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Recap / What We Do in the Shadows S 1 E 4 "Manhattan Night Club"

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Season 1, Episode 4

Manhattan Night Club

The vampires venture into Manhattan, to make an alliance with an old friend who is now the king of the Manhattan vampires.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Amusing Injuries: Nandor letting go of Guillermo leads to an immediate Gilligan Cut to him in the hospital with most of the bones in his body broken and apparently barely clinging to life (the additional "bad luck" from Laszlo putting on the hat makes him immediately Flat Line). The vampires and the show both casually shrug this off, with Guillermo showing up right as rain in the next episode. Nandor even says he was "fortunate" because "a thicket of trees tangled him up and he landed on the roof of an abandoned food truck". (Then again, falling from that height and not instantly dying or ending up permanently paralyzed is pretty fortunate.)
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  • Artifact of Doom: Laszlo's witch-skin hat causes misfortune whenever he wears it, including the Ireland potato famine, an unfortunate trampling by horse (followed by having sex with said horse), Laszlo's new familiar immediately dying when their bookcase falls on him and then falling through a miraculous hole in the floor, and Laszlo and Nadja's taxi getting stuck in traffic, followed by the taxi driving off while Laszlo's cape is snagged in the door. It also tends to return to Laszlo's possession whenever Nadja tries to get rid of it, though considering Laszlo is in denial about the hat's nature, it is just as likely that he gets it back whenever Nadja throws it away.
  • Badass Cape: Everyone has to wear a cape in Simon's night-club, otherwise "you'll look like a futnee knee-trembler." Later averted when it is revealed that the style had changed, making them the only ones wearing capes.
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  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Per Laszlo and Nadja's first argument in the first act, bestiality is a matter of personal taste to vampires as opposed to something inherently right or wrong.
  • Cool Hat: Laszlo likes his witch-skin hat and seems to be in denial about its cursed properties. Even Simon wants it, having wanted it on the ship-ride to America and invited the gang just to take it from them.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Simon comes across as an affable man, being an old friend to the gang (and sexual partner to Nadja). Turns out that the only reason why he let them in is because he wanted Laszlo's cursed hat, kicking them out after he takes it without holding his end of the bargain.
  • Flat Line: We get a gag in the final scene where Guillermo's vitals go flatline instantly as Laszlo puts on the cursed hat, only to go back to normal when he takes it off, and we watch him test this by rapidly "killing" and "resurrecting" Guillermo a couple times before finally deciding to leave it off.
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  • Genuine Human Hide: Laszlo's hat is made from a flayed witch, which is probably why it's cursed. It's also still alive, as when Simon puts it on the butthole starts puckering on his neck.
  • The Golden Age of Hip Hop: Count Rapula is apparently stuck in this era, having "started to rap in 1991" and, like most vampires, progressing much more slowly than humans do.
  • Humiliation Conga: Guillermo is the No Respect Guy in every episode, but this one is particularly bad for him — finding out that the "familiar room" in the nightclub is a completely bare tiny storage room and the "bathroom" is just a couple of metal buckets, finding out that there's a whole community of Manhattan vampiric familiars he's never been invited to, with the Rage Breaking Point being another vampire trying to eat him, not knowing he's a familiar, and Nandor offering to just let him do it so as not to be rude.
    • And then, after Nandor takes Guillermo flying as a peace offering — which Guillermo says is the greatest experience of his life so far — he carelessly drops him, breaking several of his bones and leaving him in the hospital.
    • And when Nandor feels bad enough about this to quietly tell a morphine-addled Guillermo that "You are my friend", he immediately gets embarrassed and mind-wipes his memory of it.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • This little gem in the familiar room:
    Colby: So how long have you been a familiar? You don't look very familiar.
    • Simon has ordered "bloodle service" for his table, which is similar to "bottle service" except the "bottle" is a naked man strapped down to a tray.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": A Running Gag has Laszlo refer to Manhattan as "Mana-hatta".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Simon takes Laszlo's hat before kicking them out of his club, turning down their idea of a merger. Because the Cool Hat is actually an Artifact of Doom, it does not take long for his William-Tell game to lead to the club exploding, putting him into a full-body cast.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The highlight of the episode is Simon revealing the whole colorful cast of Manhattan vampires who constitute his "crew", in a segment that just keeps on going and somehow keeps on finding new ridiculous gimmicks for each new vampire who shows up ("Mr. 50s", "The Silent One", "Blagvad the Exsanguinator", "Count Rapula", "Len the Accountant", etc.)
  • Moment Killer: Instead of leaving to mingle, Colin Robinson instead stays with Nandor so that he can cock-block him at every turn.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: One of the familiars in the nightclub is a cat (named Sam). Only Guillermo seems to notice anything unusual about this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for the episode frames Nadja's encounter with Simon as accidental. In the episode proper, it was very intentional.
  • One Steve Limit: Jokingly subverted, with Simon's crew specifically having both a "Little Vlad" and a "Big Vlad".
  • Pet the Dog: Laszlo forsakes the hat for good when he sees that his wearing it causes Guillermo to flatline.
  • Undead Child: Colby's vampire masters are a pair of children. They are actually 400 years old, Colby meant to act like their dad as a means of blending in.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Simon's accent is some extremely muddled blend of American, British and European accents (Nick Kroll is American in Real Life). Probably intentional, given that he's been actively mixing with human society far more than the Staten Island vamps.
  • Women Are Wiser: Nadja is the only vampire who thinks Laszlo should be rid of his hat because of the curse.
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