Castlevania S4: A Strange Ride, Indeed

Goodbyes are always harsh, some more than others, and some carry the promise of something better in the future. This is the kind of goodbye I ran into once I finished watching Castlevania Season Four, created and written by Warren Ellis.

The story shows us several starting points, each one for the respective characters: Trevor and Sypha exhausted from traveling and fighting relentlessly, Alucard trying to regain faith in humanity, Saint Germain with a new plan, Isaac re-evaluating his plans in a ruinous city, Hector acting behind his vampire captors, and these preparing a plan of massive conquest. There are several unanswered questions and a lot of expectation, which unfold over 10 episodes as the tension escalates to unprecedented levels.

As the episodes go by, the resurrection of Dracula seems to be something more assured than in the previous season, a danger that approaches without any control. This time it’s not about a group of fanatics playing with powers greater than themselves, but rather a group of immortals highly prepared to go the extra mile to accomplish their goal, and a deranged leader who works from the shadows.

The development of this Castlevania season was much faster than the previous three, especially the third. Each episode brings surprises, plot twists, new characters, constantly leaving you speechless. However, while the third season was met with mixed opinions, it is essential to the greatness of this fourth season.

The elements of horror are a fundamental aspect, creating a shocking contrast between humanity, both external and internal. I loved that Castlevania used various metaphors regarding this topic, making everyone to rethink the definitions of human and monster, and if the exterior really defines the interior of each creature.

Although it is a series, this season managed to maintain an adventure and action video game structure at all times, with non-stop fights, confrontations and monsters that are as striking as they are creepy. I would say that it was precisely the high levels of action and that beautiful musicalization that made it possible for me to see the season in just one day. It was a marathon that shocked my brain.

The direction of Sam Deats and the script of creator Warren Ellis combine perfectly just as they did in the first season, except for the last episode, where Deats shared the responsibility with Amanda Sitareh B., giving it a softer tone and emotional to the series for a moment. However, I feel like there were several loose ends left that could have been answered perfectly this season. I would have preferred a different ending, a little less idealized, although I can understand the reason behind it.

In terms of characters, this season of Castlevania was much more balanced, giving each one their moment of greatness, allowing Trevor Belmont to be seen more often as a human and not a messianic hero. This is much more noticeable in episode 6 “You Don’t Deserve My Blood”, focused on Héctor, Carmilla, and Isaac (this level of epicness should be illegal) and episode 9 “The Endings”, with the leading trio shining equally (but as a friend said, without Sypha there is no series).

Netflix is ​​preparing a new story located in the same universe but 300 years in the future, so there will be new protagonists and a very different plot, however, I do not think it is the final farewell for the characters we met in this one. Only time will confirm it, but if we consider that more than once the video games have played with resurrection and timelines, it could well be a possibility. For now, I’ll stick with the excellent production, the well-developed characters, and the epic battles of a series made with a lot of morbid love.

By Alan D.D.

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