Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 1 was far and away one of the best pilots of the television series.
A visceral look at this updated version of Anne Rice’s masterpiece, the series started strong and with near-universal acclaim for a good reason. It’s genuinely that good.
The season has continued to not only push the stakes but grow and pick up on that initial moment. That opener was no flash in the pan, and Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 7 is a perfect coda to a consistently entertaining first season.
This finale will be most remembered for the ending, leaving viewers (and Molloy) on a cliffhanger, but there is so much more to carefully curate and dissect during this hour.
It could very well be one of the last times all three vampires are together in this way, and the hour does a brilliant job of showcasing those final months and weeks between three tortured people struggling to co-exist.
Louis sits firmly between Lestat and Claudia and is the only reason these two are in each other’s orbits at this point. Claudia is determined to rid herself and Louis of Lestat’s manipulations, no longer willing to be a cog in Lestat’s world.
But in many ways, she’s bringing Louis on unwillingly, no matter how he tries to play it in his talks with Molloy.
The relationship between Lestat and Louis was doomed from the onset, but to deny their love would be to kid yourself. It was overwhelming and toxic at its very core, but to each of them, it was love. Louis loved Lestat. And Lestat loved Louis.
But Lestat had proven he would never let Louis go, and it’s not even explicitly clear if that’s what Louis wants.
Louis is an extremely forlorn vampire, perpetually in a state of woe is me, made exceptionally worse when he’s not tethered to Claudia in some way. It’s why Lestat forces her hand in Interview with the Vampire Season 1 Episode 6.
The thing about Lestat, though, is his age and his narcissism don’t allow him to see others as equals. But he has a healthy sense of skepticism and jealousy, two traits that Claudia is backing on to help her enact her plan to finally rid the world of Lestat de Lioncourt.
I appreciate that Claudia always acts as the voice of reason, giving voice to much of what the audience is thinking. When the plan was forming, I kept thinking she would be much better off operating on her own without much input from Louis because if pressed, that bond with Lestat would win out every time.
And lo behold, that’s exactly what happened, and was very much necessary in the end.
Getting out of New Orleans was the right decision for them. There was nothing left for them there, and it was time to start over somewhere new and establish a life they could ride out for the next decade.
New Orleans is synonymous with Mardi Gras, so I’m glad the show incorporated it into the finale as a final swan song for this phase of the series. King Lestat, lording over the people of New Orleans, the city he’s terrorized for years, while they look at him in horror and fascination.
The ball is, of course, just a cover for the afterparty, but it ends up being this hauntingly beautiful time for Lestat and Louis to connect and give into that all-consuming passion that’s never going to leave them.
Lestat: A last dance before the feast.
Louis: I’d like that. I’d like that very much.
They talk rather candidly and dance like no one is watching, the world floating away and breaking itself down until it’s just the two of them blanketed by soft lighting and one dastardly colonial wig. Louis is once again pulled into all things Lestat, and you can almost feel the annoyance radiating off Claudia when she has to pull him away.
She’s got this perfect plan, and she doesn’t need Louis getting in the way!
From this point forward, the hour gets wild in only the way this series can. It’s gruesome and incredibly informative.
Again, Lestat never trusted Claudia, and to that effect, his instincts were correct. He knew Claudia was plotting something, so he had his side piece Antoniette stalking around to figure out what was happening. But per usual, he neglects to think ahead, falling spectacularly hard into the trap laid out for him.
It’s a great twist, even if it’s a little predictable. Lestat had to “die” to move forward with the next part of the story, and the scene is gross, tender, and devastating all at once.
Lestat is the villain of this tale. No one is trying to dispute that, but his relationship with Louis is at the heart of that matter, making examining their dynamic complicated.
I have loved you with all myself.
Lestat [to Louis]
Lestat is dying, and the last thing he wants to see is Louis’s face, and you can’t help but be affected by that. Louis certainly is. And when he gathers him in his arms and slices his throat, it’s presented as an act of mercy, but it also feels like a half-truth.
Louis was never willing to let Lestat go entirely, and no amount of blood on his hands told me otherwise. And while he had no problem listening to Antoinette’s cries as her body burned alive, he was absolutely unwilling to watch Lestat burn and let him die.
Molloy rightly calls him out on the way he cavalierly states that they threw Lestat out with the trash like he was just an afterthought not worthy of a proper burn when Molloy and the rest of us know Lestat could have easily used the rats that live amongst the trash to help sustain himself while he recovers from his injuries.
It took Louis months to recover from everything Lestat did to him, and it will take longer for Lestat to do the same. But Louis knew by not burning him that he had a chance to survive, so pretending it was anything other than that gets Molloy as fired up as you’re ever going to see him.
Molloy spends all season talking to an undead man while he grapples with his sickness and mortality. And he hits moments where he can no longer hold his tongue and placate the vampire, who most assuredly does pick and choose when he wants to be authentic.
Louis proudly acts like he killed Lestat, like he delivered the final blow, when it’s simply not true, no matter what narrative he’s spinning inside his head.
It’s no wonder Claudia grows hateful and resentful of Louis because no matter what she did. No matter how hard she tried, it would always be Lestat. She could never infiltrate that bond and the devotion, even if Louis pretended it was possible.
This series hasn’t stayed faithful to its source material, so technically, anything is fair game. And there is way too much material to mine here with a vengeful Lestat, who we have to assume crosses paths with his family again.
That reunion will only be part of a larger story that will also include more about the mysterious Armand, a powerful and old vampire with the cloud gift who isn’t affected by sunlight.
Rashid’s identity has been a rather big mystery. I know the name Armand because I saw the movie many moons ago and vaguely remember his importance. Still, he should play a pretty big role here, especially as his relationship with Louis spans back until at least the 70s, and Louis is introducing him as the love of his life.
I didn’t mean to snort at that admission, but the way he said it after having a mini-breakdown about being called out on his unwavering devotion to Lestat. No one introduces their significant other that way!
For a season that was full of hits, this was just another one to add to the list. And now we wait for volume two, and I, for one, can not wait.
Antoinette was really okay with just being this chess piece Lestat used when he felt like it. She lives so many years in the shadows, loses a finger, and her human life, just to die at the hands of her lover’s true love—what a horrendous way to go.
Anderson always said something reckless and wild, but the two-toned daddy takes the cake.
This season has been a revelation for Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid, who were brilliantly cast and did fantastic work. But Bailey Bass may be the MVP. She was incredible.
Armand has to be really old, making me wonder if he knew Lestat.
Those seven episodes flew by, but at least we can rest knowing that we get more Interview with the Vampire someday!
Please let me know what you thought about the finale and the season as a whole in the comments. And please watch Interview with the Vampire online via TV Fanatic, so you’re all caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.