‘Hollow Mind’ Was a Psychological Horror, Plain & Simple
The Owl House Season 2, Episode 16 Review
Words…almost fail me right now. I am left completely spellbound by The Owl House right now. It’s already pushed the limits on what Disney’s been willing to do for a show targeted towards kids, but today, it pushed it even further. This week’s episode, ‘Hollow Mind’, was less of an episode from a kid’s show, and more of a full-blown psychological horror. This is probably the biggest episode since ‘Agony of a Witch.’ That episode introduced us to Emperor Belos, but ‘Hollow Mind’ showed us the full extent of what Belos has done, and wants to do, in the name of what he thinks is right.
Everything About Belos is a Lie
The episode’s cold opening starts off with the plot already in motion, only to be explained via the recounting of Luz and Hunter. Essentially, Hunter caught three “wild witches” trying to get inside Belos’ mind; Luz got fed up with the Boiling Isles blindly following Belos. They both messed up, and got dragged inside Belos’ mind instead. From there, the two spend ‘Hollow Mind’ looking at the memories of Emperor Belos…and they don’t like what they see.
From the start, I was dubious about Belos’ claims of being able to speak to the Titan. That sounded like the sort of outlandish thing a religious fanatic would say to their followers. As many of us guessed, that assessment was right on the money: Belos is full of it! He’s lied about talking to the Titan, he lied about the Coven System and the Sigils. And if last week’s ending didn’t explain it enough, his Day of Unity won’t just drain the Boiling Isles residents of their magic. It’s going to flat out kill everyone!! By doing so, Belos will free the being known as the Collector from imprisonment underneath the Titan; he hates Witches that much.
Just When Belos Couldn’t Get Anymore Evil
I’m of the opinion that as mankind has progressed, we’ve come to realize that many of our past actions were pretty terrible. Case in point, the concept of witch hunting was messed up and the result of people doing dumb things out of fear. That’s the mindset that drove Philip Wittebane, and that’s what drives Belos. He’s so convinced that his mission is a righteous one (it’s not) that he’s even willing to murder the friend/brother that came with him to the Boiling Isles.
I had to go back and look at the portraits in Belos’ mindscape to be sure, but when I did, I was horrified. If they’re correct, then there’s a reason why his companion from the Human World is no longer with us. When his friend started to fall in love with the Boiling Isles, Belos seems to have murdered them! That’s not the most messed up thing, though. All the fan theories that Hunter is a grimwalker, basically a magical clone, of Belos’ friend, are true. Even more horrific, Belos has killed, and recreated, Hunter when their predecessor eventually turned on him.
These moments were absolutely devastating to watch. Luz was in tears when she realized how evil Belos was. Hunter has a full-blown mental breakdown; when the two are able to escape thanks to the Owl House residents (and Raine), he runs away in tears. This entire thing was an absolute tearjerker!
Oh, and did I mention that the souls of all the Palismen that Belos devoured were trapped inside his mind, until he used Luz and Hunter to get rid of them? Because that’s messed up!
‘Hollow Mind’ Was New Levels of Dark
I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened in ‘Hollow Mind.’ I thought ‘Agony of a Witch’ was a bombshell, but I think this episode topped it. It probably broke Luz even more than how she almost lost Eda, especially since she knows she unkonwingly helped Belos. Now, he’s going to kill everyone on the Boiling Isles. To make matters worse, Eda, King, and Hooty had to use the last of their Titan’s Blood to save Luz and Hunter. Now, Luz has no way to get home.
‘Hollow Mind’ has to be the darkest episode on The Owl House yet. Belos is planning to commit genocide, kill everyone that Luz knows and loves, and the Boiling Isles has no clue what’s about to happen. If there wasn’t pressure on them to stop the Day of Unity before, there is now!
I know that much of my focus right now is on Amphibia, but it’s stuff like this that reminds me of why I love The Owl House. I’m looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out.
I Give “Hollow Mind” a 5/5
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So………. Belos has some weird abilities to him- it allowed him to know when Luz was in the castle to get the healing hat, and that Eda and the others were watching him with Lillith’s potion. So………he would know they’re plan to reveal his identity, right? So he can stop it? Or make sure everyone doubles down on their belief in him?
Oh man……. how will Amity and the others react? Edric and Emira haven’t shown that they wholly follow Belos, but that haven’t done anything outside of being regular teens. I’m not saying I want to see them fight against the Owl House, but……. I’m curious about their reaction to the information. Gus, Willow, and Amity have shown to follow Luz, but Edric and Emira…….. a little more difficult to discern what they are.
Welp; Hunter’s gone! No where to go; his existence in question; his belief shaken; and the person whose approval and validation meant the most to him turns out to be the Ultimate Evil. If this weren’t a Disney property; I’d say he’s gonna throw himself off a cliff right now. But I think he’s going to wander around for a minute- kicking himself and pushing Flapjack away, sulking and all- and get back up and come in clutch when it’s time for the Main Event. Or maybe he’ll come back to the Owl House next episode and become a permanent resident. Either way, really!