On Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire, “Don’t Be Afraid, Just Start The Tape,” Daniel (Eric Bogosian) is haunted by his memories of the night he first met Louis (Jacob Anderson); realizing that neither of them knows what happened that night.

Louis sits down with Daniel to continue his story about how he and Armand (Assad Zaman) ran the theater together. Armand sits nearby until Rashid (Bally Gill) brings in his dinner—a young man who agrees to let Armand hunt him for crypto coin. After Armand leaves, Daniel tries to restart the interview but gets distracted by a memory of Armand. He sees Armand looking at him, telling Daniel about his memories. 

Louis can see that Daniel is distracted, so Daniel changes the direction of the interview. He stops his recording and asks Louis what happened the night they met. Daniel remembers meeting Louis at a bar in San Francisco. Louis paid for his drinks and they left together. After several drinks and lots of drugs, they started the interview. That’s where Daniel stops remembering. The next thing he remembers is waking up in a parking lot in Milwaukee. So what happened that night?

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Louis took the young 20-something Daniel Malloy (Luke Brandon Field) to an apartment.  Daniel thought they went there for sex, but that’s not what Louis wanted. He wanted to tell his story about his life as a vampire. Daniel didn’t believe him at first until Louis quickly rushed to his side and showed him the fangs. The reporter was more nervous after that. Louis told Daniel not to be scared and the interview with the vampire started. Louis told the story as it has been told in this series … for the most part. Louis spent most of the night complaining about Lestat (Sam Reid) and crying about Claudia (Delainey Hayles). 

In the present, Louis asks why Daniel is bringing up that night. Daniel says he has some unanswered questions about that night. Louis doesn’t see the point and Daniel asks him to give him 20 minutes to talk about it. Louis agrees and Daniel starts his recording. This time, Louis asks the first question. What does Daniel remember about that night?

Jacob Anderson as the Vampire Louis in Interview With The Vampire

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

Daniel remembers Louis yelling about Lestat, then getting emotional about Claudia. Then he remembers getting annoyed because Louis thought about killing himself the first time Claudia left. He makes the assumption that Louis brought him home to make him a vampire. Louis gets angry and attacks Daniel. Louis remembers and says he overreacted that night. 

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Daniel pauses. He moves two audio files from the file he received from Ragland James to his desktop. He told Louis that the files were gone. Daniel lies and says he found the file in the cloud. When Louis attacked Daniel, he knocked the recorder off the table and it slid under the television. At the end of the recording, all he could hear was the television. Daniel continues the lie and says his research assistant cleaned up the audio so they can hear what’s being said.

Louis listens and hears the attack. A few minutes later, Armand walks in, yells Louis’s name and there’s a crash. Flashback to that moment, young Daniel was turning gray when Armand showed up and pulled Louis off of him. The drugs in Daniel’s system made Louis jittery and mouthy. He and Armand argued for several minutes because Louis revealed his nature to a reporter. Louis attacked Armand by calling him boring. He said the 10 hours he spent with Daniel was more exhilarating than a lifetime with Armand. Eventually, Louis begins talking to himself, getting nervous and then he races out the door. 

Daniel stops the recording and asks Louis what happened. He plays the recording again. They can hear two doors slam. Armand calls out to Louis and runs after him. Then there’s a scream and the tape runs out. Louis sits in silence for a moment then remembers, he ran out into the sun. Armand ran out and saved Louis from dying. Louis didn’t remember it happening until that moment. 

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Armand drug Louis to the bedroom and put him in bed. Louis was severely burnt and doesn’t remember how he got that way. Meanwhile, Daniel was sitting in front of the television. Louis was shocked to find out that the boy is still alive. This annoyed Armand, so he used his telekinesis to raise Daniel off his chair and slammed him to the ground multiple times. 

