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What We Do in the Shadows: Are Energy Vampires Drained by Adulation?

Energy vampires appear ordinary on the outside, common even, regular, unremarkable, like so much bland wallpaper. Unlike the mortal energy vampires conceptualized by 1930s British occultist Dion Fortune, who thrive on parasitical pathology and narcissistic charges, the immortal psychic vampire drains energy through annoyance, boredom, and deliciously awkward moments.

“The everyday life exhaustion of others is what he feeds on,” Proksch explains during a season 3 interview. When Colin becomes interesting during “Urgent Care,” he energizes the people he comes in contact with, and worse: He gives them something to talk about. The cumulative effect not only blocks Colin from getting the nutrients he needs. It saps his own negative energy, and is a byproduct of the energy vampire’s true nemesis.

“The perennial optimists in our world are hard for Colin Robinson to deal with, because they kind of just go along with him,” Proksch explains in this 2020 Den of Geek video. “Upbeat people, which is a nemesis to me in my personal life, so it goes hand in hand.” By energizing would-be victims with fascinating tales of woe, Colin is put in a position of actively feeding his most natural enemy.

“Urgent Care” introduces a new tool in the arsenal of the psychic vampire. The episode ends with Nandor (Kayvan Novak) drained to a dangerously lethal state after donating energy to Colin through a mechanism developed by Laszlo (Matt Berry). Seeing Nandor in such a condition, Colin suggests re-energizing the relentless one to his former state. When Laszlo asks if this is possible, Colin explains the energy transference must go both ways. He figures if he can take energy, he can give it. This implies he had no idea of this special skill, and it opens possibilities for future development.

What We Do in the Shadows has a tradition of dragging out passing gags. During season 4, Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) discovered she developed super-voice superpowers, and employs it against the veterinarian vampires tonight while helping Guillermo escape euthanasia. If Colin Robinson has a new ability, it will come in handy in the future.

Written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil, and directed by Yana Gorskaya, “Urgent Care” shows how tight the small vampire unit is, under the surface. Though the sanguinary vampires treat the energy vampire as a lesser monster, and the familiar Guillermo as an unbroken pet, they all come together in times of crisis. It makes for a satisfying feed.

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