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‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Gets Gayer in Season 4

by Ian Carlos Crawford

What We Do In The Shadows has yet to have a bad season. It has yet to have a bad episode, even. The worst an episode usually gets is “not as funny as the last one.” These character are all terrible and wonderful — and wonderfully queer.

And in this newest 4th season it got even gayer. Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) even says at one point, “Who isn’t gay?”

Season 3 ended on quite the cliffhanger: Nandor (Kayvan Novak) and Guillermo (Harvey Guillen) had a literal fight that ended with them decided to travel together. The entire show, all Guillermo has wanted was to become a vampire and be with Nandor. While, at best, Nandor treated Guillermo like an annoying family member he was stuck with. But they were going to travel together! Nandor was even the one who had the idea!

But then Laszlo (Matt Berry) threw a wrench in their plan. Rather than traveling with his wife, he decided to stay at their Staten Island home to take care of a newly rebirthed (don’t ask) rebirthed Colin Robinson (played by Mark Proksch CGIed onto a baby’s body). So, Laszlo threw Guillermo into the coffin meant to travel side-bye-side with his wife Nadja. We ended the season watching Nandor giving up on waiting and boarding his train solo.

This season’s premiere, however, wrapped up that cliffhanger pretty quickly! When Nadja and Guillermo arrived back at their home in Staten Island, Nadja was only slightly annoyed with Laszlo. Which, if we’re being honest, completely tracks. One year apart for two hedonistic vampires who have been married for thousands of years really is no big deal. But it created a rift between Nandor and Guillermo. What could have been!

This season they went all in, giving each character their own storyline. Nadja opened a nightclub. Laszlo and Guillermo became surrogate parents of sorts to the newly reborn and rapidly aging Colin Robinson. Nandor continued to try and find meaning in his life, eventually getting married. This season also did some great world building for the show with episodes like “The Night Market” and “The Wedding” — it’s such a joy when they add new demons, monsters, and the likes to their universe.

But for most of us queers, the biggest question was what was going to happen with Guillermo and Nandor.

In the season premiere, Nandor is more excited to see Guillermo than Guillermo is to see any of them. Although, to be fair, Guillermo spent a week in a coffin so he had every right to be furious with his whacky vampire pals. But after telling them all he’s leaving, he falls through the floor of their newly disheveled home and Nandor immediately jumps in to save him. Which felt like a big deal. Earlier seasons Nandor would’ve stood there, asking Guillermo if he was alright. But this Nandor jumped in and saved him without question.

But even typing that out — not letting someone die isn’t exactly a sign that romance is in the air. Nandor, and the rest of their vampire clan, seemed to have accepted Guillermo as one of their own. Nadja even says so in that premiere, how they’re all back to being friends even if Guillermo isn’t quite there yet.

Which leads to the big reveal when Nandor asks Guillermo if he will be his best man in his upcoming wedding that he hasn’t found a partner for yet. Guillermo genuinely doesn’t seem jealous — he seems to be over it all. But then during his confessional he states being the best man and baby Colin Robinson as reasons he’s not leaving yet. But that soon he will, and he’ll be looking out for number one.

The season then circled the drain a bit with their relationship — with Nandor being nicer and Guillermo seeming less invested in their relationship. Nandor continued his search for finding a partner after finding a Djinn (Anoop Desai) to grant him wishes. We almost completely drop the will they or won’t they of Guillermo and Nandor. But also they felt more comfortable with each other this season?

But then, when Nandor wishes for his wife Marwa (Parisa Fakhri) to love all the same things he did — we see her cozying up to Guillermo at their wedding reception. It was a an easily missed detail when first watching. Guillermo just looks awkwardly at the screen, not understanding what’s happening. It was the first big sign this season that Nandor does still have feelings for Guillermo.

Guillermo spends more time making sure Baby Colin Robinson doesn’t die than pining after Nandor. Which is great because we all want the best for Guillermo and the best for him would be him either staking Nandor or, at the very least, moving out of that house and on with his life.

Guillermo’s breaking point comes when Nandor sabotages his new relationship. Guillermo has finally found a boyfriend, is finally breaking out of his vampire caretaker bubble — he even came out to his family. But being with these vampires has stunted his growth.

And by the end of the season, Colin has grown up. And, seemingly, so has Guillermo. He finally sits down with Nandor and has a conversation about how it feels like nothing changes with them. To which Nandor happily agrees — he likes that things don’t change. Guillermo packs his bags and leaves. Something he never would have done in earlier seasons. The will they or won’t they feels answered: they won’t. Which, if we’re being honest, is best for Guillermo.

The season ends on another cliffhanger, but a very different one from the previous season. Guillermo has stolen money from his vampire clan and brings it to another vampire who he wants to sire him. He seems to actually be done with Nandor this time. But we will have to wait for next season to find out if he’s actually left Nandor behind and if he’s actually gone through with becoming a vampire — something that would for sure clash with his Van Helsing lineage.

About the Author:

Ian Carlos Crawford grew up in southern New Jersey and has an MFA in non-fiction writing. His writing has appeared on sites like BuzzFeed, NewNowNext, Junkee, and other random corners of the internet. He currently hosts a queer Buffy and Marvel focused pop culture podcast called Slayerfest 98 and co-hosts a horror podcast called My Bloody Judy. Follow him on Twitter @ianxcarlos!

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