It’s been over six months since the last episode of The Owl House† On Saturday, the latest episode quietly premiered on Disney Channel, although there’s no word yet on when it will be available to a wider audience via streaming. Even though the premiere slipped under many people’s radar, its eager fans were ready—and now perhaps more than ever, with the show’s fate in the air.
While some of the plot details may have gotten dusty in the back of my mind, the world is so vibrant, the characters so dynamic, that I fell right back into the story. Over the course of the show, creator Dana Terrace manages to lead a deeper, darker plot through the light-hearted episodic adventures. And if this first episode back is any indication, there is one lot waiting on the horizon. The show will end with a shortened season 3, although Terrace has said supporting the show could help some executives change their mind. So if there’s a time to catch up on this insanely beautiful series, it’s for season 2b.
[Ed. note: This post contains light spoilers for the newest episode of The Owl House]
The Owl House premiered on Disney Channel in early 2020. It follows Luz, who accidentally encounters a realm full of witches and demons, where she decides to learn magic and eventually make friends – as well as begin dating the previously aloof, overachiever Amity Blight.
“Follies at the Coven Day Parade,” picks up where the mid-season finale left off. After finally being reunited with her mother – albeit through strange mirror-dimension jokes – misfit Luz is torn between staying on the Boiling Isles and learning the magic she’s always dreamed of, or returning to her mother once she’s in town. able to create a portal and never return to the islands. Meanwhile, renegade witch Eda is determined to reunite with her former lover Raine, who was captured in a revolt against the tyrannical emperor Belos gone wrong… in effect performing in an upcoming parade.
so much of The Owl House is centered around Luz finding the place – and more specifically the community of people – where she belongs. An outcast in the human world, she has finally found a group of people who support her and have daringly taught her how to practice magic, despite not being from the Boiling Isles. But after reuniting with her mother in the mid-season finale, she’s torn between these two worlds and wants to know if there’s a way to get a foothold in both worlds. More than ever, Luz struggles between her love for her mother and her new place on the Boiling Isles. It’s a poignant coming-of-age metaphor as Luz finds out what she wants from life. But it’s also a high-stakes fantasy adventure, with the stakes becoming even more urgent when Emperor Belos reveals that he has some grand plans for the Boiling Isles – wiping out wild magic (aka the kind of untethered, unspecific magic that Eda wields that Luz has learned to progress).
“Follies at the Coven Day Parade” still has its share of funny moments and sweet interactions between the characters – Amity turns to her old estranged friend Willow for advice on Luz; Hooty and King claim, among other things, a giant doll from the Emperor, but it ends bleakly. If season 2’s mid-point finale was the turning point, then the back-half premiere collects all the shattered pieces and prepares us for what’s to come.
It’s a sophisticated story like this that has made such ardent fans of The Owl House. It didn’t just have that, it had real LGBTQ characters at a time when animated shows on Disney Channel eschewed such storylines. With the endings of She-Ra and the princesses of power and Steven Universe† The Owl House became the perfect show for fans of fantasy adventures who hungered for real representation rather than fragments. In the first season, it was revealed that Amity was in love with Luz in the episode “Enchanting Grom Fright”, the first head LGBTQ character in a Disney Channel animated series. When the two officially got together in Season 2, Terrace and Gravity falls creator Alex Hirsch, who also voices several of the show’s characters, talked about how difficult the grueling battle for representation is just one few years before† This was prior to the revelation that Disney had supported Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law.
But while the show is hugely popular, this second season will be the last full one. The upcoming third and final season will instead feature three 44-minute episodes. Terrace explained in a Reddit post that: The Owl House was canceled because it “didn’t fit” the Disney brand.
“Eventually there are a few business people who oversee what fits the Disney brand and one day one of those guys decided TOH was not a fit for that brand,” Terrace wrote. “The story is serialized (ACCURACY compared to an average anime lmao), our audience is getting older, and that just didn’t suit this guy’s taste. That is it! Isn’t that wild? Really grinds my guts, boils my brain, kicks my shins, all things. It sucks, but it is what it is.”
The first season — and the first half of Season 2 — of The Owl Housee are available on Disney Plus. The new episode can be seen on Disney Now through your cable provider. New episodes air Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT.