If there’s one thing to note about What We Do in The Shadows, it’s that the show will never allow its fans to be happy. Well – at least as much as it won’t allow its characters to be. The much-awaited, much-teased post-“Go Flip Yourself” episode, WWDITS Season 4 Episode 9, was – as I expected – the catalyst for the changing relationship between Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) and Nandor (Kayvan Novak). This was going to be it, the moment we’ve been waiting for, when Guillermo would make Nandor jealous with his new boyfriend and we could watch Nandor finally start to admit his romantic feelings for Guillermo. But in true What We Do in The Shadows fashion, “Freddie” left me with a healthy dose of “What the fuck was I thinking?”
Spoilers for WWDITS Season 4 Episode 9, “Freddie,” from here on out.
I’m sorry to disappoint any Nandermo shippers, but nothing remotely like my expectations happened in this episode. “Freddie” is meant to be a cute story centered around Guillermo and his boyfriend, the titular Freddie (Al Roberts). After finally coming out to his family a few episodes before, Freddie has planned a trip to the US to see Guillermo, as they’d met while Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) was working at the Supreme Vampiric Council and the two of them has been long-distance ever since. But Freddie arrives early, intending to surprise Guillermo at the Vampire Residence…and Nandor is immediately smitten.
If I were any more delusional, I would spin this episode to be all about Nandor’s inability to confront himself and his feelings and using his “attraction” to Freddie as an excuse to destroy his relationship with Guillermo the only way he knows how: seducing the other guy. And all this while not allowing Guillermo to have anything or anyone else that isn’t him, because keeping Guillermo isolated and dependent is the only way Nandor can express his love. But I will do no such thing today. I was not at all surprised by the turn WWDITS Season 4 Episode 9 episode took. Rather, I was shocked and angered when instead of outright ruining Guillermo’s relationship by trying to seduce Freddie, Nandor wishes for the Djinn (Anoop Desai) to turn Marwa (Parisa Fakhri), his wife, into an exact duplicate of Freddie (#JusticeForMarwa). (P.S. – Can someone please tell me where this wish came from? Is it a story flaw or is it one of the three wishes the Djinn gave Nandor as a wedding gift?)
I’m not sure what else I was expecting from this episode, but I never have expected What We Do In The Shadows to turn Nandor into such a cruel character. I’ve always known he’s got the range of an asshole, but this was a whole other level of fucked up. For the entirety of “Freddie,” I alternated between wanting to punch Nandor and wanting to scream at him – something that Guillermo should’ve done more of, if I’m being completely honest. Whatever sympathy I had left for Nandor transformed into a bat and flew away, leaving me void of any care for the character. I can only hope that Nandor’s decline was intentional and thhat we’ll get to see him pick himself up and change for the better next season. Because it’s too late for him now. Especially after he let his Freddie go into the wild, not even bothering to turn him back into Marwa. The two Freddies end up getting together, pulling a Loki, and breaking Guillermo’s heart even more.
The other thing that filled me with blinding rage was WWDITS Season 4 Episode 9’s incredibly disgusting treatment of Marwa. One element of Nandor’s character with which What We Do In The Shadows has been consistent is just how childish he is, whining about wanting new toys and then throwing them to the side the second he becomes bored with them. And that’s exactly what he does with Marwa. It wasn’t crystal clear until “Freddie,” but Nandor was only using Marwa to try and make Guillermo jealous. When that didn’t work out and Guillermo never folded – something Nandor thought would surely happen – Nandor tried to salvage the situation by making himself the victim and turning Marwa into a zombie who likes everything he does. And when that didn’t make him interested in her again, Nandor shifted his sights onto Guillermo’s boyfriend – because if he can’t have Guillermo, no one can. (See? I’m just as delusional as Nandor.)
Aside from my unbridled rage towards Nandor, What We Do In The Shadows‘ fourth season has been an incredibly interesting character study, given that each of the show’s characters seem to be unraveling into a worse version of themselves. For WWDITS Season 4 Episode 9’s B and C plots, Laszlo (Matt Berry) decides to renegotiate Baby Colin’s (Mark Proksch) club contract with Nadja. Which doesn’t go very well – for Nadja, you see, has been completely corrupted by her newfound power. She’s stealing from the club just like Guillermo, and she’s not going to start paying other people to work for her. The two split uncomfortably: Nadja says she doesn’t need Baby Colin to run a successful club (she does) and Laszlo storms off and saying he doesn’t need Nadja’s for Baby Colin to be a successful performer (he does).
Nadja goes from a complete boss bitch queen, killing celebrities like Sophia Coppola and Thomas Mars for show (another of my favorite gags this season) to a complete mess who gets wasted on drunk human blood. Her inability to accept the fact that she needs other people to succeed is at an all-time high. And she’ll pay the ultimate price for it: losing both her and her club’s popularity after Baby Colin leaves her. She tries to scramble to find a new act to replace him, but nothing quite lives up to the real deal, and Nadja finds herself unable to get herself out of the prideful hole she’s dug by admitting she needs Colin to succeed.
Meanwhile, Laszlo and Colin are thrust back to the bottom of the food chain, as they literally have to start from scratch to build Baby Colin’s name and stature. They decide to go on tour – something Baby Colin doesn’t want to do, but is rather forced into by manager Laszlo. They’ve done it before and they can do it again, if only to show Nadja that they don’t need her fancy club for Baby Colin to be a successful show. But while he puts on a triumphant impromptu performance on the bus, by the time of the night’s first proper performance, Baby Colin has outgrown his kid body. He’s now a full-on teenager, complete with creaky voice, acne, and an attitude. Thanks to that voice, Colin bombs hard, and he and Laszlo are forced to return home to deal with those delightful teenage mood swings.
Literally no one emerges victorious from “Freddie.” There’s (at least) one lesson none of these characters learn: talking about our feelings is important; we’ll get nowhere if we don’t.
And now for the memes: