Interview With The Vampire review, Episode 2: Did you eat the baby?

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC
Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt and Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC /

Interview with the Vampire Episode 2 is about Louis’ learning to be a vampire. How fitting, then, that it’s titled “After the Phantoms of Your Former Self,” as Louis fights to maintain his connection to his human life despite Lestat’s warnings that vampires + human business do not mix, something Louis learns the hard way.

We pick up in 2022 during the continuation of the official interview with Daniel Molloy and Louis de Pointe du Lac. Louis invites Daniel to enjoy an elaborate seven-course dinner. Between the opulent fineries, rare paintings, and army of servants handling every meal, it’s apparent that Louis has a taste for the finer things in life. One has to wonder how much of that is Lestat de Lioncourt’s influence.

Spoilers ahead for Interview with the Vampire Episode 2

In the 1900s, our story picks up immediately after Lestat has turned Louis. Retching and limping, Louis’ transition is unpleasant. Lestat warns him it will be while nonchalantly disposing of the priests and other clergy members he devoured earlier. Louis tries to drink some of the dead priest’s blood, and Lestat gives him his first vampire lesson: no drinking from dead people, only the living.

Learning how to be a vampire

Daniel puts it best when he remarks, “you were f**king loaded.” Every sight, scent, touch, and sound overwhelmed the newborn vampire. Lestat takes him on a tour through the city Louis has known his entire life, but now it’s taken on a new shape thanks to Louis’ vampire senses. It’s more like taking a slow walk through an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Louis’ first victim is a poor, unsuspecting salesman who thinks Lestat and Louis are interested in buying farming equipment from him — as if. Given his ravenous hunger, Louis makes a mess of things. Lestat watches him devour the salesman with a blasé attitude, offering a few pointers while Louis feeds.

Once he’s sated, Louis realizes the gravity of his situation and makes a desperate bid to return home to his family. Lestat tries pointing out he can’t take off in the middle of the day, but Louis doesn’t stick around to listen. No matter. Within seconds of emerging into the sunlight, Louis learns why vampires can’t go in the sun as his skin burns to a crisp.

Louis reflects on the romanticized version of things Lestat presented to him. It was too many “firsts” at once: death, rebirth, coming out, and homicide. And despite what Lestat has said about predators and their prey, Louis is haunted by his first kill.

How does “coming out” factor into a night of murder and mayhem? Louis argues that it was instrumental to his relationship with Lestat. The romance of it is part of what kept Louis under Lestat’s spell for so long. He simply could not resist Lestat, something he reiterates several times throughout the episode.

But part of why he wants to do this interview in the first place is to warn others. I’m not entirely sure what kind of warning Louis is talking about. To other vampires? Or to humans? At one point, Daniel asks if vampires will use the pandemic as a way to “come out” into society. It’s an interesting question.

Next, Louis gets a mind-reading lesson. Vampires cannot read each other’s minds but can read human thoughts and even see them. Louis puts his skills to the test on a visit home to see his mother, uncovering numerous unpleasant barbs aimed at him. It certainly seems like his mother still resents him for Paul’s death. His sister Grace gives him a warmer reception, and Louis hears multiple heartbeats when he hugs her. She’s pregnant with twins.

A business opportunity

Later, the alderman sends his attorney to speak with Louis about a business proposition. But the attorney makes the mistake of patronizing Louis. The manner in which the attorney speaks to Louis is how white men, particularly those in power, have always spoken to Louis, with notes of condescension and casual disrespect laid over racist microaggressions, or sometimes just flat-out racism; they’re so surprised that a black man is intelligent and has good business sense.

Louis reaches a breaking point then, realizing that he’s tolerated their racism for so many years, but now he no longer has to because he’s not a man anymore. He has the power now. He murders the attorney. Lestat isn’t happy about that since the attorney is someone with authority. Police will look for him.

