Sunday, December 4, 2022

‘Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 3 “Is My Very Nature That of the Devil”

TELEVISIONAMC'Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire' Recap: Season 1, Episode 3 "Is...

In “Is My Very Nature That of the Devil,” Louis struggles with his true nature as a vampire while Lestat pours salt in the wound by seeking pleasure in the arms of another. Daniel continues to push present-day Louis, but both men will need to confront their versions of the truth. And in the final act, Louis makes a decision that will change his existence forever. Read on to find out what happened in this week’s Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire!

Nature vs. Nurture

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Lestat and Louis sit in the square, with Louis trying to convince Lestat of the merits of going vegetarian and not killing humans. It’s amusing to Lestat, who cannot separate the joy of killing from his food source. Louis, on the other hand, is trying to subsist on rats and cats instead. He attempts to compromise with Lestat — they should only go after “the worst of them” by reading their potential victims’ minds. Lestat cautions that every human has evil within, but humors his partner’s wishes. But when they find a suitable candidate, Louis still can’t do it. Rolling his eyes, Lestat finishes the job while Louis drains a nearby cat.

At the Azalea, new singer Antionette croons while Louis tries to engage Lestat in conversation. Lestat would rather talk about Louis’ aversion to being a vampire. He’s hurt by it considering he made Louis and is a vampire himself. He believes Louis thinks he’s too good for the darkness. Louis counters with the good he’s done in his community, propping up a dozen small businesses around the Azalea’s success.

Yes, for every 20 people he kills, he makes one small businessman’s dreams come true! Louis de Pointe du Lac, the Dark Prince of Iberville.

Lestat
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Louis says he’s no longer killing people, and Lestat wonders how he can go against his nature. However, he will support Louis’ choice to do so, even adding that he “fears for the feline population of New Orleans.” Antoinette catches Lestat’s eye at the end of her song… but so does something the pianist is thinking.

The Odyssey of Recollection

In the present, Louis waxes poetic about how Lestat knew Jelly Roll was leaving for a better situation. Why, that very night, Lestat helped compose “The Wolverine Blues”! Daniel interjects, noting that aside from this being completely implausible, the story Louis just told contradicts his earlier interview from the 1970s, noting that “It’s not so much the minute details, but the total rewrite that’s giving me pause… Ken Burns can choke on the footnotes.” He once again calls Lestat and Louis’ relationship abusive, pondering how normally with time the victim will have a less favorable view of their abuser. But the earlier interview has Louis calling himself Lestat’s superior, while this present-day conversation is far more soft and favorable towards Lestat.

Louis counters by reading a passage from Daniel’s own memoir that is almost entirely fictional due to changes he made and gaps in his memory (something Daniel called his “odyssey of recollection”). He also strongly pushes back at Daniel’s assertion of abuse, saying that he does not consider himself a victim. Daniel asks why Louis insists on telling the tale of a “f**cked up Gothic romance” instead of the more straightforward (and debatably more accurate) tale of abuse. But Louis once again points out that this is his story to tell, not Daniel’s or anyone else’s.

Those tapes are an admitted performance. That is the entire premise of our interview. Half a century later, allow me my odyssey.

Louis

Daniel acquiesces and deletes the 1970s tapes from his computer, while Louis theatrically lights the physical tapes on fire with his mind with a flourish.

(Non) Ethical Non-Monogamy

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC
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Back in 1917, Antionette and Lestat get closer as Louis grows more jealous. One night, Lestat brings her back to their home as Louis narrates that his new rat diet decreased his libido. She surprises both Lestat and Louis by saying the rumors about their relationship don’t bother her, especially since, like Lestat, she “likes all sorts.”

Antionette: [flirting] I like men called Daddy.

