Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3 recap and review: Louis plays with fire as Claudia joins the coven

Armand goes on the record to recall his romance with Lestat, while the coven turns on Louis in Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3, "No Pain."
Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3
Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3 /

AMC's Interview With the Vampire returned with its second season earlier this month, seeing Louis and Claudia start their new life in Europe. While there are plenty of more opportunities for them in a new country, there are, of course, also new threats. Claudia finds her new home with a coven of vampires in Paris, but it's harder for Louis to fit in. The third episode, "No Pain," premiered tonight, showing us Armand's history with the coven, and his troubled romance with Lestat.

Season 2 episode 3 does a lot of plot building, but just when I thought it was taking away from the viewing experience, I was pulled back in! This show is so fantastic, and the sophomore season is proving it has potential to be even better than the first. Let's get into what happened this week.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3.

"No Pain" begins with the current timeline, seeing Daniel away from Louis and Armand's home. He goes out to eat and is approached by a man who says his name is Raglan James. Raglan, who also later goes by his initials "RJ," insinuates that he's bugged Daniel, telling him that he and his company are tracking 1,600 vampires. He informs Daniel that he's not the first person who's tried to do this — interview vampires — and that others have ended up either dead or undead from their attempts.

Daniel doesn't want to hear it, but he realizes his laptop has, in fact, been hacked. Back at the house, he talks to Rashid about his dynamic with Louis and Armand, discussing what the relationship between humans and vampires is like. Armand tells Daniel that Louis was wrong to have gotten into his thoughts and tries to apologize. Daniel interrupts him and tries to ask how vampires stay so hidden when the internet exists, but Armand doesn't want to talk about that. He's ready to talk about Lestat and how their relationship played out. With Louis still sleeping, it's the perfect opportunity.

Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

Armand is ready to talk about Lestat

Armand recalls the year 1556 when he was sent to France to lead the coven of vampires. He calls them the "Children of Darkness," an appropriate name for the miserable circumstances they lived in. In flashback scenes, we see how Armand leads the group, and they're in a terrible place. Following a set of "Great Laws," vampires live in the shadows at this time, dwelling in wet and gross sewers and avoiding humans. That all changes when Armand encounters Lestat, however.

Lestat performs at a theater in Paris and despite being a vampire, he lives very much like a human. He even has a human lover. This shocks Armand, who feels the need to control him. But despite Armand's attempts, Lestat keeps rejecting him. Finally, Armand confronts Lestat while he's out with his lover, Nicky, and expresses his anger over his lifestyle. But Lestat double-downs, telling Armand that he doesn't want to live like the other vampires; he wants to enjoy his life and be free. In response to another rejection, Armand gets physical, using his strength to knock out Nicky and intimidate Lestat. Lestat is shocked by his power and wants it for himself. Armand tells him he can teach him and leaves with Nicky's unconscious body.

This forces Lestat to seek out the coven, arriving carrying a huge cross that he destroys. He tells the vampires that the coven is all nonsense, and that they can live any way they want to. As Armand confirms to Daniel in the current timeline, he had lured Lestat there to tell his children truths that he couldn't say himself. He had been thinking this way for years and years, and Lestat was a way for him to share it with the coven.

Lestat has always been the same

Though it's not without consequences. Some of the vampires are not able to bear their new lifestyle, choosing to end their lives, and Armand believes his coven is destroyed because of Lestat. Things begin to turn around, however. Lestat proposes an idea to Armand: open up their own theater and fulfill their vampire needs on stage under the guise that they're just acting. This, of course, is how the Theatres des Vampires begins. Armand realizes a handful of his children have stayed, and they're all for the idea.

Armand's story ends by remembering the first time he said "I love you" to Lestat, who said it back. He stops there, leaving Daniel wanting more. Having awoken, Louis walks into the room and informs Daniel that Lestat left Armand after being taught the Mind Gift. Louis then arrived in Paris 150 years later.

Louis joins the interview now and recalls what happened next in Paris. In flashback scenes, we see Louis and Claudia practice their story about Bruce, their made-up maker, including what he looked like, what they did together, and what happened to him. Claudia is working at the theater, facing a sort of hazing process before being officially invited to join the coven. She's having to do the dirty work, but she's thriving.

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

Armand and Louis get closer, against the coven's wishes

Louis shows Armand where he walks at night and they talk about Louis' passion for photography. Louis realizes Armand is trying to persuade him to join the coven, but he shuts him down. He tells Armand they should be happy enough with Claudia and he can save the sales pitch. He's just not interested. This doesn't stop Armand from pursuing Louis romantically, though. They tell each other they like one another before Louis sees a vision of Lestat. Armand notices something's happened, telling Louis he needs to get better at hiding his thoughts. He can feel "Bruce."

