Killing the living is easy on Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, but killing the dead … that takes skill. In “The Thing Lay Still,” Claudia (Bailey Bass) plans the perfect murder as New Orleans prepares for an extravagant Mardi Gras Party. 

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Daniel (Eric Bogosian) organizes his recordings before they start their next session. He looks at Rashid (Assad Zaman) and remembers his dream. In that dream, Rashid was with Louis (Jacob Anderson) that night Daniel met him in 1973. Daniel isn’t sure if it’s real or not, but he can’t help but stare at Rashid now. At least until he sees Rashid standing in the sunlight. Then he dismisses the thought.

Last week, Claudia made the decision to kill Lestat (Sam Reid) so she and Louis could be free. Daniel also wonders if an immortal can meet mortality. Louis says yes. They can die by starvation, drinking dead blood, fire, beheading and other ways. It can be done, but Louis wondered if the children could murder the father. Lestat was stronger, quicker and had powers they didn’t have. Now Lestat is more suspicious than ever. He insists that Louis and Claudia not only remain by his side during their wakened hours, but also that they slumber in the same room. 

It’s the 1940s. World War II has begun. And New Orleans is curious about the two men and their doll-like sister living in the French Quarter. How is it that they remain so young? This is something that Claudia thinks she can use in her master plan. Louis asks about her plan but she says it’s best that he doesn’t know. The only way he can help her is to distract Lestat by pretending to be more in love than ever. 

FLATTERY WILL GET YOU EVERYWHERE

A stranger slides a note under their door, wondering what their secret is. Other items have been left at the door, ones suggesting the trio is evil. Lestat says it’s time for them to leave New Orleans. He decides that they should move to Buenos Aires. 

Claudia presents an idea and Lestat doesn’t hate it. She suggests that they throw a party before they leave and only invite the most sinful of guests. Then she suggests they do this during Mardi Gras. Louis says it’s a bad idea because Mardi Gras is a month away. It’s when she suggests they throw a party fit for a king that Lestat really gets into the idea.

The trio visit Thomas Anderson (Chris Stack). They ask him to help them make Lestat the King of Mardi Gras so they can pull off their party. Anderson is not blind. He sees that Louis and Lestat are as young as the day he met them. But Louis and Lestat bribe him with money for his shipping business. It’s not long after that Lestat is named the King.

THE KING OF MARDI GRAS

Lestat stands and listens on Interview with the Vampire

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Party preparations begin. The cost to get into the party was a brick of gold. Lestat makes his travel plans at the same time. The plan is to starve for three days. The night of the party, Louis and Claudia will pick guests for Lestat to feast on, with one or two for themselves. They will entice the guest with the gift of  immortality. The guests will be given a boutonniere and taken to their home after the party. That’s when the vampires will indulge in their hunger and kill their guests. Then they will leave New Orleans together. 

Claudia had a few more errands to pull off her plan. She didn’t tell Louis at first, but he eventually found out. She planned to poison Lestat’s victims with arsenic and laudanum. The victims would appear drunk, causing Lestat to lose his stability. Claudia was so close to being free.

The night of the party arrives. All plans are set in motion. Lestat mocks the parade committee with a lavish French float. He pretends to drink the blood of a baby to give the crowd something to talk about. Louis and Claudia matched Lestat’s outfit as they scan the room for their evening meal.

THE CHOSEN ONES

Claudia took it upon herself to handpick a set of twins that she knew Lestat would like.. She introduces Lestat to the twins and he is practically salivating. Louis watched Lestat admire the twins and that’s when he knew. He wanted Lestat dead and he wanted to kill him. 

Louis also felt like something was off. He heard a woman in his head call everyone miserable dogs. He thought it was Claudia, but she said he’s just hungry. Louis hears another voice and it’s Anderson’s. Anderson says the building has a dome that was built by the same architect that built the US Capitol. He’s surprised that Louis heard him over the band and makes comment about his and his gay lover’s party tricks. Louis decides to invite Anderson to discover the secret of immortality.

Louis finds Lestat on the balcony. Lestat says he will miss New Orleans. Louis says all of the boutonnieres have been given out. They are just waiting on Lestat. Lestat asks for one last dance before they feast. 

THE LAST DANCE

The vampires stand on a balcony on Interview with the Vampire

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt, Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

The two vampires return to the party and take center stage on the dance floor. Everyone watches them dance, whispering and judging. They end their dance with a kiss, shocking their guests. Some of the guests start to leave. 

