Tuesday, July 12, 2022

REVIEW: 'What We Do In the Shadows' - The Vampires Return Home Invigorated By New Goals They Wish to Achieve in 'Reunited'

FX's What We Do In the Shadows - Episode 4.01 "Reunited"

The vampires return from their world travels to find their mansion on the verge of collapse, and a freakish new creature in the house.

"Reunited" was written by Stefani Robinson & Paul Simms and directed by Yana Gorskaya

A year has passed since the vampires went their separate ways. Nandor wanted to travel the world to find himself again. Nadja accepted a job in London serving on the Supreme Vampiric Council. Laszlo stayed at home in Staten Island to care for the boy that came out of the deceased Colin Robinson's body. They all hoped for a year of adventure. And yet, none of these opportunities have gone as well as they had wanted. That makes it relatively easy for all of them to reunite once more. They ultimately depend on each other. They can only thrive together. Their dynamics may not be healthy. In fact, they are dysfunctional in so many ways. It still provides a sense of content that allows life to keep moving forward. It's only really frustrating when it comes to Guillermo. He exerted his power over Nandor. He defeated him in battle. He easily could kill his master at any moment if he wanted to. Nandor had to accept his familiar joining him on his journey. Guillermo never made it that far. Instead, he was stuck in a crate heading to London. He would serve Nadja because Laszlo couldn't leave her all alone. Of course, nothing is made of his time during that service. Instead, his actions are based entirely around being forced into a crate. That's how he left the country. It's how he returns too. Nadja subjected him to the exact same treatment. That's all anyone really needs to know. Nothing changed in their dynamic because they were forced to spend more time together. Nadja is fixated on the idea of opening a vampire nightclub now. That's all she can focus on. She had no power on the Supreme Vampiric Council. She was relegated to a planning committee full of energy vampires who wasted all the time making new plans. It was never going anywhere. She doesn't want her voice to be silenced. It was in that way. As such, she returns to Staten Island determined never to fall into that same situation again. She has a great deal of power in this world. Nandor and Laszlo don't stand in her way. She can loudly demand what she wants. It's her way of manipulating the situation to her benefit. It still works. It means the vampiric council headquarters will be undergoing a major change. That's startling to the Guide, who has been waiting for the vampires to return. She has laid motionless until this very moment. She helped Nandor prepare for his journey. She never thought the leaders would be gone this long. That's precisely what happened. The council may never get caught up with its business. That's not even a priority anymore. It's simply about using a nightclub to raise money to fix the house. The building is falling apart. Guillermo is the only one trying to improve it. He feels compelled to stay because he can't allow a baby to wander around this death trap. It's him simply fulfilling the same role he always has.

Guillermo proclaims himself to be a changed man. After how he's been treated, he has to think solely about himself moving forward. He can't allow himself to get distracted by the helpless vampires who would be lost without his assistance. The show previously showed how the house would crumble with Guillermo gone. That was true after only a few weeks. It's much worse now. It can't be solved in the span of an episode either. That's an exciting prospect. The comedy depicts the characters falling through the floors several times. It's a joke that successfully builds too. The vampires are oblivious to the dangers of an open flame coming into contact with a gas leak. Guillermo can only see those perils. To him, it's simply encouraging that Nandor has recalled his full name and wants him to serve as his Best Man. Of course, Nandor doesn't have a bride. That hasn't changed during his time away. Nandor barely made it out of the country. He was stuck with a family from Wisconsin. When he did return to his ancestral home, he only realized how limited a world full of vampires is. That didn't excite him even though everyone was so familiar. He could walk that path once more. That doesn't invigorate him any longer. He values Guillermo's friendship. It still pains him to ask for so much emotional support. He doesn't believe he needs it. Meanwhile, Guillermo just wants Nandor to want to offer support. That's seemingly more crucial than his ultimate wish of becoming a vampire. All of these trends are familiar. It's the show embracing what has always been known. That can be tiring four seasons into its run. However, enough changes with the physical environment to create unpredictable circumstances. Everyone is surprised the documentary crew is still around recording their lives. They didn't embark on these solo adventures with the vampires. Instead, it's all about what's being said to the cameras now. They are still caught in lies and embarrassing situations. The crew is still expected to be silent. Nothing has changed. The house is falling apart. Laszlo addresses the situation by watching a home renovation show. That does carry him further into the 21st century than ever before. Guillermo is still responsible with doing all the work. Plus, the mystery still remains over whether the boy is destined to become Colin Robinson. Laszlo has his doubts but that may only come from babies being inherently more drawn to colorful materials. A year isn't long enough to suddenly present something new in this situation. Of course, it will more than likely evolve to maintain the same energy Colin always brought to the narrative. And so, the show returns as steady as it has ever been comedically while still doing its best to maintain the structure that has worked for several seasons already.