What We Do in the Shadows (2019) s03e10 – The Portrait

So, it’s a completely fine season finale.

And by completely fine I mean, amusing and adequate. It’s intended to close off this season and prepare the next, with lots of plot machinations going on throughout. Until the final reveal, it’s mostly Harvey Guillén’s episode but not a great one for him. Looking back at the season from here, it’s clear they never figured out what to do with him post-vampire hunter reveal—I kept waiting for Kristen Schaal to flirt with him to give it some personality, but no. There’s no character development, no relationship development, just getting things in order for hiatus.

The episode opens with a reasonably decent gimmick—the vampires are having their portrait done because portraits are very important in vampire culture. There’s a quick recap of why they’re important, but it’s a new thing coming in at the end of season three when they’ve had portraits around the whole show, and none of those other portraits come with a similar story. Doesn’t matter, the Sire and the Baron are back for the portrait, and it’s kind of adorable having them around. Plus, Donal Logue is painting the portrait. The episode does a deep dive into Donal Logue’s filmography for gags instead of doing an episode for the regular cast.

Again, it’s okay. Logue’s kind of too good for it to work. If his performance were hacky—like if he’d never learned to act—it’d be funnier. Instead, just adequate.

The worst part of the episode is never showing the completed portrait. Though the Ocean’s Twelve twist and plot unfolding reveal in the last five minutes is worse for the show itself.

There’s some good acting from Kayvan Novak and Matt Berry, though Natasia Demetriou gets the better material. She’s at least got a subplot. Guillén ought to be better, but the writing’s too broad.

The episode’s totally fine, and next season should be hilarious. But it most definitely wasn’t worth blowing the last three episodes of this season to set it up.

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