'What We Do in the Shadows' Season 2 Episode 6: Guest Mark Hamill and ‘Star Wars’ jokes make it the best yet
Hamill's performance as an old vampire is remarkable, especially as he tries to act like a human -- he goes up to the bar and says, “Give me one human alcoholic beer, please”
Spoilers for ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 2 Episode 6 ‘On The Run’
The newest episode of the FX vampire mockumentary series ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is a treat for all ‘Star Wars’ fans, thanks to the guest actor on the show. It was none other than Mark Hamill.
Season 2 Episode 4 starts off in the usual beat. The four vampire flatmates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry), and Colin (Mark Proksch), and Nandor’s familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) were playing a game in their garden, which wasn’t so much a game, as much as it was identifying potential health hazards to keep people from suspecting who they really were.
The vampires buried a lot of their victims in the garden and the decomposing bodies were turning the garden into a sinkhole. Fairly normal, in terms of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ fare. But their endeavors are interrupted by a hooded stranger who looked a lot like Sheev Palpatine from ‘Star Wars’. It was Jim the Vampire (Hamill) who was there to exact revenge on Laszlo. Like everything on the show, the reason was beyond silly: Laszlo had rented the vampire’s home almost a century-and-a-half ago and left without paying the last month’s rent.
Instead of paying the money he owed, Laszlo runs off, escaping into the night after turning into a bat. He goes to Pennsylvania and the reason plays on an old joke from ‘The Office’ -- it sounds like Transylvania; guess Dwight Schrute was right. There, in great mockery of the Superman-Clark Kent identity trope, Laszlo turns into a cheery, enigmatic barkeep called Jackie Daytona. By just changing his pants and sticking a toothpick in his mouth.
Suddenly he becomes massively popular in the community. A simple, regular, “human guy” who supports the local volleyball team and gets to kick butts of the local biker gang (that wasn’t a gang at all, but was a charity group). But not for long. Jim the Vampire arrives in town and visits Jackie Daytona’s bar. And of course, he doesn’t recognize Laszlo because of the toothpick.
The greatest bit of the episode is really just how much the Pennsylvanians love Laszlo in his new persona. And loving the amount of love he was receiving, Laszlo decides to help fund the local volleyball team to go to the state-level tournament. At the talent show, he organizes, however, things go wrong and Jim the Vampire (wait, is that also a reference to ‘The Office’?) finally recognizes Laszlo and they duel. Ultimately, upon realizing the futility of their fight when they accidentally burn the volleyball team’s money, Laszlo apologizes and repays Jim with a singing Big Mouth Billy Bass -- a kitschy animatronic singing prop that was somewhat popular in the late-‘90s and very early-2000s.
Hamill, of course, is the highlight of the episode. His performance as an old vampire is remarkable, especially as he tries to act like a human -- he goes up to that bar and says, “Give me one human alcoholic beer, please.” The best Hamill bit, however, is in the end-credits scene. Now a coach of the local volleyball team, Jim’s Big Mouth Billy Bass breaks during a match. He is heartbroken at the loss of this “priceless” artifact. But when a player tells him she can get him another one and that they were really easily available, he enacts a Luke Skywalker.
Just like Skywalker fell to his knees and emitted a guttural scream out of anger when Darth Vader tells him, “Luke, I am your father,” in ‘Star Wars’, Jim the Vampire screams in fury, knowing that he had been swindled by Laszlo once again. This show is truly a thing of beauty.
New episodes of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ Season 2 air on FX every Wednesday at 10 pm ET/PT.