Daniel (Eric Bogosian)
Daniel (Eric Bogosian)

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Plot Recap

In San Francisco – Louis, Daniel, Armand

Daniel in 1973 (Luke Brandon Field)
Daniel in 1973 (Luke Brandon Field)

For both Louis and Daniel, 1973 San Francisco is very fuzzy. So, with Daniel having a swath of audio from the incident and Armand away on the hunt for an hour or two, Louis and Armand decide to figure out what they know happened and what they may have forgotten.

The task is hard since Daniel is getting up there in age, and Louis has blocked out so much of his life, but they work through the meeting. Daniel thinks Louis is interesting, sexy, and has drugs, so he is going to not just get an interview but have some fun. However, for Louis, something is different about Daniel.

How different? Well, let’s just say 128 guys have been brought back to Louis’ apartment, and Daniel was the first one who didn’t get killed. But, with sparing a life comes the intrigue of Armand. Now, yes, Daniel does push buttons, as he will do in the future, but this time, Louis isn’t as restrained and nearly kills him. Thankfully for Daniel, Armand shows up in time to save him, but not before Daniel’s inquiries have done their damage.

Days Of Pain and Torture – Louis, Daniel, Armand, Lestat

Now, how far did Daniel worm his way into Louis’ head and cause madness? Well, Louis was ready to meet the sun, and between that, Armand listening to Daniel’s tapes, and hearing so much about Lestat, and an argument Louis and Armand have in which Louis calls Armand boring and brings up his past, Armand is in an odd place. The man has just dragged Louis from the roof and kept him from killing himself, yet at the same time, Louis sounds like he wants to break up.

So, being who Armand is, he contacts Lestat, who, spoilers, is ALIVE and still loves Louis. Armand acts as a medium so they can talk, but it seems Louis realizes he did something rash and doesn’t want to die or lose Armand. For a while, yes, Claudia’s death, and Armand’s part in it, still haunts Louis. However, he doesn’t want to go back; he wants to continue forward.

However, even with their issues on the path to resolution, Daniel remains, and Louis not only broke a vampire rule but also allowed his story to be recorded. Never mind; Armand is still jealous. So, for days on end, Armand tortures Daniel, as Louis is relatively unable to move, for Armand wants to know what Daniel has.

Yet, with reconciliation on the table, Daniel is let go. Louis romanticizes what Daniel could mean to their relationship and his existence, but before Daniel is let go, both he and Louis are glamorised to the point of only remembering up to Louis attacking Daniel, with the rest being blurry, if not packed away to the point it took decades to uncover.

And Where Do We Go From Here? – Louis, Daniel, Armand

Bonded by a shared, traumatic memory, yet also aware of what Armand did, so comes the question of what’s next? It isn’t clear if Louis ever learned to fortify his mind to the point Armand can’t read it or if Daniel has such a talent. Yet, here they are, with Armand, who wiped a notable part of their lives clean, and it doesn’t seem they wish to act like nothing happened.

Cast Guide

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Louis Jacob Anderson
Daniel Eric Bogosian
Armand Assad Zaman
Lestat Sam Reid
1973 Daniel Luke Brandon Field

Review

Highlights

Louis’ Misery

Louis (Jacob Anderson)
Louis (Jacob Anderson)

If the average human lifespan is 77 years old, and Louis was 33 in 1910, that would mean he just hit around a century when he met Daniel. Can you imagine living that long and then considering what Louis has gone through? His family is likely alive but has buried his existence and excommunicated him. The one person who would shift between being like a child or sister, by the time Daniel came around, was dead and died a horrific death. Love? Louis has been in love, but mostly lust, and even at 100, finding a good vampire in Armand, he is restless.

How do you handle the idea of living forever when, just at 100, you’ve experienced so much death and know this is only the beginning? No wonder he threw himself into the sun, as many other vampires have done. The most interesting people are humans with a finite life span; the vampires who have lasted for eons are a bore, and that’s assuming they are still sane and follow any type of vampire code.

But, then again, as shown by Armand, you can also get those with such a grasp on the code you feel limited, or someone like Lestat, who is so bold in the face of the code you may get the high of flying close to the sun, but not realize how severely burned you are until you can barely move.

Answering What Happened In San Francisco

San Francisco has been a ghost in Louis and Daniel’s life forever, and it has long been clear that Armand was part of the reason why. But, the exact details weren’t clear and we finally got a whole episode dedicated to answering the question: What happened? Which I think helped changed the dynamic of the show in a way that was necessary.

At times, Louis and Daniel felt like advisories. Louis wanted his story told, but a certain way, with Armand’s consent, which made Daniel’s job harder and with him having a finite amount of time, the BS was slowing things down. But, with sharing they know the truth and what Armand did, this bonds them in a way which almost makes Armand the outsider, perhaps some form of a villain as well, and that creates a vulnerability that could lead to a deeper story.

Plus, who is to say this isn’t the only thing Armand has rearranged to his benefit? That question opens the doors to maybe expanding the Louis saga past the death of Claudia, even if by a few more episodes.

On The Fence

Knowing Lestat Is Alive in the 70s

Having Armand speak to Lestat and have him speak through him to Louis, a part of me felt like they ruined the surprise that he didn’t die as Claudia and Louis intended. All to push Armand to be a bit more of a villain and/or insecure.

How Shakespearean Things Are

Armand (Assad Zaman)
Armand (Assad Zaman)

I think I find Armand and Louis so dull because they are very Shakespearean with their drama. It’s all theatrical, like a boring play, where they occasionally raise their voice to wake up the person in the back they can hear subtly snoring. And while I wouldn’t say the actors lack chemistry, I believe they need a third in Daniel, the ghost of Lestat, someone to force them out of complacency. Otherwise, they come off as boring as Louis accused Armand of being.

Background Information

Episode Title Don’t Be Afraid, Just Start The Tape
Release Date June 9, 2024
Network AMC+
Director(s) Craig Zisk
Writer(s) Jonathan Ceniceroz, Hannah Mocovitch
Previous Episode Season 2/ Episode 4
Series Page Interview With The Vampire
Character Guide Interview With The Vampire Cast & Character Guide

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