Castlevania Season 3 Delivers the Vampire Lady Gang I Needed
At least the setup season, set stuff up.
We recently got a slower, more character-driven season of Netflix’s Castlevania that took a while to get to a satisfying conclusion, but more than delivered when the climaxes came—and yes, I do stand by that word choice. So, let’s take a look at the violent, bloody, and horny time that was Castlevania’s third season.
**Spoilers for Season 3 of Castlevania.**
Where do we begin? Let us start with the good.
Isaac: The man was living his best life—building an army of the undead, having deep philosophical conversations with his fellow Black people and a white female ally magician … You love to see it, folks. In all seriousness, Isaac had the best story arc of the entire season. Not only did he embrace walking out of Dracula’s shadow and prove himself to be capable all on his own, but we also got to see him actually look for human connection, only to be disappointed in the end.
That’s helped by the fact that Adetokumboh M’Cormack, who voices the character, does such an amazing job that you really can’t help but be Team Isaac, even though he does possibly want to kill all of humanity for being so “fucking rude.”
At least he isn’t getting honey trapped again like his fellow fogemaster, Hector.
Carmilla makes her snarky, posh return, and while it was disappointing that we didn’t get more of her, we did get to meet her vampire sisters: Lenore (Jessica Brown Findlay), Morana (Yasmine Al Massri), and Striga (Ivana Milicevic). This Council of Sisters is working to take advantage of the disorderly situation going on after the death of Dracula to create an Empire that they can fence in to breed and eat humans forever.
Unfortunately, their forces are depleted, and they need an army—hence our dear Hector is still alive. They need him to make their army, but since the night creatures are loyal to their forgemaster, the Council needs Lenore to be … diplomatic. I’ll get to that bit in a moment.
I adored every moment we had The Council of Sisters. I’ve noticed that a lot of female vampires in fiction tend to have traumatic backstories, usually concerning the person who turned them. Lorena from True Blood, Drucilla from Buffy and Angel, and Katherine from The Vampire Diaries come to mind, and this incarnation of Carmilla has a similar backstory. The man who turned her slowly became “mad” and abused her. During a conversation between Striga and Morana, they mention that Carmilla is still traumatized by this.
All of these aspects added layers to a character who I thought was going to be relatively one-note. Carmilla may not get a lot of screen time this season, but by spending time with the people she trusts, we learn a lot about her. None of the other vampire women are presented as inferior to her. They are equals, despite Carmilla being the “queen.” It takes all of them to make this plan work, and I truly feel like they are loyal to each other. Let’s see if it’ll last.
Plus, Lenore was a pleasant surprise of a character. I expected her to be painfully saccharine, but she surprised me. Topping from the bottom icon.
The fight scenes, and especially the finale battle, were excellently done and animated. I’m always impressed by how they manage to make Trevor’s whip look so fluid in motion during his attacks. Nothing feels lazy, and the creature designs continue to feel ripped from the video game, but chillingly creative.
Okay, now for the threesome and the sexy bits. I’ve never seen so much gaslighting, honey potting, and betrayal in one episode, but here we go. Was it sexy and well animated? Indeed, but let’s get to the character substance of it all.
First, Lenore x Hector.
Hector … my man, you are not bright, and sadly, once again, you were fooled by a female vampire. You’d think when Lenore molly-whopped him in the cell, he would have the good sense to remember she was a deadly vampire, but alas. Now he’s a sex slave, and I do feel sorry for him because of that, but also … sir, why do you keep trusting vampires?
We also had a similar sexy time with a threesome between Alucard, Taka, and Sumi (who are not siblings, according to the writers), but sadly, that was the only interesting part of my sweet dhampir’s storyline.
Alucard’s storyline this season was … boring. This is upsetting because I love Alucard, and seeing him so hungry for companionship after being alone for a month is peak corona social distancing mood. But from the moment Taka and Sumi show up, you know they are going to betray him, and that story is so detached from the main plot that it doesn’t engage you until the clothes come off.
It also sucked that we got two Japanese characters and they were so disposable to the plot. If their purpose was to show Alucard slipping deeper into his father’s cruelty, that worked, but I just feel like it turned Taka and Sumi into characters who made no sense to the story. They were also traumatized and paranoid, with good reason, but placing them in a suspicious and antagonistic role forces us to forget that.
Trevor and Sypha’s storyline wasn’t terrible, but I did felt like it dragged … a lot. Honestly, the dynamic works best when the three protagonists are together, and I felt that, without that all the characters, it sort of floundered. While the Dracula cult was interesting, it just took too long to get to certain points, and it left me, at times, just wanting to get back to Isaac, who I love, or Lenore, who I worship now.
They also fail spectacularly to protect the town and end up just leaving with broken spirits. Sypha is especially hurt for having trusted the Judge (Jason Isaacs), who is revealed to be a serial child murderer in the end. To be fair, once you see Jason Isaacs in a role, you should just know he’s going to be evil.
I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who found the season boring, but I sped through it quickly, and the attachment I felt to the characters from season two made me care about what was going to happen to them, even though I just wanted them all to be together.
The journey was worth it, but now I’m ready for season four to give me the destination and bring the team back together.
What did you think of the third season of Castlevania?
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