“The Endings” delivers the biggest and perhaps best episode in the show’s history.
This recap of Castlevania season 4, episode 9, “The Endings”, contains spoilers.
It’s hard to properly put across quite how good “The Endings” is. Part of that is because it’s almost all action; there’s very little to actually recap in that sense. But it’s mostly because it’s such an unmistakably audio-visual experience, so deeply predicated on sight and sound, the horrifying beauty — and beautiful horror — of a thousand demented designs crashing against character arcs that have been nurtured for four seasons. There’s another episode after this one, but there can’t be a better one.
Following on directly from where the previous episode left off, the battle is still raging at Alucard’s castle. Fortunately, Belmont and Sypha teleported very close by, and so we get our big hero moment — and a reminder that one of the show’s main heroes has been kept separate from the others all season — when the three musketeers square off against the night creatures.
There’s a ton of cool action in Castlevania season 4, episode 9, too much to recount here. It’s one “oh sh*t” sequence after another, but the larger goal — to prevent Saint Germain from resurrecting Dracula — is never lost sight of. There’s a crucial, excellent twist there, though, as it’s revealed that idiotic Varney, who has had no respect all season, is really the show’s Big Bad. Paying off a throwaway scene in the very first episode — the one of the kids being sacrificed to the altar of Death — it turns out Varney is that very same creature, an elemental spirit that isn’t quite death incarnate but is close enough. Varney feeds on death, and so needed Dracula to provide it on a large scale. With Alucard having killed Dracula in Season 2, that chance to gain enough sustenance to conquer the world was denied to him. But now, with the prospect of Drac being resurrected and bundled with Lisa into a rebis, which is sure to drive him insane, he has another opportunity to feed.
The rebis, by the way, is a great bit of gothic horror business, and we even get a snippet of Graham McTavish as Drac when he and Lisa are pulled through the portal and trapped inside it. Just in time, though, Belmont breaks the barrier, and Saint Germain, realizing the error of his ways, helps him to destroy the rebis, which causes a cataclysmic detonation of the castle. Impaled and dying, Saint Germain sees the silhouette of his lost love through the still-open portal as she turns away and the window closes.
Incensed, Death grabs Saint Germain’s key and uses it to power himself, leading to a final confrontation with Belmont. There’s a lovely moment when Belmont confesses his love to Sypha from a distant platform, and she responds — in what is clearly a homage to The Empire Strikes Back — with a classic, “I know.” This final battle in Castlevania season 4, episode 9 is in many ways the culmination of Belmont’s entire arc, his realization that his life has meaning, and that he is fighting for something bigger than himself, and even bigger than his lineage. Powering up the magic dagger he acquired much earlier in the season, he stabs Death through his chattering skull, and only devastation and quiet remain.