‘Interview With The Vampire’ Recap: Everything To Know Before Season 2


You’re bound to feel a little bit like you’re in Daniel Molloy’s shoes by now. Sure, it hasn’t been half a century like in Molloy’s case, but the fickleness of memory is a central theme in AMC’s Interview With the Vampire. And it really makes you wonder how different the things you thought you knew might turn out to be in the upcoming Season 2. But before you go down that rabbit hole, how about taking a little time to see how reliable our recollection of the first season is?

About 50 years ago, journalist Daniel Molloy had the weirdest night of his life, which started with him meeting Louis de Pointe du Lac at a gay bar in San Francisco. So one thing led to another, and, well, Daniel found himself interviewing a vampire. In the current timeline, Daniel’s mortality is at a stop where he’s old, sort of frail, and afflicted with Parkinson’s. All these years later, for some reason, Daniel can’t really deny Louis’ request for a do-over. You see, neither of them is happy with how the interview went back then. A half-century-younger Louis wasn’t the best narrator. Daniel was most definitely not the shrewd journalist he is now and didn’t bother following up on a number of inconsistencies in Louis’ tale.

Spoiler Alert

Louis’ death and rebirth

Molloy’s interest in redoing the interview has this not-too-subtle intention of catching Louis in a lie as his memory betrays him. And thanks to Molloy setting up camp in Louis’ lavish apartment in Dubai, we get whisked back to the 1910s, when a young Louis owned a chain of brothels in Storyville, the only place where a black, secretly gay guy was allowed to do business. Louis’ family reluctantly tolerates the line of business he is in while having absolutely no problem living a life of affluence with the money he brings in. The only true naysayer in the family is Louis’ brother Paul, who’s not quite right in the head and is convinced that God whispers into his ears. Louis lies to himself and the world about his affection for a certain Miss Lily at the Fair Play salon, owned by Louis’ rival, Tom Anderson. But the rage of a lifetime of hiding that’s burning within Louis catches a century-old vampire’s glassy eyes. Lestat’s just as vexatious to Louis as he’s charming. He doesn’t quite wrap his head around how this gorgeous European guy, who’s apparently quite taken with New Orleans, talks to him telepathically. But Louis can hardly hold his ground against Lestat’s very intentional pull. The frowning eyes of the people down in Storyville and Paul straight-up calling Lestat the devil at the family dinner do put Louis off the idea of continuing down this path of intriguing fear and seduction. Yet even in his overwhelming grief over Paul’s suicide, Louis’ self-restraint gives in when the sincere longing in Lestat’s manipulative call gets the better of him. Lestat’s not here to take no for an answer, as he makes it abundantly clear by massacring the unfortunate mortals before their loving God in the church. But the reason Louis actually agrees to be killed and turned into an immortal vampire is because there’s something about Lestat’s love that promises to rescue him from all the pain that he buries inside. 

Louis and Lestat

Vampirism comes to Louis with gifts and curses. On the one hand, with immortality and Lestat’s seemingly bottomless riches at his disposal, Louis’ entrepreneurial side flourishes, and he even buys Fair Play and turns it into Azalea—a sanctuary for hedonists with no discrimination. But he soon finds out that being an all-powerful vampire won’t safeguard him and his enterprise from racial segregation and America’s anti-black bills and laws. At the very heart of Louis and Lestat’s relationship is this intense, undeniably toxic teacher-disciple dynamic that doesn’t suffer from a lack of sincere devotion from either side. So, it’s complicated for Louis to truly differentiate between the abundance of love he receives from Lestat and the abusive dismissal that wounds him severely. Immortality is a lonely place to be. And his companionship with Louis seems to be the only thing keeping Lestat from falling into the endless abyss of lonely existence. But like a true narcissistic abuser, Lestat takes his need for Louis and turns it into a tool to hold him hostage.

Moreover, as a white man whose bisexuality helps him dodge society’s rejection, Lestat isn’t the most empathetic when it comes to Louis’ struggles to thrive in an America that condemns him for being black and gay. It already is a challenge for Louis to come to terms with his newfound vampire identity with the growing distance between him and his family—something that Lestat encourages because he doesn’t like sharing Louis. But the one thing that stands in the way of him getting his claws fully into Louis is his desire to turn him into a remorseless killer like he is. No amount of manipulation from Lestat and plans to be an ethical killer can actually make taking life any easier for Louis. Unlike Lestat, who revels in having a hand in God’s grand plan for mortals, Louis feels no joy when he takes a life. So, for sustenance, he bites into cats and rats and prefers to spare the mortals whose lives are of no value to Lestat. But that doesn’t mean Louis never kills. No. Louis’ vampirism is at its most vicious when a racist man’s backhanded, condescending compliment hits a nerve. And the worst of Louis’ rage gets to be on display as the guts pour out of Alderman Fenwick, and he’s hung on the gate of his mansion. Fenwick made the mistake of trying to take advantage of segregation laws and buying Azalea at a fraction of the price. Louis simply wasn’t having that. 

An odd vampire family

There’s a grave repercussion to Louis unleashing decades of anger that’s rooted in the discrimination he’s had to endure. Fenwick’s disembowelment spawns a riot that burns down Louis’ beloved Azalea. And from the embers of hatred, he rescues Claudia, a 14-year-old black girl on the brink of death. His act of convincing Lestat to turn Claudia is essentially his desperate attempt at finding redemption. It’s practically adorable how a reborn Claudia is a cold-blooded killer like Lestat and has all the wholesome emotions that make her a dreamer like Louis. But the pitfalls of being stuck in perpetual adolescence with a volatile blend of teenage angst and vampiric rage will show up soon. And Claudia hits an all-time low when she accidentally drains and kills her first love, Charlie. The support she gets from her Daddy Louis can hardly safeguard her against her Uncle Lestat’s habitual brutality.

