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

Interview With The Vampire sets up dominoes and dives deeper into vampire lore in "No Pain."
Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3
Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3 /

Louis may have finally gotten over Lestat in the latest episode of Interview With The Vampire, but has the audience? Has the show? Interview With The Vampire is in no rush to let go of its most compelling character, and probably never will be as long as it lasts. And it's starting to look like it's setting itself up to last a long while.

To underscore the fact that he's not going anywhere, dead or not, this episodes includes more of Lestat than any other so far this season. Daniel gets a rare moment alone with Armand while Louis lies in bed, contemplating his guilty existence. Armand tells him about his own affair with the brat prince, which took place in the 18th century in the wake of the French revolution. This was a nice surprise, since we don't get a detailed account of Lestat's history in Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire book. The show is pulling from the sequel, The Vampire Lestat, and more power to it.

It's fun to hear more about vampire culture from Armand, who knows of what he speaks; just how old he is, anyway? Armand's coven in Paris is failing when he hears of Lestat, a brash young vampire flaunting his gifts for the public nightly on the stage, in violation of ancient vampire laws of which Lestat knows nothing. Soon enough, Armand is in Lestat's thrall just as Louis will be decades later.

We don't get to hear exactly how that relationship ended, just that Lestat came up with the idea for the Théâtre des Vampires and then split town for reasons unknown. I suspect there's some pertinent information in those gaps that we'll probably learn later. For now, this section feels like it wraps up too soon, mostly designed to make sure we don't forget about Lestat during Louis and Claudia's Parisian adventure. I bet there's more to come, though.

Interview With The Vampire review, Episode 203: "No Pain"

This episode really belongs to Armand, which might explain why it feels a little less urgent than the two before it. We get a glimpse of his affair with Lestat early on, and then see his love for Louis blossom in final two thirds. He and Louis have natural chemistry, and it's very different from what Louis and Lestat had. They feel more like equals, taking walks around Paris and debating philosophy in French jazz clubs where Jean-Paul Sartre tells them to stop yapping so he can hear the music.

Of course, that's an illusion; Armand is even more powerful than Lestat, but he's a gentler person, and promised not to hurt Louis. But both of them face pressures. As attracted as he is to Armand, Louis can't forget Lestat, who hovers around him like a phantom, torturing him with sarcastic quips and jazzy love ballads. And Armand, ever serious, has a responsibility to his coven. While Claudia is eager to join the coven, Armand hasn't been able to recruit Louis, who can't be allowed to go on living outside vampire law. Something must be done, but in the end Armand can't pull the trigger. He lets Louis live, and the episode ends with Louis inviting Armand up to his room.

That seems like the moment Louis gets over Lestat. He's found a partner with whom he can be honest, and with whom he's finally ready to let down his walls. This is also the moment is may all fall apart. I'ts only a matter of time before Santiago and the other members of the coven find out that Armand let Louis go, not to mention suss out his lie about Lestat. That will put Claudia in danger, too, and Louis won't just abandon her. And then there's Lestat himself, hanging just offstage, ready to make his Act entrance.

The Talamasca and the future

Most of this episode was about moving the pieces around the board ahead of more exciting developments to come. That's true of both the stuff in past and the present, but the Dubai scenes this week were especially intriguing.

For one thing, they have Daniel Molloy, who's always good for a laugh. At the the top of the episode he's approached by some kind of secret agent tracking vampires; Daniel gets rid of the guy by doing what he does best and cutting through the bullshit, announcing to a cafeteria full of people that this dude is an intelligence officer until he leaves. Daniel will never ever ever let anything stand on ceremony.

The secret agent dude is almost definitely from the Talamasca, a secret society set up to monitor all things supernatural in Anne Rice's mythology. The Talamasca doesn't play a part in the original book, so the show is bringing them in early. Will they be worked into the climax of the season or the series? Is the show setting itself up for more story after the text of Interview With The Vampire has been adapted in full? I am interested.

Interview With The Bullet Points

  • Armand now knows for certain that Louis and Claudia were turned into vampires by Lestat, not some made-up bloodsucker named Bruce. Louis tries to tell Claudia about it, but can't bring himself to after Claudia breaks his heart recalling a brutal Lestat story. It's a good acting scene for Jacob Anderson.
  • As for Claudia, she's fading into the background a bit, but I imagine that will change soon. I wish I felt more of a sense of tragedy hanging about her. According to Armand, it's forbidden to turn people into vampires when they're so young because their brains will degrade.

Episode Grade: B

Interview With The Vampire reviews:

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

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