What We Do in the Shadows (2019) s03e02 – The Cloak of Duplication

The episode opens with a lengthy, hilarious bit of Harvey Guillén mocking Kayvan Novak’s lack of self-awareness. It’s terrific. And then there’s immediately another strong punchline bit when the cast returns to the Vampiric Council building to get a grand tour. Kristen Schaal’s around for the tour and that second strong punchline—as well as a C plot set up involving the world’s oldest vampire, presumably even older than the world’s oldest vampire who was in the first season.

Other C plot building has Mark Proksch deciding he’s going to figure out where energy vampires come from; he even gets an adoring fan in Nabil Rajo, another energy vampire, but one who works as a weed dealer and talks about his sneakers to feed. The stuff with Proksch and Rajo’s some of the best-written material in the episode. It’s a very funny episode, but the rest of it is situational.

For example, the A-plot has the other vampires pretending to be Novak (thanks to magic) and going to his gym to ask out clerk Lauren Collins on his behalf. Except, of course, Collins thinks it’s Novak every time (even though the other vampires retain their voices). No surprise, Matt Berry’s voice performance is the best, though Novak has a great time imitating Berry’s physical performance. It’s a good sitcom bit, with a great couple punchlines in the last scene.

Meanwhile, the real Novak is off with Natasia Demetriou and Proksch on a bookkeeping mission. Youngster Queens vampire Tyler Alvarez isn’t paying his dues to the Council, and they’re going to collect. Or Demetriou’s going to collect while Novak wants to be gentle and genial about it. Proksch’s along to take the meeting minutes. Lots of good subtle digs on the energy vampire stuff.

Berry’s got a little more to do, but he’s still out of the main plots. He can’t go on any adventures this episode because he’s too busy reading old vampire porn at the Council library. It’s a not very funny gag the episode can get away with—to a limited extent—thanks to Berry. But when he’s actually got a scene opposite Guillén, it’s again apparent they’re just not using him for some reason. It’s one of those “hope he’s okay,” but if he is okay, it’s also worrisome.

Though it’s an absolutely phenomenal episode for Demetriou. She and Novak mostly share the A plot stuff—with Proksch’s punchlines getting the spotlight—but she gets some great material in the finale.

It’s a good episode. I’m nearly sure I’m unjustifiably uneasy about the season.

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