Netflix’s ‘Castlevania’ emerges from the darkness one last time with its fourth and final season. Creator Warren Ellis and his crew have come together to create a mighty satisfying, jaw-dropping epic with the ambition of a theatrical blockbuster. If there ever was a case of something too good to be true, this final season just might be it.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE FINAL SEASON OF ‘CASTLEVANIA‘ ARE FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW.
Following two fantastic seasons and a third season full of promise, this final season was riding on immense potential. Everything was building up to this climax and the show managed to pull it off. High on emotion and as thrilling as ever, ‘Castlevania‘ manages to give every single character their own shining moment. It didn’t force everyone’s ending to collide with one another in the final episode. Some characters say goodbye in the sixth episode like Carmilla and Isaac. They gave room to every arc they had planned and they executed them to their greatest potential. Admittedly, however, while Alucard, Trevor and Sypha do get the backbone of storylines in Seasons 3 and 4, the show more than makes up for it by giving them some truly outstanding action sequences, Sypha and Trevor particularly spend an entire season using up that glorious animation budget, including an incredible ten-minute opening action sequence.
There was a worrying thought at the back of my head that this season wouldn’t reach the heights of the thrilling Dracula battle at the end of Season 2 and to a certain extent it hasn’t. The main villains after Dracula have seen a noticeable lack of depth and character, they’re evil just because. However, what the villain lacks in emotion, the season makes up for with the final episode. The only episode in the series to reach the epic and emotional highs of Season 2 is the sixth episode titled ‘You Don’t Deserve My Blood’. Carmilla, Issac and Hector reunite one last time for a Kubrick-inspired bloodbath of an episode. Isaac’s entrance and Carmilla’s exit are not only a highlight from this season but of the entire show. The events leading up to it and the emotional journey the show takes us on with both of them result in an electrifying action sequence that utilizes the animation in an unbelievable way. This season has truly set a high standard for action sequences in western animation. From the shot composition to the fight choreography, this was just fucking incredible. No other words to say it. Carmilla has definitely climbed up in my favourite characters list. She went out with style. Isaac’s entire arc throughout this show is also very underrated. He is one of the most complex characters I’ve seen in ages. The show genuinely has no shortage of beloved characters.
Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades are my personal favourites. Once again, the action sequences in episodes eight and nine are bloody incredible. The incorporation of Alucard, Sypha and Trevor’s abilities into the fight choreography was inventive and thrilling. The moment where Alucard realizes Trevor and Sypha are behind him at the castle made me tear up. It was a very rewarding and emotionally rich reunion. The climactic battle with Trevor and Death felt a bit odd. There was this unspoken insistence that Trevor should fight Death alone and the set-up for that wasn’t really established. Alucard and Sypha can fly but they chose to stay down there, it was weird. That being said, the fight itself was amazing, as expected. There are two shots in there which honestly belong in a museum.
While At first glance, Trevor and Sypha’s roles feel reduced to action purposes, the final episode genuinely changes the entire perspective of the show. In fact, the entire season builds up to this revelation of what ‘Castlevania‘ really is about. Love and Legacy become crucial themes in the show as this show progresses. The heart and soul of this show is ironically Dracula and Lisa. The show starts and ends with them and they are continuously relevant throughout. Dracula and Lisa’s legacy splits into two as Vlad’s rage and hatred for humanity bleed into his affiliates and Lisa’s caring nature translates into Alucard. The final episode is all about legacy in fact. Trevor and Sypha are with child and Alucard will pass on the knowledge from his parents and the Belmont Hold to his village. Carmilla’s legacy gets ruined and falls apart in seconds as Morgana and Striga leave the Council and Lenore kills herself. What will be left of Carmilla is her ambition which only Isaac and Hector know about, her reputation will live on in her enemies. Romance also plays a part of the finale with our main characters finally settling down and living a peaceful life with their lovers. Trevor and Sypha are starting a family, Alucard and Greta are obviously gonna get together, Morgana and Striga are the only members from the council who survived and last but certainly not least, Dracula and Lisa return to the living! As cheesy as it is, love will find a way to survive. The only love that died is Hector and Lenore’s and Saint Germain and his lover, only those two relationships were either born out of toxicity such as the first or it turned into mutated one of them into something else as is the case with Saint Germain. His wife saw the monster he had become so she bounced.
The decision to bring back Trevor in the final episode is fucking earned and they got me. At one point I was convinced that he did die and that the show would end with a flash-forward to Sypha narrating Trevor’s adventures to their child and I would be crying my eyes out. Of course that didn’t happen and I still got emotional. Seeing these characters that I’ve grown such a strong attachment to, finally get their happy ending made me incredibly emotional. Alucard becoming a father-figure and breathing life and innocence into that castle again feels so right. Seeing Trevor come back didn’t feel cheap at all because I genuinely think that these characters deserve a happy ending. Seeing Vlad and Lisa come back to life and starting over was so beautiful to me. Honestly the explanation didn’t need to be there and I feel like it could come off as a nonsensical ending but it fits right in with what the show is saying and I’m sure they will try and explain it in the upcoming show but if they don’t, I honestly wouldn’t mind.
‘Castlevania‘ ends with an incredibly satisfying, jaw-dropping season which gave me everything I wanted and more. Every character got their shining moment, their respective endings did them justice. The groundbreaking animation sets up an incredibly high bar for western animation with inventive action sequences featuring rampant imagination running wild through every move. Everything from the animation and music to the scope was taken to an eleven. The love, care and passion put into this is evident by the quality of the result. This is how you do a final season.