Episode Analysis Interview With the Vampire: And That's the End of It. There's Nothing Else.

Episode fifteen of AMC's Interview With the Vampire ends season two with all the things the show does best.

Episode Analysis Interview With the Vampire: And That's the End of It. There's Nothing Else.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for AMC’s Interview With the Vampire through episode fifteen as well as The Vampire Chronicles novels. Read at your own risk.


AMC’s Interview With the Vampire episode fifteen was so good, y’all. So good.

This is the thing where I want to shake the showrunners and go this! Do this! Do nothing but this! Bitchy gay vampires dealing with their drama by doing vampire things. That’s all your show should be about. Both in terms of aspirations and no, really, stop doing anything that remotely brushes up against race because you can’t handle it.

But I’ve covered the race stuff amply over the past two seasons. Let’s get into why the season two finale was wonderful and what this show does best.

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire and the Unreliable Narrator

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a cheap slut for an unreliable narrator. Also that I love that AMC’s Interview With the Vampire took the issue of book contradictions and said fuck it, we’re leaning into it! That’s the entire show, buckle up!

Now of course the kicker with an unreliable narrator is that the story has to work the first time you see it and then work better when you get more information. This is admittedly a high degree of difficulty. You’re telling at minimum two stories at once and both have to be good stories. If the audience doesn’t want to watch the first time they’re definitely not going to stick with you for the second.

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire (man I wish SEO let me shorten that to IWTV like god intended) went for an even higher degree of difficulty by having multiple narrators not only with different takes on the same story but different agendas in what they were telling. Then they had to throw in setting up those stories in a way that didn’t feel like cheating both when information was withheld and when it was later filled in.

While there are some things I suspect were actual continuity errors - Lestat speaking telepathically to Louis in the first season is, I suspect, one of those “Shit! We already put that ep in the can and can’t fix it. Uhhhhh, add it to the list of evidence Louis remembered things wrong!” moments, the rest show clear intent and mindful purpose from start to finish.

(Which, again, gets to why I scream in frustration that none of that mindful intent was applied to the show’s two Black leads but I’ve done those rants so I’m moving on.)

There were so many times this season in particular where I either said something didn’t make sense and/or raised an obvious question where either the characters themselves asked that question or the show revealed that no, it didn’t make sense because the memory was wrong.

As a Louis/Lestat shipper going back decades (ask me what my Vampire Chronicles fanfic was about!) (actually, please don’t!) I have no shame in admitting that last week I was thrown by the reveal that Armand was the one who saved Louis since it was far more of a Lestat move. As I’ve said before, the books’ official story about what happened in the Theatre was that there is no official story because everyone had their own version of events. However, one of the things that the various versions agree on was that Lestat was of the mistaken belief that Louis would be spared. So when the show made that an Armand move I was like huh, well not what I would’ve written but the showrunners are clear Armand/Louis shippers so fair play to them.

But then we got this week’s reveal that it was Lestat and I adored it. Not just because of my own preferences, but because of how it immediately threw the entire series as we knew it into question and it works.

Take episode twelve’s Don’t Be Afraid, Just Start the Tape. Brilliant on its own. But now just think about it with the confirmation that Armand not only manipulated Louis’ memories in that moment but from the start of their relationship. Think about the mental anguish Louis was under. Yes, some of that was about Claudia. But that wasn’t helped by the fact that at that point Louis had spent going on half a century with a partner who had trapped him. Louis’ desire for the oblivion of drugs and even his own death means so much more. Louis ranting that Armand doesn’t actually satisfy him emotionally means so much more. Armand’s reminders that he is the one who looks out for Louis even when Louis won’t look out for himself mean so much more.

Then go back to the little things. The way at the start of the season Armand had the amount of time he and Louis had been together more than Louis and Lestat in a way that he had it calculated down to the second. The way he subtly inserted himself to speak on behalf of Louis’ emotions while making himself look like a doting partner. The various looks characters give each other which take on new resonance when you realize what they were actually thinking.

Then going back to season one where there are things like what did we see and hear in Louis’ telling and what did we notably not see and hear? All the little stepping stones and things that could’ve easily read as continuity errors across the board which were in fact details we were meant to notice and question? Love it. Love.

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire and Metaphors

Another aspect I liked was how they translated the part of the books about Louis finding Lestat in a decrepit house at the end. In Lestat’s book he says it never happened because that was one of the details Anne Rice wanted to get rid of in order to write The Vampire Lestat. The show could’ve easily gotten rid of it too but I like how they kept it. Specifically because the reconciliation scene they made out of it felt like yet another thing the show does well when it leans into it, which is don’t make things the thing make them a metaphor for the thing.

As I have said repeatedly, gothic horror works in metaphor. As for example, sure you can make your vampires have human style sex but don’t forget that going back to the Victorian era the idea was that their fangs penetrating someone’s body was meant to convey that meaning. When you remove things from their actual into symbolic you’re able to get your reader to start thinking about the concepts in ways they might not do otherwise.

