If there is one thing Lestat will have, it’s the audacity.
He’s a walking contradiction, expecting loyalty and unconditional love from those he treats as lesser than and throwing a tantrum when anyone deigns to put him in his place. He’s a brat, for lack of a better word, and he’s been that way from the start.
But during Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 6, his actions catch up to him, pushing the two people who should feel most connected to him so far away that the only reasonable thing they can do is plot his demise.
After the events of Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 5, Louis is struggling both physically and mentally, with only Claudia there to help him recover.
You can tell during the ensuing years when it’s just the two of them how close the pair get, even if Claudia still keeps things close to her chest. She loves Louis, but her travels and encounter with Bruce, have hardened her in a way that’s almost forced her to grow up beyond the girl she was before she left.
It doesn’t help that Lestat never truly gives them peace because, of course, he wouldn’t. No, he has to linger around and wait for Louis to crack, even if it takes years.
Lestat awakens every evening focused on how he can assert his dominance over everyone around him. He takes pleasure in the power vampirism gives him and in how he can get whatever he wants when he wants it.
He wants Louis. He always has, but he’s pushed him to a place where he truly feels threatened with losing him for once. And yet, even once he gets him back, he’s still not content to do right by him. He will never be fully, unapologetically open with Louis because it could potentially put them on uneven footing.
There was a total power imbalance in the relationship, whether Louis wanted to see it that way or not. The idea that Lestat kept his powers from Louis as a way for Louis to feel his equal seems ludicrous when he was willing to expose them the second it benefitted him.
His return home is fraught with a thick layer of tension that often puts Louis in the middle of the neverending battle between Lestat and Claudia. And it truly is a BATTLE, both for Louis and dominance.
Claudia has never felt connected to Lestat, and it mainly feels like that’s because he’s always been so jealous of her and Louis. He and Louis had major issues before Claudia came along, but her arrival pulled pieces of Louis away from him, and he’s never known how to handle that.
He’s never known what to do about not feeling the right amount of love from Louis. Not feeling the love from Louis that he thinks he deserves.
It’s hard to grasp what’s the truth and what isn’t when it comes to Lestat because lying comes so easily to him. But when he talked about his maker, whether the ins and outs of the story are accurate, we may never know, but admitting his abandonment struggle felt authentic.
And those abandonment issues, coupled with his intense narcissism, bring us the Lestat de Lioncourt we know now.
His issues with Claudia stem mainly from the fact that she has a piece of Louis that he’ll never get back. Whether she is physically there or not is obsolete because she’s effectively nestled her way into Louis’ soul, and there’s no coming back from it.
Their back and forths during this hour are some of the most unintentionally hilarious moments of the series thus far. Sam Reid and Bailey Bass do great work here and play off each other well, especially in the scenes where they’re sizing one another up.
They’re each trying to learn the other. While Lestat is too arrogant to ever see Claudia as a real threat, he does recognize her power as it relates to Louis, which has to be an incredibly demoralizing feeling for someone like Lestat, who operates on what he believes to be a higher plane than everyone else.
Louis: You’re ugly when you act like that.
Claudia: Better ugly than blind.
Claudia does her best, time and time again, to get Louis to see logic when it comes to Lestat. But it really does feel like his soul is split between the two, with a slight leaning toward Lestat.
Molloy: You took Lestat back.
Louis: The vampire bond. There is no human equivalent.
Molloy: Lover. Murderer. Maker. You took him back.
Louis: It’s a bond that can never fully be severed.
Present-day Louis can blame it on the vampire bond, and perhaps that’s true in some ways, but as much as we see the depths of that bond between Louis and Lestat, there is no bond between Lestat and Claudia.
Louis tells his story to Molloy in such a detached way (most of the time), but it does call into question how much truth is in Louis’s stories. Or if there’s a little bit of revisionist history going on. It’s been a pervading theme from the onset, but with each passing hour becomes a bigger question for me.
But getting back to Lestat and Claudia, his ambushing her on the train is pure camp. From the decapitated head to allowing the dog to lick the blood off his fingers, it’s just over-the-top ridiculousness that shouldn’t work on a show like this but does.
Lestat already knows what life was like for him and Louis when Claudia was gone, and he’s not looking for a repeat of that. He knows that Claudia’s presence, especially amidst Louis’ continued struggles in the aftermath of losing his family and practically every link to his humanity, is paramount to Louis’ happiness.
Even if that happiness is still shrouded in perpetual grief.
Claudia feels absolutely trapped and stifled by Lestat, and she’s not wrong to see Lestat as her master. He commands, and they obey, unable to fight back against him.
It all leads to Claudia’s decision to kill Lestat, which feels like a pipe dream until you actually assess the situation. Claudia has been bidding her time in the place where she resides, which you can’t even call a home.
She may even know Lestat better than Louis because she’s more attuned to his full character and not seduced by those fleeting moments of charisma and devotion that pull Louis in when it’s convenient.
But the key to Lestat’s demise will always lie with Louis. Claudia won’t be able to kill him on her own, and it will take a precise plan for someone to catch a hundred years old vampire off-guard.
Heading into the final hour of Interview with the Vampire Season 1, it’ll be fascinating to see how these two devise a plan underneath Lestat’s very, very preceptive nose. And where that eventually leaves the two of them if they succeed.
What does a life of immortality become for them without Lestat?
Elsewhere this hour, Molloy finally gets some excitement when he lapses into a dream detailing his first meeting with Louis. There’s a flirty undertone to that first meeting, which contrasts the way we see them in the present day.
Molloy is less miserable and bogged down by illness and years and years of self-sabotage. And their meeting is uneventful outside of the fact that we see a very much same-looking Rashid right by Louis’ side, like he is now. Which means the man is a vampire, but how?
Rashid is constantly wearing gloves, which I can now assume is to hide those perfectly manicured nails. And he must be wearing contacts to disguise his eyes, but how does Louis feed off him? There’s something we’re missing here if he is a vampire.
Like, is he older than Louis? Or did Louis turn him? It would explain his utter devotion to Louis if he was, though it does feel like there might be something much bigger at play here. And we’ll hopefully be clued into it before this first season reaches its undoubtedly bloody conclusion.
Let’s quickly talk about Lestat and Antoinette. I don’t think Lestat loves her so much as he loves what she does for him. Louis pushes back, and Antoinette falls in line. She is all-in on Lestat in a way that he knows Louis can truly never be. And it’s why he’s so unwilling to give that up.
I love that they develop these rules and make these compromises for the “family,” and yet Lestat still manages to do whatever he wants, basically.
Is Antoinette a vampire? She doesn’t seem to be aging exactly, but I don’t see any explicit evidence here that Lestat’s turned her.
Bailey Bass is so damn good as Claudia. You can feel the venom whenever she looks at Lestat just oozing out of her pores.
We’ve only got one more episode to go, and it promises to be a thriller! We’re heading into the hour with a plan to kill Lestat, so you just know things are about to get messy!
Let me know what you thought about this hour in the comments, and please watch Interview with the Vampire online so you’re all caught up before the finale!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.