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Bravo Hair: “What We Do In the Shadows” Season 5 reviewed

The past three seasons of What We Do in the Shadows have ended on cliffhangers: Guillermo revealing his Van Helsing lineage at the end of season two. Nadja’s relocation to London at the end of season three. Guillermo asking Derek to turn him into a vampire at the end of season four. For season five, they’re saying “fuck it” and just wrapping things up so everybody — particularly Guillermo — can go home.

But while “Exit Interview” wasn’t a cliffhanger, it wasn’t momentous enough to be a series finale either. (Which we knew — last year, the show was renewed for seasons five and six.) The status quo has been re-established; the season’s big drama wraps up with Guillermo realizing that he’s happier as a lowly familiar who gets to tag along on vampire adventures than as an immortal bloodsucking murder machine. This will, of course, wipe away any last remnants of respect the rest of the household may have gained for him during his time as a half-vampiric freak of super-nature, which means that the goodbyes they all exchange at the Hav-a-nap Motel aren’t a total waste.

As with the individualized traps at Morrigan Manor, each of the vampire’s approaches reflect their personalities: Colin’s gift of a Q4 sales leader award from 1977 is the closest he can get to showing actual affection. And while Laszlo was distracted by the sight of two healthy young women about to engage in consensual filmed intercourse, some part of that apology probably was earnest on some level. (Laszlo, as he’s proven multiple times over the past three seasons, is a guy’s guy above all.) The Guide, well, she’s trying. Nadja, as she’s proven multiple times over the past few seasons, isn’t a particularly good friend when it comes to “being emotionally engaged” and “not giving away your location while you’re hiding out in fear of your life.” But she is a good hang and down for anything. Clearly.

Nadja in the trenchcoat saying, “‘sup, bitch?” got a bigger laugh from me than anything I’ve seen over the past few episodes of this season. The other big punchline of the week came not from one of the actors but from director Tig Fong (who’s also the show’s stunt coordinator): The quick pans back and forth between Nandor getting all Dark Knight on the rooftop and the Panera Bread down below. Yep, Nandor is in his relentless mode, dealing with the aftermath of Guillermo’s betrayal by doing what he always does, which is not dealing with it at all.

As Laszlo (and, nbd, but also these recaps) predicted, Nandor does indeed find a reason to forgive Guillermo for his most heinous betrayal because there is nothing Guillermo could do that would make Nandor stop loving him. (They call it “friendship” on the show, but we all know that these two love each other.) It takes a lot for a guy like Nandor to swallow his pride, and it says a lot about the nature of their relationship that Nandor is willing to kill Derek on Guillermo’s behalf. He’s pretty casual about killing in general, don’t get me wrong — that “Privat Pardy” with all the red sauce (eyyyy) was the bloodiest thing we’ve seen all season — but recognizing and attending to the needs of someone else in a (relatively) kind and considerate fashion? That’s huge!

That being said, while it’s always lovely to see those two reaffirm their queerplatonic love, it’s hard to shake the feeling that What We Do in the Shadows is spinning its wheels at this point. We’ve now gone through multiple iterations of Guillermo’s inner conflict over his identity and its aftermath. Now that the vampire (and vampire hunter) questions are settled, where do we go from here? At the end of season five, the answer is “back to season two,” which is when we first met the Necromancer (Benedict Wong) and Topher (Haley Joel Osment), the ill-fated familiar who pops back up as a zombie at the end of this episode. Now Derek goes down the sitcom-lore hole as well, possibly to pop back up next year.

What new adventures could the gang get up to in season six? They’ve started a business, gotten involved in local government, grappled with the mysteries of eternal life and cyclical death, and proven that, deep down, they do have a little bit of humanity left in them under all that decadence and bloodlust. But the biggest question that I’m sure is on all of our minds is this: What the hell was Patton Oswalt doing in Staten Island?