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Vampire Academy: Darkness

“I’m done playing nice.”

As we close in on the season finale, loose threads are tied up, new ones are dangled, and all hell has broken loose in Dominion.

The longest (thickest?) thread was the revelation of the Strigoi’s inside man. It was a surprise only because Tatiana was always the most likely suspect. Something that rarely happens in television.

While Diane, the traitorous Feeder, could play courier, she couldn’t have lowered the wards at St. Jude’s. There’s also the fact, as I noted previously, the death of the Dragomir cousins benefitted Tatiana the most. And low and behold... The question is whether the Strigoi are doing Tatiana’s bidding or vice versa.

Until now Victor was the benign alternative to Tatiana. Whatever corners he may have cut were justified by the danger she posed if she won the throne. He hadn’t known the price of allowing Sonya to heal him.

He can no longer plead ignorance. His decision to hold Lissa hostage until she healed him was a point of no return. His ambition now outweighs his concerns for the people he’s supposedly fighting to protect. I’m beginning to think he’s not all that different from Tatiana. She’s just further down the path.

Which leaves Lissa as the only sane alternative. She’s come a long way from the sheltered Royal who cared nothing for politics and dreamed of escaping Dominion. Not only is she willing to become Queen. She’s actively fighting for it. She intends to create the version of Dominion Victor now only pays lip service to.

Sasha’s return may not technically be a loose thread, but her reappearance puts so many things in play. Not the least of which is Dimitri’s latest and most dangerous instance of self-sacrifice. He’d never let Rose suffer if he could protect her. Besides, he’d already sacrificed his chance at happiness in favor of being the Royals’ attack dog. The idea of his misery ending sooner rather than later was probably tempting.

That’s what made his confrontation with Mason so interesting. It’s hard to be invested in a love triangle when the odds so heavily favor one side. Mason may have got the girl, but he didn’t win her. He is a good guy who will spend his life protecting Rose and trying to make her happy. Which is another reason Dimitri made his peace with letting her go. But just as Mason had to rub it in that he was taking Rose away, Dimitri had to remind Mason she would never leave if she knew Dimitri was in danger.

As for Rose, I applaud her for realizing she needs to figure out who she is apart from being a Dhampir, or a Guardian, or even Lissa’s best friend. However, her journey of self-discovery feels more like avoidance and roping Mason into her escape plans selfish. He deserves more than being Rose’s consolation prize.

I didn’t expect to like Meredith as much as I do. We haven’t spent much time with her, but it was long enough to see through her prickly exterior. She’s honest enough to deliver some home truths to Mason without throwing Rose under the bus, smart enough to figure out what the Strigoi were up to, and kind enough to give a Moroi like Mia a chance. I just hope she survives next week’s finale. One of the Karp sisters should be happy. It helps that the mysterious trips Mason accused Meredith of felt more like seeds for season two than a setup for the finale. Though I’ve been wrong before.

Mia is both another thread and another person I didn’t expect to like. Given her inauspicious introduction, I expected her to be a more intellectual version of Jesse. I’ve never been so happy to be disappointed. Her desire to comfort the father she is so obviously furious with speaks to a depth Jesse is incapable of. She also lacks his selfishness. Despite her personal grief, she takes the time to warn Lissa of the dangers of Spirit use. Which paid off the moment Mia witnessed Lissa healing Dean.

However, no good deed goes unpunished. Jesse repeatedly escaped certain death while Mia is captured by the Strigoi. The horrible part is no one realized she was missing until Diane delivered her picture to Christian’s door. Worse, if Christian hadn’t fought for her, the Guardian’s might have ignored her disappearance until it was too late.

Not that Alberta was wrong. It was an ambush. Yet, Christian wasn’t wrong either. At least not about the fact that “they come first” has to mean they always come first, not just when it’s convenient (whether they should come first is still an argument worth having). That said, it looks like Alberta may have made the ultimate sacrifice. I may not have always agreed with her decisions, but I’ll admit she was often placed in untenable positions. She will be missed.

I can’t say the same about Diane. At the beginning of the season, I thought her insistence that Christian’s parents loved him despite abandoning him to turn Strigoi was odd. But her argument that their love showed in the man he’d become won me over. Little did I know. Then again, she didn’t know much either. A quick death was better than she deserved.

Diane wasn’t the only one to misjudge the Strigoi. Christian believed his parents still loved him right up until they admitted they'd played him. So much so that he’d actually considered turning Strigoi to join them. A fact I totally missed.

Instead, he “killed” his father, and made a mortal enemy of his mother. She’s vowed to destroy his beloved as he destroyed hers. I doubt she’ll be successful in that endeavor, but it doesn’t mean she won’t wreak other forms of havoc.

The one genuine surprise was Andre, alive and whole. However, this only leaves me with more questions. Why would Tatiana keep the greatest threat to her reign alive? Was that her original intent? If so, the car accident was a risky move. It also makes me wonder if there was more to Lissa’s figment of imagination than we thought.

Considering what a wild ride this episode has been, I’m kind of afraid of the finale.

4 out of 5 pineapple pizzas

Bits and Bites:

It didn’t take long for them to tear Sonya out of all the family photos. Whose decision was that? I can understand why either Victor or Robert might have done it.

Who did they bury if Andre is still alive?

I was amused that even the imaginary Andre knows how to get under his sister’s skin.

I hope Rose and Mason are more careful than Sasha apparently was.


Robert: “Values aren’t about what you say, Victor. They are about what you do.”

Lissa: “What if this power is my only way to fight?”

Tatiana: “You may rest easy with your legacy in my hands.”

Victor: “If there were any other way... But it’s that, or Tatiana wins.”

Meredith: “Anyone with eyes can see how she feels about Dimitri.”

Dimitri: “Any gap between my report and the truth rests solely on me, as should the punishment for giving false information.”

Rose: "You look pretty cocky for someone who gave him exactly what he wanted."

Lissa: “We can’t have you corner the whole hero market.”

Lissa: “This isn’t goodbye.”

Mason: “You ready for the adventure?”
Rose: “I was born ready.”

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

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