The Owl House Season 3, 1st Special Review
Trauma is something that nearly everyone has to deal with at least once in their lives. It often comes in the form of a painful experience, leaving deep, long-lasting scars on a person’s psyche. Trauma can take the happiest people and leave them a shell of their former selves, and they may never recover from it. And as The Owl House enters its third and final season, one shortened to three forty-minute specials, it’s clear that the big theme is dealing with the trauma Luz and her friends have gone through. Given how the show’s an animated horror, it seems only fitting that the first special is a Halloween one.
Warning: I will be doing everything I can to avoid spoilers, because I think this special has to be seen to appreciate what Dana and her team have done. Thanks to Disney, they took what little time they had left and gave us a masterpiece.
What Could’ve Been
I already discussed at length the opening 6 minutes to ’Thanks to Them’ last week, but I wanted to add some more thoughts before I talk about the big themes of this special. As I’ve already said, I grew upset learning that Disney shortened the final season of The Owl House to 3 specials. And seeing everything that Luz and the Hexsquad got up to in the montage only reinforced the idea that we got cheated out of an amazing season. Getting to know how the Hexsquad adjusted to life on Earth would’ve been amazing to watch. However, Dana and her team make up for it by packing the first special with plenty of smaller moments that showcase the growth of the cast.
Seeing Hunter geek out over a parody of Star Trek alongside Gus was adorable to watch; those two are brothers, and nothing can convince me otherwise.
Plus, I loved the Easter egg that the crew out in about the Duolingo bird, referencing the memes of him and Hooty being besties. And the Giraffes. No wonder they got banished.
Camilla Was Never a Bad Mom
Funny moments aside (and there are plenty,) the heart of the special revolves around three people and how their traumas affected each of them.
Firstly, we have Camilla. She’s gotten a lot of hate in the fandom for being called a bad mom. While I knew she could do better, I never saw her as a bad parent. She was a single Mom who truly wanted what was best for Luz, but, as we learn throughout the special, she was influenced by her own negative experiences growing up. She truly wanted Luz to have a better childhood than she did and did appreciate her daughter’s uniqueness. Her worries, though, led her to repeat the cycle of negativity unintentionally and made her daughter feel unwanted on Earth.
Camilla, it’s not you or Luz that has a problem. It’s everyone else that has a problem!
Hunter Haunted by Spectre of Belos
Then, we have Hunter. His entire life’s been one big, traumatic rollercoaster, thanks to Belos. His “Uncle” lied to him, manipulated him for his ends, and tried to kill him. While he eventually learns how evil Belos truly is and turned against him, it’s clear throughout the special that Belos has a grip on him, even now. What’s worse is that he’s too scared that his newfound family will reject him when they learn of his Grimwalker status, hence why Belos still terrifies him.
And yes, as many of us thought, Belos remains alive, albeit in a state akin to Lord Voldermort after baby Harry bested him. While I won’t say what happens, I will say that there’s a moment where Hunter makes everyone watching so proud.
Luz: this Mama Was Not Ready for Trauma
Lastly, we have Luz herself and holy Titan. I could write a separate article on how much trauma Luz has endured. The upbeat and optimistic girl who sought to start a new life on the Boiling Isles is almost nonexistent. The guilt over her role in the rise of Belos and what happened to the Boiling Isles, combined with the horrifying events leading up to the Day of Unity, have broken her. At one point, she even contemplates if it had been better had she never existed in the first place. It’s never stated explicitly, but older fans could understand that this is a red flag for suicidal thoughts. They put that in a Disney cartoon!
I truly felt for Luz in this episode. While I never had a childhood as bad as Luz, I was always different, thanks to my ADHD. I had plenty of friends, but I still found it hard at times to relate to other people. Combined with my tendency to act out, it made things difficult for people at times. Thankfully, I did find people who appreciated me for who I was and did have friends.
Luz did so, as well. This whole special was, essentially, a way to remind her that she’s the screw-up she thinks she is. She changed the lives of so many people on the Boiling Isles for the better, and when the time comes, Luz’s loved ones return the favor. She’s not to blame for the trauma and suffering inflicted by Belos. They tell her that Belos would’ve risen to power without her help. Their unconditional love and support is enough to help Luz get through one of the lowest points in her life, and gain the resolve to return to the Boiling Isles.
The Owl House Firing on All Cylinders
Thus, the special ends with the group finding a way back to the Boiling Isles. While they don’t know what they’ll find there, they’re more determined than ever to stop whatever Belos and the Collector have planned. Unfortunately, we must wait months for the final two specials to air. However, I’m perfectly fine with that.
The Owl House may be coming to a premature ending, but it’s clear Dana intends to end with a bang. If the last two specials are even half as amazing as this was, then it will be well worth the wait. Dana and her team took the best of a terrible situation and gave us an animated masterpiece. This is the sort of thing that I want to see The Owl House do in its final season. Despite being out through the ringer, the show keeps on moving forward with its head held high. I can respect that, Dana!
I Give “Thanks to Them” a 5/5
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