What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 Premiere Review – “The Prisoner”

I’ll Be In My Potting Shed

Something feels not so familiar in the season 3 premiere of What We Do in the Shadows. Opening thirty days after Guillermo’s (Harvey Guillen) daring rescue in which he slaughtered 70% of New York area vampires, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) are still debating what they should do about Nandor’s familiar-turnt-vampire-hunter.

It’s this debate where we can tell that something is off in the house. Nandor has softened in the face of death. He argues that Guillermo is following the warrior’s code and they should return the favor. The moment between Nandor and Guillermo in the basement is touching and shows us that Nandor is continuing to show more appreciation for Guillermo (an arc from last season).

Nadja wants to follow the vampiric code and kill Guillermo to avenge their brethren. Nadja and Nandor have completely one-eightied each other. Gone is the Nadja who took pity on Bennie Feldstein’s sad college co-ed in season 1. In her place, a cold calculated leader with a kill or be killed mentality.

Laszlo is brooding and remains mostly silent on the issue, spending a majority of the last month, “Masturbating in his potting shed.”

The space between them shouts, “I’d rather be in my potting shed”.

The greatest differences in the house come from Colin Robinson and Guillermo.

Colin is no longer the sharp witted EV that annoyed his way into our hearts. He drops F bombs, is overly annoying, and sifts through Guillermo’s poop. He’s on edge. The poop sifting and cattle prod jokes didn’t land for me. Be it PTSD, or a new way to try and drain energy, the smartest vampire in the room doesn’t seem himself.

Guillermo. the most caged character in the series, starts the episode in a literal cage, but he has never been freer. His Van Helsing lineage is out in the open. Even as the others debate killing him, Guillermo is still loyal, proven by Guillermo breaking out each day and continuing his familiar duties. We get the sense, no matter the sentence passed down, Guillermo will be fine.

Returning from season 1, in what I hope is a reoccurring role, The Guide (Kristen Schaal) serves as the mouthpiece for the Vampiric Council. Impressed by last season’s slaughter, the council has decided to promote the roommates to run the Greater New York area council. Talk about failing up. Schaal’s reaction to her new leaders is great – “It’s above my pay grade.”

It’s above her pay grade.

Guillermo’s time as a familiar comes to an end, as the vampire roommates decide to make him a vampire bodyguard. In exchange, he must survive a quad-vampiric hypnosis. This section of the episode has some fun call backs, including the ‘brain scramblies’ from last season and the infamous “witch’s skin hat”. In a twist, Guillermo has built up an tolerance to hypnosis, due to the fact that he’s been hypnotized throughout his familiar career to do household chores. His new position isn’t the vampirism he wanted, but it’s one step closer.

At episode’s end, The Guide reveals that only one of the roommates can truly rule over the council. Nandor, Nadja, and Colin Robinson immediately charge for the throne, with Laszlo refusing to dabble in politics. Thus this season’s power struggle begins.

‘The Prisoner’ marks the return of a great show in a time where we all spent the last year and-a-half in our potting sheds. It’s got the familiar laughs that hooked us, with hints of things to come. I’m confused by the direction of Colin Robinson so far, but I hope it’ll all make sense in the next few months.

Some Additional Highlights:

  • “I became a vampire to suck blood and fuck forever.”
  • Colin Robinson’s thumbs up at the council promotion
  • “I just want to protect you, from yourselves.”
Let’s ride!

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