Case in point, Claudia was always supposed to be the metaphor for a sick child. Anne Rice herself sometimes disputed that but that doesn’t erase the fact that she wrote Interview With the Vampire after the death of her daughter, Michele, who died of cancer at age six. Claudia was turned into a vampire at age 5, the same age when Michele was diagnosed. It does not take huge leaps to see how Claudia symbolizes the idea of the memory of a lost daughter forever trapped in a child’s body because you never got to see her grow up. Nor is it a huge leap for Claudia’s vampirism to symbolize the desire for her to never die, her adult mind in a child’s body to be the thoughts of who a dead child could have been, and Claudia’s ultimate death to be the acceptance of what the real world made inevitable.

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire biffed this a lot with their version of Claudia. However, one thing they did do well in last night’s episode was show how one aspect of Lestat and Louis’ story was that it is a metaphor for parents of a sick child. They both blame themselves for not making her life better and that they were unable to save her in the end. They are not alone in being a couple who couldn’t handle the strain of it but, with time, who can at least do some healing and perhaps finding some measure of peace in knowing someone else understands their pain.

Now Louis and Lestat have so many more things going on with their relationship. I’m not saying that’s the sum total. But this is one aspect of it and the show handled it well. When we move on to season three hopefully the showrunners will understand that this is what they need to lean into more instead of actual rape and physical abuse.

So yeah. Loved it. Loved the finale, loved what it meant for the series as a whole. Please keep doing this and we’re golden. Bring on rock star Lestat!


As always, things that don’t fit anywhere else.

  • I’m glad Armand pointed out Louis could’ve removed the rocks at any time because I was about to say the same thing.
  • The repeated use of “Claudia was dead” and “My rage” and so on felt so pretentiously wanky to me. As a writer this is when you need a friend to pull you aside and say you’re trying too hard.
  • I admire Daniel’s ability to multitask an interview and those DMs with Raglan but seriously, neither Louis nor Armand tried reading his mind?
  • Though hey: Maybe this will turn out to be another one of those “It’s not an error, it’s a plot point” moments.
  • On that note, I wonder how much of not showing the details of the fire was because of filming needs (they were actually in an old building they needed to not burn down) and how much was deliberately hiding information for later reveals.
  • Bless Santiago getting to go out chewing the scenery the entire time. Ben Daniels, we salute you.
  • No spoilers, but given events of future books I’m guessing it was not a coincidence that props made sure there was an easy to read headline about abortion rights being restricted on that newspaper Rashid gave Daniel.
  • The beam of sunlight between Louis and Armand after Louis killed the rest of the coven was a great touch.
  • Other things I am a shameless whore about: Any time New Orleans tour guides get a reference.
  • Sam Reid continues to do a great job with Lestat this season. All the emotions on his face in the last scene with Louis were so wonderful. I think it’s not a coincidence that he’s finally able to shine as Lestat at the same time we’re getting out of Louis’ strict POV about him.
  • Louis’ “Come at me bro” ending is nothing like the character from the books. But to be honest, I am fine with that. After Interview With the Vampire, Louis becomes something of a cypher of a character who only exists to show up in Lestat’s life for some editorial comments and/or for Lestat to talk about how much he loves his Beautiful One even if Lestat shows that love by fucking off to do whatever he wants without Louis being involved whatsoever. I suspect the harder attitude is a Jacob Anderson contribution to his characterization and frankly God bless. You’ve got Jacob, let the man cook.
  • This is probably so obvious it doesn’t need calling out but “No editors next book, I promise” is a reference to how after Queen of the Damned Anne Rice was successful enough she was able to publish her books without any editing. Insert your own highly accurate joke here about how you could tell.
  • I do love that they kept Daniel being turned by Armand. Curious to see how much of that story we get. My guess is it’s Armand being a particular bitch about Louis saying Armand wasn’t allowed to kill Daniel.
  • Major, major shout out to Tami Lane and her entire team for the makeup this season. I would adore an entire video about the burn marks on Louis and Claudia alone. Amazing work. Kudos.
  • Nothing has answered so many questions for me in an instant like the press release for season three promising “No Trigger Warnings” as though that’s a feature. I know press releases aren’t actually written by showrunners, but even so the fact that anyone at AMC thinks the audience for the catty gay vampire show is the one that also uses “woke” as a pejorative explains so much about how we’re two seasons in with nobody having called out and/or stopped the racist stuff from making it to the screen. Guys, please. I know Anne Rice and I parted on bad terms but for the love of God let me be your Jenny Nicholson style consultant for how you need to be handling this. Especially as we get into Lestat whose backstory is pure fangirl bait. I don’t think you’re prepared.
  • I know some of the discourse in fandom is the question of whether Armand is an abusive boyfriend. I’m sure tonight’s episode is going to affect a lot of people’s opinions on the subject. However, I would remind everyone that, once again, they all suck. Armand, Louis, Lestat, all the characters you’re going to meet next season, the whole nine yards. They are horrible people who hurt one another. There’s a reason why Vampire Chronicles fans scoffed at the Twilight vampires for being pussies and it wasn’t because they sparkled.
  • Well not just because they sparkled. But point being do not look to the Vampire Chronicles if you want uncomplicated vampires who just want to cuddle, love, and communicate honestly about their feelings. It ain’t that kind of party.

And that’s all she wrote! Thanks so much for joining me. Next season will be The Vampire Lestat so let’s get our popcorn ready.

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