Here’s where there is still a crucial imbalance between Lestat and Louis, however. Lestat can never fully understand what it’s like for Louis to simply exist in the south during the era. Lestat might be a powerful vampire who has lived for centuries, but he will never experience racism the way Louis has. To his credit, he later admits to Louis that if he had heard the man disrespect him, he would have killed him himself.

They make up later from within their respective coffins (did anyone else crack up when Lestat said, “I don’t like going to sleep angry” from inside his coffin?). Lestat makes it up to Louis by helping him buy the Fair Play Saloon where Lily used to work. While Lestat doesn’t think mixing human and vampire business is a good idea, he agrees to assist nonetheless, and Louis makes tons of money over the next few years thanks to the investment.

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Kalyne Coleman as Grace De Pointe Du Lac – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC
Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Kalyne Coleman as Grace De Pointe Du Lac – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC /

Did you eat the baby?

Things are tense between brother and sister the next time Louis visits Grace. It quickly becomes apparent that Louis hasn’t seen her much in the six years since he’s become a vampire, and by this point, she has three children. Louis gets an ugly wake-up call when he comes this close to eating his own nephew, leaving the baby behind and vanishing before Grace can see him with his fangs out.

It’s a turning point for Louis, who tells Daniel in 2022 that he no longer kills people, showing Daniel by feeding on a staff member—but not to death. Although Daniel snarks that Louis still has a “drinking problem” as the guy wobbles away like he’s drunk once Louis is done with him.

Understandably, almost killing his nephew leaves Louis rattled. He vents to Lestat, who again advises his protege to cut ties with his family. It’s for the best, their safety and his sanity. But the incident also makes Louis realize just how fundamentally different he is now. He’ll never have children of his own.

Hitting a sour note

In an effort to cheer Louis up, Lestat takes him to the opera. Louis is forced to play the part of Lestat’s valet until the curtain rises, when he can sit by Lestat’s side hidden under the cloak of the darkness. It once again feels like Louis is playing the subservient role in their relationship. Lestat invited Louis to the opera, but was it for Louis’ benefit? Lestat would have known what role Louis would have to play, yet encourages it anyway. Does he consider how Louis feels?

But Louis cannot stay mad for long as Lestat excels at choosing opportune moments to disarm Louis, reeling him back in whenever he’s on the verge of straying. While they watch the opera together, Lestat shows vulnerability, admitting that his greatest fear is loneliness, which is why he and Louis can never part.

And then we see a different side to Lestat, that he, too, has his own “former phantoms,” a lingering tie to his humanity. For Lestat, it’s music. The opera’s female lead is an impressive soprano singer. Unfortunately, she’s accompanied by a tenor who cannot hold a note, and Lestat finds it deeply disrespectful.

For Lestat, the tenor’s ineptitude is an insult, one worth killing over. That night, Lestat lures the tenor back to his home and takes his time feeding on him. Louis feels ill watching Lestat toy with his food, drawing out his death in a slow, meditative process. When Louis voices his criticism aloud, Lestat snaps that Louis can kill as swiftly as he likes—so long as he does it. He’s a killer now and needs to embrace it.

Again, Louis is drawn into Lestat’s world, draining the tenor alongside Lestat for hours, pretending to be immersed in the feed as much as Lestat, even though he’s partly sickened by it.

Maintaining the connection

Back with Daniel, Louis reveals that he always thought Lestat was wrong. He never savored the killing process. He calls himself a botched vampire and admits he has one human dish a week to maintain the thread to his human life.

For this meal, he has chosen a dessert sentimental to Daniel. It’s a strawberry dish the journalist mentioned in his memoir, the dessert he shared with his wife, Alice, after he first proposed. And in exchange for this dish and his story, Daniel reveals something personal to Louis for the first time, telling him about the meal with Alice and how he loved her quirky eyebrows. Half-blond and half-brown. She often dyed it so the two halves would match, but Daniel preferred when she left it alone.

There’s a nice parallel here between when Louis was forcing himself to drain the tenor’s blood with Lestat versus him in 2022, enjoying an almost normal human meal with Daniel.

Episode Grade: A+

Next. . dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels