Hello and welcome to a recap of the final two episodes of Hazbin Hotel. I originally started to write this to cover the gay goings-on for the weekly TV column Boobs on Your Tube, as I did for episodes four and five, but then our Editor-in-Chief Carmen pointed out that I had a lot to say and suggested I break free of the word count limit and go bananas. So bananas I have gone. It’s a happy day in hell!
In the aftermath of learning Vaggie is an ex-angel, and the impending extermination, everyone’s a little on edge. Vaggie assures them Charlie is thinking of something, but the truth is she’s just crying in her room. Alastor goes upstairs and tells Charlie he has a secret that will help her defeat the angels, if she’ll make a deal with him. He promises it’s not for her soul, and he won’t ask her to harm anyone, so she shakes on it, her little devil horns on full display. In exchange, he tells her that Carmilla Carmine killed an angel.
Armed with this knowledge, Charlie is going to go with Alastor to gather an army, and she sends Vaggie to Carmilla Carmine to learn how to defeat the angels. Before doing as she’s asked, Vaggie wants to talk to Charlie about what happened in heavy, but Charlie blows her off; she just wants to focus on the task at hand.
Vaggie tells the rest of the hotel guests that while she still believes in Charlie’s dream, she knows they came to the hotel for redemption, not for a battle, so if they want to leave, she’ll understand.
On the way to rally some troops, Charlie rants about how Vaggie lied to her for the entire three years they’ve been together even though Charlie’s whole thing is second chances, and she doesn’t understand why. She is sort of wondering out loud to herself, trying to work out her feelings in real time, until suddenly she realizes they’re in the surprisingly charming Cannibal Town, which looks like something out of The Music Man. There they meet the leader of the pack, Rosie, who tells them they can have their cannibal army if they can convince everyone.
(Random side note: ever since finishing Hazbin Hotel, I’ve had the soundtrack on a loop and I’ve been rewatching musical number on TikTok, and Cannibal Town is mentioned in the first song of the show, Happy Day in Hell, and also, Rosie can be seen at the meeting of the overlords at hell that Velvette got Carmine to end early by antagonizing her. Just cute little thoughtful worldbuilding details!)
When Charlie’s first attempt at a speech goes wrong, Charlie is pulled aside so Rosie can give her a pep talk.
Meanwhile, Vaggie goes to Carmine to ask for help, and she points out flaws in angel’s fighting style. “Your own fighting style,” is what she says, and I was over here feeling SO SMART for figuring out Vaggie was an ex-warrior angel after the first three episodes. Then Carmine knocks me down a peg by saying, “You have a giant X over your eye…it’s not rocket science.” ANYWAY!!
She tells Vaggie that the key to winning will be angelic weapons, and fighting not for vengeance but for love. They have a cute little sparring dance-off/song-fight, and I remain tickled that Stephanie Beatriz and Daphne Rubin-Vega keep having duets, not only because they’re both legends in their own right but because they played girlfriends in the movie adaptation of In the Heights.
Back in Cannibal Town, Charlie confesses to Rosie that her fight with Vaggie is weighing on her, and she’s worried that this one big lie means Vaggie was lying to her about other things, like believing in her hotel dreams. Rosie says actions speak louder than words. Charlie thinks about it, and she does believe Vaggie loves her back and believes in her. Everything she’s done in the past three years proves it. Reinvigorated, Charlie sings her pitch, and this does the trick, so the cannibals agree to fight with them. (Granted, they mostly are excited to nibble on angel wings, maybe with some honey mustard, but hey, if it works it works.)
On the way back home from their victories, Charlie and Vaggie arrive at the hotel at the same time, the fruits of their labor in tow. Vaggie is going to apologize again but Charlie gently interrupts her and gives her a souvenir from Cannibal Town as a sign that she’s ready to forgive her. Vaggie is overcome with relief and they hug it out.
When they get inside, the other guests are not only still there, but they’re fortifying the hotel, which made Charlie, Vaggie, and me very emotional. Found family feels got kicked into high gear just in time for the finale. Which starts now!
In the finale episode, everyone in the hotel gets ready to fight, training with their new weapons. Everyone has their specialty, and while Sir Pentious tries to give out some General-style orders, little Nifty is too overwhelmed for that, so Charlie just tells her to stab angels (but not Angel) and everyone gets back to training.
Later that night, Charlie gives a speech and tells everyone that, no matter how the battle goes, she sees the good in them and loves them so much. She tells them to live tonight, and not die tomorrow, so they all party for a bit. Angel and Husk flirt, Sir Pentious gets up the courage to compliment Cherri Bomb, Nifty and Alastor muse about how much things have changed over the past few weeks.
During the party, Charlie steals away to have a little cry about the fact that she’s scared about the outcome and still feels a bit responsible for the way this has all panned out. Vaggie finds her and says that even if they lose the battle, Charlie has already accomplished so much. Not only has she brought together a band of misfits who needed each other more than any of them knew, but she also saved Vaggie, literally and figuratively. So they sing to each other, “I need you to know I love you more than anything,” and they kiss, and I’m EMOTIONAL.
The next day, the battle begins and it starts off strong; the hotel crew was READY. At one point, Charlie was holding up a shield and apologizing for shoving them with it, until Vaggie reminded her that they were here to fight, so Charlie starts using her powers. They stand back to back, in it together come…well, come heaven or high water.
But then the tides start to turn: The angels break through the magic barrier they had set up. Adam almost beats Alastor so he disappears. Sir Pentious valiantly tries to attack Adam on his own and gets incinerated. Seeing this, Charlie starts to cry but then turns her pain into rage and has a Sailor Moon/She-Ra style transformation into her devilish form. It’s… amazing.
She turns her pet flying goats Razzle and Dazzle into dragons and she and Vaggie launch another attack. Vaggie defeats Lute but decides to spare her life, to prove she’s not the bloodthirsty angel Lute is, to prove that she’s changed. Charlie almost defeats Adam but then gets pinned and almost killed until Lucifer himself swoops in to help. Which was a little annoying, but it also was nice to see that Charlie inspired him enough to get involved.
When Adam is on the brink of death, Charlie stops her dad from killing him. But while Adam refuses to accept this mercy and continues to rant about how he’s the best, Nifty comes up behind him and stabs him. A lot. Like she was told to! Once it’s clear they’ve been defeated, Lute has the angel army retreat.
In the rubble of the destroyed hotel, Charlie mourns Sir Pentious, blaming herself for his death. But her dad says that even though they suffered some loss, she is the first person in literal centuries to stand up to the angels and make any change at all in hell. The rest of the crew rallies beside her. They sing her own song back at her, “We can do this, we can build it,” and Charlie realizes it’s not all on her; they can do this, together.
They rebuild the hotel, bigger and better than ever. After singing a bit about a deal of his own he wants to find a loophole out of, Alastor even joins them. (My current reigning theory is that he made a deal with Lillith. I feel like she’s the only overlord who would be more powerful than him, and also it can’t be a coincidence that they both were MIA for seven years.)
All seems well in good at the Hazbin Hotel. Despite the setbacks, Charlie is still determined to try to redeem souls, with a whole team behind her.
I want to take some time here to talk about how much I love Charlie, because I feel like she doesn’t get enough hype in the chat. I keep seeing posts and videos dedicated to Alastor or Sir Pentious, and don’t get me wrong, they’re great characters. I also love Angel Dust, Husk, and their dynamic with each other. But for me, Charlie and Vaggie make this show.
I know I’m biased, but I think Charlie is such a great character. I really relate to plucky characters who still swear and get angry and who are hopeful but not stupid. Having hope can sometimes be perceived as being naive or not smart but the truth is, having hope is hard. You have to be strong and brave to hold onto any amount of hope when you’re in hell, literally or figuratively. But Charlie does it with a song.
Also, Charlie doesn’t have to be doing any of this. She isn’t a human soul, she’s an “immortal soul” because she was born in hell, and maybe also because her father is THE fallen angel. Adam said in the pilot that part of the whole extermination deal that was made is that Lucifer made sure that his family and those like him were safe. So Charlie isn’t even doing this to protect herself; just like how her horns almost exclusively come out in defense of her friends or her people, she’s consistently selfless, despite being the Princess of Hel. She’s using her power to help those that don’t have the same privileges as she does. And yes, I know I just mentioned it but she does it all while singing! Erika Henningson’s voice is astounding. The way she plays Charlie with the layers of pain and fear and joy and love and hope is just lovely.
I also love Charlie and Vaggie’s relationship. I love that it was established when the show started, and that it had its bumps and bruises throughout the season, but it wasn’t a big breakup blowout or cheating or anything like that. Their foundation is solid, and they worked through it. They showed up for each other again and again. There are so many cute little moments throughout the season where they make sure you don’t forget that Charlie and Vaggie are in love: Vaggie’s resting angry face softening when Charlie does something cute; Charlie introducing her girlfriend to her father; both of them showing up in pajamas at the same time; Vaggie waking up alone in what is clearly also Charlie’s bed; Angel joking “I think this is yours” before plopping a happy-tears-weeping Charlie in Vaggie’s arms. And then of course, these last two episodes, where fixing their relationship is almost as important to Charlie as figuring out how to stop the extermination.
There are just so many cute little couple-y moments that made me squeal with joy. A cheerful devil and a grumpy angel. A golden retriever and a black cat. An unlikely sapphic duo that just works!!
Before the season ends properly, there’s a one-two punch of twists in the final two scenes, things we know but Charlie doesn’t:
First, Sir Pentious appears in heaven! Charlie’s plan worked, and him sacrificing his life for them redeemed him enough to give him a new golden sheen. Also he appears in the Seraphims’ chambers, and Em looks downright delighted, and even squeaks about it, while Sera looks shooketh. The thing is, if Charlie is right, and souls can be redeemed, then the exterminations she had been quietly supporting were even more unnecessary than she thought. And it’s scary to think maybe you were very, very wrong.
The next twist happens when Lute goes back to heaven and finds a woman who is relaxing on a beach. Lute tells the woman that Adam is dead and that Charlie is ruining everything. Lute tells the lounging woman that she has to get her “brat” in line or she can’t stay in heaven. And that’s how we learn where Charlie’s mother, Lilith, has been for the past seven years. And something tells me that wasn’t a quick break she was taking between years of begging the powers that be to let her daughter join her in heaven…
I truly loved Hazbin Hotel. In fact, I’m already rewatching it. A show that easily could have been a vapid romp through hell has so much depth and character development. It touches on redemption, abuse, betrayal, found family, trust, never giving up on your dreams, and so much more. It pokes at the hypocrisy of Christian values wielded like weapons to keep others down, it celebrates everyone’s differences and acknowledges that we’re all flawed but that doesn’t make us expendable. And it also depicts hell as the big queer party we all know it would be.
And that’s all she wrote for season 1! If you need me, I’ll be listening to the soundtrack on repeat until Season 2 drops, which thankfully they’ve already started recording.