The Trial: Interview with the Vampire S2E7 Review

“I Could Not Prevent It”

Ben Daniels as Santiago - Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Episode 7 -
Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

The following review contains spoilers for Interview with the Vampire S2E7, “I Could Not Prevent It” (written by Rolin Jones & Kevin Hanna and directed by Emma Freeman)

Interview with the Vampire headed toward tragedy last week, and now we see it all fit into place.

The Trial is a rehearsed performance. The stage is crafted to look like a courthouse, and the projections offer the in-house audience a visual aid for the testimony of Theatre des Vampire’s lead witness. It is a matinee, not a night performance. Every piece of planning we’ve seen from Santiago (Ben Daniels) and his company—Celeste (Suzanne Andrade), Estelle (Emse Appleton), Eglee (Genevieve Dunne), Gustave (Jake Cecil), Hans Lechenbaum, (Ben Bradshaw), Sam (Chris Geary), Quang Pham (Khetphet “KP” Phangnasay) and Tuan Pham (Yung)—comes to fruition in this grand display of vampire justice.

Even though we know this play ends in death, it is still a struggle to sit through the manipulation, half-truths, and crowd codling. Throughout the trial in Paris, I am enthralled by the performances. Claudia (Delainey Hayes) is defiant and angry, and rightfully so. Delainey Hayes is fantastic; her pleas are heartbreaking, her resistance is inspiring, and her declaration of vengeance is terrifying. Madelaine (Roxane Duran) is understated throughout the trial, dragged into a fight she doesn’t understand, however familiar it may feel to what the character had been through before. Yet Roxane Duran still steals your attention with such subtle contemplation and acceptance when she is onscreen.

Delainey Hayles as Claudia and Roxane Duran as Madeleine - Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Episode 6
Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

These two young female vampires are caught in the crossfire of a tumultuous love affair between Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid). It is not fair that these women are trapped in the middle of a toxic and homoerotic tale of trauma and disbelief in God, yet that is how the story is told.

After a brilliant Season 2 of Interview with the Vampire without Sam Reid at the forefront of every episode, his performance reminded me how vital his presence and talent are to the show’s foundation. Sam Reid is so captivating! His monologues in this episode are heart-wrenching. I am pulled into his version of events and struck by how foolish I feel for taking Louis’ account as gospel.

The trial is not just about the revenge of Lestat or the grasp for control of Santiago; it is about us, the audience, coming to terms with the fault in memory and extreme bias in the Interview with Daniel Malloy (Eric Bogosian) thus far. We have seen Lestat through Louis’s eyes with his anger and anguish; we have not yet been privy to the inner workings of Lestat’s burdens.

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac, Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy and Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire Season 2 Episode 7 -
Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

I was so pleased that within the show, this bias is confirmed by Louis himself in the Interview with Daniel and Armand. I also found it a striking image to see Louis’ hallucination of Lestat return at that moment in 2022. Suddenly, with the acceptance of Lestat’s version of events, Louis once again longs for his maker at that moment, seeing him across the room almost like an apology.

The audience’s presence plays a massive part in the effectiveness of this trial. The crowd mentality in sentencing these vampires—intoxicated with the power, they are as bloodthirsty as the vampires themselves. This is a reflection of us.

There is so much pain in this episode. I lost count of how many shots show Lestat, Louis, Claudia or Madelaine with tears, shocked by the audience’s hatred or their rival’s admittance of love. Then there is the cruelty of Theatre des Vampire cutting the ankles to the bone, preventing the accused from leaving their seats, and the mental manipulation preventing them from defending their actions to the audience—so much pain. Yet, not just the physical pain is horrifying to watch; the emotional strife running through this episode is remarkable.

Most of all, however, I was compelled by Louis and Lestat’s pain. Anderson and Reid’s chemistry is palpable even when they can never touch, even as either stands on opposite ends of ‘justice.’ The eye contact, the pleas, the apologies, the anguish. Every reflection on the first season of Interview with the Vampire offers a new perspective. Who holds more pain from the trials of their toxic relationship?

Assad Zaman as Armand and Chris Geary as Sam - Interview with the Vampire S2 E7 -
Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC

Even though I knew Claudia and Madelaine were going to die, I was still miserable to watch it happen and know that Armand chose only Louis to save. It’s awful to watch women be the casualties in fights between men. Particularly watching queer women be the casualties between gay men. No matter what horror Claudia saw, she still stood beside her father, Louis, and he still chose men over her loyalty. That’s no metaphor either; it’s a plan and simple pattern between queer men and women. No matter that it was a trans woman who threw the first brick at Stonewall. No matter that, it was the lesbian community who nursed gay men struck by the AIDS crisis. No matter what, women will aid, and men will take and condemn—a story as old as civilization and perfectly encapsulated in this dark fantasy.

Now that Louis is buried in stocks and unable to move in a coffin under the theatre, what will come next? We know Armand and Louis will remain coupled for decades due to the interview with Daniel, but how? Why? Who is Louis to trust when both Armand and Lestat have caused him so much pain? I wonder what reflection 2022 will offer Louis. Once the dust has settled on the concluding events of Interview with the Vampire Season 2, what comes next?

Here are the loose ends: Louis’ escape; the Theatre des Vampire fire; the secret intelligence agency tracking Armand and Louis; Daniel Malloy’s illness; Armand and Louis’ relationship reckoning; the hallucination of Lestat in 2022; where is Lestat in 2022?; Who is Marcus, Armand and Lestat’s maker?; Does Louis learn all of Armand’s powers?

There is so much left to unpack. I am seated and ready for the answers.

Written by Isobel Grieve

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