What We Do in the Shadows S03 Finale "The Portrait" Review: Moving On

The season finale of FX's What We Do in the Shadows is finally upon us with the stellar episode "The Portrait" ending yet another impressive run. Season 3 definitely threw us for a loop, and there was not a single slow episode or moment throughout. Every single aspect of the show this season has been on point, from the writing to the direction and clearly the acting. The story definitely found its direction & focus early on, and the characters * dynamics were fleshed out giving us new aspects to love about them. It was a rollercoaster of a ride that took us through some very unexpected turns, landing the season safe & sound while setting up some intriguing questions to be addressed next season.

what we do in the shadows
What We Do in the Shadows – Image: Screencap

So Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) is gone and the gang is not dealing with it well— they want to put on a show that they are, but we all can see it is the opposite. To deal with the mourning, they decide to get a family portrait done (including The Guide [Kristen Schaal] the Sire [Jean-Michel Richaud], Baron Afanas [Doug Jones], and the Hellhound… how bittersweet is that?) to sort of imprint Colin's death forever and move on from there. However, with nerves shot Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) storm off each wanting to go their own way. Nandor wants to walk the earth in order to get his groove back and Nadja confesses to Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) has been invited to England to join the Supreme Vampiric Council.

So much happening at the same time with little setbacks building along the way that they each have to deal with (this is What We Do in the Shadows, after all): Laszlo (Matt Berry) promised he will never set feet back in England and Guillermo is unwilling to accept change and trying to keep the party together, trying to convince the viewers (and himself) that he is not panicking as he is running back and forth to convince Nandor to not leave and Laszlo to not go to England, so they could all stay together. Well, after Nandor agrees to take Guillermo and promises to turn him on their trip, Laszlo pulls a trap and sends Guillermo off with Nadja and we see Nandor go on his trip by himself. It was a shocker and I am still unsure how I feel. I have so many questions! Did Laszlo know about Nandor and Guillermo's agreement? Is Nadja being set up? Is Nandor going to hold this against Guillermo? WHAT. THE. HELL!!! I need a new season NOW!

what we do in the shadows
What We Do in the Shadows – Image: Screencap

Putting that aside for a moment, there are a few things to address that really stuck with me from this season finale:

  • Nandor defends Guillermo when the rest of the gang asked why was Gizmo in the portrait. I am a sucker for these Guillermo and Nandor moments. Not necessarily from only a romantic aspect, but I think the evolution of their dynamic over the seasons has been marvelous.
  • Nadja shows Guillermo (before anyone else her) her invitation to join the Supreme Council. Everyone's acceptance of Guillermo this season as part of the family really gets to me.
  • Nandor and Guillermo's face-off was like watching a play and I really enjoyed the dialogue exchange. Their dynamic is definitely one of my favorites and I enjoy every second when they are their true selves with the other. That said, I love seeing Guillermo show how badass he can be and remind him that he is the reason they are all alive… because he wants them to. The plancha move he pulled on Nandor had me in hysterics. Nandor's right, he really can move. I was not really expecting it to be a test Nandor was putting him through, but when he said to Guillermo "once a familiar, always a familiar" should have definitely been a hint. I live for their scenes together.
  • So is Nadja beng set up? I kinda hope she is & kinda hope she isn't at the same time— at least she has Guillermo who, as we have seen, can clear a room of vampires in just a minute or two. As Laszlo wrote to Nadja, he really is the best bodyguard and will definitely keep her safe. It will be interesting to see how Nadja did (or didn't) fit in with the Vampire Council. Even funnier? If it is a set-up but they weren't expecting Nadja to show up with a kickass vampire killer in two- one who is probably a little pissed at this point.
  • That letter from Laszlo was so heartfelt and walked us through what happened to him earlier that left him so rattled and changed. Not to deeply spoil anything, but let's just say that there is something to be said about the concept of energy never going away and instead, assuming a new form… ahem. I am so happy and so curious, and I cannot wait to see where this all leads.

The storytelling and character development during this season of What We Do in the Shadows has been organic and not one second of it has felt forced. The characters' growth has definitely been obvious without beating us over the head with it or being preachy about anything. I think this season really took a turn that sets up any number of creative options for the fourth season. The writing continues getting better and better, and I am always excited to see what they are going to come up with next. The show never runs out of ways to show how smart and human it can be in the midst of horror and comedy. While I am still sad it ended and shell-shocked from all the twists and turns it took us through, I cannot wait to see what next season will bring and what that end scene will lead us to. With the rest of the gang now having literally spread out to the four corners of the globe, will Laszlo deep-dive into his Jackie Daytona for a restart? Needless to say, we're looking forward to finding out more about what the gang will be doing in the shadows for the fourth season. Bat!

What We Do in the Shadows Season 3 Episode 10 "The Portrait"

what we do in the shadows
Review by Alejandra Bodden

9.5/10
The season finale of FX's What We Do in the Shadows is finally upon us with the stellar episode "The Portrait" ending yet another impressive run. Season 3 definitely threw us for a loop, and there was not a single slow episode or moment throughout. Every single aspect of the show this season has been on point, from the writing to the direction and clearly the acting. The story definitely found its direction & focus early on, and the characters * dynamics were fleshed out giving us new aspects to love about them. It was a rollercoaster of a ride that took us through some very unexpected turns, landing the season safe & sound while setting up some intriguing questions to be addressed next season.

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About Alejandra Bodden

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