Interview With The Vampire continues to be sexy, dangerous and sweet in Episode 202

Interview With The Vampire whisks us back to Paris in the 1940s for a glittering, bloody tour of the City of Light. And in the present, Daniel Molloy tears it all down. "Paris sucks."
Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC
Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

The newest episode of Interview With The Vampire opens with Louis remembering arriving in Paris just after the end of World War II. Paris, even then known as the most romantic city in the world, had been torn apart by the war and the Nazi occupation, but was bouncing back. With Lestat left behind in the New World, Louis and Claudia had their futures in front of them, and anything was possible in the City of Light.

In the present, Daniel Molloy pours some ice cold water on this simmering fever dream: "Paris sucks."

I can't overstate how much I'm enjoying the push and pull between the scenes set in the past, narrated from memory by Louis and now Armand, and Daniel's cynical interjections in the present. Daniel was always surly, but since Armand outed himself as Louis' immortal lover rather than his manservant, he's been especially suspicious, barely letting an anecdote past without poking holes in it.

And he has a flair for the dramatic. In this episode, we learn about Louis and Claudia encountering a coven of vampires in Paris, run by Armand. They operate the Théâtre des Vampires, where they eat a non-actor they've kidnapped on stage and pass it off as theater. That scene is gripping enough in its own right, and the details are wonderful. I loved the diehard devotees showing up in vampire makeup like they're attending their 300th viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture show. I loved the barely concealed, ravenous contempt the vampire actor Santiago has for the humans in the audience, again disguised as an act. I would see this play, and then I would leave the theater as quickly as possible.

Things climb another level when Louis and Claudia meet the company after the show. There's a picture of Lestat, who used to be part of the company, on the wall. Louis and Claudia try to play it cool, but Armand can tell something's up.

And Daniel doesn't believe it happened at all. His journalist's instincts tell him it's too convenient, too much like something out of a soap opera. He actually plays faux-dramatic music to underline his incredulity, roasting these pair of immortal vampires who could snap him like a twig if they had half a mind to. It's hysterical how he keeps puncturing the story as we know it, and as Louis and Armand want to portray it. Paris isn't where Louis and Armand meet and begin living in eternal bliss together. Paris sucks.

Louis and Armand don't just sit there and take this, though. They fight back in ways Daniel can't predict, by using their vampiric powers of telepathy to pinpoint Daniel's vulnerabilities and striking deep: they know he doesn't like Paris because he associates it with painful memories of his ex-wife; they can even tell him if she's happy now. That settles him some, although I hope not too much.

I find myself enjoying the scenes set in present-day Dubai perhaps even more than the ones set in 1940s-era Paris, perhaps because I don't know what's coming, or if I do, it seems like the show is going to deliver it in an exciting new way. In the 1994 Interview With The Vampire movie, the interactions between Louis and the interviewer were little more than a framing story, a way to put the good stuff into context. On the show, Daniel has us (and even Louis, sometimes) questioning the truth of what happened in his past, and cracking me up while he's doing it. These scenes feel every bit as vital as those set in the past, and might be where the show locates its cliimax.

Ben Daniels as Santiago and Genevieve Dunne as Eglee - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

Interview With The Vampire review, Episode 202, "Do You Know What It Means to Be Loved by Death"

Interview With The Vampire is also doing a great job telling Louis' story, of course. Once again, the details are very well-observed. I liked the scene where Louis meets Armand cruising in the park. It's a mythic meeting between two vampires, but it's also two men carefully dancing around each other, trying to decide whether it's safe to act on their attractions. It's very least until we find out what Louis and Armand are hiding.

Claudia loves the coven, and the thrill of hunting humans with a pack. She was always less put off by wanton bloodlust and murder than Louis, who is holding onto the idea that human beings should be treated with some measure of respect, something he still seems to believe in the present with Daniel.

The coven's spree at an elite Parisian party is played for laughs, with blood splattering on the windows of an opulent as Louis and Armand flirt outside, but there's something new and dangerous about a whole pack of vampires who seem to care as little for human life as Lestat did. Ben Daniels radiates malevolence as Santiago, only thinly veiling it behind a campy facade. Louis is right to be wary of them, but both he and Claudia have found reasons to stick around.

If this episode has a weakness, is that it's another brick on the road to somewhere else, but what a walk.

Interview With The Bullet Points

  • I know this is a problem with the source book, but it's worth bringing up: since Lestat is French, was Paris the best place to seek out other immortal vampires who almost certainly would have known him and gotten suspicious about his whereabouts? Maybe go with London or Madrid or something?
  • Lestat shows up in Louis' mind's eye for one lone scene where Louis reads his will, and we're reminded that Lestat really did love Louis, at least on paper. He hasn't moved on, and I'm not going to complain about another scene that showcases the chemistry between Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid.

Episode Grade: B+

Review: Interview With The Vampire delivers more sublime misery in season 2 premiere. Review: Interview With The Vampire delivers more sublime misery in season 2 premiere. dark. Next