“It’s Been a Strange Ride” delivers a poignant, low-key conclusion, and works as a near-perfect culmination of every story and character arc that Castlevania has dealt with.
This recap of Castlevania season 4, episode 10, “It’s Been a Strange Ride”, contains spoilers, including a frank discussion of the Castlevania Season 4 ending.
“It’s Been a Strange Ride” is a very fitting name for the last-ever episode of Castlevania (don’t panic — Netflix has plans for a spin-off in the same universe.) And while we’re on the subject, Hector and Lenore discussing the difference between strength and power, and the ability of strength to not just win a war but build a shelter, feels like we’re looping back around to the conversation Isaac had with that big fly in the third episode. It’s a low-key opening after the chaos of the penultimate episode, but it’s a powerful character moment when Lenore, defiantly refusing to live in a cage under Isaac’s supervision, steps outside to see the sun for the very first time. She’s disappointed by what she sees as it burns her to ash.
Alucard, too, has reached a turning point in his life, getting closer to the human side he has rejected for so long. Greta is certainly a key part of coaxing that out, as are the refugees from Danesti, who’re still living in his castle. Much worse off, though, is Sypha, who has grieved almost in silence for Belmont, and is now pregnant with a child who will never know their father. She’s adamant that she leave and be among more people, but Alucard and Greta explain that these people aren’t returning to Danesti. They’re building a new community around the castle and holds — and they’re planning to call it Belmont. Sypha likes the idea.
Suddenly, though, a hooded rider arrives on a black horse — Belmont, alive, if not quite well, who theorizes that Saint Germain must have opened the portal to the Infinite Corridor just before he died, saving him. He and Sypha get to exchange their “I love you” scene from the previous episode, but the other way around this time. It’s a touching moment, as is the one in which Alucard helps Belmont to his feet, and the latter comments that, for the first time, the son of Dracula looks weirdly happy. And he is.
As Sypha stands with her face in her hands, sobbing quietly to herself, she declares that she thinks they have finally won. That’s an incredibly brave thing for Castlevania season 4, episode 10 to claim, but this is the last-ever episode, to be fair. There is more to come, though, as we see Lisa and Vlad Tepes check into a hotel. Reunited, and freed from Hell, neither knows what happened. Both agree that they shouldn’t reveal themselves to Alucard to allow him some closure on his life, so Vlad suggests that they go to Whitby, of all places. I’m not sure that’s where I’d move if I was trying not to commit murder but to each their own. The love story of Castlevania really did come full circle.