Sunday, December 4, 2022

‘Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 2 “After the Phantoms of Your Former Self”

TELEVISIONAMC'Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire' Recap: Season 1, Episode 2 "After...

In “After the Phantoms of Your Former Self,” Louis settles into life as a vampire while struggling to maintain a connection to his human family. Meanwhile, Daniel tries to understand Louis’ perspective — while resisting his otherworldly charms. Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid continue to mesmerize as their chemistry takes center stage. Read on for our recap!

Undead Hangover

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Daniel is treated to a dinner by the many staff at Louis’ apartment, though the vampire doesn’t join him until seven courses in. While Louis drinks blood “fresh from the farm,” Daniel wants to know more about what happened after Lestat turned Louis.

Louis stumbles through the graveyard as he changes painfully, with Lestat helping to get rid of the priests’ bodies while explaining some of the ground rules of his new life. Rule number one? No drinking a dead man’s blood. Once the shock and pain have worn off, Louis is stunned to discover that his senses are heightened. They stroll the streets as Lestat gives hunting pointers and Louis struggles not to go after every attractive human he sees.

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A sailor catches his eye, but Lestat urges him to think of the practicalities involved in killing someone that will have half his friend group looking for him if he disappears. Instead, they choose a boring tractor salesman and lure him back to their home. As Lestat talks him through the mechanics, Louis completes his first kill. He panics and leaves, shoving Lestat into the wall as the older vampire smiles knowingly. Louis soon finds himself burning in the sun, quickly rushing back to the safety of Lestat’s house. He helps Louis to his coffin upstairs, reassuring him that soon he’ll have his own. Stripping naked, the two have sex.

“Death, rebirth, coming out, homicide… too many firsts for one night… Being transformed by Lestat, being desired by him, bedding down with him, was an overture of sorts to that side of my nature… I got into that coffin of my own free will. In the quiet dark, we were equals.”

Daniel takes a confrontational approach to hearing this information and baits Louis by calling Lestat his “white master.” Louis calls him out for the tactic and asserts his dominance by draining a live fox while Daniel tries to act casual. He admits that after being turned, he didn’t take to killing at first.

Lestat compares learning how to kill to his own experience with learning English — once Louis starts dreaming in it, he’ll be just fine! He also drops the helpful tidbit that vampires can read minds as Louis realizes he can hear the thoughts of those around him. Lestat can’t read Louis’ mind anymore since he was the one who turned him. Louis tries to keep up connections with his family, while Lestat warns that chasing after “the phantoms of your former self” isn’t a good choice. At a family party, Louis uses his mind reading ability to find out what his mother really thinks of his lifestyle (Spoiler alert: she’s not pleased that he’s clearly dating this creepy white man.) while hearing two heartbeats inside a pregnant Grace, realizing she’s having twins.

Difference of Opinion

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Louis shares his plans for the new business with the alderman’s representative, who talks down to him as usual. But now, Louis doesn’t hold back his rage and drains him. Lestat is upset with Louis for casting suspicion on them, but Louis points out that Lestat doesn’t understand the nuances of racism in the U.S. and outlines their differences.

Louis: Colored? White. Creole? French. Queer? Half queer, mostly queer… which is it?

Lestat: Non-discriminating!

Louis: It’s a complicated situation we’ve got here, is all I’m saying.

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Lestat continues to berate Louis for what he perceives as carelessness as Louis storms off, frustrated that he won’t see the injustice he faces.

Later, as they both try to sleep in their respective coffins, Lestat realizes he owes Louis an apology, telling him that while he wishes he would have shown more restraint, he would have killed the man himself if he was there to witness the encounter. He buys Louis the Fair Play Saloon as a make-up gift, which doubles as their hunting ground. In the present, Daniel presses Louis on the habits of other vampires. Louis shares that he is one of the few vampires who can maintain control while the others are using the pandemic as an opening to increase their numbers. We also see more of how Louis gets his blood as he partially drains a man who voluntarily presents himself for the experience.

Belated Honeymoon

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Back in the past, Louis tries to mend fences with Grace as they have a heart-to-heart. But it all goes disastrously wrong when his thirst almost overcomes him while Grace hands over her baby to him so she can tend to her older twins. In an episode highlight, Daniel repeatedly and hilariously asks, “But did you drain the baby?” as Louis meanders through a monologue about losing his humanity. In the past, he runs from her home as she finds the baby crying alone.

He cries with Lestat, who gently urges him to sever his connections with his family, something he says is a rite of passage most vampires have to go through. He points out that Grace and the others will soon become fearful of him, if they aren’t already. Louis laments that he will never have a family and urges Lestat to start over with a new companion. Lestat believes they are a family.

I have two centuries walked this earth and can confirm you have no twin. No one as angry, as stubborn, as unaccommodating, as maddening… as loving, as dedicated, as thoughtful, as imperfectly perfect as you have become. You’re a challenge every sunset, St. Louis, and I would have it no other way.

Lestat offers to take Louis on a trip to Rome to help him relax, waxing poetic about how fun hunting is with the sights of Europe as a backdrop. He sees it as a chance to rekindle the spark of their romantic relationship after the stress of all the vampire teaching, saying, “I’ve been neglectful of our romance. And a steadfast pupil deserves a divine reward.”

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However, on their trip to Italy, they encounter more outright racism as Louis has to pretend to be Lestat’s valet in order to get into the theaters and balls. At the opera, Louis falls further in love as he sees how much Lestat loves the music, saying that it’s the one part of humanity that Lestat allows himself to take pleasure in. Their happiness is short lived as the horrifically bad tenor ruins Lestat’s enjoyment of the talented soprano singer.

Lestat decides to kill the tenor for the crime of being a pitchy singer, which seems fair. Louis has misgivings while Lestat makes the man sight sing the score. Lestat urges Louis to give himself over to his dark side as the man dies slowly over hours, drained by both Louis and Lestat. He gets a euphoric high out of killing, while Louis pretends he does too in order to please him, despite Lestat stating that he only needs Louis to know that he is a killer, not necessarily to enjoy it like him. Louis shares with Daniel that there was a certain beauty in the way Lestat drained his victims, but he could never be a natural like that. Daniel eats the dessert provided by Louis, which was a reference to a story in Daniel’s memoir, and the two sit in silence.

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET, with the series also available on AMC+. AMC+ subscribers also get the subsequent week’s episode early.

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