Fans Get Everything They Wanted And More With This Week’s Episode of “The Owl House”

Fans of The Owl House got the episode they’ve long been waiting for with 22 minutes of confirmations, character building, and so much more, including some of the most impressive background detailing I’ve seen in quite some time, even for this series.

Hollow Mind

This episode’s cold open led me to believe I missed an episode somewhere along the line as we see Hunter and Luz trapped inside the mind of Emperor Belos, but I had zero clue as to how they got there. Worry not, neither do they and the shortened version of the title sequence plays.

Turns out, Luz was at the Night Market with Eda and King when she saw Hunter in the distance, trailing someone. Desperate to find out what Emperor Belos is up to with the Day of Unity, she follows him while Eda tries to get a cloak fixed by someone who has now joined a coven and refuses to help wild witches by order of Belos, thus reminding us of the influence he has over the residents of the Boiling Isles.

Luz chases after Hunter into an alley where three mysterious hooded figures are using wild magic to get into the mind of Belos. We’ve seen this kind of wild magic before in an earlier episode of the series where Luz and Amity go into the mind and memories of Willow, so we know it can be done successfully.

Take note of those three hooded individuals though. Identifiers imply that the mysterious strangers are Raine, Darius, and Eberwolf. Coven heads that are possibly leading their own rebellion and using wild magic to invade Belos’ mind. We already know that Raine has been faking their brainwashing by Tara Snapdragon as seen at the end of the prior episode.

Hunter comes into the middle of their spell with Luz tackling him to talk as the spell is cast and in lieu of the three figures, the two kids are sent into the mind of Emperor Belos. There, they find themselves in a vast, elegant, hallway with portraits of Belos’ memories. Now, as we know from that aforementioned episode with Willow, they can go into these portraits and see these scenes play out, but there can also be inner versions of that individual throughout. Luz and Hunter come into contact with two. A mysterious child wearing a Belos mask and a crazy creature that looks like the beast that Belos has been known to transform into. However, the two can’t jump into any portraits to flee. Using a spell, they manage to blast a hole in the fake wall while defending themselves and fall through into the real memories of Belos in a dark, creepy forest instead of the facade (get it?) that they were previously in.

While they traverse through the memories of Belos, we the viewer are treated to a smorgasbord of fan theory confirmations as we learn more about the true nature of Belos and his plans. We see memories of Belos telling residents that wild magic was responsible for the death of his family, and convinces them thanks to the help of a Golden Guard and a bit of theatrics that they are after him too. With a remainder of explosives after his little show, it is implied that he and that Golden Guard destroy the rest of the village afterward. We then see another instance where Belos and the Golden Guard are using sigil magic and introducing the coven system, only to see those emblazoned with their coven marks fall and essentially go into a coma-like state. When the Golden Guard at that time says that they’re still alive, Belos darkly quips that it didn’t work and there is still more work to do. Was he trying to kill them immediately or something else?  A transition of snowfall sort of also implies that this group of witches was left to freeze.

We then go into a more current memory where we finally see the collector, fully revealed and is arguably the most terrifying character in the series so far. Playfully speaking in rhyme about dark subjects and lurking in the shadows.

“To you, who strayed so far from home, to me, who's trapped beneath these bones! We'll play forever, me and you, when you paint the land in nine bright hues!”

While we have seen numerous Golden Guards in the past memories, this one features Hunter as we know him when he came back from Eclipse Lake with the portal key. After Hunter leaves the scene in the memory, the Collector points out that Belos was angry and says he only “makes those things to destroy them.”

While it's confirmed later in the episode formally, now all the fans KNOW that Hunter is a Grimwalker, essentially a clone, but we still don’t of know who aside from “an old friend.” Belos adds that it hurts every time they betray him, though he does smile a bit at the thought of destroying/killing each Golden Guard.