Lestat: [spilling champagne] Oh, your blouse… it’s soaked with champagne! Bad Daddy…

Louis has seen enough and leaves to get his dinner. But when he returns, she is still alive and Lestat has killed a random dentist instead (“There’s a dental convention in town. Sinister talk of molars and bicuspids around every corner!”) Louis finally expresses his insecurity, quietly asking if he is enough for Lestat as his voice breaks. Lestat bursts into laughter, pulling him in for a hug as he says that they will be together for a thousand nights to come. Distractions like Antionette are there to stave off boredom and give pleasure, “like the pleasures of the kill for me, and the pleasures of the good book by the fire for you.” Still, Louis can’t shake the feeling of jealousy. To placate him, Lestat offers to open the relationship, and Louis takes him up on it (much to Lestat’s apparent surprise).

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Meanwhile, soldiers are assembling in New Orleans to ship off to France. Louis deals with local politics trying to keep Black businesses from profiting off of the influx. His old friend Jonah is among the soldiers, and the two catch up over dinner at the Azalea before going for a drive. Turns out, the two were more than friends all those years ago, and those feelings haven’t quieted. They have sex, testing the bounds of Louis’ newly open relationship. When he returns home, Lestat reveals he dumped Antoinette while casually inquiring about Louis’ night out. He talks about Jonah, but notices mud on Lestat’s shoe. This detail stuck with him all these years later while he cannot recall if it was raining that night, something that also stands out to Daniel.

Dancing with the Devil

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Louis attempts to see Grace after hearing from Jonah that it was the twins’ birthday, but it goes south quickly as his mother bars him from entering while the children call him a ghost. Frustrated and unable to control his temper, he physically pushes the door in. With his mother smugly calling him the devil, a terrified Grace runs from him and tells him to leave. He’s now lost the only human family he had left.

Returning home, he finds that Lestat has invited half of the army over for a rowdy evening, as one does.

Louis: What were you thinking?

Lestat: Well I thought we could have an orgy! You could f**ck them, and I could eat them.

He also bears the bad news that the city has closed the Azalea down due to a racist new ordinance. Louis orders Lestat to get the men out of the house, and he complies using his mind control powers. Immediately afterward, Lestat unleashes the tantrum he’s been holding in since Jonah, revealing he followed the two and watched the whole encounter. He “heard your hearts dancing” and pouts that while he had no feelings for Antoinette, Louis and Jonah had something more between them. He also complains that Louis is not living his life to the fullest. Louis shouts that Lestat has taken everything from him before storming out.

Out of the Flames

Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

That frustration needs an outlet, and Louis finds one in the racist alderman Fenwick who has purposely been trying to put Louis out of business by voting for segregation in the red-light district. In the interview, Louis tells Daniel that the question of whether he came from the devil loomed large. Louis confronts the man in his home in a chilling sequence anchored by Jacob Anderson’s haunting performance.

Louis: Why’s your heart beating so fast? You’re thinking about your wife, and your two daughters, and how fortunate it is that they’re away at your winter home. It is fortunate. [Louis takes several gunshots to the chest with no effect] I’ll let you reload. [attacks] You said I’m arrogant? Maybe I am arrogant!

Fenwick: What are you?

Louis: [smiles] I’m a vampire.

Taking a page out of Lestat’s dramatic playbook, Louis leaves Fenwick’s body outside in the town square with a sign reading “Whites Only.” But this sets off a horrific chain of events as the white men of New Orleans seek retribution. They burn down the Azalea and much of Storyville as Louis watches, guilt-ridden at having caused this violence against his community. Lestat, however, is proud of Louis for finally embracing his dark gift, even declaring today their true anniversary. This angers Louis even more, and he runs into the street looking for a way to help.

But there’s nothing he can do as the crowds run screaming past him while their homes burn. Then, he hears a small voice calling for help inside a burning building.

And then, one of those inconceivable moments where who you were before, and who you’ll be forever after, is marked in time… I could not save the Azalea. I could not save Storyville, I could not save the aunt on the wrong side of the wall. But I could save her. My light. My… Claudia.

Louis

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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