In the present, Daniel asks Louis how long they kept him in that apartment. He honestly doesn’t remember. Daniel remembers bits and pieces, like seeing a dead man wrapped in cellophane on the floor. That man was a neighbor who witnessed Louis walk out into the sun and burn. Armand had to kill him.  Daniel and Louis share memories to piece together what happened next. Daniel lay on the floor scared for his life. Louis was in the bedroom, but could see Daniel on the floor. Armand walked out to the living room and found the recorder. He listens to the tape. After he stops the tape, he takes over Daniel’s body, making him stand. Armand introduces himself then sits down to talk to Daniel.

Assad Zaman as the Vampire Armand on Interview With The Vampire

Assad Zaman as Armand – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

Armand mentioned that Louis brought 128 men to that apartment and Daniel is the only one he didn’t have sex with and drain. He wanted to know what made Daniel special. Daniel said he only went with Louis to get drugs. Armand controlled Daniel’s body so he wouldn’t escape. He looked into his memories, while Louis yelled at him to leave the boy alone. Armand slammed the bedroom door so Louis couldn’t see them. Armand talks to Daniel about his memories, revealing that Daniel sold his father’s Playboy magazines and told a girl he’d only have sex with her if she wore a bag on her head. That’s the memory that present Daniel keeps seeing. Armand did all of this because Louis called him boring. Armand said he will keep digging to find out what makes Daniel so fascinating.

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Present Daniel gets angry, remembering what Armand did to him. He starts to remember hearing a news report on a Saturday night. He met Louis on a Tuesday, meaning he was held captive for four days. Then he remembers Armand went into some kind of trance. Armand is communicating with someone, saying he’s with ‘him’ now, but he won’t say why or where they are. 

Lunch is almost over and Armand will return soon. Louis is eager to find the truth about those four days. Daniel remembers Louis asking to be put in his coffin. Armand let Daniel rest and he fell toward the wall, hitting his face and making his nose bleed. Louis remembers Armand put Louis in the coffin and then fed him blood. Armand said he listened to Daniel’s tapes twice and was annoyed that Louis only talked about Lestat and Claudia. Armand accused Louis of playing out a fantasy where Daniel publishes his story so that Lestat would find it and reunite with him. He said he will leave Louis but first he needed to tell him that he knew where Lestat was. 

Armand reached out to Lestat telepathically while Louis told him not to. Armand offered to communicate for Louis since he was too injured to do it himself. Lestat answered and Armand repeated everything he said to Louis. Lestat asked why Louis was ill and said that he still loved Louis. Armand refused to repeat that Lestat still loved Louis and disconnected his mind. Armand said he thought Louis was trying to hurt him for what happened in Paris. He asked if he atoned for his part or if he is a reminder of the worst of it. Armand told Louis to rest and he would clean up.

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Armand cleaned up Daniel, telling him to rest. Daniel cried, scared that he was about to die. Armand calmed him down, saying that Daniel will never have to live an ordinary life. He intended to kill the boy, but Louis stopped him. Louis said he needed Daniel to live through the night if their companionship was going to survive. Armand stopped feeding on Daniel and walked away. Louis sat next to Daniel and consoled him while he cried. 

Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy in Interview with the Vampire

Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 5 – Image Courtesy of AMC Network Entertainment LLC

In the present, Daniel reads a passage from his book. He interviewed a junkie who told Daniel that he was a great reporter and people’s stories needed to be told. After the junkie told him that, he burnt himself alive. The funny thing is, Daniel always remembered teh junkie saying those words to him after he was burnt. He now realizes that the junkie was Louis. 

Louis said they gave Daniel more drugs, Armand fogged Daniel’s brain, erasing himself from the scene and inserted new memories. The two vampires left the apartment with Daniel, while someone took pictures from across the street. Daniel now knows why he didn’t remember everything that happened that night. But why didn’t Louis remember? It took both of them to piece together what happened that night. Armand returns to the apartment. Louis says they started reminiscing about San Francisco. He asks Armand why he saved Daniel that night. Armand says he could tell that Louis was partial to Daniel and he had a hunch that Daniel could prove fruitful in the future. 

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Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire seasons 1 and 2 are now available on AMC+.

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