Armand informs Louis that the coven is jealous of Louis' independence, which poses a problem for him. But Louis doesn't care, telling Armand that he's finding himself.

As Armand recalls to Daniel, he was supposed to be recruiting Louis to join the coven, but the opposite was happening. He began spending less time at the theater and more time walking around Paris with Louis. During the interview at this point, Daniel gets distracted by something on his computer — Raglan's dropped him a bunch of files. He is visibly distracted but doesn't tell Louis and Armand what's happened, telling them to continue.

Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Assad Zaman as Armand - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

The truth comes out

In a flashback scene of Louis and Armand's retelling, the two are out at a bar one night when Louis sees a vision of Lestat playing piano and singing to him. Armand notices Louis is somewhere else, and Louis apologizes, telling him it's Bruce on his mind. Armand then tells him to stop playing games; he knows he's been lying about Bruce. Louis finally comes clean and tells him the truth — Lestat was his maker, his companion in America, and he killed him. Armand asks if Claudia was involved in his death and Louis lies and says she wasn't. Armand reveals that he's known everything for months, telling Louis that he broke one of the Great Laws. Louis responds by explaining that he never knew any of the vampire laws because Lestat never told him. Getting more frustrated and upset, Louis yells at the vision of Lestat and storms out of the bar.

On the way home, Louis sees the vision of Lestat again in the park and he goes off on him — starting with kissing but ending with bashing his head against a tree and killing him. Of course, it's not really Lestat there, and Louis actually kills a human. Back at his place, he's visibly shaken up but continues running through the made-up story with Claudia. As they get ready for bed and lay in their coffins, Louis almost tells Claudia what happened. But he's deterred when Claudia begins opening up.

Claudia talks about her abusive relationship with the real Bruce, the man who repeatedly assaulted her during her time away from Louis and Lestat, before changing the subject. She tells Louis she's going to be initiated into the coven and wants him there. He tells her he'll be there and decides not to come clean about what happened.

Ben Daniels as Santiago - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

The Theatres des Vampires is headed towards tragedy

The interview is interrupted when Rashid informs Louis and Armand that it's time to join a video call about paintings they're trying to sell. During this break, Daniel looks through some of the files Raglan sent, finding a newspaper article about a devastating fire at the Theatres des Vampires along with a photo of the venue destroyed.

Back to the flashbacks, Louis goes to the theater to support Claudia on the night she's going to be initiated into the coven. Santiago is frustrated with Louis, as are the other vampires, and he speaks with Armand about it. He brings up the dead body that was found in the park, telling Armand that Louis "will be the ruin of us." Armand assures Santiago that once Claudia is officially part of the coven, he'll get rid of Louis.

After the performance, the ceremony for Claudia's initiation begins but because he's not part of the coven, Louis is not allowed to stay. He and Armand go for a walk through the sewers underground, and Armand brings up the body Louis left in the park. Louis tells him he thinks it's a good idea for him to leave Paris, and he might go to London next. As they walk together and Armand explains to Louis that he's exposed the coven, Louis realizes he's going to be killed.

Delainey Hayles as Claudia, Jake Cecil as Gustave, Khetphet "KP" Phangnasay as Quang Pham, Andrew Van Wilpe as Romaine, Chris Geary as Sam, Emse Appleton as Estelle, Yung as Tuan Pham and Jan Hofman as Basilic - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Larry Horricks/AMC /

A happy(?) ending for Louis and Armand

Louis tells Armand to look after Claudia, but Armand surprises him by saying she won't be there for long. As he explains it, since she was turned at 14, her mind will "break" in time and she won't survive as a vampire. Louis disagrees and says that won't happen, but Armand is sure, saying he's seen it all before.

They climb up out of the sewer and Louis realizes they're on his street. Armand apparently walked him home, and Louis figures he's not going to die after all. As the episode ends, Louis invites Armand inside, under the deal that Armand won't kill him.

Armand very clearly has romantic feelings for Louis, but how will his children take that? Not only is he refusing to kill someone they see as a serious threat to the coven, but he's also in love with him — or at least on his way there. It's not going to be an easy ride for these vampires, but when is it ever easy for Louis?

"No Pain". B. The plot thickens in Interview With the Vampire season 2 episode 3, and while the story building can be dull at brief moments, the strong scenes make up for it.. . "No Pain"

Don't miss new episodes of Interview With the Vampire season 2 every Sunday on AMC and AMC+.