A What We Do in the Shadows vampire cinematic universe? Uh, yes please?
Things get nuts in the newest What We Do in the Shadows episode, entitled “The Trial” — and we mean nuts (in all the best possible ways imaginable of course)
We start off right where the last episode left off, meaning the Baron is lying on the carpet in a burnt crisp. Guillermo runs outside to freak out, the three vampires continue to party hard as the drug blood they’ve taken is still working in full force and the Baron’s familiar watches everything from afar.
That following evening, the vampires aren’t so cheery. They see what happened and hold a funeral service for the Baron, but, thing is, they were so f-ed up last night they can’t remember how it happened (which is probably for the best, because poor Guillermo wouldn’t fare too well if they knew the truth).
So, when 30 Rock’s Kristen Schaal appears and tells Nadja, Lazlo and Nandor that they have to testify before the vampire council to prove their innocence in the Baron’s death, they really don’t know what to say because, for all they know, they MIGHT have done it.
It’s especially nerve-wracking because this vampire council holds so much power and could, if they wanted, sentence the three of them to death. Granted, they’ve never actually met anyone on the council before — Lazlo almost did when he accidentally turned a baby into a vampire 90 years ago, but managed to place the blame elsewhere — but they have a reputation for being incredibly spooky and unforgiving.
Of course, this is What We Do in the Shadows so we, as the audience, are expecting something totally different, which is ultimately what the show provides.
The vampires show up to an office building late one night and are lead into the basement. Guillermo is told to go hang out with the other familiars, while the rest are brought into a room with, hold on, is that DAVE BAUTISTA?
Yes, he’s really there, and so is Maniac’s Alexandra Henrikson.
Lazlo immediately blurts out the truth about initially planning to kill the Baron and then proceeds to beg for the council’s mercy, admitting that they don’t really know what happened but that they couldn’t possibly have committed such an atrocious crime even in an inherited state.
Bautista and Henrikson are convinced, too — problem is, they aren’t the ones who really needed convincing in the first place.
Turns out, the two of them are just vampires who have been sentenced to isolation — Henrikson for typical tomfoolery and Bautista, in what’s one of the funniest gags of the episode, for being blamed of turning a baby into a vampire.
As Lazlo turns to give the camera a terrified look, Schaal returns and brings the three of them to meet the REAL vampire council.
At first, all they see is a bunch of cloaked figures in white hoods dancing around — and I mean literally dancing. “This very well might be your last night alive, so they like to put on a performance before you go,” Schaal tells them as the figures whirl and twirl with the greatest of ease. “They’ve been practicing for decades.”
It’s when the performance ends and those hoods come off that What We Do in the Shadows really throws us for a loop.
As you might have somewhat expected, the original What We Do in the Shadows cast — that being Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement and Jonny Brugh are all present. But it doesn’t stop there. Oh, no, no, no.
Leading the pack is none other than TILDA SWINTON (whose character is technically named “Tilda” but is also clearly ripping off of her role in Only Lovers Left Alive). More hoods come off revealing Danny Trejo of From Dusk till Dawn, Paul Reubens from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Evan Rachel Wood from True Blood are all part of the pact. Even Wesley Snipes as Blade makes an appearance over webcam, if that wasn’t enough for you.
Oh yeah, Collin is a part of the council too, which is something he apparently just failed to mention earlier.
After a couple of great jokes about how Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise from Interview with a Vampire weren’t able to show up, things get down to business as the trial is underway — not that we’d quite recovered from all these glorious cameos, at this point. Thank you so much What We Do in the Shadows.
The Baron’s familiar is brought in and places some pretty hefty blame on our three heroes. Guillermo is brought in next, and while he tries to tell everyone that he’s really the man responsible so that his master can live, nobody believes him and figures he’s just lying to cover up for Nandor (Nandor does stick up for him when the vampire council suggests they eat Guillermo as a snack, which has got to count for something).
The three vampires are all sentenced to death by sunlight and put in a well to wait for morning. The sunrise slowly starts creeping in and, just when all hope seems lost, Collin and Guillermo show up overtop the well with an umbrella.
Turns out Collin isn’t so bad after all.
The five of them walk home relieved to have made it out of all of that alive (after talking with the other familiars, Guillermo also seems to have some resentment over the fact that he hasn’t been turned into a vampire yet) but unsure what’s going to happen to them next.
It’s perfect. This What We Do in the Shadows episode is literally perfect, and all the credit in the world has to go to director Jason Woliner, the enormous cast who showed up on set and to FX for renewing What We Do in the Shadows for a second season (yay!). If you aren’t watching this show yet, you really need to be ASAP.