Sunday, January 22, 2023

Animated Fantasy Television Episode Review: The Owl House - Thanks to Them

With the recent release of the second of three episodes that make up the third and final season of The Owl House, I thought it would be the opportune time to catch up on previous episodes. As the first episode of season three, "Thanks to Them", brings the mother of Luz the human fully into her daughter's secret life, it seems like an appropriate place to start.

The episode begins with Luz's witch girlfriend Amity, Willow the plant magic witch, Gus the illusionist witch, and Hunter the magicless grim walker, stuck in the human realm with Luz. The latter brings them to her home and introduces them to her mother, Camilla Noceda. She invites them to stay, with the two boys sleeping in the cellar and the three girls sleeping in Luz's room with Vee the shapeshifting basilisk, who has been living there since Luz went into the demon realm.

Because Disney only ordered three episodes for the final season of The Owl House instead of its usual twenty-one-episode season, the crew of the show had to stuff seven episodes worth of story-telling into one episode. They do so with a musical montage. The montage is fun, beginning with Luz revealing that she is bisexual and introducing her girlfriend to her mother. It also shows the three shopping for human clothing and Vee shapeshifting into a human form that is all her own rather than a copy of Luz.

The crew did well with what they were given, but, unfortunately, it feels like a condensed episode. Even with the montage, the revelation that the witches have been in the human realm for months threw me for a loop. The kids draw pictures of their family and mentioned that they want to go home, but the team was forced to condense their time in the human realm, leaving their anguish at wanting to go home falling a bit flat. This is something that could have been handled well in the usual seven out of twenty-one episodes that they would have been given to tell this part of the story. 

The episode is fun. occasionally heartwarming, and the ending fight with Belos the centuries-old witch hunter is awesome with the best animation ever put out by the show. It's a fun episode, however, the condensation of seven episodes into one really hurt the storytelling. The crew did their best with what they had, and it is still really good. However, if Disney gave the series the episode order it deserved, this really good story could have been great.

Final Verdict:
4 out of 5

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