‘Interview With The Vampire’ Season 2 Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Lestat Alive?


It’s a strange sensation knowing how closely our dynamic with Interview with the Vampire resembles what’s at the heart of the show—blindfolded and looking for the key in a cage woven out of lies and manipulations. And since we’re practically Daniel, the big emotional reveal was always going to catch us off guard. Maybe even more than a Lestat or a Claudia popping out of the shadows in Louis’ Dubai apartment. And staying close to the usual nature of uncomfortable truth, the resurfacing memories of San Francisco bring about a world of hurt for Daniel and Louis. Where’s Armand in all this? Funny how that could surmise practically every question that’s asked and answered in season 2, episode 5 of Interview with the Vampire.

Spoiler Alert

What happened between Louis and Daniel in San Francisco?

Rich vampires certainly have their ways of turning a mundane thing into a sport. Armand doesn’t need food as much. But that doesn’t keep him from putting up ads for testosterone-y men to come and find out if they can outrun him. Not for any rewards, of course. I doubt that anyone’s availed of it yet, but in case one does, they’d be receiving the kind of crypto wealth that’d make all their dreams come true. And one such adventure, keeping Armand busy with a certain Malik, gives Daniel a chance to get through to Louis. He tests the waters with a little flirtation: since Louis was such a gentleman and paid for everything when they met in San Francisco and went back to his place, did they do it? Well, no. Louis bared himself to the rookie journalist with his “what then” in ways he’d never had before. But sex wasn’t on the table. It was all Lestat this and Lestat that, and a lot of Lestat was a total pretentious jackal who’d trapped Louis before he could figure out what he was getting into. And Daniel—coked up, shivering, terrified, and fascinated to interview an actual vampire—was lapping it all up without the intellect he would grow up to have. 

Why did Armand save Daniel’s life?

I think even Daniel is aware that he’s worth more than the blood that flows through his veins. But he’s bound to wonder why Armand didn’t drain him back in 1973. Louis is too smitten to suspect any foul play and is happy to believe that Armand saved Daniel because that young junkie with a recorder would someday mean something to Louis. But Daniel’s resurfacing memories tell a whole other story. He was a total doofus back then. And right after making the mistake of shaming Louis for his suicidal tendencies when Claudia had left for the first time, Daniel begged for the dark gift. Armand busting in was the only thing that could pull Louis off of Daniel’s bleeding neck. And judging by the lovers’ spat that ensues, Louis’ act of picking up a boy from a gay bar and using his tape recorder as a therapist’s ear makes all the sense in the world. There’s one thing you’ve got to keep in mind here, though. The memories are only flooding back for Louis and Daniel because of the information Daniel got from Raglan James, whom I believe is a Talamasca psychic. And the recording from ‘73 documented Louis’ sunbathing suicide attempt. From what they remember now, Armand saved Louis only to let him stew in the excruciating pain of a burned body outside of the coffin. And Daniel was a toy to torment Armand. How dare Louis think Daniel is more fascinating than an ancient vampire? Throughout season 2, Daniel’s been getting flashes of Armand invading his mind and reciting his most shameful secrets. It’s only in episode 5 that Daniel figures out that this is a memory from 1973, back when the young journalist was held hostage and tortured by Armand. 

Is Lestat Alive?

Romantic entanglements between vampires should be reason enough to be terrified of them. Love can hardly keep itself guarded against bitterness when it’s between mortals. So you can only imagine what shape it’d take for two people who’ve been together for longer than most people live. Armand’s insecurity and fear of abandonment made him ruthless. Lestat’s name was a sore topic in Armand and Louis’ household. And to hear it repeated so many times in the recording–made by the guy who Louis thought was way more fun than him–that was certainly bad enough for Armand to show Louis who’s boss. Armand played Louis like a fiddle. From the teary-eyed goodbye to the self-pitying apology for Paris, everything Armand has told him from that point on has either been lies or the truths that hand him the strings Louis is attached to. And that includes a revelation we’ve all been waiting for. Lestat was alive, and Armand found his voice in the increasing cacophony of vampires. Back in their San Francisco apartment, Armand was talking to Lestat when Daniel was under his control. And by telling Louis that Lestat was alive and being a psychic telephone of sorts between them, Armand was tricking Louis into being grateful for his love—better love than the kind Louis had with Lestat. 

Is Armand manipulating Louis?

I guess we were all kind of expecting that at a certain point in Interview with the Vampire, Daniel would realize that that interview he took back in 1973 had defined the course of his life. But the question still bugged him. Why didn’t Armand drain him? Well, he most certainly didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart. Armand was lulling Daniel to the end of his life, describing his future as a life overcome by bitterness, failure, and mediocrity. In that image, Daniel would lose his fire, his wife would need valium to get through the day, and his children would grow to hate him. And just like Armand had manipulated Louis into thinking that he was saving him from himself, he convinced Daniel that he was his savior. Daniel accepted the comforting embrace of Armand as he took the form of death itself, only to relinquish control when Louis rose from his coffin. They were switches. So, all it took for Armand to spare Daniel was for Louis to take the dominant role in the moment and deceive the deceiver. Louis made it seem like Daniel’s survival would be a token of how enduring Armand and Louis’ love was. Armand couldn’t turn him down. 

To circle back to what I was saying about that experience in San Francisco being the most deciding factor in the direction Daniel’s life would take, I meant that quite literally. It’s only now that Daniel remembers that the quote from his autobiography, the one he’s always thought he was told by a man who’d go on to light himself on fire, was what Louis told him after Armand let him live. It was no God and no angel who convinced Daniel that he was a reporter with a vision and that he had a story to tell. That was all Louis’ doing, making sure that no matter how bad Daniel went on to do as a husband and a father, he’d be a slave to his passion and come back to finish the interview decades later. But the most significant lie is the one that’s revealed in the ending sequence of this week’s episode of Interview with the Vampire.

Daniel’s old, has Parkinson’s, and is a mortal. So even though it makes sense for him to have forgotten all that, it’s strange that Louis has lost his memories of San Francisco, too. He didn’t even remember his own brush with death and his agonizing state of convalescence. And most importantly, he didn’t remember that Lestat was alive. This has Armand’s ancient powers written all over it. Back from his hunt, Armand is asked the question Louis and Daniel have already figured out the answer to. Why did he let Daniel go? And considering his answer is word-for-word what Louis said at the start of the episode, that Armand only spared him because he was important to Louis, it’s evident that Armand suppressed both of their memories and has been feeding Louis lies since then. No domestic bliss for the wicked, it seems. But the extent of Armand’s powers is unknown. And there’s no telling what sort of price Louis and Daniel would pay for seeing through his lies. 

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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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