That said, Hunter started to realize what he was as he and Luz traversed through the memories, guided by the child spirit of Belos as they avoided the creature Belos that was after them. While Luz tells him he doesn’t have to go back to the castle, knowing his inevitable fate, Hunter catches another hallway of memories, marking each Golden Guard before him. Pausing the episode (which I advise fans to do throughout this episode) one will notice that there are at least 16 helmets, making Hunter (at least) the 17th, with portraits above each one marking how they met their end. Grimly, there is even a portrait at the end of the hallway with a lone hand sticking out of the ground, perhaps suggesting that Belos had this one buried alive.

Speaking of portraits, pay close attention throughout this episode and have that pause button ready. While Hunter and Luz don’t go into every memory, a story is definitely told through these background details that I hope will be fully fleshed out in the remaining time we have the series. More on that in just a bit.

After Hunter realizes what he is, the creature, now with tons of faces, warns Hunter and Luz to run away. That’s when they realize this creature is made up mostly of palismen. You know, the ones that Belos destroys and absorbs to stay alive and all that. They realize that the child spirit is actually the inner Belos himself, who took them through memories to gather items to trap, harness, and destroy the palismen creature inside of him. He then takes his adult form and addresses the two.

Outside of his head, Eda and King and Hunter’s Palisman, Flapjack are working on a spell to get them out of Belos’ mind, which they know they are in because of a walkie talkie that King and Luz had been playing with prior to the alleyway incident at the beginning of the episode. When they can’t figure it out, Hooty delivers a package from a secret admirer (the three hooded individuals that are now camping out in front of the Owl House) and they are able to get the spell working with the last of Luz’s titan blood.

Back inside Belos’ head, Hunter wants to know what Belos did to the rest of the guards, and his family. All Belos has to say in response is “What a shame, after all the grimwalkers, you looked the most like him.” BUT WHO!? He begins to sink in a quicksand-like fashion, but it is unclear if he survives. While Luz challenges Belos, saying she is going to tell everyone about the day of unity, Belos reveals that being a Witch Hunter is never easy. Luz processes this and wonders how anybody would willingly help him, when he shows her a slew of memories that reveal that Luz helped him, when he was a human known as Phillip Wittebane. I had to remind myself that this is the first time that Luz is realizing this, but we the viewer have known this for quite some time, so sadly, the dramatic reveal that could have been here is sort of lost. Belos reveals that he had to drop the name Philip because he had been run out of so many towns.

As Luz is now in danger, being told to call Belos “Phillip” just to hear another human say his name again, Hunter comes back using his own magic skills (also addressing Luz by her name instead of just “Human” for the first time) to defend Luz and save the day, when they get back to the Walkie Talkie and get magic’d out of Belos’ mind. Safe and sound back at the Owl House, Hunter runs off into the woods, traumatized by everything he had seen and knowing he can’t safely return to the castle. Eda asks Luz what she saw, and the end credits roll. Is it next week yet?

Now, back to those portraits. The portraits seem to tell the story of Phillip and his older brother (based on size) who looks an awful lot like Hunter. In the pictures you see them as kids, pretending to be witch hunters and carving masks. We also see a portrait similar to the art in Jacob’s book in “Yesterday’s Lie” with a witch's hand reaching out for them with fire/smoke in their hand. Notably, at a certain point, scratch marks begin to appear over the face of Phillip’s brother. Another portrait depicts Phillip’s brother hugging a monstrous version of him (with glowing eyes), likely after he begun eating palismen and damaged himself with magic. Then, we see Philip angrily staring at the silhouette of his brother with (likely) a witch who appears to be pregnant. Another shows Phillip’s brother in the distance smiling, while the bulk of the portrait is mostly the backside of Philip concealing a crooked knife, clearly about to do something evil. Another shows the siblings fighting, surrounded by fire (generated by magic?) while Phillip is brandishing his knife. Another shows his brother’s lifeless body in the fire, reflecting his eyes in the knife. Another, possibly unrelated to this sequence though, shows some kind of magic attacking Philip, possibly after he killed his brother.

Fans are already theorizing that the brother met and fell in love with a Clawthorne ancestor, but that is all speculation. Personally, I suspect the Clawthornes are more involved than we think, but more so with the original portal. But that’s just my thought.

This episode of The Owl House can now be seen on Disney Channel or the DisneyNOW app. You can catch up with previous episodes and seasons on Disney+.

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Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.