The Owl House Says Bye for Now!
The Owl House Series Finale Review
Wow, after three years of fun, sadness, horror, and joy, it’s over. The Owl House, one of Disney’s best cartoons in recent years, is over. And what an ending it was! I had to watch it, go to sleep, and rewatch it just to let everything sink in. Despite getting unceremoniously cut short by the higher-ups at Disney, Dana and her team managed to give us a finale that covered everything the fans could’ve hoped for. I thought the finale to Amphibia from last year was amazing, but “Watching and Dreaming” might have raised the bar. Having covered the series from start to finish, I think it’s only fair that I do this review as deeply as possible. So, strap in as I cover all my thoughts on the finale.
Before that, though, there’s the matter of what aired before the series finale started. Disney created an opening montage covering key moments during the show’s run from start to finish. Juxtaposed amidst it was text thanking the viewers for watching all this time. While Disney itself puts it out, I prefer to think of it as Dana and her team saying “Thanks for Watching” to the fans. Disney has no right to thank the fandom since their poor decision-making cut it short, and plenty on social media think the same. It’s still a good clip, though.
Turning on the Light in the Darkness
Picking up immediately where “For the Future” left off, Luz, Camila, and the Hexsquad are ambushed and separated by the Collector. When Luz comes to, guided by a mysterious voice, she finds herself in a place she never wanted to return to: Emperor Belos’ throne room in the heart of the Boiling Isles, in his garbs no less. It’s only thanks to Stringbean’s presence that she recognizes this is a dream. However, that dream turns into a nightmare when she sees the Isles populace petrified and her friends blaming her for everything.
Meanwhile, Eda and King find themselves trapped in their own worst nightmares. Eda finds herself at the mercy of the Emperor’s Coven while her family scorns her as a wild monster. King, meanwhile, finds himself on Titan Trapper Island, tormented by Bill over the fact that he’s the last of his kind. In short, the Owl House trio’s plagued by their worst fears and insecurities made manifest. And if you’ve read my deep dives on each of them, they’ve had a lot of hang-ups over the series!
While that sense of guilt and self-loathing might have broken her in the previous specials, Luz doesn’t fall for it. A key mistake by Amity about a “Witch’s battle” is enough to make her realize her friends wouldn’t say those things. It demonstrates her newfound resolve to not let her fears control her and lets her get through to her friends, who the Collector captured. Amity, bless her heart, gives her the key to escaping the nightmare: turning on the light. With her light glyph, Luz manages to free herself and Eda and King from their nightmares. As I said in my look at Luz, this symbolizes how she’s the light of their lives. I enjoy symbolic, story-telling elements like this, as they help separate a good story from a great story. We get to see the Owl House Trio reunited after months of separation.
Collector’s Sad Backstory
Meanwhile, the Collector’s left fuming at his failure to break the trio but refusing to kill them outright. He genuinely wants to be friends with them but doesn’t know how to go about it. That’s when Belos manipulates him into going down and playing with them directly, and the Collector falls for it. More on him in a moment, though.
With the trio finally confronting the Collector once more, they all realize that the Collector doesn’t understand the concept of death. He doesn’t realize that if a mortal dies, they can’t return, no matter how much he wants them to. Still wanting to play, he forces them into a series of games, including Pac-Man, marbles, and Jenga, only for them to best him at every turn. Now depressed, Luz gets the chance to talk directly to the Collector (who we learn is referred to with non-binary pronouns), and we learn just how messed up his own life has been.
All the Collector ever wanted to do was play with their older siblings, but they decided instead to send them away to the Demon realm and out of their hair. For a time, the Collector made friends with the Titans until their siblings learned Titan magic could cancel out their own. As a result, they wiped the Titans out, with the last one mistaking the Collector for the enemy and sealing him away.
Getting Through to the Collector and Learning the Truth
I’ve heard a lot of sad backstories, but the Collector might be up there. All they ever wanted was a friend and some place to belong, only to be deceived by the authority figures. I can’t help but feel sorry for them, and neither can Luz, King, and Eda. As a result, they decide to show them firsthand how they all became friends.
What follows is a trip throughout the Boiling Isles. The trio shows off key locations in the series, how they came to be friends, then family, and the pitfalls and shortcomings, they went through during the experience. Amidst this, the Collector off-handedly mentions how Luz’s glyphs are a gift from the Boiling Isles. Or rather, the Titan itself. The glyphs are how the Titan performs magic, and throughout the series, it’s shown Luz how to do them for herself. This confirms the fan theory that the Titan favors Luz, whereas Belos, with his dark intentions, wasn’t.
Speaking of Belos…
Awestruck Vox Was Right about Belos and the Titan
In the months leading up to the finale, I watched a few fan theory videos about how the series might end. One notable one came from Awestruck Vox from the YouTube channel The Roundtable. Essentially, Vox predicted Belos would try to possess the Titan to wipe out all of Witchkind. That theory gained support with the final trailer’s release, and the finale confirmed that Vox and many other fans were right.
After learning from the Collector of the Titan’s power to oppose them, Belos used Raine to make a mad dash for his former castle. Despite Raine breaking free (props to them!), Belos succeeds in reaching the literal heart of the Titan. What happens next…is a new level of horror.
As if he wasn’t already horrifying enough, Belos becomes the sentient equivalent of cancer, covering the Boiling Isles in his corruption and decay and killing anything that touches it. It’s one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen come out of Disney, and the Owl House trio and the Collector are just as terrified by it. What happens next, though, reaches new levels of despair.
Taking Luz’s advice on forgiveness and acceptance to heart, the Collector makes a genuine effort to reach out to him and become his friend. It’s a touching moment that shows just how good an entity the Collector is. However, everyone else sees this gesture as futile, including the audience. While he was molded and brainwashed by the Witch Hunters of Gravesfield as a child, that doesn’t excuse the horrific acts of evil Philip Wittebane committed over the centuries. He had every chance to be a better person and rejected it. So when he sees the Collector letting their guard down, he tries to kill them.
And what happened next…left tears in everyone’s eyes.
The Importance of Luz’s Sacrifice
Without hesitating, Luz rushes to protect the Collector from Belos’ attack, much to their confusion, since they thought they were doing the right thing. Knowing what it’s like to feel that kind of self-doubt, Luz immediately reassures them they didn’t do anything wrong. She’s a good role model and a better sibling. However, her snap decision has tragic consequences: she’s hit by Belos’ corruption. As the others watch in horror, Luz’s body starts to decay and turn to ash and light, seemingly killing her.
Eda and King respond to Luz’s murder like most people would: with pure, unyielding rage. However, it’s the Collector’s reaction that brings it home. They act like any confused child would when they’re witnessing death for the first time, not understanding where Luz went, trying to use their powers to fix her, only to fail. Only then does the Collector truly understand what death is and why what he saw as games could be dangerous to others. While it’s gut-wrenchingly painful to watch, it’s also necessary from a story-telling perspective. It helps the Collector understand that their actions have consequences and helps them better connect with mortals.
Thankfully, Luz isn’t dead. Not yet, at least.
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