Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the Season 5 finale of What We Do in the ShadowsWhat We Do in the Shadows started out as a spinoff of sorts of the feature film of the same name from Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. The FX series follows the same premise of a documentary crew filming a group of vampires in their daily lives and has even earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. It did this by not relying on the past or the gimmick, but rather leaning into and using that to see what it could get away with. One season had Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) die, only to come back as a creepy-looking adult-headed baby. This season took that zany comedy and also ramped up the drama by finally turning Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) into a vampire. As Season 5 came to a close, the decision was coming back to bite him.
Nandor Finds Out Guillermo Let Someone Else Turn Him Into a Vampire
Season 5 of What We Do in the Shadows came to an end with a two-part finale. The first episode, “A Weekend at Morrigan Manor,” starts with The Guide (Kristen Schaal) telling the gang that tonight is her big art gallery opening for all the paintings she’s been working on. She also tells them that they’ve been invited tonight to go to the ancestral estate of a great vampire matriarch named Perdita Morrigan. They’re all excited about this, naming the great things Morrigan has done. She came over on the Mayflower where 45 men died. “And 23 of those were murders committed by Perdita herself,” Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) says with pride. The vampires easily choose this over The Guide, who is left feeling ignored and unwanted yet again.
When they get to Morrigan Manor, they discover that Perdita is not there and there is no extravagant party waiting for them. She did leave a message telling them to enjoy the manor though, so they do just that, with Laszlo (Matt Berry) fencing. (He’d rather practice on his dummy than fence with The Guide, who is eager to join him.) The whole evening is then revealed to be an elaborate trap, with The Guide capturing all the vampires in basement cages made of silver. The only one she lets off is Guillermo because he is nice to her. She says this is the perfect place “to teach you a lesson about the importance of being nice to people who maybe aren’t part of your core group, but who do a lot of nice things to you, and yet you still treat them like shit.” The Guide plans for them all to spend the rest of their eternal lives in these cages, remembering what they did to her.
She continues on (too far, actually) in explaining why she spared Guillermo, how he put up with the same unkindness from them to the point that he was “forced to give up and take matters into his own hands.” Nandor picks up on this and wants to know what that means. “It feels like there’s something going on and everyone knows except me.” Guillermo can’t hold it in anymore, so he confesses that he had someone else turn him. Nandor looks heartbroken. He turns angry, demanding to know who turned him, but Guillermo won’t say. Nandor snaps, slowly saying, “I’m going to kill you, Guillermo. And then quite possibly myself.” When Laszlo reveals that Guillermo is “only a half-baked vampire,” Nandor, who usually isn’t so bright, is the one who now understands everything. He realizes that Guillermo’s Van Helsing cells are trying to fight off the vampirism. This knowledge doesn’t decrease his rage. After the vampires trick The Guide into thinking they truly like her so she’ll let them out, Laszlo tells Guillermo to run. Suddenly, our new vampire is able to turn into a bat, and he flies away as fast he can before Nandor is released.
Does Nandor Kill Guillermo in the Season 5 Finale?
The second half of the What We Do in the Shadows Season 5 finale is titled “Exit Interview.” Guillermo is now hiding out at a cheap motel. With no one else to turn to, he’s been getting help from Derek (Chris Sandiford). The only problem is that Derek can’t keep a secret, so he’s blabbed to others, including Nadja, who tricked him into thinking she was a cop named Detective Policeman. When she shows up at the motel, Guillermo snaps at Derek, but Nadja tells him he can’t do that. He has to protect the one who turned him. “If anything was to happen to that stupid man, the effects for you, my friend, would be catastrophic.” It’s only a matter of time before Colin Robinson and Laszlo show up at the motel too.
Meanwhile, Nandor is still in a rage. Guillermo suggests writing a letter to him. “If you wrote him a suicide note, and actually followed through on it, then that would probably cool him down,” Nadja says. Nandor is seen on the rooftops, hunting for Guillermo, “watching the one place I know he will return to eventually: Panera Bread.” When Nandor sees who he thinks is Guillermo in an alleyway at night outside Panera, he swoops down, only to discover that his short-legged victim is none other than Patton Oswalt, who is playing himself. He says he played the voice of a rat in the animated film Ratatouille. His hand around his throat, Nandor confesses, “I prefer live action.” Because he is such a good listener, Nandor befriends Patton, though it doesn’t last long. Sitting on a rooftop, Patton suggests Nandor repair his friendship with Guillermo rather than kill him. To this, Nandor kicks the actor off the roof and to his death. “He does make a good point though,” he admits.
Guillermo receives a call from Nandor, who says he’s at Guillermo’s mother’s house. This immediately gets him to come out of hiding to rescue her. He shows up with a stake in hand, ready to defend himself. Nandor surprises him, saying he’s changed his mind about killing him. “My friend, Patton Oswalt, he passed away quite suddenly. It didn’t feel good losing a friend.” He gives his word as warrior and puts the stake to his neck. “If I’m lying, kill me now.” Guillermo believes him and they leave together, arriving back at the house, where Nandor says Guillermo will be treated as an equal vampire. He is given human blood to drink to turn him into a full vampire, which gives Guillermo a super dose of energy. He can now do everything he couldn’t do before, except for one thing. When the gang goes out to kill human victims, he can’t do it. He has empathy, seeing the human person with feelings and a life lived. “Guillermo is not cut out to be a vampire,” Nandor realizes.
Later in the What We Do in the Shadows Season 5 finale, Nandor conducts a ceremony with everyone in the house involved. Here he asks Guillermo the ultimate question: “Would you rather be a human or a vampire?” Guillermo says he wants to be a human. Well, he wants to be a vampire, but he can’t kill, and Nandor accepts this. Then, an oblivious Derek has a hood put over his head. Guillermo is told to drive a stake through his friend’s heart. If he does, the curse will be lifted, and he will be human once more. Of course, Guillermo can’t do it, so Nandor kills Derek himself. Immediately, Guillermo ages one month, instantly growing a beard. That’s not the end for poor Derek though. Laszlo and Guillermo take his body to a necromancer (Benedict Wong) who is able to resurrect Derek. The stake will remain in his heart, keeping Guillermo human, but now he will live here with other creatures who’ve suffered similar fates. He is happy with this, as the loner now has friends and a place that wants him. For Guillermo, he’s back where he started, as a human who appreciates life, and who can appreciate vampires too without wanting to one. He’d rather be a human familiar, not a vampire.
The Big Picture
- In the Season 5 finale of What We Do in the Shadows, Nandor finds out that Guillermo let someone else turn him into a vampire.
- Nandor becomes enraged and threatens to kill Guillermo, but has a change of heart and allows him to live.
- Guillermo decides he would rather be a human and not a vampire, ultimately leading to Nandor killing their friend Derek in order to keep Guillermo human.