Camila Noceda: Learning to Be a Better Mom
A Deep Dive into Camila Noceda from The Owl House
Oh, Camila, how far you have come.
When we first met Camila Noceda, Luz’s single mother, in the series pilot, a lot of fans were quick to jump on the hate band-wagon. They say she was wrong to try and make Luz change who she is and that she’s not a good parent. While I do agree that Mrs. Noceda’s parenting skills leave a lot to be desired, I never understood why she got so much hate. Her decision to send Luz away was a mistake, but one she made because she wanted what she thought best for her daughter. And as the series progressed and revealed bits and pieces about Luz and Camila’s relationship, fans started to see Camila in a different light, understanding that, while she had her flaws, she tried to be a good parent. Ultimately, the story of Camila Noceda is the story of someone learning to accept people for who they are.
Due to lack of screentime, this deep dive will be written much like the one I did for Gus Porter. Rather than talk about things in episodic order, I’m going to be bouncing around a bit to give us a better understanding of what Camila is like and how integral she is to the story.
Struggling to be a Single Parent
From what we’ve learned, it seems that Camila’s early life wasn’t a very pleasant one. Growing up with a passion for Sci-Fi like the Star Trek expy, Cosmic Frontier, Camila found herself getting bullied a lot when she was her daughter’s age. The only other person that really understood her was her husband, Manny, who proved just as nerdy and as goofy as she was, with their daughter, Luz, inheriting much of his unashamed weirdness. However, everything changed when Manny contracted some sort of illness. While the show never mentions what it was, what we know is that it proved to be fatal. Despite moving to Gravesfield, Connecticut in the hopes of getting better treatment, that decision proved to be for naught, with Manny ultimately passing away, leaving the two devastated.
Both women reacted to Manny’s death in different ways. While Luz wholeheartedly embraced her passions and eccentricities to cope with the loss of her beloved Dad, Camila chose to suppress what she loved, the years of bullying making her think she should be ashamed of it. And while she tried to initially support her daughter’s weirdness and stand up for her, she saw how kids and even other parents were starting to bully Luz. The school principal even made Camila think it was somehow her fault and that she should get Luz to be more “normal” to fit in better.
Having seen all of this, I can safely say that it wasn’t Luz or Camila that were the problem. It was everyone around them that had the problem, wanting them to conform to what they thought was normal. This created a rift between Camila and Luz that made her daughter think she was ashamed of how she acted. All of this culminated in Camila deciding to send Luz to that Reality Check Camp, something both parent and child have come to regard as a huge mistake.
Thankfully, Luz never got the chance to go there, with the shape-shifting Basilisk Vee taking her place, with no one the wiser.
Learning the Truth About Luz and a Hasty Promise
While Camila wouldn’t play a large role in Season One, her influence weighed a lot on Luz, with the events of “Enchanting Grom Fright” revealing her biggest fear was disappointing her mother. It wouldn’t be until the Season Two Mid-finale “Yesterday’s Lie,” that both sides learned the truth.
With Vee having taken Luz’s place and life on Earth and doing her best to fit in, Camila remains none the wiser about the imposter. However, after seeing Vee start to get rid of all of Luz’s stuff, she can’t help but wonder if that summer camp worked too well. Then, the penny drops as Luz gets ahold of her mother and explains where she’s been the whole time. While she doesn’t believe it, at first, Camila plays along, thinking her daughter’s finally returned to her old self. Then she finds out that she isn’t joking.
To her credit, Camila does take Vee’s existence in stride, seeing that she’s just a scared kid trying to find somewhere safe to call home. After giving the museum curator the power of La Chancla, she all but adopts Vee as a second daughter. However, after that’s done, Camila breaks down when she realizes her daughter ran away to another world where she’s had to fight off constant danger and is now trapped in. She starts blaming herself, thinking it’s her fault Luz chose to stay in the Boiling Isles, and Luz doesn’t help matters. That’s when Camila does something that she regrets: she hastily makes Luz promise that once she finds a way home, she’ll stay in the Human Realm. This rash decision will come back to haunt Camila and almost destroy her daughter.
Getting Her Daughter Back and Taking In her Friends
Ultimately, Luz does find a way back to Earth, but in the most traumatizing way possible. The portal back is destroyed, her friends are stranded on Earth, and they have no clue if the Boiling Isles are safe after the Collector’s freed. It’s on this dark and stormy night that Luz returns home, battered, bruised, and with her friends in tow.
The first few minutes of the special “Thanks to Them,” pick up immediately after this, with Camila not even hesitating to take in Luz’s friends while they give the abridged version of everything that happened. Showing just how compassionate she really is, Camila’s more than happy to let the Hexsquad live under her roof, becoming a surrogate mother to each of them in the process.
