High drama and big-scale action make “Death Magic” the best episode of the season thus far.
This recap of Castlevania season 4, episode 8, “Death Magic”, contains spoilers.
Varney, Ratko, and their night creatures make short work of those in Targoviste’s royal court. Well, all except Belmont, Sypha, and Zamfir, that is. The latter might be mad, but she’s still handy in a fight, which is just as well. Chaos is also brewing outside Alucard’s castle, as an army of monsters squares off against a militia of Danesti refugees, their deaths powering the magical sigils that Count Saint Germain has dotted around the place. Elsewhere, he uses his key to open a door to the Infinite Portal as the souls of the dead are sucked inside like moths to a flame.
“Death Magic” pulls no punches in this opening sequence. It feels very much like we’re entering the endgame, and the appearance of a hulking behemoth outside has an end-boss feel to it, even a couple of episodes earlier than expected. It belches the elements from its toothy maw as rock golems leap from reinforced carriages and the monster army marches behind a wall of fire. Alucard and Greta have no choice but to retreat inside.
Following the floating souls to Alucard’s childhood room, he and Greta find Saint Germain opening the portal to the Infinite Corridor — the titular “Death Magic”. Since that is where Alucard killed Dracula, it’s the right place to anchor the spell to bring him back, along with Lisa, so that both can be bound together inside a rebis, an ultimate divine hermaphrodite entity and the so-called “great work” of alchemy. This gives Saint Germain a rather lofty opinion of himself; he even starts referring to himself as God.
Things aren’t going much better in Targoviste’s royal court, either. The action is great here too, though, as Belmont faces off against Ratko while Sypha and Zamfir tackle the night creatures. Varney, meanwhile, roams around looking for the mirror, staying out of the battle like the coward he is. Ratko, it turns out, is a formidable fighter, perhaps even better than Belmont, but his arrogance proves his undoing. When he turns on two civilians, a mother and child who had the temerity simply to touch him, Zamfir is able to heroically sacrifice herself to save them, giving Belmont enough time to finish him off. Teamwork makes the dream work in Castlevania season 4, episode 8.
Varney, though, is able to discover what he’s looking for behind the thrones of the dead king and queen. Through the mirror, he’s able to see Saint Germain’s efforts to open the portal to the Infinite Corridor, and he steps through to join him. Belmont and Sypha follow him through the mirror, but its perspective changes just in time to deposit them in a different location.