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

Interview with the Vampire: Like the Light by Which God Made the World before He Made Light

“I’m glad we did this.”

What’s next? A recurring question throughout this series, it is often criticized within the text as lazy and inadequate, but this episode very much feels like a simple answer to that very question.

Build up is an important thing. It impresses a kind of urgency on an audience, gives a bit of foreshadowing and prepares them for the big shoe about to drop. This entire episode was a slow build up, as we take a momentary side journey with the sole human in the room, at least in the past: Madeleine, a weird, droll and sarcastic woman who had formed a somewhat unlikely relationship with Claudia. This forbidden friendship was based on mutual isolation and loneliness, and is quite beautiful in a painful and tragic way.

We’ve gotten a bit of Madeleine’s history throughout the season, but here we get a lot more. She lost her sister suddenly, but it isn’t explained exactly how. She lost her parents next. She was a survivor, and made it through the war using her wits and instincts. She made some suspect choices, and was humiliated and prosecuted by a mob in a violent and unfair way. Then as a final straw, she was attacked and nearly raped, before Claudia showed up and killed her attackers.

It never felt strange that this relationship was borderline romantic, because if you think about the events they are very much framed as romantic – complete with the vampire coming to save the damsel in distress. You could plainly see Madeleine's awe and horror, but as Claudia revealed her nature you could almost see Madeleine's thoughts on her face as she realized this girl wasn’t actually a girl, but a woman inside a child’s body. That clear realization came with additional clarity of purpose; she could be a companion for this lonely vampire. If this were any other story, that could be its own narrative, a lovely romance of an unlikely and somewhat strange pairing. Except this entire story is a tragedy, gothic and beautiful but most definitely sad and brutal and we know this cannot last forever.

Even the conversations between Louis and Armand over this pairing were very telling, talking at length about the whys and why nots, the danger and the possibilities. With Madeleine, Louis could be free from Claudia in a way, allowing her to move on with someone who was nearly perfect for her – an eternal companion in love that was far better a match than he was for her. A perhaps bittersweet realization for Louis since Claudia is his daughter, no matter how they present their relationship.

I also loved the conversation between Madeleine and Armand. It was a bit confrontational, but the way she presented herself was fascinating. I will always be curious about her method of eating an apple, which I just have to try now, but for me it was the way she responded so quickly and easily to each of his probing questions. I think by the end he was actually intrigued by the idea of her as an immortal, but in another exposure of his fragility he refused to turn her. This is damning, because if he had, it would legitimize her under the five laws and protect her. It would also separate her from Louis and Claudia in a way that would be healthy. Louis turning her is a bit incestuous.

Madeleine also seems uniquely suited to life as an immortal. She has no family, no friends, no connections. She is living in an age with no real social framework, where the past is gone and the future feels a long way off. Louis had remarked on this several times throughout the season, how Paris was slowly coming alive again. But for Madeleine there is nothing, except for Claudia who is a bright spot on her memory. So much so that Louis could see it in her memories when he was draining her, and that was how he knew she was perfect for his daughter.

But perfect only goes so far when someone is out to get you, and the theater vampires want blood. Santiago has taken over, right under Armand’s nose, and they are plotting and planning something big. Armand in the present is distraught, especially after he learns that Daniel and Louis have broken through his mind blocks and regained their memories of the 70’s. He expresses remorse for his part in it, even complimenting Daniel in a way that seems somewhat pointed. But I also get the very distinct impression Armand isn't the villain in this story, which is surprising.

At first Armand tries to cover, to explain away his role in what happened. He didn’t just make a deal, he gave Santiago what he wanted: Louis, Claudia and Madeleine on a silver platter. Which feels dire and final, especially when the kangaroo court is revealed. You can almost feel death coming, and of course the 600 pound gorilla is finally returning to the stage. Lestat de Lioncourt is back, in the flesh and ready to give testimony against Louis and Claudia.

I think Claudia put it best: “Fuck these vampires!”


I’m not sure if there is a pattern, but there doesn’t seem to be a reason why some of the vampires have those haunting blue eyes, and others have the macabre red eyes. It doesn’t seem to be gender based or by bloodline. I bring this up because Madeleine has those red eyes like Claudia and Armand.

Claudia and Madeleine seemed genuinely happy, and that just puts this super fine point on the fact that Madeleine might just be the most tragic character in this entire story.

Lestat seemed perfectly fine, but he has always been hard to read.

Roxane Duran (Madeleine) is just fabulous in this role, from her wonderful expressions and ability to bring humor to a role that should be rather humorless, to the way she moves and adds to the depth of the character with little bits of humanity. She fits easily into this part and ensemble and I want more of her. Perhaps the character will survive the next episode.


Daniel: “You had pictures of me in 1973.”
Raglan: “Pictures of them. You were a fly on the windshield.”
Daniel: “Can you protect me?”
Raglan: “Ah! From being killed? No. We're particularly poor at keeping our assets alive.”

Armand: “A flaccid full-length play based on nothing other than the superficial observations of the vampire Sam, his meditation on vampiric existence and enduring.”
Louis: “Strange, I remember you racing back from rehearsals to tell me how ambitious the conceit was.”
Armand: “Well, I was following your advice, wasn't I? I didn't want to bring the work's anxieties into our home.”
Louis: “Or you're recalling the events with bias because of the machinations surrounding it. Lead with a velvet glove instead of an iron gauntlet was the advice. Indulge the buffoon were my words. Feed Santiago his own ego back to him… and smother mutiny with praise.”

Claudia: “You were Lestat's, now you're Armand's.”
Louis: “Or Armand is mine.”
Claudia: “I've been a third all my life. Not saying that to fight, just saying that it's true. I feel like I get to pick one thing for myself, and it's her. A weird white lady I met by happenstance.”

Armand: “I have never made a vampire.”
Daniel: “You are a five hundred year-old vampire. You led the Parisian coven for two centuries.”
Louis: “And he hadn't told me.”
Armand: “I did once. He didn't hear it.”
Louis: “He didn't, no.”
Armand: “The idea repulsed me, repulses me.”
Louis: “Well, at least we can agree it was a disingenuous act.”
Armand: “I went there open-minded.”
Louis: “You walked into Madeleine's…”
Armand: “It was an outrageous request.”
Louis: “...with your mind made up!”
Armand: “Louis's opinion.”
Daniel: “Claudia's opinion. Uh, let's see, let's see, um... 'fŐ˝ck these vampires.'”

Armand: “The pages I tore out of Claudia's diaries, we did most of those together. Not all of them. And the ones I did on my own were to protect me from you, Mr. Molloy. Why did I owe you my shame? Why did I owe you my one act of cowardice? The series of abhorrent consequences that followed? I've spent the rest of my life trying to make up for it. I'll never make up for it."

Armand: (to Daniel) “You've as sharp a mind as any human that walks.”

Another excellent episode that once again expanded upon the source material, but this time it only made Madeleine a better and more rounded character.

3.5 out of 4 Snippets of Memories

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.