Interview With The Vampire inches forward the romance and intrigue in Episode 204

The show's attempts to keep Lestat around despite his apparent demise in the first season are starting to feel stretched thin, but there's juicy meat ahead.
Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire Season 2, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC
Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire Season 2, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

Interview With The Vampire is a simmering saucepan right now, about to boil over at any minute. But there are still a few spices to throw in, a few more vegetables to add. Truth be told, I'm starting to get hungry for dinner and suspect the show is remaining too long on the oven, but I know no meal is truly satisfying without proper preparation, so I wait.

Louis and Armand's relationship continues to develop, although not as fast as Armand would like. Even as they spend more time together, even as they sleep together, even as Armand ignores his duties at the coven to the point where a rebellion starts to foment, Louis can't bring himself to commit fully, not with the specter of Lestat hanging around all the time, making quips and mocking Armand's declarations of love.

Lestat's "ghost" has been hanging around the whole season, and up until now I thought he was a manifestation of Louis' guilt and lingering codependent love. And he is that, but apparently he's also literally there in the room with Louis, visible only to Louis like an imaginary friend. This is a manifestation of "the vampire bond," which feels like one mythological element too many. I don't think the show needed to literalize Louis' attachment to Lestat like this. I think it's more elegant if he's just a figment of Louis' imagination. The scene where vampire-bond-Lestat slowly fades away is sweet, in part because actor Sam Reid is terrific at showing Lestat's surprising tender side, but also overdone and overdue. I'm ready for the real thing to come back.

Lestat's ghost fades away seemingly because Louis is ready to let Armand into his heart. Depicting a passionate romance with someone as careful and interior as Armand is difficult — he isn't as emotionally explosive as Lestat — although the episode sells it with a scene in the Louvre where Armand tells Louis the story of his maker Marius, an important vampire in Anne Rice's mythology who we'll surely meet in the flesh if the show goes on long enough. Armand is haunted and vulnerable here, enough to reach even the walled-off Louis. He may be hundreds of years old, but there's something of a wounded child inside him, something Louis the nurturer can't help but want to protect.

Review: Interview With The Vampire Episode 204, "I Want You More Than Anything in the World"

Armand seems more in love with Louis than the other way around; it almost feels like Louis is manipulating him, although I think there's lots of affection on his end too. We're reminded of Louis the savvy business owner from New Orleans when he tells Armand how to deal with Santiago, the vampire actor who has designs on Armand's job: give it to him, and then when he botches things decide how to respond when the other members of the coven beg him to come back.

That strategy may backfire, though, because Santiago is close to finding out that Louis and Claudia have been lying to the coven this whole time, about where they're from, about who made them, and about what they did to their maker. He's inspired in part by envy, since Claudia is starring in a new play where she plays a little kid, something the coven couldn't do at the theater until now. Claudia soon grows bored of the role despite how popular the show becomes, so we have several wild cards in the deck.

At one point Louis points out to her that she hasn't been happy anywhere: not in New Orleans, not in Eastern Europe, and not in Paris, even after she found her own kind, which is what she's been searching for. It's true — she's not happy — but her situation is impossible. What would make her happy is if she could grow up, which she can't. In fact, none of the vampires can really be happy, because they're incapable of change, save for death. The problem is just a bit more obvious with Claudia.

The difficulties of love and eternal life

That's always been the issue for Anne Rice's vampires; they're locked in an eternal state of melancholia. That's why it's always fun to check in with modern-day Daniel Malloy, whose has more immediate, mortal, and melodramatic problems. While Louis and Armand try to bridge the gulf between each other, Daniel is plunged into a conspiracy; the shadowy intelligence agent who contacted Daniel last week has been supplying him with information, including a recording of the first time Daniel interviewed Louis back in the 1970s. Apparently things got out of hand and Louis attacked Daniel, which is something huge that Louis and Armand have been keeping back from him.

Daniel already knew he was trapped in a house with a pair of powerful vampires who could kill him at any moment. But now he knows that one apparently tried and failed. I don't know if sarcastic quips are going to be enough to get him out of this one, although I hope he keeps making them.

This episode marks time between big events, winding the coils tight so they can spring apart sometime soon. It wasn't the best episode of Interview With The Vampire (or the second, or the third, or the fifth) but it was solid.

Interview With The Bullet Points

  • I'm not entirely sure what to make of the flashes of Armand that Daniel keeps seeing. A repressed memory coming back to the surface?
  • Claudia reconnects with the woman who made her dress, who's been branded a Vichy sympathizer, although her version of events paints her in a sympathetic light. Like Claudia, the woman feels adrift, without much in the way of family or friends to help her. Might they find solace in each other?

Episode Grade: B

Interview With The Vampire reviews:

Review: Louis almost moves on from Lestat in Interview With The Vampire Episode 203. Review: Louis almost moves on from Lestat in Interview With The Vampire Episode 203. dark. Next

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