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EP. REVIEW: Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut


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dm
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:25 pm Reply with quote
"The Chief" is pretty clearly modeled on "Chief Designer" Sergei Korolev, the head of the Russian rocket program from the beginning to Gargarin's flight. He had a heart attack in December of 1960 (four months before Gargarin's flight). He also had kidney trouble stemming from the six years he spent in the Gulag from 1938 to 1944 (he died in 1966).

The Chief in this series is a bit subdued in comparison to the descriptions of Korolev (who was viewed as the absolute authority by those in the cosmonaut program).

But the series isn't slavishly following history-with-added-vampires. It's not clear to me what event Halrova is cooking up. Perestroika 25 years early, perhaps?

It's nice to hear Megumi Hayashibara's performance as Irina.
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:30 pm Reply with quote
I have an idea what the higher-ups are planning on doing with Irina next episode but I'll let ya'll figure it out. It seems like deja vu seeing how Lev reacts to going into orbit compared to how Irina reacted. Still this my favorite show this season by far.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:31 pm Reply with quote
Ah, the famous taking a leak moment before launch...I'm also glad Mikhail was finally able to understand why Lev was chosen instead of him and wish Lev well.

Lev doing the one thing he could do for Irina in his position and making sure what she felt about space was on the official record was pretty heartwarming. Now the world will know what the first true Cosmonaut felt about being in space.

Irina rushing into the sun to hear Lev's words was also very poignant.

The chief seems like a really cool dude.

I'm curious what this "revolution" will entail and what it will mean for Lev and Irina. Lev exposing Irina as the first true Cosmonaut? Introducing her as his vampire bride? Either way, Anya is playing wingwoman to the bitter end, so it should be interesting to see what the finale is like.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 4:31 pm Reply with quote
So I just thought of something after watching episode 11. I think the Secretary is spoiler[a dhampir]. It would explain all those close up shots we get of her eating which they did for Irina. IIRC, she also brought the term up in an earlier episode. She seems like the one pulling the strings behind everything, especially with that hint she gave Lev about his speech. I wonder if she's the one that planted the idea of using a vampire in the Leader's head. It seems like she was rooting for Lev to be picked the whole time since he's not a mindless drone.
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dm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 4:44 pm Reply with quote
On top of everything else, the "we had two speeches written for the Chairman" bit was difficult to believe, even if it has historical precedence in the speech William Safire wrote for Richard Nixon had something gone wrong with Apollo 11.

But why would the faux-Soviet apparatus leave the (apparently planned) liberation of vampires to chance to the extent that its internal opposition was foiled only by Anya succeeding in breaking Irina out, and by Lev's sudden decision to reveal the truth?

Plus adding echoes of Khrushchev's repudiation of Stalin's purges to the Chairman's post-Lev-revelation speech? They just tried to do too much on too big a stage.

I'm not wild about this ending, though I'm happy to see Irina and Lev together and determined to go to the moon.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 4:53 pm Reply with quote
dm wrote:
But why would the faux-Soviet apparatus leave the (apparently planned) liberation of vampires to chance to the extent that its internal opposition was foiled only by Anya succeeding in breaking Irina out, and by Lev's sudden decision to reveal the truth?

Not to mention that according to the time stamp on his speech starting at 4pm, she would've been dead already by the time he acknowledged her to the world if she hadn't escaped. Awk-ward...
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lhernan02



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:16 pm Reply with quote
Well, it ended as it had been telegraphing for the last two episodes, so it was not a shock. I think of it as the GOT ending, not a bad ending, just a stupid ending.
If you are going to pattern your country after a real one you have to be true to it (e.g. Tanya's Not-Germany is slavishly Wilhemine (except for some of the technology)) and the idea that 1960s USSR would have acted in this matter is just stupid (remember the USSR did not admit to the Katyn massacre until 1989). The only realistic happy ending would be them (along with Anya, of course) meeting across the Not-Norwegian or Not-Iranian borders after an exciting escape from their respective minders.
But that is the ending we got and, as Christopher states, its main technical fault is that it feels unearned. Nothing was solved in the last episode which the state machinery could not have solved before the show began (our USSR more than once did neck-breaking turns as to who was bad and who was good without any citizens complaining (well, at least no surviving citizens complaining)). So, the idea that the state apparatus would use this situation and give agency to one of its pawns to guide the rehabilitation of vampires is, as I stated at the beginning, stupid.
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MFrontier



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:18 pm Reply with quote
I'd love to have some of that Lev memorabilia. They really promoted him hard.

It was also nice to see Lev's parents and that they supported him, even if it meant going against the government. I think they'd like Irina.

Anya really was the best wingwoman, even headbutting a guard to help Irina. I love how she was still clapping even while she was being arrested.

Lev did the right thing and told the world that Irina was the true 1st Cosmonaut and that all the preconceptions about vampires are bunk. Unsurprisingly there are still jeers and hate, but Irina hangs her head high and declares that she wants to go to the moon with Lev (does that sound like an elopement to anyone else?) and wins them over, with Lev's comrades who originally shunned her starting the applause.

Politics actually pays off for the main couple as they use Irina's newfound fame to help with the nation's image and demean the UK, and we can see how the vampires living in ghettos or in less than stellar condition are now inspired by what Irina achieved.

Lots of "read the novels" teases in the Ending credits. Good thing the novels are officially licensed and coming out soon, even if I'd love a season 2, as much as that is probably a pipe dream.

I wish we would've gotten more romantic resolution between Lev and Irina, but their relationship seems to be forming the core of humanxvampire relationship for years to come.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Sometimes the best thing to do with endings that seem a little nonsensical at face value like this is to headcanonize your own solution, like I and a couple of others did by noting that the crowd witnessing Irina's speech turned around and cheered for her only after Gergiev started applauding. If the leader of your communist country approves, surely you were in the wrong somewhat. Rolling Eyes

I also support the theory that the young-looking guy in the crowd whose face was blocked out by the sun that led some of the audible insults against Irina was representative of Lev's prior stigma against vampires before actually meeting and getting to know one. (And him being the only one not cheering for her at the end was a subdued sort of priceless. Very Happy)

I have other comments regarding the finale and Christopher's thoughts on it, but I'm content to just leave it at "should've been a half-star higher".
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njprogfan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2021 6:11 am Reply with quote
I haven't wanted two characters kiss at the end of a series in a long time, but COME ON! At least hug, or something! Mad
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2021 9:05 pm Reply with quote
They left some threads hanging-hope this gets second season but it probably won't. Still, I was satisfied with the way it ended but they could've had some romance between the 2 of them.
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