OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

King explains how Emperor Belos came to power and instituted his one-magic-only system. It is unclear why he’s doing that, because the only thing Luz cares about is getting Eda back, now armed with the magic cloak Eda made for her. Elsewhere in the castle, Belos heals Eda enough for her to regain her sapience, though only to see if she has her portal to the human realm, which he needs for his “Day of Unity” project. He won’t be healing her all the way despite having apparently promised Lilith. Instead, he’ll be petrifying Eda in public, something that can’t be reversed when complete. Luz eventually finds Eda, but is told to go home before she gets hurt, opening up the portal back to give her the chance before being taken.

Lilith, now against Belos, explains her past with Eda. They used to be close as kids, but when they both applied to be in the Emperor’s Coven, only one spot remained. Fearful of Eda’s talent, Lilith cursed her to be powerless. The day of the test, Eda gave up willingly, but was already cursed and then shunned. Lilith was then told that if she got Eda to join, he would heal her, but that turned out to be a lie, so now Lilith wants to save her. For some reason, she thinks she’ll still be in the coven despite this, but Belos sends her to be petrified too.

Willow and Gus see the announcement and try to help out, mainly by rallying the crowd to speak up in Eda’s defense…despite her mainly causing a lot of trouble for pretty much everyone on the island and most of the good she’s done was mainly Luz. Belos toys with Luz a bit, but she manages to fight off most of his attacks, even managing to chip part of his mask. He tells her he just wants the portal and he’ll let Eda go, so Luz gives it to him…though not before setting some fire magic runes on it and damaging it, then stopping the petrifaction. Belos lets them escape, though Eda’s still stuck in her beast form, so Lilith decides to share the curse, sacrificing her own magic as well. Still, Eda can use the rune magic Luz uses, Luz is dedicated to getting home, and Belos is working on a way to use the portal to the human world.

OUR TAKE

Well, we’re here at the first season finale for The Owl House and it certainly checks off a lot of “season finale things. It is definitely a finale, things feel like they reach a resolution and at the same time open ended for the already announced second season and how many more seasons we have to come. Unfortunately, aside from competently serving that purpose as a finale, I don’t really have many positive things to say about it, and they’re for many of the reasons that I’ve felt have consistently plagued this whole season.

Pretty much all of my problems stem from one major source: The writers seemingly having the intended emotional impact in mind for each scene without actually building a connection with the writing itself to get to that impact. Obviously this show has a ton of fans by this point and many will feel what the show wants them to feel just fine, which I obviously don’t think less of them for. If I could turn my critical and analytical parts of my brain off like I did when I overpowered it to watch Avengers: Endgame, I would do it all the time so I could enjoy things again. But not only can I NOT turn that part off, it wouldn’t be in this show’s best interest anyway. And man, does every major character in this episode need a finger wagging.

First off, there’s Lilith’s revealed backstory and kinda-sorta-not really redemption. She got a LOT of hate from the fandom this past week because of the previous episode, though as I mentioned when I reviewed it, it really didn’t make her any worse than she already was. If anything, what I think should really get attention is just how bad at her job Lilith really was, which one could have chalked up to pulling her punches against her sister…but then that turned out to be just being a lot weaker and incompetent, and now we know her real problem: She’s just a full-blown dumbass. A more apparent example of this is that, in a scene where child Eda is hurt, she does a spell to split the pain amongst them instead, ya know, HEALING THE DANG WOUND. But despite apparently being super close with Eda at that time, which meant she could have learned Eda wasn’t interested in being in a Coven by just having A SINGLE CONVERSATION, she instead goes ahead and finds a curse and apparently doesn’t even READ what the thing does. And then later, when her boss doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, which she really should have seen coming, goes behind his back and then thinks she’s somehow going to keep her job. But at least now she doesn’t have her magic anymore so she can’t hurt anyone else with her stupidity.

Belos doesn’t get off without some issues either, however. Despite being what seems to be the main antagonist of the whole show (at least for now), he seems to have not really communicated what he really wanted from Eda, that being the portal to the human world, to Lilith, which probably would have made her job at least a little bit easier. But hey, once he actually has Eda captured, that solves his problem because we’re shown she has the portal on her person, right? NOPE! Even when he’s got her, he doesn’t think to have his guards search her body for the key, which they could have easily found and he’d be that much farther along with his plan! He still sort of gets it anyway, even if it is damaged, but he had no reason to not get it the moment was captured. Now that Lilith’s off the team, he’s the big bad to follow, but I don’t have high hopes for him as a villain. He’s cryptic and vague and very easily fooled, so his threat level is already knee-capped from the get go. I honestly can’t believe he’s been in charge this long with how stupid he is.

Speaking of threats that were never really threatening, I guess Eda COULD “bounce back” from that curse after all! As I’ve said, Eda’s curse was never really written consistently enough or given enough gravity to ever feel like it was really threatening when she would turn, but after what they built up as such a huge sacrifice of her losing her magic and turning permanently beast, they undo the latter part in the very next episode, and I doubt her magic returning is far behind. Way to go tossing ANY tension for this show in the future out the window, because now any potential major sacrifice is going to feel cheap and lacking in stakes. If you can’t tell, I’m actually kind of pissed about this, mainly because I’ve seen so many better versions of this with clearer consequences or at least longer lasting ones, but they don’t even trust the audience enough to let it last for ONE FRIGGIN EPISODE. Good luck getting people to believe ANYTHING that happens to Eda is even remotely threatening ever again.

And lastly, Luz, who after having the way back to her home completely open to her from the very beginning and refusing to go home for the entire season, gives up her chance in what I’m sure they INTENDED as a heartfelt sacrifice on her part. Only it really ISN’T because she clearly never wanted to go home before, so there’s no reason to feel any sympathy when she wasted all that time. I harped on her mom potentially losing her mind about Luz going missing, which we seem to have a plotline set up which handwaved that problem away, but that doesn’t change the fact that Luz losing this doesn’t change her situation in any significant way, so how are we supposed to see this as her giving anything that matters to her up? That code from the first letters of the episodes “A WITCH LOSES A TRUE WAY” was referring to this moment I guess, but given how this show likes to handle things like this and that Belos is already working on the portal, I doubt we’ll have to wait long for that to be resolved anyway.

Just…ugh. I had a lot more to say on this than I thought I would, but it really comes down to me just feeling disappointed with this show. Aside from one unique moment a few episodes ago, it’s just been microwaved leftovers of other franchises after drying out in the magic freezer for too long. Like a similar ongoing anime/manga right now, Owl House doesn’t seem to have an original bone in its body. But I can get more into detail with that in the Season Review.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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