What We Do in the Shadows Review – “The Cloak of Duplication”

So You Need to Make a Number Two?

“The Cloak of Duplication” picks ups right where “The Prisoner” left off, with the vampire roommates getting a tour of the Vampiric Council building. Many vampire lore trinkets are introduced here, including the titular cape, that gives it’s wearer the ability to appear as another individual. The most fascinating though, is the introduction of The Sire, the most eldest of vampires, who is confined to a room. His screams are terrifying and his presence (as well as the episode’s tag) hint at more to come this season.

The power struggle between Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) is at the forefront here. Both vie for the throne, and both intend to make the other their number two. This is evident when they approach a group of young vampires who have yet to pay their dues. Nandor the Relentless wants to take a calm approach, while Nadja is actually more relentless in the situation. It’s an interesting dynamic, as we watch the two reverse roles so far this season.

Guillermo (Harvey GuillĂ©n) with his new vampire body guard title, still finds himself locked away from his master and the rest of the council. That doesn’t keep him down as he escapes the confinement of the familiar holding room and joins in on the fun, including a chance to rib Nandor for his choice of phrase during a talking head. It’s nice to see Guillermo finally being himself in front of everyone, after concealing himself all last season. I can’t wait to watch the writers build on this later in the season.

In this week’s B story, we get a peek into Nandor’s love life. Who knew Nandor was such a gym rat? Smitten with the receptionist, Meg (Lauren Collins), Nandor sets Laszlo (Matt Berry) out to woo her with the Cape of Duplication. Everything goes wrong when Laszlo sends Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) in his place. In true EV fashion, Colin tries to neg her as Nandor. It does not work. Laszlo’s attempt after also fails. Novak’s acting here, as all his vampire roommates pretending to be him, is superb. From the object work to the voices, he lands them all perfectly. I was almost convinced the other actors’ voices were dubbed in, Novak is that good. A true highlight to the episode.

You can’t say no to those pants!

Aside from taking his turn as as Nandor, this is another down episode for Laszlo. He spends a majority of his time in the Vampire Council Archive, digging through their centuries of porn.

Colin Robinson has a bit more to do this episode. He spends some time in the archive looking for information on energy vampires. Crawling towards the ripe age of 100, has Colin wondering where he cam from. This tidbit makes the weird poop thing from the premiere make a little more sense. He’s lost, perhaps having a mid-life crisis, brought on by his close dance with death and getting older. Colin Robinson is figuratively and literally digging through shit.

It is your birthday.

Colin also joins Nandor and Nadja for the shakedown of the young vampires. In these scenes, he interacts with an EV that focuses on annoying his victims with weed. It’s a fun character and reminds us that Colin Robinson is but one EV out in the world. With the introduction of this character and Colin’s new fascination with his origins, it makes me wonder if the writers are building toward a splintering of the EVs from the traditional vampires.

With Nandor and Nadja colliding, Laszlo’s disinterest, and Colin’s research, it feels like season 3 is building toward a falling out between roommates. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out as Nadja continues to make a strong case for the throne.

Queen of Hearts.

Some other fun bits:

  • “Do not open that book Gizmo.”
  • Nadja and Laszlo trying “new” things with the cape.
  • Nandor the Beefcake

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