The Owl House Season 3 Review: Episode 1 “Thanks to Them” is the hug we all needed

The Owl House Season 3 Epsiode 1 Thanks To Them ReviewDisney Channel

The first episode of The Owl House Season 3, “Thanks to Them”, has finally aired, and it is exactly the return to the story fans needed. A combination of high-stakes plot points and refreshingly real emotional growth make it a pleasure to watch.

The Owl House fans have been waiting for the Season 3 debut for just over a year, with the story leaving fans on a heart-stopping cliffhanger at the end of Season 2. Despite the confirmed cancellation of the show after the 3 upcoming special episodes, creator Dana Terrace and The Owl House team have created a truly amazing first episode with “Thanks to Them” that pulls fans back into the rich, fantasy world.

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**WARNING: Spoilers of The Owl House Season 3 are below**

As seen in the early preview video for The Owl House shown at NYCC, Luz and her friends find themselves trapped in the human world with no way back to the Boiling Isles. Because Luz’s magic is tied to the realm, she finds herself without powers, leaving Amity, Gus, Willow, and Hunter without any way to return home.

The episode then uses where the intro would have been to offer a montage of the group as they spend months trying to gather answers about the Portal Door. During this time, Luz comes out to Camila as Bisexual, Gus, and Hunter grow close as friends, and the team changes up their style to match what is found in the human world.

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Luz opens up to Camila about her fears

One of the most touching aspects of “Thanks to Them” is the relationship between Luz and Camila. While many TV shows would use this opportunity for a knock-down drag-out fight between mother and daughter, The Owl House instead uses the separation of Luz from Camila to illustrate the difficulties both have had since Luz’s father passed of an illness shortly before the start of the series.

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Luz, Amity, and Hunter search for answers about the Portal Door

After arriving home, Luz apologizes to Camila, who pulls her into a hug and tells her everything is fine now that she is safe. Later in the episode, the viewers are given a new perspective on Camila after she falls asleep and has a nightmare of the struggles she faced trying to be a supportive parent to Luz while battling with the pressure of other parents.

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The nightmare ends as Luz comes into the room, waking Camila. She asks why her mother hasn’t been angry with her, and Camila explains that she was scared and worried – but that she wasn’t mad. Luz then breaks down crying, expressing her worries about what she had done, and the mistakes she made.

Throughout the episode, the two continue to understand more about each other through excellent communication and love, rather than explosive fights and unneeded conflict. The illustration of the healthy relationship between the two is refreshing and different, showing that a bond built of trust and love is stronger and more beneficial than the pressure of punishment and authority. This is an interesting contrast to the relationship shown between Hunter and Belos in Season 2.

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Hunter and Luz struggle with their secrets

While Luz is dealing with her part to play in their separation from the Boiling Isles and with the Collector, Hunter is also battling his inner demons.

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Amity, Willow, Gus, Hunter, and Vee try to learn Spanish

Hunter has discovered that he is a Grimwalker, and is a clone made by Emperor Belos. Throughout The Owl House episode, he struggles with becoming the person he wants to be – instead of who he was groomed to be. This includes becoming closer friends with Willow and Gus, as well as trusting Luz with many of the anxieties he’s struggled with.

At one point, when Hunter is certain he has seen Emperor Belos in their clubhouse, he and Luz have a particularly touching moment, where he breaks down crying and she holds him. Luz lets him know that he is family. After an existence of being lonely and isolated, this helps him to solidify his thoughts and builds his self-confidence.

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The Return of Emperor Belos in The Owl House

Everything comes to a head as the crew embarks on the haunted hayride dressed for Halloween. Luz – who has decided she plans to stay in the human realm even if they find a new portal door – is preparing to tell the others about her choice when Hunter begins seeing and hearing things in the woods beyond the hayride.

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The Owl House team prepares to head home

Hunter explains to Luz that while she is at school, He and the others have been looking for the location of a stash of Titan’s Blood. Amity, who believes they have found it, plans to surprise Luz with it so that they can reopen the Portal to the Boiling Isle.

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Hunter, however, believes Belos has somehow followed them and plans to use Titan’s Blood to return himself. Luz and Hunter steal the map from Amity, deciding they have to find the blood before everyone else – including Belos.

Unfortunately, earlier in the episode, Hunter had already encountered Belos, and as they find the location of the Titan’s Blood, Hunter is possessed. Damaging Hunter’s Palisman Flapjack, Belos controls Hunter to battle Luz for the Titan’s Blood, nearly succeeding before Amity, Willow, Gus, Camila, and Vee arrive to assist.

Luz and the team go back to the Boiling Isles

The first Season 3 episode of The Owl House ends with Flapjack sacrificing their life to save Hunter after he fights Belos out of his body. Despite their best efforts, Belos has escaped through the now-opened portal, and the secrets Hunter and Luz held about their part in the story have all come to the surface.

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Luz attempts to announce she will not return, only to be interrupted by Camila, who says she will go with the kids back to the Boiling Isle. Everyone steps through the portal but Luz and Amity. Amity asks why Luz didn’t tell anyone about what had happened before they’d been stranded in the human world, and Luz responds with the fact that she was scared and afraid of being hated.

In another refreshing and unusual twist for modern TV shows, Amity takes her hand and tells Luz she could never hate her, but that there couldn’t be any more secrets. They need to be honest with each other because Amity wants a future where they are together.

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The Owl House Season 3 Episode 1 verdict

The first episode of Season 3 is a groundbreaking and important piece of television media. Its mixture of excellent story-telling, high-quality animation, and exploration of healthy emotional connections makes watching it both a high-stakes thrill ride and a therapeutic hug. It is absolutely possible to convey strife and struggle without robbing the main characters of their support systems, and The Owl House illustrates this with complexity and sensitivity.

The episode is a fantastic watch and indicates the last two special episodes will be just as satisfying and exciting.