So Claudia goes on this journey to find more of them out there until her devastating brush with a degenerate vampire, Bruce, sends her back to the only person she’s ever felt safe with, Louis. Her desire to take Louis away only ends up fueling Lestat’s fear of abandonment, turning him into a complete monster. Lestat’s power of flight is only known to Louis when he receives a savage beating from the guy he loves up in the sky. Neither Louis nor Claudia want anything to do with Lestat after that, but just like he did on the day of Paul’s funeral, Lestat weasels his way in anyway. Claudia’s return undoubtedly puts the storm in Louis’ mind to rest, but he’s stuck in a rut trying to get Lestat and Claudia to reach a middle ground. Claudia loves Louis too much to accept that he’ll be stuck with Lestat, a cunning abuser who’s tricked Louis into approving his affair with Antoinette. And she’s in no mood to buy the victim-act Lestat puts up with his crocodile tears over how he was turned and abandoned by his creator, Magnus. 

Lestat avoids death, and the big Armand reveals

Seeing Louis rot away under Lestat’s influence is a major source of pain and frustration for Claudia. She even attempts to get the hell out of dodge once before Lestat terrorizes her into coming back. It’s evident that he’s only doing it because he doesn’t want to risk losing Louis and couldn’t care less if Claudia lived or died. He was already pretty accustomed to maintaining a facade of honesty and doing whatever he wanted behind their backs anyway. And now that the cat’s out of the bag, there’s nothing keeping him from tormenting Claudia and holding Louis hostage in the relationship. Claudia’s the first to bring up the idea of killing the big, bad wolf. And how readily Louis gives in to the plan makes it evident that he wants out badly, too. Fortunately, the town ostracizing the strange family gives Claudia the perfect premise to plan something elaborate. She proposes a grand Mardi Gras ball, baiting the narcissist with a chance to not just play king but feast like a king at the afterparty. The plan is to poison the “food,” one of the few known ways to kill a vampire. If you closely follow this tense match of chess, which is the first one Lestat isn’t a victor in, you can practically see Claudia’s bulletproof plan playing out smoothly. At the blood-soaked afterparty where the greedy folks came seeking the secret to everlasting life and ended up meeting their end, Lestat’s given a taste of victory. He thinks he’s outwitted Claudia by turning Antoinette into a vampire spy and getting to know about the poisoned bait beforehand. But Claudia knows his weaknesses all too well, and by letting him think he’s figured it out, she distracted him from the real bait. She was right in predicting that Tom Anderson’s condescending tone would trigger Lestat to rip into him. So, by poisoning Tom, Claudia ensured that Lestat would start the night feeding on his own death. 

But here’s where things get a bit sketchy in Louis’ narration. Daniel’s time and again called him out on his vacillating recollection. For instance, in the first interview all those years ago, Louis recalled Lestat as a vain loser who thought too much of himself. But in his account the second time around, Lestat seems like an ethereal figure who’s the very fountain of charm. But the inconsistency in Louis’ story is at its most discernible form when he recalls Lestat’s fate. If Daniel’s to believe his words, after surrendering all the “evidence” to the flames of the incinerator, Louis couldn’t bring himself to burn Lestat’s body. But it seems to be an awfully naive mistake to make, leaving Lestat’s body out to be picked up with the street’s garbage. So Daniel’s opinion is that Louis actually ended up sparing Lestat, as he could’ve easily survived feeding on the fat dumpster rats. Claudia and Louis did get away on the boat of coffins they’d bought to bribe Tom Anderson with, but chances are, Lestat survived the attempt on his life. This accusation by Daniel obviously angers Louis, and who’s there to calm him down? His loyal assistant, Rashid. Rashid’s been present in this interview at intervals, helping Louis keep his emotions in check and taking care of Daniel’s needs.

Trouble is, Daniel’s just recalled seeing Rashid at the bar in San Francisco when he met Louis for the first time. But how hasn’t he aged a day since then? Daniel’s seen Rashid being unaffected by Louis feeding on him and concludes that he’s a vampire. Although, what sort of vampire prays to Muhammad and doesn’t get hurt by the sunlight? Fortunately, Rashid makes his real self known when an aggrieved Louis poses a threat to Daniel. Rashid is actually the ancient vampire Armand, the most formidable one in Anne Rice’s novels. The sun’s lost its power over the ancient bloodsucker, who’s been alive for more than 500 years. He’s known as the supreme leader of a coven of vampires. While we’ve got to wait for Interview With the Vampire season 2 to know more about how Louis and Armand even found each other and how Armand became the love of his life, the revelation changes everything you’ve come to know so far. If Louis has been under Armand’s influence, how much of what he’s said to Daniel is actually true? There’s got to be a bigger purpose behind Armand and Louis being so invested in retelling the story to Daniel. And until we meet the three of them again in Interview With the Vampire season 2, we won’t know what happened to Lestat and Claudia. 

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Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjee
In cinema, Lopamudra finds answers to some fundamental questions of life. And since jotting things down always makes overthinking more fun, writing is her way to give this madness a meaning.

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