Sunday, October 16, 2022

REVIEW: 'Interview With the Vampire' - Louis Contemplates the Many Facets of His Nature in 'Is My Very Nature That of the Devil'

AMC's Interview With the Vampire - Episode 1.03 "Is My Very Nature That of the Devil"

When an old friend comes to town, Louis' relationship with Lestat is tested. Louis' business intertwines with growing tensions in New Orleans, leading to a new chapter in Louis' vampire life.

"Is My Very Nature That of the Devil" was written by Rolin Jones & Hannah Moscovitch and directed by Keith Powell

Louis expects a full partnership with Lestat. They are soulmates. They deserve an equal say in everything they do. And yet, that's not the reality of the situation. Lestat has the complete freedom to do whatever he wants while also controlling Louis completely. Lestat sees a complete distinction between vampires and humans. They are different beings entirely. Vampires are above the concerns and trivial whims of humans. The vampires interact with humans solely to feast on their blood. Of course, they can prosper from the blood of any living creature. Louis projects morality over the necessity of killing. He rejects the premise of what it means to be a vampire. He doesn't wish to be seen as the devil. The nature of his reality has changed though. This is the creature he has become whether he likes it or not. He made that choice. He hopes to maintain a connection with his family for as long as possible. And yet, even they see him differently now. He is the monster who terrorizes their lives whenever he comes around. He expects gratitude because he provides for them. But they are haunted by everything that he does. Louis hopes to hold himself to a higher standard. He believes vampires must have some higher calling. They can't simply kill whomever is most convenient. They should take it upon themselves to try to make a difference in the world. It's pointless to simply target the dentist on vacation. He has done nothing wrong. He simply wanted a good time in New Orleans. This city has provided Louis with the tools to prosper. And yet, the business interests of the city council refuse to let him be their equal. Sure, the aldermen acknowledge his intellect and eye for business. But they always look down on him because of the color of his skin. They see him as a convenient tool who can help them make a profit. Louis wanted something to own completely himself. Lestat provided him with the resources necessary to make that a reality even though he doesn't really care about any of this. Despite all of that, Louis' dream was disrupted by the sins of humans. Louis faces temptation. He falls prey to it against those who wrong him. He must feast. He controls it when it comes to a man he likes. It's another story entirely with the corrupt city officials. That's what he needs to fulfill his sense of vengeance. He has to make a point with it too. It's not good enough to simply kill Fenwick. He has to put his body on display to showcase the harsh realities of segregation in the city. It's a foolish mistake because it opens his entire community up to assault. Every person of color is blamed for the death of one person. Louis is powerless to save all of them caught up in his mess. Instead, he has to make do with just one. He says that moment is the light that transforms his life moving forward. But again, all of this is being told in such a rehearsed way that suggests a personal prominence that can transform the fundamental story of vampires.

At this point, the pacing has become sluggish. Louis takes everything so seriously. Molloy can disrupt his thoughts from time to time. He has the tapes to back up his claims of a shifting story. Not every memory can be trusted. The details fade over the years. The emotions should still ring true no matter what the circumstances were. Molloy has to set aside everything that came before in order to analyze who Louis is right now. This is the vampire he wants to present to the world. He doesn't want to be judged in comparison to what he said fifty years ago. So much has changed since then. He's removed from humanity too. He has humans serving him. He reaches out to Molloy to tell this story. He still sees that purpose. He is looking to change the world. However, the majority of the story is focused on the past. It comes from the early days of his expectations clashing with reality. Things were always toxic between Louis and Lestat. Louis refuses to see himself as a victim. He has accumulated enough power and influence to deflect from that idea that conveys weakness entirely. Molloy provides some insight. It's not enough to fundamentally change anything. Louis needs the world to know just how seductive Lestat was. He was a charming man who went after everything he wanted. That included Louis. Lestat fears being alone. Louis is away of that now too. He can only tentatively use that against his partner to flex his own desires in this relationship. All of this shows the limitations of what the two of them can achieve together. They simply have different outlooks over what they should be doing. And yet, they are forever trapped. Lestat is Louis' creator. He turned him into a vampire. As such, Louis feels a strong connection to him no matter what. That overpowers every other significant relationship in his life. It's all-consuming. Louis is haunted by these thoughts. He wants to be better. The world looks at him cynically. His own family turns against him because of his powers. He showcases no control. He lashes out. It's incredibly consequential. Hopefully, the narrative provides the shift that is desperately needed at this point. Right now, everything remains neatly contained in New Orleans. That may not change anytime soon. Louis showcases the complexities of the choices now presented to him. He was never going to be perfect. He can't be trusted as a reliable narrator either. As such, the narrative creates a tonal clash where he wants all of this to be taken seriously even though Molloy and the viewer should be skeptical about every single claim. Fascinating conversations are apparent about racism and homophobia. The show tackles them with conviction. And yet, it's already gotten monotonous without new details as to how these various dynamics evolve over time - which Louis and Lestat have in abundance without fearing death. The expectation moving forward is that they will handle this expression of identity differently. That's necessary at this point. Everything burns down with the hope of being reborn once more. That is already a cycle that has happened once. Louis is simply on the other end now.