Tuesday, July 26, 2022

REVIEW: 'What We Do In the Shadows' - Nandor and Guillermo Are Thrown Into Public Battle in 'The Night Market'

FX's What We Do In the Shadows - Episode 4.04 "The Night Market"

The vampires take a trip to the secret Night Market, where all the supernatural creatures gather to barter and haggle.

"The Night Market" was written by William Meny & Paul Simms and directed by Yana Gorskaya

Nadja declares the need to visit the Night Market. As such, the rest of the group joins her on this endeavor. It's mostly something for them to do. The novelty act of Baby Colin Robinson performing at the nightclub is already starting to wear off. That's not exactly true for the spectators. It is for the one asked to perform. That doesn't particularly matter to the vampires. They don't seek to engage with him as a child. That has consistently been the way they've conducted their business. Their behavior towards the baby was one of the main reasons why Guillermo decided to stay after all. He could no longer tolerate the abuse from the vampires. And yet, he had to protect this young, impressionable mind. Of course, that influence has been waning. The creature is aging rapidly. He still presents as a young child. He behaves as such too. Laszlo can't tolerate that. Instead, he challenges himself to debunk all the fairytales his young ward has become fascinated in. Laszlo aims to destroy all the stories that matter so much to him. He believes he's providing a service that baby Colin Robinson actually wants. He doesn't want to spend time rehearsing numbers for the nightclub. That's not how he wishes to live his life. It's a requirement for caring for baby Colin Robinson. Meanwhile, the child is constantly distracted and seeking out new forms of information. Laszlo does achieve his victory by continually informing baby Colin Robinson about the unflattering truths about these fairytale creatures. They have been romanticized in order to tell colorful stories to children. The truth is much more dark and depressing. It's boring too. Laszlo has no time for that. Of course, he has connections within the Night Market. He has people willing to help make his point. They don't always appreciate his camaraderie. But then again, Laszlo is only tolerated in small doses from those who can't stand to live with him. He is welcome at the vampire house. His weird eccentricities are delightful. Moreover, he feels a calling to care for the creature that came from the former energy vampire. He sees a future that forges a new path. One where this child isn't destined to become like the adult who plagued the other vampires for decades. That's what he desperately wants. And yet, Laszlo and Colin Robinson still shared many commonalities. That allowed a friendship to form even though Laszlo has long been reluctant to say it. The vampires struggle to express how they truly feel in any given situation. That has long been a constant in their lives. It makes it frustrating when people are continually indebted to them. They endure the abuse without ever expecting it to change. However, Guillermo has the power to shift the balance in the household if he wanted to. That's not his desire though. Similarly, Nadja's pursuits at the Night Market don't actually help her get what she wants from the wraiths. Despite that, none of this ever feels like an epic waste of time.

Nandor is proud to talk about how strong and lethal Guillermo is. He boasts about his familiar being stronger than any other. Guillermo doesn't feel the need to prove that to anyone. In fact, his skills may only terrify the creatures who populate the Night Market. It goes against the natural order of things. Humans are meant to be weak. They aren't capable of defeating vampires. Guillermo's bloodline has done that for centuries. Guillermo does have a proud connection to that history. He has killed countless times. He has the ability to do so much. In fact, it's almost always an even fight whenever he and Nandor battle. It's different when that happens in public. They have to put on a show. They have to engage in the brutality themselves because the stakes turned against any other creature would simply be too extreme. They would expose the dark truth that lingers within the foundation of their household. Guillermo can kill whomever he wants. He's not suddenly incapable of killing humans. He doesn't want to do that. In fact, he prevails as a champion mostly by avoiding punches. He doesn't want to fight Nandor either. In the heat of the moment, it's easy for the vampire to get distracted. He always has something to prove. He has a narrative he must uphold. It's silly to believe any human could last long in a fight. Guillermo does surprisingly well for a long time. That annoys Nandor. It's not sensible. This is also a lot of fun. This is the quality Nandor sought out from this time at the Night Market. The vampires don't really need anything from this place. Guillermo is the only one who acts reasonably. Nothing valuable and life-changing can be found here. It's still promised as an adventure that gets them out of the house. They already have that space in the nightclub. However, that environment already has its limitations. Nadja fears that too many vampires are dying. That's costly for business. It's because the wraiths are deliberately slacking off at their job. They have no problem killing. They require the person who speaks for all of them to actually do that. Nadja can't successful turn one against the other. She lacks that power. The employees outnumber her. They remain uniform. It's a very simple and concise story. One where Nadja has to relent. She doesn't want to do so. It's not a big deal if she has to. It's simply a cost of doing business. That's something she has long accepted as a part of being a vampire. Not everything is going to be as fun as she wants it to be. That's practical. That lesson isn't equally shared amongst the ensemble though. Nandor thought he was reunited with the love of his life. Instead, he simply seems more drawn to Guillermo as he comes alive during their fight. He has grown tired of Marwa even though she has barely spoken so far. She's not a part of the ensemble. Nandor still pushes her away. It's all meant to hide the more richness of these characters' personal lives. Those secrets are powerful. Their interactions are even more inspired and poignant to consume at all times.