stories together for an entertaining whole. And they’ve rarely done so as effectively as with WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3. While the three storylines followed a tried-and-true TV structure, it was through those identifiable choices that this episode both remained fresh and interesting and managed to stand out as one of my favorite episodes so far – a showcase for the immense talent from everyone involved in crafting it.
A Plot: Nadja and Richie Suck
With the opening of her nightclub, Nadja tries aggressively to ensure that everything is perfect and that everyone has a good time. Everything’s on track to be the craziest party ever until tragedy strikes: Richie Suck, vampire rapper extraordinaire, cancels his appearance. It’s revealed that Richie’s familiar, Tom (aka Doctor Tom, aka DJ Tom Schmidt), played by the hilarious Fred Armisen, has been manipulating every aspect of Richie’s life, controlling what he eats, when he eats, the kinds of music he produces, and even going as far as making him like jazz. Nadja even remarks, in one of my favorite jokes of the episode, that this is something that happens “not so much with vampires, but all the time in the music business.”
Something I enjoyed that carried through into this episode was just how much Nadja’s journey to this point –and especially after London – is all about being true to herself and allowing her self-expression to shine through. Embracing her own ideas led Nadja to open a nightclub; now, Nadja uses her newfound confidence to inspire Richie to break free from Tom’s grasp and be himself once more. It just so happens that Richie’s authentic self does stand up, and, if there’s one thing WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3 proves true, it’s that we’d all rather listen to jazz before watching someone do “observational comedy.”
B Plot: Laszlo and Tween Colin Robinson
A lot of reviewing What We Do In The Shadows involves praising Matt Berry for his phenomenal performance as Laszlo Cravensworth, but his work in WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3 stands out as some of his best so far. There’s something so humanizing about watching Laszlo – a vampire who, because of vampirism, will never be able to have a child of his own – trying so hard to connect with Tween Colin and making a lot of the mistakes that first-time parents make in the process.
Watching Laszlo try to mold Colin into a version of himself is incredibly endearing, wildly hilarious, and involves a complete disregard of all the things that make Colin who he is. For most of the first two episodes, Laszlo shares his fears that baby Colin will grow up to be a party pooper, just like Colin was. So Laszlo has put genuine time and effort into ensuring that Colin grows up to be a cultured man of society. But this Colin, like any tween, is obsessed with Legos, Roblox, and…musical theater.
Laszlo’s distaste of musical theater is by far the most hilarious rant in this episode. It presumes that liking Hamilton is the most outrageous thing a person could ever do and sends Laszlo spiraling. But at the end of the day, Colin’s love of musical theater saves the vampires and keeps Nadja’s club in business, showing Laszlo that while he and Colin may like different things, that doesn’t mean the two of them are that different. The most important thing he can do for his kid is accept Colin as he is, for he’ll somehow turn out alright.
C Plot: Nandor and Guillermo
The Djinn has quickly become one of my favorite characters on WWDITS Season 4. Anoop Desai is a standout addition to the cast, his character easily blending into the ensemble and playing off Nandor and Guillermo’s energy perfectly. After last week, I expected the penis enlargement episode to happen, so this week’s comic relief was exactly what I had in mind. Especially the punchline, that Nandor’s penis didn’t changed much because it was already that big.
Season 3 started a really interesting shift in the dynamic between Guillermo and Nandor, with Nandor beginning to exhibit a small crush on Guillermo. It’s only gotten clearer in Season 4. It’s in the way Nandor jumped into the flooded basement to rescue Guillermo. The way he glances at him when he thinks no one is watching. And now we’ve gotten the pièce de résistance, the scream-into-your-pillow-because-you-ship-them-so-much-and-this-will-they-won’t-they-is-driving-you-insane moment: Nandor reveals that even after all their negotiations, the Djinn still tricked them. Because every time he’s going to use his penis with Marwa, the only person he can think about is Guillermo.
Three episodes into Season 4, I think What We Do In The Shadows has only gotten sharper with time, from the jokes to the character dynamics to knowing exactly what to expect from everyone and still being blown away when new things happen. This show is just that good. WWDITS Season 4 Episode 3 makes me even more excited for the rest of the season.