“You Must Sacrifice” becomes a mantra for Saint Germain on his quest for love, while Alucard intervenes in a situation that might end up costing him more than he bargained for.
This recap of Castlevania season 4, episode 4, “You Must Sacrifice”, contains spoilers.
“You Must Sacrifice”, according to Castlevania season 4, episode 4, but for what? What cause is worthy? And how important is one’s own agency in making that decision? At the start of this chapter, Belmont and Sypha have a conversation reminiscent of the one Isaac had with the statue of the old wizard in the previous episode. For so long, they’ve been reactive, and now with Zamfir, they’re faced with the prospect of joining another cause, another fight, and inevitably making more sacrifices. They need to know if it’s worth the effort.
After his relative indifference in the premiere, Alucard has decided to go to Danesti anyway, where he arrives to find night creatures beating down the doors. After he has messily dispatched them, the village headwoman, Greta, explains how they’ve been under attack for four nights and things are getting worse. Despite her — mostly accurate — reservations about Alucard, he was the only advantage she could see, hence why she sent Marius, the ill-fated rider and the last of a now-extinguished family line, to deliver him a message.
Count Saint Germain is in Danesti, cowering in a latrine, as Alucard puts in, and a quick collection of flashbacks reveal how he got there, the gradual eroding of his composure and reputation, the loss of his loved one in the Infinite Corridor, as he had explained it to Belmont and Sypha last season, and his disappearance back into the Infinite Corridor in that season’s finale. The jumbled upside-down surrealism of Saint Germain’s jaunt through the Corridor is a Castlevania staple if ever there was one. Thanks to a deluge of exposition, we learn that the ultimate goal of alchemy, the reconciliation of spirit and matter, male and female, is control of the Infinite Corridor, and it sounds very much, at least to me, like the revival and binding of Dracula himself is the key to this. Those are your final season stakes, one suspects, and an interesting dilemma for Saint Germain, who is given a key that’ll open the Infinite Corridor from anywhere, if not necessarily allow for free travel within it. “You must sacrifice,” he’s told, fittingly.
Castlevania season 4, episode 4 cuts to SIX WEEKS AGO for more of Saint Germain’s journey, and the follow-through on his promise to sacrifice his morals and ethics in pursuit of his task. It looks very much like spiralling madness, in all honesty, a real heel turn including a missive from Varney suggesting a team-up in their shared goal of resurrecting Dracula. As is becoming typical of this season, Saint Germain doesn’t give Varney any respect either.
But the alliance does benefit both parties. They do indeed have the same goal. This gives Saint Germain in the present day, debating the vampire and night creature strategy with Alucard and Greta, a whiff of the villain. When he proposes that the displaced refugees are moved to Alucard’s castle for their own safety, well, it’s difficult to believe he’s being altruistic. Whatever next?