The madcap negotiations lead to the Night Market, where all the supernatural creatures can get together, regardless of their differences, and rip each other off. The subway trip to the Night Market is a vile but ingenious ride, but more twisted because it is something New Yorkers see daily, so it is disconcerting for it to be happening under our noses and never recognize. The Night Market is an impressive set, it evokes dank pleasures and an illicit ambiance.
Even though we see her find the specific item in a book of arcane occult knowledge, Nadja’s circuitous shopping spree appears to make no sense, besides providing an excuse to introduce such nefarious mythical marketers as the Valkyries. Nadja trades a priceless item she randomly picked up from Nandor’s (Kayvan Novak) room for some of the Swedish meatballs they give out free, like Ikea, to trade for a rude T-Shirt. Where is this going? Nadja, the most cut-throat of the Staten Island vampires appears to chase cut-rate bargains. but the random elements come together in a fantastical creation: the waterlily of the Nile. It is the perfect drug for Wraiths.
It appears What We Do in the Shadows doesn’t know what to do with Nandor’s fiancée Marwa (Parisa Fakhri), but the former warlord does. She is once again left behind with a simple rub of a lamp, and we have to wonder when the Djinn’s (Anoop Desaigenie) bill for Nandor’s relentless wish list is going to come due and how it will be collected.
Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) has a secret friend. He bids a rushed goodbye on his cell, and is definitely hiding it from the vampires. The former familiar is filled with surprises which keep coming. He is a descendant of the great vampire slayer of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing, and has mad fighting skills. However, the van Helsing in the novel wasn’t known for his backflips.
The episode’s featured set piece is back-alley impressive. The special effects are used especially well in the service of comedy. The Guide’s (Kristen Schaal) constant moving beyond the comprehension of the human eye is both amusing and frightening. The head-popping at the Familiar Fights is subtly covered up, but the nod to the World Wrestling Foundation is not. Nandor becomes the epitome of the villain wrestler in a takedown of his own errant design.
The fight sequences mix the thrill of the kill with the fun of the run, as Guillermo initially stoops to conquer, ducking fatal blows while imploring the gathered masses to all be friends. When he and Nandor finally go through the motions, they don’t skip a beat, comically or competitively. The fight is a tour de force of sight gags and acrobatic wonder, moving through an array or weapons each one capable of unleashing damage or hysterics. The build is exciting, and there are even moments of suspense when we don’t quite know if some major damage will be inflicted. The collateral damage is worth the price of admission.