Episode 5

So it would seem Godbrand’s scenery-chewing days are over. His over-the-top character could come across as comic relief at times, but it could also feel like you’re contracting an STD just seeing him on screen. I have a feeling that even the castle wanted Godbrand out of itself.

Plans finally start to move forward when Carmilla, with Hector in tow, convinces Dracula to attack the town of Braila where her forces are waiting. Drowning in his own nihilism, Drac gives the plan the thumbs up just to keep the peace, then reminisces about his blood-soaked heyday. Down in the bibliophile’s wet dream that is the Belmont trove, the good guys have some downtime to work on some of the kinks in their relationships and game plan.

Episode 6

Minions are soon sent to begin an assault on the trove making Trevor, Sypha, and Alucard like cornered animals. Trevor owns up to his family name and starts giving directions while the other two work to keep Dracula’s castle in one location with Sypha using her magic through a discovered mirror gate. Trevor takes on the team of unique attackers in an amazing action sequence – at one point being ankle-deep in the blood of his enemies.

Back in Braila, Carmilla is bringing her coup to fruition and betrays Dracula’s forces with a trap; having Hector use the reanimated priest from Season 1 to turn the entire river in Braila into holy water, Carmilla’s troops then destroy the bridge beneath Dracula’s soldiers. The poor priest is having a pretty awful afterlife being an errand boy for a vampiress general.

Sypha’s power causes the now-haywire castle to push back and begin warping all around town and finally settle in the river, saturating it. As the castle finally submits to Sypha’s power, she ultimately brings the battle to her by transporting it straight to Belmont property, leaving Carmilla and her forces, along with Hector, behind in Braila.

Episode 7

It’s time for the final confrontation and the good guys make their attack on the castle. Making any Castlevania fan weep with joy, Bloody Tears plays out during the incredible battle with Dracula’s captains, and every second felt like watching the bank scene from the Matrix for the first time. True to the games, Sypha uses a lot of elemental magic, Alucard can morph and Trevor makes his family name shine with how skilled he is now that he’s finally over himself, sober, and has his head in the game. It was truly awesome seeing the trio bust some heads considering how in the Castlevania 3 they move like their clothes were made of solid rock. As you’d expect, there’s the big duel with Dracula himself. His melancholy has little effect on how dangerous he is. Even outmatched 3 to 1, he’s tough as nails. There’s even a little “dragon ballin'” going on as Dracula and Alucard zip all around the castle.

The battle meets its conclusion in Alucard’s childhood bedroom which gets Dracula emotionally shaken and even more of a hot mess. In a moment of lucidity, the gravity of trying to kill his own son, and finally coming to grips that he wants to be free of his immortality, Dracula allows Alucard to finish him there. As he rots away, Trevor and Sypha finally catch up to the scene and give the finishing blows right in front of Alucard. I’m sure that his fair-weather friends dropping by to maul the body of his father as it festers away will have no long-term effect on him.

So Dracula is now gone after an amazing fight and season 2 comes to a grand fina – no, no wait, there’s the 8th episode. We’re pulling a “Return of the King” here and tying up all the loose ends.

Episode 8

Before the last battle, Dracula had warped Isaac to a vast desert as a gracious act of protection and we leave him building a new army of undead for himself. Back at Braila, Hector’s strained relationship with Carmilla turns outright abusive when she decides to enslave him for her own services. Naive as can be, he actually seems shocked that he’s now a captive and she quite literally has to beat the point into him that they’re neither allies nor friends.

Lastly, after watching the sunrise on a new day, our good guy trio chats and decide it best that Alucard stays with the castle to redeem its legacy (plus, it’s not going anywhere any time soon) As a bonus, Trevor gives him the Belmont lands and the trove underneath it. So the humans head off for wacky adventures and to most likely fall in love while Alucard falls into a crazy-sweet real estate deal. Alas, our poor dhampir sits, with the weight of loneliness upon him, finally having time to properly mourn his parents. At least he has the renovation job from Hell and several million books, should he ever get bored, but after several visions of his lost parents and the better days spent in the castle, he’d rather just sit and process his grief.

Don’t cry, Al. Sony hurt us all with the PlayStation Classic.

So, final thoughts: Powerhouse Animation Studios lives up to their name with amazing character design and imagery, the voice cast is solid, the music is great, and the writing is excellent and well balanced. It was also nice to see Isaac’s given a lot more dignity with his design than the S&M loon from Curse of Darkness.

Carmilla, being of vampiric aristocracy, is also designed with a lot of dignity and class rather than the fan-service versions or the old-school floating mask of yesteryear. She seems most likely to be the new antogonist for Season 3 and fill the power vacuum after Drac’s death (re-death?)

Negatives (more nit-picks): For so much of the season involving Dracula’s castle, some of the castle monsters and bosses would’ve been good to see. Symphony of the Night showed us that Drac has every dang monster from every mythos and urban legend across the planet in his contacts list. Then again, the holy water soak the castle accidentally took in episode 6 may have cleaned house.

One odd quirk was Lisa’s continued staunch scepticism towards the supernatural, inspite of LITERALLY BEING MARRIED TO THE UNDEAD and having lived in the castle for years.

Now there has been some complaining about how the early-season episodes are dialogue-heavy, but I think it really plays out well in keeping the audience guessing who’s playing who and it helps to develop the hell out of the characters so that by the time the season wraps, you’ll know them all so well you’ll practically get a sense of what their favorite breakfast cereal is (insert terrible Count Chocula joke here).

All in all, it’s an amazing season and the show keeps getting better. Speaking of which, Season 3 is right about to drop and who knows which familiar faces may pop up…


Michael A. Jones     nerdsintheburbs@gmail.com     www.nerdsintheburbs.com

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