The Owl House S3, 2nd Special Review
Everyone, I don’t know how, but I did it. I managed to make it to “For the Future” while avoiding major spoilers. For those who made it through this time, let’s pat ourselves on the back as we, at long last, return to the Boiling Isles for the grand finale to The Owl House. While I don’t think it fully reaches the emotional highs of “Thanks to Them,” this special was still pretty darn good. We see what’s become of the Boiling Isles and its people. We learn more about the Collector and what his motivations are. Most importantly, though, Luz has an emotional epiphany that could help her become the hero that can save her adoptive home. Strap yourselves in, people. I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but no promises.
Not the Boiling Isles We Remember
Following a quick flashback to what happened after Luz went through the portal, we pick up right where “Thanks to Them” left off. Luz, Camilla, and her friends pass through the world between worlds and make it to the Boiling Isles. The witches are all ecstatic to be back home at last (except for Hunter, whose obsessed with making Belos pay), only to find what the Collector’s done while they were gone. Part of the isles are colorful and sparkly, befitting the Collector’s makeover. As for the Collector himself, he’s turned most of the Boiling Isles residents into puppets and is using them to live a distorted version of Luz’s adventures with King and Eda.
The only ones who’ve managed to avoid the Collector’s playtime thus far are the students at Hexside. They took shelter and avoided the Day of Unity, but the Collector turned the teachers into puppets. As a result, they’ve made a new, makeshift society in Hexside led by…Boscha. Boscha, and a certain, annoying woman whose name I won’t mention here.
This is a post-apocalyptic Boiling Isles, and it’s clear that everyone’s been through a lot. Sadly, we won’t get to explore this premise, thanks to Disney. However, I can already hear the fans creating art, comics, and fanfics telling their versions of what the Hexsidian’s went through in the interim, and I know they’ll be great. The kindergarteners becoming savage warriors is hilarious enough as it is!
The Collector’s Not Evil, Just a Misunderstood, Lonely Kid
I had already put the pieces together for myself some time ago, and I’m sure plenty of others have, but let’s talk about the Collector. We don’t know much about him beyond his reality-warping magic and desire to play and have fun, but this special sheds some light on him. As a result, we have to rethink what we know about the Collector.
Through the Collector’s relationship with King, we learn that he’s just one of many of his kind of the same name. Their whole M.O. is going around the universe, preserving life, so it doesn’t die. It sounds noble, but the story that King tells him makes it anything but. They’d scorch the Earth if said life annoyed them enough, something the Collector doesn’t want to do. In addition, we also learn that the magic of a Titan can counteract the magic of a Collector, making the two sides bitter enemies. From this, we can retroactively attribute most of the more malevolent actions of the Collector to his kind rather than the character himself.
The Collector’s not truly evil. Despite all his power, he’s just a little kid who doesn’t want to be lonely and wants to have friends. It’s something that King can emphasize with, despite Eda and Lillith (they’re safe, hiding out in the Collector’s home) wanting to lock him up again. However, King’s plans to teach the Collector right from wrong might be over before they start thanks to the manipulations of Belos.
Yes, Belos is back, but weaker than ever. He’s seeing visions of his dead brother and the previous Grimwalkers haunting him as his body falls apart. However, he ignores the guilt and, being the archetype for the Devil or Anti-Christ he is, manipulates the Collector into thinking King means to betray him. Belos was, and always will be, the big bad of The Owl House and knows how to use people’s fears against them. He’s a jerk.
Luz Finally Gains the Emotional Breakthrough She Needs, as do Hunter and Willow
With the series finale coming up, it’s time for the main characters to complete their emotional arcs, with Hunter, Willow, and Luz drawing center stage. Hunter’s coping with the loss of Flapjack by becoming obsessed with defeating Belos. As for Willow, despite her character growth and confidence, she still has some deep-rooted insecurities that she tries to ignore. Neither’s healthy, and it takes a while for them to learn that it’s okay to be scared. Once they let their insecurities out, they become more badass than ever.
At the end of it all, though, the main focus is on Luz. While she did regain some confidence at the end of the previous episode, she still sees herself as a failure and screw-up. Thus, she still plans to keep her promise of staying on Earth once everyone’s safe, something that Camilla now regrets making her do. In the episode’s climax, the two finally have a heart-to-heart, with Camilla admitting her shortcomings as a parent. She tried to change Luz so she wouldn’t get bullied like she was. She tried to stifle her creativity when she should’ve done the opposite. This leads to Luz finally realizing her deepest wish: all she wants…is to be understood.
As a result, Luz’s Palisman finally hatches. And it is glorious.
For those who guessed Luz’s Palisman would be a snake, we were half right. It’s a snake-shifter. It’s a snake that can turn into whatever it wants, named Stringbean. It’s perfect, and it symbolizes Luz desire to be whoever she wants. My only regret is that we’ll only get one episode to know Stringbean and see how they and Luz kick ass together.
An Emotional Setup for a Grand Finale
So this is where we leave off at the end of the special. Luz has completed her emotional arc, King has become a calmer person, and Belos pits the Collector against Luz. The series finale should arrive sometime in the spring of this year, and it’s going to be an emotional one to watch. I wish we had a full season to flesh everything out, but I’m grateful for the time we got.
Was this special perfect? No, far from it; it had to cram a lot of stuff into a short amount of time. However, Dana and her team still did an amazing job with what they were given, and that’s enough for me. It might not have reached the highs and lows of “Thanks to Them,” for me, but I still enjoyed myself watching this. I’ll be spending the next few months mentally preparing for the series finale and supporting the show’s staff on social media, so help spread the love for this amazing series. It deserves it, and deserves to be understood.
I Give “For the Future” a 3.5/5
Click here to see my other animation stuff.