When Last We Met
After a decent but somewhat disappointing second outing, redeemed by a stellar penultimate episode, the third season of Castlevania began full of promise but continues to squander its potential. Following a season that felt rather padded, this new season feels to be nothing but wasting time until ol’ Drac gets back.
The second season saw the defeat of Dracula, Alucard guarding his father and the Belmont’s former domains, and Trevor and Sypha out on the road to adventure. The forge master Hector was held captive by the bitch vampire lord, Carmilla, and Isaac was sent by Dracula to another corner of the earth.
What’s New This Time Around?
The season starts off with implications that Trevor and Sypha have been knocking boots. They’ve also been battling monsters, with Sypha getting quite the taste for it. Alucard, meanwhile, has been slacking off in his Castle and doesn’t seem too bothered to do much of anything other than cook gourmet meals (at least sweep up a little, pal).
Over the season, we’re introduced to some new characters. The most interesting being Saint Germaine, some sort of time-travelling magician (maybe?). He’s a mysterious character, and the highlight of the season is his trippy dream that offers a glimpse into possible future directions for the series (fingers still crossed for Aria of Sorrow flash-forwards). However, it will probably just turn out to be unexplained mystery box crap, so I’m keeping my hopes in check.
Carmilla’s Castle turns out to be run by a quartet of female vampires who give off serious lesbo vibes. The most prominently featured one is Lenore who will most assuredly be the new wife of countless neckbeards. Although she comes off as the meekest of the bunch, she proves to be the most formidable. I’m not sure if her “twist” is meant to be a surprise as it’s telegraphed from the beginning. At least we get to see her tits.
A character known only as The Judge is the leader of the town Trevor and Sypha happen upon. Again, there’s a sinister vibe to him that’s not particularly handled well. Keep telling yourself those are animal bones.
A pair of Japanese twins come to Alucard’s home to learn from him after escaping from their vampire master. They come off like a pair of whiny millennials. There’s a three-way where we get to see the sister’s goods, which look like implants, and it’s implied to not be entirely consensual.
Isaac, once again, is the highlight of the season. His trip back to the Transylvania area is the most interesting story point. His conversations with the sea captain and the fly monster he forged are easily some of the best moments this season.
Handful of Nothin’
I may have binged the entire season, but I did rewatch a few episodes to see if I overlooked anything. Even so, the whole season feels rather pointless, bringing the characters back to square one, save for the final stinger.
There’s only so much that can be pulled from a game series about whipping vampires back to death, but it feels like this era of Castlevania is being squeezed by vampires to pull every last drop of blood from that stone.
Maybe the show will only focus on Trevor Belmont, and we’ll never see Simon, Richter, Julius, or any of the other fabled whip handlers. I’d be fine with that if the only worthwhile plotline running through the series didn’t involve Alucard. There’s so much potential with that character, but it feels like it’s being wasted.
I hope the creators are planning to eventually move beyond this timeline, but at this point, it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm. Whereas the first season did a perfect setup, the last two seasons have been all table setting for a meal that’s never really served. The fight with Dracula and his minions in season 2 was great, but the interesting story is his resurrection, not his defeat.
Perhaps the biggest slap in the face is that Grant is still nowhere to be found.
That being said, I’ll watch season 4 when it’s released in about a year or so. I guess that makes me part of the problem, but until video game franchises are adapted with more regularity, I won’t be able to pick and choose as much as I do with comic book movies. At this point, a mostly faithful, but meandering, adaptation is about the best one can hope for.