Tuesday, July 12, 2022

REVIEW: 'What We Do In the Shadows' - The Guide Resists Nadja's Changes to the Vampiric Council Headquarters in 'The Lamp'

FX's What We Do In the Shadows - Episode 4.02 "The Lamp"

Nandor's search for love is finally successful, and Nadja realizes her lifelong ambition of opening a vampire nightclub.

"The Lamp" was written by Wally Baram & Aasia LaShay Bullock and directed by Yana Gorskaya

Guillermo is a beloved character. The audience doesn't want him to fall into the same traps over and over again. He deserves better than always being dismissed by the vampires he loyally serves. It's necessary for the show to always expand horizons with the character. Making him really good at killing vampires was an excellent twist. It allowed so much greatness to evolve from that specific perspective. That twist hasn't altered how the vampires perceive him. That's been a strange dichotomy. The audience is always aware of Guillermo being capable of so much. Meanwhile, Nadja and Laszlo would rather forget him. He is Nandor's familiar. As such, he needs to be more obedient to him. However, all the vampires rely on him from time to time. They don't particular care what he wants. He continually asks to be made a vampire. As such, it's expected whenever he is given the opportunity to make some kind of deal. That doesn't have to be his sole ambition. He notes how he has missed out on so many occasions with his actual family because he was busy caring for the vampires. They would fall apart without him. They need him to balance everything so they can pursue their dreams. Operating a vampire nightclub has become a new passion for Nadja. She is determined to make it a success. The Guide stands in her way because she refuses to let any changes be made to the vampiric council headquarters. She has long been charged with preserving this place. That's been her sole responsibility. It's how she functions as a character. She helps the people in power execute their wills and desires. That role is needed to ensure enforcement actually comes. Nadja doesn't really care about conducting the business of vampires in the region any more. She's all about the nightclub now. She has a space that would be perfect for it. She has big ideas. The Guide and the wraiths prevent any work from being done. Laszlo can examine the Guide's mind to better understand why she behaves this way. It's amusing because he brings a sexual energy to everything he does. That's the only way he understands psychology. He unlocks the Guide's past behavior. That's crucial because it transforms her. She was given this role as punishment. She was a wild vampire who took dangerous risks. That's startling given the steady power she has wielded on behalf of others. However, her interests actually connect back to Guillermo. She enjoys the thrill of pursuing a vampire hunter. It makes her feel alive when her obligations should be focused elsewhere. It's dangerous for these vampires to keep a hunter in their lives. He could kill them at any time - either accidentally or on purpose. Guillermo proclaims Nadja and Laszlo as dead to him now. That hasn't changed anything. They would be willing to make any deal with him regardless of how he feels. His presence doesn't matter to them until they need something. That reveals Guillermo's importance in this narrative. That can never be forgotten.

Plus, it's rewarding to see Guillermo as a character of sexual desire. He was brought up to keep those private matters to himself. He doesn't want to talk about his sex life. He has long been seen as having a crush on Nandor. As a result, he would likely be jealous of Nandor planning to get married. Guillermo isn't bothered though. He's fine serving as the Best Man. He wants Nandor to be happy. Of course, Nandor may be pursuing a pointless endeavor. He believes he loved one of his 37 wives more than the others. He may solely want that to be true. He has the ability to resurrect each of them and spend time with them again. He rules each of them out as potential spouses for who he has now become. The final option must be the wife he truly desires. That logic may not hold up. Even then, he wants the djinn to change things about Marwa's physical appearance. Nandor is continually chasing perfection. That's always going to elude him. He settles for something that doesn't quite match his expectations. He's still forcing himself into believing the importance of this situation. It's not built on an honest connection. He just wants this to be his life now. That's the clarity he found during his trip around the world. He's not going to be satisfied. It's up to him to learn that lesson. Guillermo is by his side to help him along the way. Of course, it's also being teased that Guillermo found someone as well. That makes it more reasonable for why the show is hiding what happened to him during the year between seasons. At first, it felt like nothing changed. But now, it's clear his mindset has shifted a little bit. It's allowed new possibilities to enter his world even though he maintains this job. Plus, he wants to be engaged in Nadja's business. He views himself as the only person responsible enough to handle the finances of the nightclub. The vampires need that money in order to renovate their home. It's much more arduous to build something up than the chaos of tearing everything down. That's relatively easy for the Guide to do once she breaks free of the noble obligation keeping her back. Nadja and Laszlo unlock what they need from her. They don't care about the potential consequences. They simply secure the nightclub. That awakens something new. It's an unpredictable energy. One that can't reassure anyone on this quest for personal satisfaction. Of course, the vampires don't have many responsibilities. They are loyal only to themselves - which basically amounts to lots of sex. That remains a constant for them. Plus, it's so rewarding to see these characters embrace pansexuality in every era of human existence. That's perfectly accessible for everyone to enjoy even though they all have different expectations and experiences with sex. That's true while always maintaining a comedic edge to it all.