Warning: Spoilers ahead for the season one finale of “Vampire Academy”
Lissa and Rose are hitting the road, and it’s not at all the way they planned for it to happen. But after the season finale of “Vampire Academy,” extreme measures had to be taken. The good news is, there are plenty of threads to be picked up should a season two renewal happen, and series stars Daniela Nieves and Sisi Stringer have their own list of ideas for the girls.
In the episode, now streaming on Peacock, Lissa (Nieves) and Rose (Stringer), along with most of their friends — assuming Mason makes it through surgery OK — managed to survive the strigoi attack on St. Vladimir’s. But that attack happened in order to orchestrate a coup, and now that Lissa has her quorum back, she’s more of a target than ever. (Lest we forget, she was named heir to the throne).
It’s only thanks to their spirit connection that the women were able to imbue the stake with the necessary magic to reinstate the wards of the dominion. But to even get to that point, they had to literally fight their way to the outskirts of the dominion. In reality though, the combat was something Sisi Stringer enjoyed throughout the season.
“Do you how excited I was for the for the boxing ring? I was so excited,” Stringer said. “We read the episode, and then for the next, like, two weeks, I walked around being like ‘Can’t wait to beat the absolute Mother of God out of Kieron!’ It’s fun. It’s so much fun. I just love doing all the stunts and stuff, it’s great, but I want to see Lissa fight some people!”
And really, so would Daniela Nieves. She’s chomping at the bit to get on the action in “Vampire Academy” — and in the original draft of the finale, she was supposed to.
“Originally in episode 10, they had written in that Lissa kills a strigoi,” Nieves revealed. “Mia says something, and she’s like, ‘Oh, Lissa watch out!’ And Lissa just turns by accident, and with the umbrella, the strigoi walks straight into the stake or something.”
Ultimately, the scene got written out, but the actresses are hopeful that Lissa will get more action in season two, should the show get renewed. Having both read the books, Stringer and Nieves noted that the darkness Lissa discovered in herself in these 10 episodes actually runs much deeper — and much darker — and could lead to some intense moments for her, perhaps even in the form of battle.
“I don’t think that we’ve gotten even half into the darkness as much as [the books],” Stringer said, with Nieves readily agreeing. “I really think it’s gonna get — everything is going to get more intense and unravel more layers. And I think we might see some some heavy, heavy darkness.”
For now, the season one finale leaves Lissa and Rose headed to the human world. Thanks to a chaotic but mostly well-executed plan from Tatiana Vogel (Anita-Joy Uwajeh), the strigoi attack at St. Vladimir seemingly killed Viktor Dashkov, and allowed her to slip right in and take over. She’s got a warrant out for Lissa’s arrest.
And then of course, there’s the fact that Lissa’s brother Andre returned, only to almost immediately be turned strigoi by none other than Sonya Karp. Granted, Lissa doesn’t know he was fully turned; she merely thinks he died (again). It’s only in the final shot of the episode that the audience learns what happened to him.
But Nieves has some ideas on where that particular thread could lead in a second season.
“Someone says a line about like, maybe the strigoi aren’t as animalistic, or dumb, as we think they are. They got something up their sleeve,” Nieves said. “So I don’t know, maybe dive into the strigoi civilization. And if Andre went to the top of this civilization, who says he can’t get to the top of strigoi?”
Meanwhile, Rose has her own family revelations to work through. As she and Lissa say goodbye to their loved ones and prepare to head out to the human world, Rose’s mother gives her a card with a phone number on it, to use in the event of an emergency. As it turns out, that number belongs to Rose’s father.
Obviously, without a second season officially secured yet, it’s impossible to know how exactly he’ll factor in, or who will play the man. But Stringer does have one hope in that realm.
“Rose’s dad, he has to be Turkish doesn’t he? He’s a brown man. And so I would like that. I would like that to come into it,” she said. “People are like, ‘Well, her mom’s Black, that means they’ve just decided to f— off all of the character origins,’ but that’s not actually true. And it depends on a lot of things, but I really do hope that we get a Turkish person to play my dad. I think that would be really cool.”
At the end of the day though, the actresses just want Rose and Lissa to catch a damn break.
“I was thinking a lot about the books and honestly, in the books, it just seems like [Lissa and Rose] just have so much fun together,” Nieves said. “They can party together, and I feel like there’s a fun and wild side to Lissa that Rose knows, and Rose, like, brings out of her. I’m just — I feel like season one, there was so much pain, and if there is a season two, I’m sure there will be more painful moments of course, but I feel like I would love to just see more of Lissa and Rose just being best friends like, f—ing it up.”
“Having fun!” Stringer added. “Being carefree for a hot f—ing second! Please!”
All 10 episodes of “Vampire Academy” are now streaming on Peacock.