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– by Mark Cook

Last Friday was the premier of Castlevania: Season 1 on Netflix.  The anime style series debuted to many antipated viewers.  I did a recap of the first episode last week, and have returned with episodes 2 and 3 (the entire season consists of 4 episodes).  Do the other episodes match the interest of the first?  Should this season warrent a second?  Read on to find out. At the conclusion of episode 1, fans were briefly introduced to the last surviving member of the Belmont family, who looks to be the last of a disrespected family legacy.  Meanwhile, Dracula had given the town one year to leave until he returned for his revenge due to the church and town leaders burning his wife, Lisa, at the stake due to accusations of witchcraft.

Episode 2: The Belmont family was an aristocratic family who had all the power in the area, who were excommunicated by the church due to “using black magic” and fighting monsters. We learn this from a couple of disgruntled drunks at the local tavern.  It is at this time that viewers also learn that the Belmont who is in the tavern is Trevor Belmont (known for being in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse). I immediately enjoyed the depiction of the character.   The banter in the drunken fight is comical, especially his remark after getting hit in the balls numerous times. The dark tone continues when Belmont finds a city destroyed by monsters who we see with a child in their mouth, a man with his throat torn out, and heads on pikes. Pretty hardcore. The town is plagued by the monsters by night (just like Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest) and by the Bishop’s corrupted priests by day.  A small, sober, fight ensues as Belmont saves a man and we see the iconic first appearance of the whip where he dismembers two of the priests! After saving the man, Belmont learns he was one of the elders of a group accused of magic as well. He tells the elder, and his men, to leave the area for their own safety. I love the nods to the original trilogy of NES games. Some are more subtle than others, but fans will be able to pick up on them. I was hoping they would use Simon Belmont as he is the one I am most familiar with, but there are many similarities within the family. Trevor Belmont has a youthful cockiness, and his characteristics (and voice) reminded me of a mix between Hugh Jackman’s drunk counterpart in The Prestige and Jack Sparrow. The writers did a good job of making the viewers empathize with their characters.  Dracula is jaded because of the loss of his wife, Belmont is jaded because the church banished he and his family when they were really the only hope against Dracula, and the Bishop is the other villain; pushing the blame of Dracula’s return on the Belmont’s and the community rather than taking any type of blame for not heeding the warning that could have prevented the disasters.  Episode 3: As Belmont continues his search, he ends up in some catacombs.  While he is down there he comes across some technology well before its time…electricity. At this time, Trevor comes face-to-face with the cyclops, and an entertaining battle ensues. After the fight he saves the elder’s daughter, and following her return, the Bishop’s men come to bring Belmont to a meeting with him. During the meeting, the extreme pride, arrogance, and stubbornness of the Bishop is on display. He wrongly justifies his behavior by God, and demands Belmont leave town.  The Bishop wants to be the hero in order to work his way up in the church. As night falls, the church sends the town for people to find the elder, his daughter, and the rest of their group (known as The Speakers) because of their use of “black magic” even though they are actually fighting for the innocent individuals of the town. As Belmont has hidden them, he delivers heartfelt dialogue where he is now embracing his family name, rather than hiding from it.  The episode ends with him trying to evade the oncoming mob all while Dracula’s creatures begin their nightly decent onto the town. There is a good deal of plot, and character, development in this episode.  I had hoped there might be more action in this episode, but the action scenes that were present were fun, entertaining, and graphic of course. I would like to see him use his whip more since that was the primary weapon in the game, but that is a minor detail. We do get to see him use daggers and an ax, all which are used as supplemental weapons in the game. Belmont’s interactions with the Bishop are great.  He doesn’t fit the mold of how he “should” act.  He sees through the Bishop’s motives and calls him out on Them. Trevor also realizes that he must stop hiding and do what he was destined to do; carry on the family legacy.  With only one episode left in Season 1, I have a feeling that viewers will be left with many more questions, and have to wait until 2018 in order to find out the answers.  While the series has been good, adding a couple more episodes to the season could have been beneficial. What did you think of episodes 2 and 3?  Are you liking the style they went with, or could you do without?  Would you like a Season 2?  My review of the final episode will be coming in the next couple of days.  Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading! Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.