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Vampire Academy: Earth. Air. Water. Fire

“So, is there anything you want to tell me?”

Lissa is learning the pros and cons of being the “almost” queen. While Rose must fight for her future. As if that weren’t enough, there are mysteries to solve.

Unfortunately, Lissa and Rose are only aware of one of those mysteries. Last episode, we saw hints of a supernatural connection between Lissa and Rose. Now there’s definitive proof. Rose is living events in Lissa’s life, and If I’m not mistaken, sharing her emotions. This is not typical, but then neither is a Moroi / Dhampir friendship. However, given their shared prophetic dreams, I suspect there's more to it than that.

The second mystery is who the Strigoi really are and what they want. The Moroi have spent centuries believing the Strigoi are little more than beasts. The Moroi also appear to underestimate the danger they pose. I imagine that’s easier to do when someone else fights your battles. Yet, it appears Sonya is correct; the Strigoi have a plan. Whatever it is, I have a hunch it will give Rose an opportunity to prove her worth.

The last mystery is more of a question. We know there’s a rebellion brewing. The saga sell tells us so. We also have plenty of clues as to why. The show is not subtle in showing the class distinctions or referencing the warring political factions. Dominion isn’t a pleasant place to be unless you’re a royal and even then it's not particularly fun. What we don’t know is how this rebellion will come about, although it’s a given Lissa and Rose will be at its center.

But before any of that, Lissa and Rose have their personal crises to resolve. Just for the record, if my whole family had died and my life upended, I would be wallowing in self-pity. So, it's rather impressive that while Lissa is acknowledges all that she’s lost, she quickly puts it aside to pick up where her brother left off. If his dream of a fair and united Dominion is to come to fruition, she must become Queen.

This means getting past her specialization ceremony. This gives the viewer more insight into Moroi society. All Moroi seem to have some control over all the elements, each has an affinity for one. Or at least, they are supposed to. Not specializing is proof that your magic is weak and one more reason to ostracize someone.

As for Rose, she's more concerned with Lissa’s well-being than whatever punishment Alberta metes out. Even after learning she must go before a Tribunal, Rose refuses to give up. With the supreme confidence that comes with youth, she’s convinced she’ll win the day. She was right, but she couldn’t do it on her own. She survived only because Dimitri was willing to bend the rules and Lissa to break them. Royalty has its advantages.

If I have a pet peeve, it’s that neither Lissa nor Rose has much agency. For all her talk of not needing a man to save her, Lissa’s reign would have been over before it began, if not for Christian. I know it’s early, but we need at least a hint of why Lissa would make a good Queen. And Rose’s attempts to raise her rankings and defend herself before the Tribunal were less than successful, although, in her case, there were extenuating circumstances. If she’s the best St. Vladimir’s has to offer, I’d like to see it in the not too distant future. Say, maybe in an upcoming Strigoi attack?

At least we’re learning more about the secondary characters. Mia and her snark continues to be a scene stealer. She considers herself Lissa’s confidant while Lissa thinks of Mia as her warden. Obviously, that’s a match made in heaven. Rose may consider Mason a friend with benefits, but he so clearly wants more. Poor guy. Mikhail’s not doing much better. At least his feelings may be reciprocated. However, given the givens, I can’t imagine a Dhampir dating a Moroi will go over well. Although it may help that Sonya’s not a royal.

Speaking of inappropriate relationships, Lissa and Christian’s flirtations have escalated despite his persona non grata status. I’m sure his parents had their reasons for becoming Strigoi, but I have no sympathy for them abandoning Christian. Especially knowing in Moroi society the sins of the parents would be visited on their son.

While the show has done well at setting the stakes, it hasn’t been so great at giving us context. We understand being sent to a commune is bad because Rose will be separated from Lissa, not because we understand what a commune is in this world. We know not specializing could hurt Lissa’s chances of being made Queen and leaves her open to everything from counseling to electric shock therapy. However, it’s not clear what makes it so terrible that it requires that treatment. We keep hearing about the different factions and the threatening to tear Dominion apart. Unfortunately, so far, that’s what it’s been, all tell and no show.

This episode is stronger than the pilot but is so plot-driven and exposition heavy that I find it hard to connect with the characters. That said, I’m curious enough to give it some time to find its feet.

3 out of 5 Specialization Ceremonies

Bits and Bites:

Human Treaty 1497? That would imply that at least some humans know of Dominion's existence. Or at least did.

Am I mistaken, or did Sonya see a glow around Mikhail? What is that all about?


Mia: "I think we can both agree. You're no Andre."

Christian: "I think I can help you."
Lissa: "Why do you think I came looking for you?"

Dimitri: "The definition of immaturity is blaming others for your own failings."

Rose: "I will survive whatever shit this world keeps trying to throw at me because that's what I do."

Marie: "Not every Dragomir is fit to sit upon the throne."

Lissa: "What if the only thing separating Dominion from that fate is me?"

Rose: "My money is on you."

Christian: "I'm not sorry."

Mason: "If they kick you out, I'm going with you."
Rose: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

Lissa: "I don't need a man to save me."

Mikhail: "Strigoi don't plan."
Sonya: "What if they do?”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. I'm the only one who's boder that the title of the episode doesn't follow the order of the elements acording to the cycle of Avatar The Last Airbender?

  2. I haven't watched The Last Airbender but it did seem out of order.


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