Season five of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ keeps fans on their toes

Season five of “What We Do in the Shadows” has come to an end, leaving fans wondering what could possibly happen next season. However, the eight months between the end of season four and the beginning of season five leads us to assume we will be waiting a while before we get to see our vampire family again. 

The overarching theme of this season seemed to be tension, with a focus on secrets, hexes and unrequited friendships. The central plot following this theme was the long-anticipated transformation of Guillermo into a vampire. 

After four seasons of working for and protecting the vampires, he decides to take it upon himself to pay Derek, a side vampire who has popped up every now and then, to turn him. The anticipation only builds from there as audiences watch Guillermo stuck in limbo, gaining vampiric abilities while also remaining strangely human.

This main stressor explodes in the last two episodes of the season as Nandor learns of Guillermo’s vampirism and reveals a darker side of himself. Typically silly and not so bright, Nandor screams at Guillermo, threatening to kill him. Their friendship is broken apart. Guillermo has to flee as a bat and the rest of the vampires are left trying to appease the angered Nandor. 

In the final episode, “Exit Interview,” we find Guillermo staying in a motel room so Nandor doesn’t find him. Despite the anxiety of Nandor hunting him down, audiences are provided some relief in the first half of this episode. We get to see a softer side of the other vampires as they each visit Guillermo. Despite maintaining their questionable personalities, their visits prove they’ve grown attached to him.

Meanwhile, Nandor finds an unexpected friend in the actor Patton Oswalt, venting to him about Guillermo’s betrayal. Once Oswalt tells him he might feel better not killing Guillermo, Nandor pushes him off a building and realizes that he was right, losing a friend hurts more. This evolves into a scene of Nandor and Guillermo making up, starting a refreshing storyline of acceptance as Nandor takes Guillermo under his wing.

The central plot following this theme was the long-anticipated transformation of Guillermo into a vampire. 

We finally understand Guillermo’s lack of a transformation is due to his Van Helsing blood counteracting the vampirism, and Nandor makes Guillermo drink human blood in order to finally transition. However, soon after he is officially a vampire, he realizes that he doesn’t have the heart to kill humans. Nandor organizes a ceremony where he gives Guillermo a choice: to remain a vampire or to return to humanity. Shockingly, after the wait… Guillermo longs to be human.

Aside from this plot line, there were many other character evolutions. Audiences watched as Laszlo fell into science and had a chance to walk in the sun, leading to the worst sunburn anyone has ever seen. Nadja reunites with her culture in Little Antipaxos and briefly becomes a teacher. Colin Robinson — or should I say, Arthur Simon Santino — reveals more about his identity.

However, the ending felt rushed and anticlimactic. Fans have waited so long for vampire Guillermo, but his transformation lasts for roughly 10 minutes of screentime. So much build-up just for a moment of victory, and then he’s human again. It makes me wonder if the camaraderie the vampires showed him will also disappear now that he’s a human again. I hope not, since it was refreshing to see the vampires treat him as an equal. 

I also can’t comprehend how Nandor knew so much about vampires. A recurring issue in the show was the idea that a vampire would die if its master died. Laszlo and Nadja faced this when they thought the Baron was killed. Yet, all of a sudden, Nandor knew the truth that they would merely revert to being humans. If he knew all along, why wouldn’t he say anything? Also, how did he know that Guillermo just needed to drink human blood? It was hard to believe Nandor, out of anyone, suddenly knew.

Overall, I still love this show, and I can’t wait for the next season. Hopefully, questions will be answered and Guillermo will get the respect he deserves, even if he doesn’t remain a vampire. 

4/5 stars

Featured photo courtesy of @theshadowsfx, X