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'Reginald the Vampire': Bluebirds and breakups make for a crazy Episode 7
Showrunner Harley Peyton and star Mandela Van Peebles delve into the chaos.
What didn't fall to ruin in the latest episode of Reginald the Vampire, “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance"? Despite starting on a high note with Nikki's (Christin Park) animated musical showstopper, Reginald (Jacob Batalon) really went through every emotion as he attempted to navigate the ire of Nikki, Sarah (Em Haine), Angela (Savannah Basley) and Claire (Thailey Roberge). In this week's exclusive post mortem for Episode 7, showrunner Harley Peyton and Mandela Van Peebles dig into all the things that Reg gets wrong, and eventually send him running away!
The episode opens with an actual animated bluebird. Peyton tells SYFY WIRE that the story quirk for Nikki came about when they decided to use a Rashomon story structure for the episode, which allows for the main characters to all tell the story from their point of view. The besotted Nikki is in a very fairy tale state of mind, so you get bluebirds.
"We always knew that Nikki's was going to be a little different than the others. And happily for us, one of our production companies that we deal with has an animation department," Peyton says. "They said, 'Let us just take this to our guys and see what they can come up with.' Of course, they came up with this bluebird that we all love."
"Siobhan Devine, the director, did such a wonderful job with this episode because it was a hard episode. There's a lot of shifting tones. And we're heading toward the real sorrow at the end of it," Peyton details. "But getting to do a little animation and the song, which is written by one of our writers... She did the first several acts and when I saw that song, I just went, 'Oh, my! That's perfect.'"
The highs also come for Reg, who is drowning in the endorphins of getting with both Nikki and Sarah in the span of a day, which births his super confident self: Swaggy Reg. "One of my favorite moments in the series," Peyton laughs about the strut scene for Reg. "A tracksuit, by the way that I bought during the first month of the pandemic. I would lounge around in the house in that tracksuit so I always knew that I wanted to get one for him for the show."
Of course, Maurice (Van Peebles) isn't having it with Reg, as he yet again tries to counsel his mentee to cut the women in his life and get focused on "The Assessment," which Angela is working hard to make harder for Reg by pulling it forward. Van Peebles says Maurice is trying to make Reg's life easier, even if Reg doesn't agree.
"Being that Maurice is Reginald's mentor, he's been around for a minute. He's gone through these things and he's been a new vampire. He's come into his power," the actor assesses. "Although they're different powers — he doesn't quite have the ability to glamour other vampires — there's still a lot of danger involved. Being that Maurice looks at himself as Reggie's creator, the sire, the mentor, he doesn't really see a reason for Reggie to learn all of these lessons from mistakes firsthand. He can just tell him, 'Yo, trust me, Nikki is bad news. And having human feelings are only going to hurt you in the long run.' It may be unpleasant for Reggie now, but I think he's trying to save Reginald some heartache and look out for him. It's kind of that thing of being the bad cop, but you're really being the good cop at the end of the day.
"And I think the Assessment is high stakes enough without the distraction. I don't think he needs to be wasting time with girls, much less two of them at the same time," he laughs.
Arguably, the people having the worst episode are Todd (Aren Buchholz) and Sarah, especially when she discovers that vampires do exist, and then she's glamoured by Reg to forget what she saw. Peyton praises all of Haine's work in this episode, as she shifts from traumatized to blissful, and then brokenhearted when Nikki tells her the truth of what's been going on behind her back. "Em Haine was so wonderful," Peyton says with enthusiasm. "A lot of times she's just asked to be the sweet, girl next door, to project sweetness and affability with a little bit of eccentricity. But her ability to kind of shift gears like that is so good."
Disappointing everyone Reg knows basically brings the nutty episode to a somber close, with our titular vampire hitting the road on a bus to Spokane as a sad song plays. Peyton hopes all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans get a little deja vu with that moment, as it's a very specific homage to the end of Season 2 when Sarah Michelle Gellar is in a bus leaving Sunnydale.
"I always wanted to put him in that bus, but we're a show that can't always afford music," Peyton says with candor. "I talked to our composer and said, 'Look, I need a really great song to play over him on that bus.' And he said, 'I'm going to call a friend of mine in Toronto. We're going to come up with something.' Like two days later, I had this song that I love so much. It's a really lovely moment, It's a really beautiful song. And Adam Lastiwka just made it happen and that's one of the nice things about working with creative people."
As for how the moment leaves Reg going into the last episodes of the season, Peyton teases, "Reg pretty much let down everybody in his life. He's even done Todd pretty badly, too. To me, for any love story there has to be heartbreak, as well as the happiness. This is that heartbreak moment for him. And that was one of those scripts that the SYFY network read and went, 'This is great.' You know when you really hit it, and that was one of my favorite scripts that I've been a part of in this season."
Reginald the Vampire gushes out new episodes on SYFY every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.