The Owl House returns next month with the first of three extended specials set to make up its final season, and details have already begun to trickle out regarding where exactly Luz Noceda’s adventure is going next. Last week saw the release date confirmed alongside a poster which teased a number of fascinating details, and now a cable listing confirms one of the theories I totally predicted. I am a big gay magician, please pay your tributes accordingly.
According to the listing (via Disney Animation Promos) Thanks To Them has the following description: ‘After months of trying, Luz and friends make a daring attempt to return to the Demon Realm.’ This not only cements a timeskip and explains much of the recent poster, but also gives us so much fertile ground to theorise upon. So let’s go ahead and do just that.
The second season concluded in the most melancholic way possible. After The Collector was unleashed and began tearing apart the Demon Realm, our main cast of characters had no choice but to activate the portal and return to Earth before it fell apart completely. Now, with no way back, they are stuck with Camila Noceda and must formulate a way home to save their loved ones. It was pretty dark, with all the blood, rain, and super sad music that felt straight out of The Last of Us only serving to drive home how truly screwed they all were.
We watched the screen fade to black with no idea of what was to come, but now we at least have a small foundation to work with that isn’t just conjecture. A time skip makes complete sense in the grand scheme of things, and gives the writers room to showcase how much our characters have both grown as people and become jaded after repeated failed attempts to save a world they were forced to leave behind. Part of me would have loved for The Owl House to continue right where it left off, giving us no time to breathe as the raw reactions of returning home hit Luz where it hurts, while Amity, Gus, Willow, and Hunter must confront the very real possibility that the Boiling Isles is gone forever. This might be a show aimed at younger audiences, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to tear my still beating heart out.
As I talked about previously, the time skip felt obvious from the outfits and growth of our characters in the aforementioned poster. Luz and Amity are sporting clothing heavily inspired by their older beta designs, with specific items of clothing and colour schemes harkening back to a more mature direction Dana Terrace had pitched before the whole show was given the Disney treatment. Luz’s scar remains too, while shaggier hair and a hardened aesthetic across the entire cast makes it very clear that business has gotten serious.
To me, it has always felt like The Owl House has wanted to veer into the darker and more macabre elements of magical fantasy, but given the company it calls home, doing that wasn’t always possible. Yet it is meeting its ambition halfway as it toys with complicated themes like loss, grief, sexuality, acceptance, and regret without ever sugarcoating the journeys its main characters are embarking on. In the first season, Luz was a happy-go-lucky girl who escapes to a magical world to establish a new-found family, but that lofty premise was contextualised through the perspective of a mother she left behind, and the responsibilities she must now reconcile as it all comes crumbling down. Wholesome fun and worthwhile drama co-existed.
Amity Blight is similarly deep, a bully turned rebel who acts against her parents wishes to pursue a relationship with a girl she has fallen in love with, while deciding that good grades and societal hierarchy will never be the key to her own happiness. Hunter, Eda, King, Raine, and almost every character in the show has more hiding beneath the surface, and few for this demographic would dare give them so much time to shine, let alone one that has already been cancelled. The time skip risks smoothing over some of that development to move the clock forward, but I don’t think we have much to worry about when it comes to a lack of payoff or personal growth of our characters feeling unearned. The Owl House might only have three 44-minute specials left, but every second is likely to feel earned.
Beginning with a time skip means we’ll be playing catch-up for a few precious minutes as the first special begins, with dialogue and scenery giving us valuable context behind exactly what has happened since we’ve been gone and where the goalposts sit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amity and Camila have already become fast friends, her romance with Luz embraced with supporting love and respect as the two work together to make the Noceda house a home that all of these refugee witchlings can find comfort in.
Gus and Hunter would have become bros for life, and maybe the latter’s disastrous haircut will be explained in a flashback sequence. I sincerely hope so, and a few additional snapshots into the aftermath of arriving home while never looking away from the coming future would make the first special an opening act to be celebrated. Start by making a return to the Boiling Isles impossible, and begin by having our heroes step through the threshold one last time.
A time skip is huge for The Owl House, and feels akin to a mark of maturity for a show that is heading towards a finish line it never initially intended. Despite this, it is doing everything it can to close this narrative out with a bang and do right by all of its characters, themes, and the world fans have spent the past two years falling in love with.
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