Let The Bodies Hit The Floor
Episode 9 of Castlevania is an outstanding example of how to deliver an artistic, well-paced episode that interweaves our various stories together. It’s one that manages to conjure up some amazing action set pieces while raising the stakes for all of our characters in the process.
As fire rages and fighting looms on the horizon, Isaac makes it to the zombified city and marches on them with his army while Lorene sleeps with Hector. Alucard finds himself unable to sleep but as he awakens, he finds Taka and Sumi approaching him in bed and promising a reward as they start kissing him passionately.
Back in Lindenfeld, blood and chaos reigns as the two sides fight. In the basement, the Portal To Hell materializes and with it, hell beasts emerge before Sala.
As Isaac’s forces begin to get overwhelmed, he rides up to the source of power – a glowing green lighthouse in the distance – as the zombified humans gather together to form a disgusting cocoon of bodies blocking his path. Isaac continues to ride though, using his dagger to turn creatures to his cause in the process. One of these turns into a gigantic minotaur that holds up the globe and prevents it crashing down onto our powerful Forgemaster.
Isaac scrambles up the twisting staircase after jumping off his horse, past the oozing masses of humans trying to knock him down and fighting his way to the top. Once there, he finds himself in the presence of the cackling magician who tries to control him using his magic. Panting, Isaac manages to break the curse and after killing the magician, the bodies outside rain to the ground.
Meanwhile, Lenore and Hector continue to get busy while Alucard is seduced by the twins. Alucard is tied down to the bed, unable to move, as the binds burn into his skin. Hector unfortunately tells Lenore he’ll always belong to her in the heat of the moment and she takes off her ring and places it on his finger, binding him to her spell.
In the basement, the creature continues to grow as the numerous lives lost subsequently open the portal more and more. On the other side of that portal happens to be Hell itself. A desolate wasteland where, as we pan across this hellish landscape, we see Dracula.
Aside from the CGI effects inside hell which, admittedly, aren’t great the rest of the episode does a fantastic job of raising the stakes in every story. The two poetic acts of seduction gripping the moments between the fighting are really well handled and although some may bemoan the graphic imagery of this, it actually works really well to counteract the sheer amount of violence in the other two stories.
While the subplots involving Alucard and Isaac haven’t been that strong this year, the way all of this builds up to this singular 25 minute episode is fantastic and all four stories work harmoniously here to raise the stakes for every character. It’s a really solid penultimate episode and the ending leaves things wide open for the finale to follow.