Castlevania: Season 3 Review

Netflix-Castlevania_header

Disclaimer: The events in Castlevania Season 2 directly impact Season 3. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. Any spoilers are unintentional, but really, you’ve had six months of lock down to watch it so there’s no excuse.

I recently reviewed Castlevania Season 1 and 2. Now it’s time for the Season 3 review. Season 3 hit Netflix in March 2020 and was met with rave reviews. The series did so well on it’s first day Netflix renewed it for a fourth season.

Casltvania Season 3 picks up a month after the events of Season 2. The show continues to impress and is still the best video game adaptation I have every seen. But can it hold up to Season 2? Will the writing and voice acting remain solid? Let’s find out.

Season 3 Trailer

Carmilla and the Council of Sisters

Season 3 continues the story of the survivors of the epic Battle of Brăila in Season 2. Carmilla, along with her newly enslaved Forgemaster, Hector travel to Styria to meet her Council of Sisters. The Council is sort of like Dracula’s War Council. The Council of Sisters include, Carmilla and newcomers, Morana (Yasmine Al Massri) , Striga (Ivana Milicevic) and Lenore (Jessica Brown Findlay).

Council_of_Sisters

The Council is new to the Castlevania universe and a nice additional. Morana and Striga, while useful are also forgettable. They don’t offer much to the story besides arguing with Carmilla and filling a few Vampire tropes.

The best of the bunch is the young(are vampires young) Lenore. Her character is well written and voiced. She is smart, beautiful and deceiving in an innocent way. Lenore is given the task to ‘break’ Hector and get him to agree to be the Forgemaster for the Council of Sisters. The way she manipulates him is impressive.

Lenore Castlevania

Lenore carries the majority of the Council of Sisters story line, the rest of the arc focuses on the other three arguing about Carmilla’s plan. Carmilla wants to block off the valley and farm the population for her food stock, free range humans. The other two aren’t convinced and the entire plan hinges on Hector agreeing to be their Forgemaster. Which brings us back to Lenore.

Overall the story line is good and the payoff at the end when Lenore reveals her plan to the other sisters is brilliant! Even Hector didn’t see it coming.

Trevor and Sypha

Trevor and Sypha are now traveling the countryside as young lovers and monster hunters. They end up in a small village called Lindenfeld and all hell breaks loose, literally! They meet the Judge of Lindenfeld, simple called Judge (Jason Isaacs), who runs a tight ship and doesn’t like his village messy or kids running around out of control.

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What they discover in the town is more than they may have bargained for. Instead of a quick monster hunt, they are told one of Dracula’s creatures, simple called the Visitor attacked the town, infiltrated the church and hasn’t left.

Another new character introduced in Lindenfeld is Sala (Navid Negahban), a super creepy monk from the church. It’s obvious from his creepy nature he is hiding something and Trevor is intent on finding out.

Saint_Germain_Castlevania

Maybe the best character in the town is Saint Germain (Bill Nighy), who is from the video game series as well. Saint Germain first appeared in Castlevania: Curse of the Darkness. In the animated series he is mostly the same character as the video game, in that he is mysterious. His true purpose for being in Lindenfeld is later revealed and he plays a pivotal role against the Visitor.

Trevor and Sypha team up with Saint Germain and the Judge to uncover the strange happenings around town and the even stranger monks in the church. The Saint Germain story line is interesting and opens up the Castlevania universe to the series. They can now take this anywhere, either with spin-offs or direct sequels.

One thing about this story line though, it reminded me of Stranger Things, I don’t know if it was the Visitor or the creepy location, but something about it had a Stranger Things vibe, at least for me.

As Trevor and Sypha uncover the real intent of Sala and the Visitor, Alucard is alone at Belmont Estates.

Alucard

This may be the best story line in Season 3 and it seems too short. Alucard is now the steward of Dracula’s castle and he placed it right on top of the Belmont Estate. Alucard tries fending off insanity as he copes with his loneliness and the absence of Trevor and Sypha.

Alucard

Just when he thinks all hope is lost a pair of vampire hunters from Japan pay him a visit. Taka (Toru Uchikado) and Sumi (Rila Fukushima) were once enslaved by Cho, one of Dracula’s War Council members. They want to kill all vampires and ask Alucard for his help to train them. Alucard agrees and begins to teach them about vampires and how to defeat them.

Their relationship is interesting, a pair of would be vampire slayers partnering with a half-vampire. Alucard seems to learn as much about himself as Taka and Sumi learn about vampires. In the end Alucard faces a seemingly impossible decision and the outcome will have monumental consequences.

