In a season finale that exemplifies the best that Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire has to offer, Claudia’s plot to kill Lestat reaches its terrifying conclusion. One major reveal will have book readers impatiently awaiting the forthcoming second season as Daniel’s quest for answers only brings more questions. “The Thing Lay Still” caps off a near-perfect season of television while setting up the many twists and turns to come.
After his dream featuring Rashid in the 1970s along with Louis, Daniel is clearly questioning every aspect of Louis’ story. He pushes Louis as to how an immortal being like Lestat could even be killed, and Louis lists their options: starvation, drinking a dead man’s blood, fire, and decapitation. The only thing that would prevent his murder would be Louis and Claudia’s own abilities. The duo reluctantly pretends all is well, though the tension in the family is palpable while Claudia plots.
One night, a man comes to the house looking for “salvation,” believing that the trio are angels rather than the evil beings the rest of the town sees. Lestat kills him quickly, only to spit blood in disgust as he realizes the man had blood cancer. He insists they leave New Orleans as soon as possible, given that more and more pilgrims are making their way to their home for what they believe is an elixir of eternal life.
This kicks off Claudia’s planning in full force, which she declines to share with Louis. She believes he and Lestat share such a deep bond that he may inadvertently reveal their plans. She asks him to continue cultivating their love in order for her plan to work, promising to “pull him out” in time to kill Lestat.
Claudia’s plan takes shape. Appealing to Lestat’s showmanship, she suggests that on the way out of town, they throw a massive party for Mardi Gras that will double as a hunt. He doesn’t take the bait at first, but the temptation is too great to resist. Through a combination of bribery and spending lavishly, the party of Lestat’s dreams takes shape. All of New Orleans gossips, and the event quickly becomes the most talked about event of Mardi Gras.
The weird brothers and their doll-like sister were coming out. And the paper ticket to the event was a brick of gold for the insatiably curious.Louis
As the party plans come together, so does Claudia’s plot. She will poison select partygoers, making their blood a powerful sedative that Lestat will not detect due to its resemblance to drunkenness.
Blood on the Dance Floor
The event begins, with Claudia and Louis selectively choosing their victims while Lestat flirts with everyone in sight. He’s having the time of his life, which in turn makes Louis even more confused about whether he wants to go through with the murder as his hunger overtakes him. Out on the balcony, an uncharacteristically emotional Lestat tells Louis he will miss the city that has become his home. It almost sounds like a goodbye, and Louis guiltily tells him they’ve given out all the flowers marking their victims.
I’m going to miss this place. There isn’t an inch of this city that wasn’t built from the fierce wilderness that surrounds it. Hurricanes, floods, the damp climate on every painted sign, every stone facade. High windows, through which bits of civilization glitter. Silhouettes emerging, wandering out to catch a silent flash of lightning. The silky warmth of summer rain, desperately alive and desperately fragile … A last dance before the feast?Lestat
For the first time publicly, Lestat and Louis present as a couple, dancing despite the stares of those present and kissing on the dance floor. Louis falls head over heels once again, as Claudia predicted.
Back at their home, they toy with their victims in a fake ritual centering around water that supposedly provides immortality. In seconds, they hunt the humans, leaving no survivors in a horrific (and gorgeously shot) massacre. The last human standing is the man Claudia gave poison to, and they leave him for Lestat.
Downstairs, the front door creaks open as the trio upstairs fails to notice. Meanwhile, Lestat detects the poison in the man’s veins, which is confirmed by Antoinette as she strides up the stairs. Lestat turned her into a vampire, and she heard all the thoughts between Louis and Claudia. It seems as if their plan is ruined, but then Claudia’s master plan is revealed. She stabs Antionette through the heart, killing her with a stake. Lestat vomits, and Claudia narrates her plan. She intentionally let Antoinette hear her thoughts, only sharing what she wanted to and building a false narrative. She actually gave the poison to a man she knew Lestat would want to kill after he insulted him, then pretended the poison was in someone else. As Lestat begins to choke, she mocks his pain and coldly tells him to say his goodbyes. In tears, Louis picks up a sword to finish the job as a resigned Lestat watches.
I have loved you with all myself. I’m happy it was you, that you are with me. Mets-moi dans mon cercueil, Louis. [Put me in my coffin, Louis]Lestat
While Lestat bleeds out, Claudia writes his last words in her notebook. They burn all their victims, but Louis and Claudia can’t bear to burn Lestat. Instead, they wrapped the body in a rug and left him out with the garbage as they made their escape.
The Truth Comes Out
In the present, Daniel calls BS on the narrative. He points to missing pages in Claudia’s diary that might contradict the rest of the story, which he thinks is far too tidy.
You didn’t kill Lestat. You spared him, out of some f**cked up idea you had about love … You torched Antoinette, just to make sure! Where does the trash go, Louis? You take the trash down to the street, some guys show up and throw it in the back, and then they drive it out to the middle of nowhere, right? No. They take it to the dump. And having lived two blocks away from the dump just outside of Fishkill with my first wife, I can state with authority what else you’ll find there. Rats. Big f**cking rats the size of Kevin Durant’s sneakers. Enough blood to bring back the dead, especially one in a trunk that locks on the inside. You knew it, Louis. You had to. The biggest rat eater of them all.Daniel
Louis, shaking, tries to cling to the narrative he created where both he nor Claudia couldn’t finish the job. But Daniel wrings the truth out of him: Claudia did want to burn Lestat, but Louis pushed her away, choosing Lestat one last heartbreaking time. He gave Lestat the means to heal from his injuries and rise again, ensuring that Claudia would be hunted for eternity.
Daniel explodes in frustration, ranting about how Louis doesn’t really want an honest portrayal in this interview, while Rashid grows increasingly protective. As Daniel asks what, exactly, is different this time around, Rashid begins to float the same way Lestat did. Rashid casually floats to a bookshelf as he reveals that back in San Francisco, he saved Daniel’s life when Louis “acted out” during their interview. Daniel has no recollection of this occurring and is even more stunned to realize that Rashid is a vampire.
Daniel protests that Rashid has been out in the sun, and he says that as vampires age, the sun loses its power. He also reveals that he is 514 years old, far older than Lestat. He drops a book at Daniel’s feet containing newspaper clippings. As Daniel flips through, Louis has one last major revelation in store as he takes Rashid’s hand.
Daniel Molloy, I’d like you to meet the vampire Armand. The love of my life.Louis
Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire will return for a second season. All episodes are available now on AMC+.