Every week, I find myself making the same statement about AMC’s Interview With The Vampire: it’s perfect. Over the last four episodes, we’ve seen the series develop each character through the changes made in this adaptation and concerning the storyline we all know and love. In Interview With The Vampire Episode 5, “A Vile Hunger For Your Hammering Heart,” this trio of a vampire family hits its hardest and most violent fissure when Claudia (Bailey Bass) brings out Lestat’s (Sam Reid) jealousy and anger, and Louis’s (Jacob Anderson) depression, all while she tries to survive her own grief.
In the last episode, we met Claudia. We saw her grow, we saw her struggle, and we saw her learn the harsh reality that comes with the dark gift. Having killed her first love, she lashes out in her grief. With anger for both of her father figures, she begins to chronicle every kill and loses any sense of control the two had tried to instill in her. Even if Lestat humored her bloodlust and encouraged it, Claudia’s complete lack of care and wonton killing brings problems to the family. Her grief washed away any semblance of humanity when she killed Charlier.
In Interview With The Vampire Episode 5, written by Hannah Moscovitch, Claudia’s activities and curiosities present continued challenges for Louis and Lestat, her actions lighting an explosive fuse that erupts at the end. She is a rebellious teenager pushing back against her parents in the only way she knows. But her loss begins to fracture the relationship between the three of them until nothing is left.
For starters, how the three vampires connect with each other remains the series’ crowning achievement. When they fight, they fight as a family. When they love, they love as a family. Their chemistry is undeniable, and the resentment boils over in a way that it only can with people you love. In fact, in one moment, we see Claudia fight back against Lestat and even Louis, pushing them with her question of why she was made, to begin with. And in reality, Daniel explains as he hears Louis recount the events that Claudia is the child birthed to save a broken marriage.
Even as the episode captures the melancholic depression and anger that boils in the home, it also captures Claudia’s defiance and joy in her bloody choices. Additionally, Claudia gets the chance to investigate her forever youth on her own terms. Thanks to aging her up, she is on the cusp of adulthood in a different way. She understands the dynamics between Louis and Lestat. She sees Lestat’s abuse and manipulation the same way as she sees Louis’s loneliness and desperation for humanity.
Interview With the Vampire Episode 5 expertly weaves together Claudia and Louis’s perspectives, protecting some of her darker moments, but putting his on full display. This episode, like the series, is a deconstruction of the vampires’ trauma. It’s a dive into what makes them tick and feel. In particular, this episode pulls Louis and Lestat’s relationship apart and magnifies each thread. The empty space Claudia leaves when she runs away becomes a festering pit as they are forced to go underground. We even see Louis lose the last part of his family and with it the last part of who he was before he was turned.
For her part, Claudia grows in this episode, and this highlights another high note of the series, telling a story in an accelerated timeline. The vampires we’re following move through time differently, and as such, each episode contains years, not days. So instead of feeling too fast, the episode feels perfectly paced to show character development.
At its climax, Interview With The Vampire Episode 5 captures the violent abuse between Lestat and Louis in a way that bares the markings of control and not love. It’s a stunning encapsulation of decades of pain that Louis has been carrying and the resentment that Lestat has been voicing from the beginning. Anne Rice’s vampires are human, and that is what makes them compelling. Here, the showrunners understand that deeply. Each emotion is heightened, and with that, we see the violence that can be reaped on a body that can not die.
Interview With The Vampire Episode 5 is stunningly dark and emotional. It’s a look into trauma and pain and how each choice is a reaction to it. The jealousy and the anger overflow, and the episode’s final scenes are almost too much to bear. I can not think of a better exploration of the love and pain that runs between Louis and Lestat than what AMC has brought with this episode and every other. With two more left in the season, I’m afraid, and I’m enamored.
Interview With The Vampire Episode 5 is available to stream now on AMC+, with new episodes airing every Sunday on AMC.
Interview With The Vampire Episode 5 - "A Vile Hunger For Your Hammering Heart"
Interview With The Vampire Episode 5 is stunningly dark and emotional. It’s a look into trauma and pain and how each choice is a reaction to it. The jealousy and the anger overflow, and the episode’s final scenes are almost too much to bear. I can not think of a better exploration of the love and pain that runs between Louis and Lestat than what AMC has brought with this episode and every other.