This story line was used to show no matter how much Alucard wants to trust humans, like his mother, they continue to disappoint him. He is more like his father than he wants to admit.

Isaac and the Night Creatures

The last major story arc is Isaac. During the Battle of Brăila Dracula sent him to the desert so he wouldn’t be killed or capture. Now Issac is slowly making his way back to Styria to exact his revenge on the ones who betrayed Dracula.

Isaac Castlevania

Along the way Isaac encounters resistance as he is traveling with night creatures. Only no one has figured out they can’t win against him.

In one town, completely abandoned save one old, blind woman Isaac learns of a wizard who enslaved the local population. She also tells him the wizard owns a transmission mirror, which can take him and his army anywhere he wants.

Isaac sets out to find the wizard, defeat him and turn all of the slaves in night creatures. Isaac is on a crusade of sorts, set to fulfill Dracula’s ambitious plan to rid the world of all humans. He will stop at nothing to see it through.

I don’t think this is a spoiler…I felt they cheapened the art of Forgemaster in this Season. It is a process, laid out, calling on the Dark Arts to raise the dead. Summoning the spirits from Hell into intact corpses.

In this season Isaac uses a imbued knife to stab creatures, instantly turning them into night creatures. I don’t like that interpretation and thought it took away from the art of a Devil Forgemaster.

I’m anxious to see where they take this in Season 4. Will Isaac kill Carmilla and the Council of Sisters first for their betrayal of Dracula. Or will he set out on a mass genocide of humans. Maybe both.

The End…for now

Castlevania Season 3 holds up to the high standards of the seasons before it. The animation is fantastic, the voice acting is superb and the action is gripping. It still isn’t intended for children. One episode is contains graphic nudity, keep the kids away.

While we’re on the subject, when the sex scenes showed up I thought it was purely gratuitous and done for the ‘shock’ value, not advancing the story. I was wrong. Not only did it advance the story, it was (almost) the only way to do it.

The season seemed fractured with all the characters on different paths. But as you get deeper into the story you realize all the paths are leading to the same place. Like Season 2 the build up is rewarded with the final two episodes filled with non-stop action.

My only complaint for the Season is everything was left open! There wasn’t one conclusion to any story line. Season 4 wasn’t ordered until after the completion of Season 3, I don’t know if they were banking on Season 4 getting picked up. If Season 4 was nixed we would be left with a lot of questions, actually we still are, I just hope Season 4 answers them.

I can’t wait to see Season 4! There’s no news on when Season 4 will air. The only news out so far is Warren Ellis is out after Season 4, due to misconduct allegations against him. No announcement on who will replace him


Abandon All Hope

Alright, lets get into some spoilers! There won’t be many but I want to address the final scene with Trevor and Sypha. And the final scene with Alucard! Oh man was it good. You should go watch it now!

Click here for SPOILERS! Enter At Your Own Risk!
  • After the Battle of Lindenfeld, Trevor and Sypha are heading out of town and Trevor warns her of what’s to come. Trevor realized Sypha is having fun as a monster hunter but the encounter with The Visitor and the intensity of the battle makes it clear she is in for a rude awakening. As they ride out of town Sypha laments about what went wrong in Lindenfeld. In true Belmont style Trevor lays it out for her…

    Trevor: You’ve spent a couple of months living your life, adventures and victories. Now, we’re living my life.

    Look out, Belmont is back! And he’s bringing his whip!

  • The reveal at the end, that the Judge was actually a serial killer was shocking. It just goes to prove you can’t trust anyone.

  • The Alucard/Taka/Sumi story was one of my favorites. The final scene when Alucard walks into Dracula’s castle with the impaled bodies on either side of the stairway! I loved it!

    Alucard is quickly going down the path of his father, perhaps embracing his vampire side for good. Time will only tell. This is setting up a nice ‘Symphony of the Night’ style Season 4 for Alucard.

  • Saint Germain and the gate to Hell was interesting. I don’t know who he is looking for, obviously a woman, but it parallels the Dracula story. In the video game Saint Germain is a time traveler. He must have loved someone and lost her, why he needs to travel to Hell to be with her is still unknown. I hope at some point they expand on this bit of story. And is he trapped in Hell for good?

  • Speaking of the Gate to Hell, we see Dracula and Lisa in Hell. Why is Lisa there? Maybe she renounced her religion when the Bishop was so vile to her. Of course she couldn’t go to Heaven, there is no way Dracula is getting in Heaven!

Did you see Season 3? What are your thoughts? Did you think the Lindenfeld story was a medieval Stranger Things? What would you like to see in season 4? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Pitfall Gary 31 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.