While the opening montage to the special gives us glimpses of how Camila and Luz help the Witches adjust to life on Earth, I don’t think it does the former as much justice as it could’ve. If you want a glimpse of what we could’ve gotten from The Owl House, then I highly recommend you read the comics created by MoringMark on Tumblr, Instagram, and Reddit.
Post-Season two, he does a lot of comic strips showing the lives of Camila, Luz, and the Hexsquad living together on Earth, and one thing that’s consistent is how grateful Mrs. Noceda is to Luz’s friends. All Camila ever wanted was for her daughter to find friends that cared about her, and while it didn’t go quite how she wanted it to, Luz ended up doing just that. More than that, Luz brought home a girlfriend in the form of Amity, someone that Camila’s overjoyed to meet and is more than happy to have in her daughter’s life. #Goodparenting.
Understanding Her Mistakes and Being There for Her Daughter
As the months pass and the Hexsquad settles into life on Earth, Camila finds herself working harder than ever. She’s gone from being a single parent of one to a single parent of six kids. It’s stressful, as evidenced by the streak of gray in her hair, but she’s still happy to have them around. More importantly, by getting to know some of the people Luz has befriended on the Boiling Isles, she comes to realize that it wasn’t as nightmarish and deadly as she thought it would be.
It’s also around this time, though, that Camila begins to realize how much of a toll the promise she had Luz make is taking on her. Listening to Luz’s video diaries as she falls into depression, Camila realizes how she failed to be there to support her daughter when she needed it. While she ultimately found that support in the Demon Realm, Luz blames herself for everything horrible that’s happened since arriving there, her bright optimism now replaced with depression and self-loathing. Thus, when Camila realizes that Luz intends to keep the promise she made despite not wanting to, she sees this for the red flag it is and immediately rushes to her daughter’s side.
Camila arrives just in time to see Luz and her friends battle against Belos, who tries to murder everyone and almost kills Hunter in the process. After seeing just how evil and monstrous Belos is first-hand and how her daughter’s been fighting him all this time, Camila finally understands why Luz feels so wracked with guilt and regret. Luz doesn’t just want to go back to the Boiling Isles, she needs to in order to stop that monster. So, rather than hold her back anymore, Camila not only encourages Luz to return, but goes with them. She’s not letting Belos get away without getting a taste of La Chancla!
Reconciling With Her Daughter, at Last
Once Camila actually sees the Boiling Isles first-hand, she tries to act all supportive and pretend she’s happy for her daughter. However, Luz knows her well enough to know that the Boiling Isles scares her. Considering how many dangerous things the place has and how the state everything is in post-Day of Unity, any parent would. To her credit, though, Camila can’t help but sympathize with everything her daughter and friends have had to go through at such a young age, understanding that no one should have to endure what they have.
Camila does try her best to be useful, but whereas Luz managed to adjust rather quickly, she struggles. If anything, she proved a hindrance while fighting Kikimora, which also doesn’t help Luz’s mental state. When the two are finally alone, though, and Luz again blames herself for everything, Camila finally has the heart-to-heart that the two should’ve had a long time ago. She admits that she was once a lot like her daughter, being considered an outcast and not wanting her Luz to go through what she did. Now, though, she realizes that it was a mistake trying to make Luz suppress who she is, and sending her to that camp would’ve been a mistake as well. More than anything, Camila should’ve just supported her daughter. This leads to Luz getting the emotional epiphany she needs to unlock her Palisman and make it to the Collector’s home.
I Hope Camila Gets the Happy Ending She Deserves
Going into the series finale, I have no idea how things will end. Will Luz have to choose between staying on Earth or living in the Boiling Isles for the rest of her life? If so, that means she might have to say goodbye to her friends and girlfriend or her mother forever. Or will they find a way to keep the portal between the two worlds open? While I’m hoping it’s the latter, my gut’s telling me it’s going to be the former option, meaning Camila might never see her daughter again.
And you know what? I think Camila might be fine with that now. Thanks to everything she’s experienced, Camila has realized that she doesn’t have to hide what makes her unique to fit in, since there will always be people out there who will like her for her. More importantly, she sees that Luz has found people that love and understand her, something she never got on Earth. So, while it might hurt, I think Camila might ultimately decide to give Luz her blessing to stay in the Boiling Isles for good. Or, at the very least, they’ll return back to Earth with Amity in tow. Ain’t no way Camila’s gonna let Luz lose Amity!
What do you guys think, though? If Luz stays in the Boiling Isles, will Camila support this? Let me know what you think in the comments, and I will see you guys in the final deep dive before the finale: Luz Noceda herself!
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