This week, we didn’t watch What We Do in the Shadows 4×08; instead, we watched a whole other beast. For over 10 episodes, Bran and Toby are twins who work together to build a dream home. Contestants on “Go Flip Yourself” don’t ask for a renovation; they are ambushed by Toby and Bran. So, what happens when the twins ambush our favorite vampires in their favorite borough of Staten Island?
With a “Go Flip Yourself” takeover this week, What We Do in the Shadows 4×08 gives us a different kind of mockumentary with all the same laughs.
AMBUSHED BY REALITY TV
Was this episode of What We Do in the Shadows as life-changing as last week’s episode? No, because the episode didn’t focus on Guillermo. But, it did give Laszlo the largest spotlight since episode one of this season.
In 4×01, we see Laszlo watching “Go Flip Yourself” as a way to kill time over the past year. The vampires’ household has been in need of desperate repairs since Laszlo let it go to waste, despite him being the one hooked on a home improvement show. Laszlo isn’t one for being productive — unless it’s in the bedroom.
So naturally, when Bran and Toby crash into the house, Laszlo lets them in without question. They are his heroes, after all. Nadja isn’t as welcoming — she kills Toby at a first glance because “a girl’s got to eat.” After convincing Bran that Toby was just suffering from a case of mild flu, the show continued.
Toby and Bran are characterized as two brothers who can’t stand each other. Their interactions remind us of how passive-aggressive American reality shows can be. If you don’t believe me, just turn on any reality TV show and you’ll see what I mean. Regardless, Laszlo is smitten with the idea of having them revamp the house. Despite Guillermo’s reluctance and the indifference of the rest of the vampires, the renovation continues.
As Laszlo, Matt Berry continues to give us some of the best line deliveries ever. A change in a syllable or two here or there can tell us just how excited Laszlo is about something. Laszlo changes into flannel and jeans, looking like the poster child for the show. Bran’s twin is out of the picture, but Laszlo looks just like him. Despite Laszlo’s excitement, no one else is ready for the renovation. At least not until Bran shows them what their house could look like.
A VAMPIRE’S WANTS AND NEEDS
Bran develops plans to turn the attic into Nandor’s man cave, along with all the features he needs to get rid of Marwa for a couple of hours. As if he didn’t have enough time away from her in the “Pine Barrens.”
Bran also plans to give Nadja the bathroom “fit for a queen” because she won’t take anything less than a gold toilet she can never use. Laszlo will inherit a massive walk-in closet, fit for all of his hats. This felt strange, considering the only hat we’ve ever seen him talk about is the unlucky witch’s hat that Nadja has been begging him to get rid of.
Somehow, Bran knows the best ways to target what each vampire wants out of the house. They need the renovation, but that wasn’t enough to convince them that an experience with “Go Flip Yourself” was worth it.
As always, one of the shining stars of What We Do in the Shadows 4×08 was Guillermo. When Bran talks of redoing the front yard, Guillermo runs out with a shovel to dig up all the dead bodies before Bran does. When they talk about doing the renovation, he looks directly into the camera because he knows it’s not a great idea. Guillermo is the only one who doesn’t get a revamped space in the house, so he “calls” Bran as a “city inspector” to say his room isn’t to code. We should’ve known, considering the septic tank is leaking under his bed.
All the small nuances that make Guillermo the mastermind of the household still shine through despite this episode having a different format. What else could you expect from Harvey Guillén besides brilliance?
THE REAL MASTERMIND
When it comes to Nandor’s man cave, it just appears like Marwa wants to be helpful and build something special for her husband. Now that Nandor wished for Marwa to like everything he likes, it’s an issue. Marwa’s become a mirror for Nandor. So, she also dislikes everything he dislikes, and they never started their marriage knowing what marital bliss felt like.
With this opportunity, What We Do in the Shadows 4×08 finally shows us how Nandor’s wish continues to backfire on him. Of course, Marwa helps to build the man cave because she’ll love it too. It’s her cave now, so she can get rid of Nandor whenever she wants. It’s a small twist, but one that’s so satisfying and jaw-dropping that it almost makes you forget the other reveal. If this continues, Marwa may be my next favorite character.
The second reveal is what ties the whole series together. When Bran goes to show Laszlo his walk-in closet, the witch’s hat disappeared. In their frenzy to find the hat, the real mastermind behind “Go Flip Yourself” is revealed as Simon the Devious. His reputation was destroyed because of Laszlo’s witch’s hat. Despite trying his best to get it from Laszlo, Simon never wins. So, he’s played the long game.
Simon created “Go Flip Yourself” and played the part of Bran for 100 episodes. He never intended to fix the vampire’s Staten Island home — he just wanted to steal Laszlo’s hat. This was a long game that paid off well. The hat feud has been going on ever since season two, so Simon is one of the best recurring characters. That reveal was simply the cherry on top of the episode.
- Guillermo is still the best mastermind of the series, but Marwa and Simon are now close seconds to him.
- I can’t wait for Nandor to wish Marwa stopped liking all that he does.
- This episode proves that you can change What We Do in the Shadows, but it will never lose its charm.
- I know nothing of Drew and Jonathan Scott, but if they are anything like Bran and Toby, they must hate each other.
- To trash the vampire house just to put them on a home improvement show had to be an interesting conversation in the writers room.