To save the party, Claudia steps in to dance with Louis. They communicate with their minds. Louis wants to end the plan, but Claudia already gave her lethal concoction to one of the twins. She has to bite him to make him wake up from his hunger trance.

The chosen victims are taken to the vampires’ home. He tells them that there is an ancient text that had the recipe for the elixir of life. He gave that elixir to Claudia and Louis. The two progenies tell the group their real ages. Claudia is 36; Louis is 61. And Lestat is 179 years old. Anderson jumps the gun and opens the bucket of elixir. He is surprised to find that it’s empty, but it won’t be for long.

A FEAST FIT FOR A KING

The vampires start tearing into their victims. Some of the victims try to leave, but the door is locked. The twins try to yell for help, but the music outside is too loud. Lestat goes to find his twins, but Louis kills one before he could get there. They saved the last for Lestat.

Lestat hesitates, using his power for something. At the same time, someone enters the house. Lestat opens a vein on the twin and smells him. He smells the rosemary and something else. He asks his love what he smells. Antoinette (Maura Grace Athari) answers that he smells arsenic and laudanum. She was at the party, hiding in the shadows and listening to Louis and Claudia’s thoughts. 

Lestat grabs Louis while Antoinette tries to make Claudia drink the boy’s blood. That’s when Lestat throws up. Everyone stops and watches. Claudia takes a poker from the fire and stabs Antoinette in the chest. Claudia knew about Antoinette, she expected it. She knew Antoinette was watching her. She let Antoinette know of her plans, knowing she would tell Lestat. Claudia did poison someone. She poisoned Anderson, knowing Lestat would drain him out of spite. She tells Louis to say goodbye to Lestat and leaves the room.

THE THING LAY STILL

Louis stands on a balcony on Interview with the Vampire

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac – Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Lestat calls for Louis as his love grabs a dagger.  Lestat says he loved Louis with all of himself and he’s happy it was him. Louis holds Lestat and cuts Lestat’s throat. The blood poured out of Lestat quickly. Lestat falls to the floor and Claudia returns to the room. She writes a note in Lestat’s blood. The text is in French, but translates to “put me in my coffin, Louis, Louis.” 

Louis recalls watching Lestat dying. He stared at him. The thing lay still. Afterward, Claudia and Louis burned all of the bodies in the house. Not all of them were dead. Antoinette was burned alive. There was one body left to burn, but Louis couldn’t do it. They wrapped in a carpet, threw him in a trunk and threw him out with the garbage. Claudia and Louis left that night for Europe on a boat owned by Anderson. Anderson’ boat transported coffins for the war in Europe.

Daniel calls the story neat and tidy. Claudia’s story doesn’t feel as traumatic as Louis says it was. But there are pages torn out of her diary, so Daniel can’t be sure. He got the feeling that Claudia hated Louis for a while. Louis says he was haunted by his brother’s death, his sister’s abandonment, and the murder of Lestat. 

Daniel asks if it was a murder or an act of mercy. He says they didn’t kill Lestat. Louis spared him out of love, but Louis disagrees. Daniel starts asking questions about the trash. They put Lestat in a trunk with locks on the inside. The trash was taken to a dump where large rats lived. Rats with enough blood to bring back the dead. And Louis knew that.

MEMORY IS A MONSTER

Louis gets agitated as Rashid tries to stop the interview, but Daniel keeps pressing. Why didn’t Louis let Claudia burn Lestat’s body? And why was Rashid okay after being fed on and a 200 lb man faints? Daniel says Louis cursed Claudia by choosing Lestat over her time and time again. He doesn’t need a book, he needs trauma therapy. 

Rashid says Daniel only heard half the story and he will be ashamed when he hears the rest. Daniel doesn’t care. He says Louis is the same pimp paying a whore to listen to him. Daniel’s price is 10 million. 

While Daniel yells at Louis, Rashid takes off his gloves and begins to float in the air. Daniel says everything is the same as it was in 1973. Rashid says this time he won’t save Daniel’s life. He says Louis acts out sometimes. Rashid protects Louis from himself. He stopped Louis that night in San Francisco. 

Daniel doesn’t remember Rashid being there that night. Daniel is confused. He saw Rashid standing in the sun. Rashid says as they age, the sun loses its power over them. Rashid hands Daniel a book and says he is 514 years old. The book is full of paper clippings. Louis introduces Daniel to the love of his life, the vampire Armand.

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Interview with the Vampire airs Sunday nights on AMC. Watch episodes early on AMC Plus.

Noetta Harjo
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