Vampire Academy Episode 8 is in full trial-by-fire mode, and things aren’t looking good for the good guys. It’s hard to say at this point which exactly is good, though. Some, like Tatiana, are obvious nightmares, while others, like Victor, have made choices that bring them closer to the dark side than we’d like. But, at the end of the episode, there is clearly a loser and no one wins.
Tatiana is committed to her plan. Say what you want about the woman, but she’s shameless and relentless when it comes to the crown. She will use faith, lies about Dhampir’s death, and vulnerabilities to achieve her goals. If she weren’t such a terrible person, I would admire her. Either way, Anita-Joy Uwajeh (Tatiana) is a joy to watch. Her icy focus makes her a captivating villain.
Tatiana has no renunciation in her. She wins the elementary trial but loses the proxy trial when Dimitri refuses to fight Rose. The poor, conflicted man was guided by faith all his life. It was the thing that gave meaning to the worst tragedies for him. Tatiana used this devotion to place him in the ring to fight for her. She didn’t count on her devotion to Rose outweighing her devotion to Saint Vladimir. The brutal beating in the ring was hard to watch and set up an uncomfortable alliance later with Tatiana.
After losing the second try, only one remains. The trial by revelation allows each candidate to revisit a critical memory that sheds light on a simple question. What should all good leaders have? Although we don’t see Tatiana’s and her words to Dimitri later make me desperate to know who she wanted to see, we do know Victor’s. He saw his daughters. Her response makes the final moment of Vampire Academy Episode 8 all the more devastating. He says a good leader understands sacrifice. He is declared the official winner and next king of the kingdom. Like almost everyone, however, her happiness does not last long. In the final moments of Vampire Academy Episode 8, Tatiana reveals a fully Strigoied Sonya to the masses in a glass cage. Now they’ll all know he lied.
Victor didn’t realize he wasn’t in a fair fight. He thought it was worth it if he could keep dancing long enough and keep his family from knowing Sonya. He should have known that Tatiana is a snake; they always hit harder when cornered. We suspect she killed Lissa’s family for her right to the crown. What’s a more wasted life?
Lissa has her own issues while all of this is going on. What begins with such promises ends with devastation. Conveniently, she discovered that Christian had a tiny portion of undiscovered Dragomir blood. I don’t know why it wasn’t checked sooner, but go ahead. Finally, something seems to be going in the direction of our group. Lissa can marry the guy she loves, who will also secure her place on the council. It’s a win-win. The moving Moroi is a valuable confidant, protector and ally. André Dae Kim’s Christian doesn’t always get enough screen time. His associations with the traitor among them, Lissa, Mia, and the Strigoi, make him particularly connected. He also brings warmth to his interactions with anyone who doesn’t just feel like fiery lust. As a result, he is our public replacement. His grief is ours.
Lissa proposes to Christian, and they make things official, but this relationship is doomed. Rose is Lissa’s family and she can’t get married until everything is settled with her. Even a marriage of convenience feels bad without its best friend. As Rose spins and leaves town, another wedding is pending. It’s unclear if these two will ever reunite, but Lissa seems resolute and Christian is miserable. Like so many things in Vampire Academy Episode 8, happiness is fleeting.
Mason, the nicest boy on the planet, is always by Rose’s side. Regardless of her treatment of him and their past, he never hesitates. She learns that he researched with Meredith, Mia, and Christian and is more than just a date. The group believes that someone (probably Tatiana or her family) worked with the Strigoi to eliminate the Dragomir bloodline. They were behind the car accident and all the attacks. With the help of a memory walk with Lissa, Rose also knows that Lissa brought her back to life and that Christian’s parents were in the accident.
This revelation shapes the rest of the episode. Rose sets out with Mason to get answers and see what life could be like without responsibility to the Moroi. This leaves Lissa alone for the first time in her life. These two thought they would be together forever, but Rose is right. They have individual things they need to sort out. Until the political climate also changes, their relationship cannot continue as it has. As with most things in this series, however, I suspect this corner won’t last long.
A lot was short-lived in Vampire Academy Episode 8. Victor’s potential reign, Lissa and Christian’s engagement, and Rose’s certainty in her friendship. I have whiplash from all sides this week. I’m still confused by all the changing alliances and need time to process it all. I don’t downgrade so fast. As gross as seeing Dimitri and Tatiana kissing, this exchange gave us an intriguing glimpse into our favorite villain. She loved and lost, and it bored her. Who did she lose and how did it happen? Was it a sacrifice she was forced to make? After Tatiana’s shocking revelation, will Dimitri think differently about his relationship with the hateful politician? Only time will tell, but as far as the betrayals go, it was a doozy.
One last secret is revealed. There is a traitor among them. The too modest Diane is not the wise listener she seemed. The person who passed the information on all this time isn’t whining Jesse, although this one seemed over the top anyway. That leaves only Diane, who had access to all sorts of information thanks to her link with Christian. As expected, she’s too good to be true and not to be trusted. Who she works for and why we can only speculate. It must be Tatiana, right?
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Tracy Palm Tree
As the editor of Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the editor.
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