Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Interview with the Vampire: Don’t Be Afraid, Just Start the Tape

"I can't feel my body and it's freaking me out."

The format of this show has always been about reveals, slowly dishing out information in dribs and drabs and expanding out themes, plots and ideas from the book series to the nth degree. This episode felt a bit like a purge all button was hit until the producers realized it was too much and pulled their finger away at the last possible second.

This episode focused heavily on Daniel and his relationship with Louis, in the past and present. Normally Daniel is an objective observer and examiner of this document of historical significance. Here he is an active participant in what appears to be the most significant moment in Louis and Armand’s relationship. It is quite clear that Daniel is very, very involved in a way that is both detrimental to the interview and to both his and Louis’s psyche, because Daniel was a catalyst for something major.

What was the purpose of the interview back in the 70's? Was it just a straightforward attempt at coming clean about Louis’ sordid life? Or as hinted, was it an attempt to work through repressed trauma? Louis wasn’t deferential and loving towards Armand, instead they seemed to be stuck in a very crappy marriage built on a very shaky foundation. Armand even called Louis "maître" at one point, which made no rational sense except that perhaps Louis was the dominant member of their relationship. That would be news to anyone watching up until this point, because Armand seems to be in absolute control, with Louis a weak, almost subservient and adoring spouse.

Rest. That word, that simple and calming word is the key. Throughout the entire series there has been this underlying sense of a massive cover up. Daniel has clearly been feeling it, and comments on the inconsistencies in their behavior, story and details to the point where he may be in mortal danger. This entire version of Louis’ history is peppered with moments of petty spite, but half the time they seem directed inward. Yet does Louis actually hate himself? Or is it a reflection of the life he has been forced to live for the past forty years?

Lestat, Lestat, Lestat. The giant 600 pound gorilla sitting in the middle of the supposedly idyllic relationship between Armand and Louis. The idea that Louis could love Lestat more in thirty years than he ever could with Armand in double that amount of time is utterly damning. At one point Louis called Armand "the love of his life." Yet the more we understand about their relationship, the more appears that Armand is nothing more than jailor and tormentor.

Armand has played mind tricks for decades, creating this perfect ‘interesting’ persona for Louis, when deep inside he is still that slave running from the slavers. He wants to have purpose, to have love, to have someone to make his existence have excitement again, and clearly he has chosen Louis to be that person. Except that is clearly not what Louis thinks or feels.

Louis back in the 70’s, spending time with Daniel, spilling lie after lie about his time with Lestat, was more than just telling a tall tale. He wanted catharsis, he wanted someone to actually hear him. What Armand failed to realize wasn’t that Louis found Daniel "interesting," it was that he found a mirror. Louis found the experience of telling his story on his own terms interesting. It made him understand something deep inside and likey repressed, something that made him realize he couldn’t bear the thought of living for another moment.

So we get to see Louis brave the sun, and the immediate aftermath of that choice. Louis, a literal burn victim in mindcurling agony gives into Armand completely. Louis lets Armand twist his mind, pushing thoughts of his past so far into the background that he cannot even begin to question his relationship with the ancient vampire. He became an invalid, both in temperament and behavior, deferring to Armand instead of standing up on his own.

It had to be a simple choice at that moment, give in and let himself be taken care of. It is also easy to see Armand as the villain here, when I think it is more complicated than that. Armand is also a victim in a way, a weak man unable to truly become something great. He is the fragility he could see so easily in Nicolas and Claudia, yet he is unable to recognize that in himself. His power is so grand that it compensates for his... ordinary shoes. One wonders if Armand can ever be truly honest with anyone, most especially himself.


The original interview ended with Louis on the bench watching Claudia leave. Which explains why Daniel doesn't seem to have any information about the events in Paris.

Daniel's request to become a vampire felt drug fueled and reckless instead of fully formed and truly desired. It might have contributed to Louis' reaction to the request.

The entire episode took place in a different time period than any previous episode, 1973. That is the same year that Anne Rice began to write the original Interview with the Vampire novel, which was subsequently published in 1976.


Armand: "Have I atoned for my part of... Paris? Have I crawled an inch forward? Or am I a reminder of the worst of it?"

Armand: "Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat, Lestat."
Louis: "I talked shit about him the whole time! So what?"
Armand: "The name! The name! Unuttered in our home for twenty-three years, said over and over again until it was pounding in my brain like a hammer!"
Louis: "Our problems aren't about him."
Armand: "And you threw her name around just for cover, but it always circled back to him."

Daniel: "Suicide hotline 101. Don't say to the person on the other end of the line, 'Hey, why don't you cheer the fuck up?'"
Louis: "I overreacted."
Daniel: "Not sure that killing me was a totally warranted response to my idiocy."

Armand: "Oh, it's so, so hard to be me. It's so hard to kill humans. I can feel their feelings as I drain them. Everyone I know wronged me."
Louis: "Let's try you. "I'm the vampire Armand and my daddy vampire groomed me into a little bitch!""
Armand: "My brother, he tossed himself off a roof!"
Louis: "The vampires who murdered my daddy made me pretend I didn't have a dіck for two hundred fourty years."
Armand: "My sister, she buried me alive. My daughter was my sister was my throw pillow when he wouldn't look at me kindly."

Daniel: "Listen as though I'm the voice of God or an angel talking to you. Telling you this room doesn't matter, this night doesn't matter. You're not inconsequential or a junkie. You're a bright young reporter with a point of view. There are stories that need to be told. If things ever get bad again, these are the words you'll hear in your mind like a tape playing over and over, like a song stuck in your brain. These words will hold you up and carry you. They are your lifeline."

This episode was brilliant, well written, wonderfully acted and enagaging throughout, despite the incredibly dark and disturbing nature of the themes and imagery on display. It was one of the best episodes of the series, although I probably wouldn't want to watch it more than once more. However, the events of the episode firmly establish how far this diverges from the original story, to the point where it really isn't truly an adaption anymore.

4 out of 4 30 Minute Tapes

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. Could I say, excellent casting of the young Daniel. There was an immediate connection between the older and younger versions in my head.

    I haven't been that happy with this second season, but I'm thrilled to hear that season three has been announced and it will focus on Lestat. Thousands cheer!


    1. Woo followed by a quite Hoo! This is what I wanted in the first place!

  2. Fabulous, fabulous casting for young Daniel. Top marks there.

    "A beige pillow" is one of the most creative and savage insults that I've heard in awhile.

    I just loved this episode. The original interview has hung over the series for awhile, and it was very satisfying to finally get to see it happen and to get answers. I also loved Louis and Daniel working together to uncover their memories. That moment of realization when Armand used the exact same phrasing as Louis did earlier was chilling.

    You mention that Armand calling Louis "maître" made no sense, but it didn't come out of nowhere. Louis took on that role during their conversation on the bench in Paris after he said goodbye to Lestat. He had already taken on that dominant role, although I got the sense that Armand was using it mockingly here. Their power dynamics are all kinds of messed up.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.