The Owl House season 3 episode 1 is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. Because of Disney cutting the series, and making the last season only 3 40 minute episodes, the team had to cram many ideas that they had for an entire season into one episode. Though I’m sad that we didn’t get the entire third season, the crew did a fantastic job putting as many of their ideas into this one episode as they could. The opening montage was full of wonderful character moments, there was a photo album showing many of the group’s human world adventures, not to mention they did all of this while still making new material for the episode that adds even more wonderful (and wonerfully-terrible) moments. This episode had my attention for its entirety, for so many different reasons.

The first of these, is the character moments. I love seeing the characters just hang out and be kids. Outside of the montage, there’s a scene where everyone sans Luz, who was at school, are learning Spanish with their equivalent of Duo Lingo, or, as Gus calls it, “the Scary Owl app.” There’s a very cute exchange between Amity and Vee, when the latter is shown to be the, “start student,” and Amity is a bit grumpy about having been the star student at Hexside once upon a time. This is funny, cute, and shows just how much Amity has grown, but that she is allowed to be annoyed about not being the best a something. That’s a realistic emotion to have, and I love that she shows it. This scene does lead into a plot moment, which is also great, but there is another character moment that I love to rewatch.

This scene takes place in the basement of the Noseda household, with Hunter working on his sowing skills while Gus gets into bed (the couch,). Hunter gushes about the sowing machine, boasting that not even Darius’ stitches are as neat as his are. Unfortunately, since he’s not paying attention, he cuts his finger open, which Gus magically bandages. After witch Hunter shows Gus a shirt he made with wolves on it, and that he loves them. Gus comemts that Hunter has been much happier than hebwas in the demon realm, and it’s good to see him happy, that, “one of us might as well be.”

This comment leads the boys into a serious discussion of what it was like for Hunter growing up in the Emporer’s Coven, and that, though Hunter likes being able to find new interests, and who he is, he doesn’t like not knowing who he’s meant to be anymore. Through this, he jogs Gus’ memory of a book series he found and he tells Hunter about it. It’s a Star-Treck-like series, with a character that’s a clone, just like Hunter. It’s this aspect that Gus emphasizes, wanting to subtly tell his friend that he knows, and doesn’t care like Hunter thinks he will.

This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series I love how quickly it shows the viewer how close Gus and Hunter have becom, but also how, at the same time, it tells them what Gus knows and develops the plot with Hunter’s cut, because this ends up being very important later in the episode. There is so much done with this scene, and it’s fantastic. The entire episode is like this. It’s wonderful.

My second favorite thing about this episode is the tension. I’ve already discussed a bit on how the writers put story-relevant things, such as Hunter’s cut, into character-driven scenes, but they also use these scenes to begin or add onto mysteries in the episode. For instance, the first scene I described, near the end, the kids find a mysterious old cloth with writing on it under the floor. They later learn that what they found is called a ribus, and that it leads to a secret vial of titans blood. This, of course, can get them home.

Another great example of tension in the episode is that Hunter keeps seeing Belos. But not wanting to scare the others, he only tells Luz, and they try and find and fight Belos where Hunter thought he saw him, the referbished cabin, but they find nothing. However, as they’re leaving, unbeknownst to either of them, Hunter’s shadow has hornse within it. I found this part terrifying, because I had an idea of what would happen, and I did not want it to happen to Hunter (no matter how awesome it ended up being in terms of story). It had me on edge for the rest of the episode. There are also a series of cuts between scenes, which adds tension for the characters, and what they’ll do. All around, Thanks to them does a great job of building the tension of both the main plot, and the characters at the same time.

The last thing, both in the episode and that I want to discuss, is the fight scene. There is only one, and boy did the animation budget get saved for it! It’s so fluid and well coriographed, which is to be exspected from The Owl House. They have a history of great action scenes, especially when said scene is one of the highlights of the episode. In the case of this scene, it’s the climax. Belos has fully possessed Hunter, having gotten into his blood through the cut on his finger, and slowly gotten into his head over time. He also managed to get a hold of the titan’s blood to get back to the Boiling Isles. Not only this, but he also revealed to the rest of the group that Luz helped him meet the Collector. Trying to save Hunter, Everyone sans Camila starts fighting Belos, but not wanting to hurt their friend, they hold back. Due to all of this, the fight does not go the way they wish. Belos opens the portal and returns to the Isles, leaving many members of the group harmed, both mentally and pysically.

I also love the final scene of Thanks To Them, but I don’t want to spoil such a great ending. That’s something you should experience for yourself. Needless to say it matches the greatness of everything that came before. Although I wish there was more The owl House to watch, this episode is the perfect example of how this kind of presure can create something beautiful. There isn’t a second wasted. All of the character moments hit so hard, the tension is some of the best I’ve seen in a while, and the ending was one of the most heartbreaking scenes ever. I loved it so much! If you love The Owl House, and aren’t caught up yet, I highly recommend you do so, so you can watch Thanks To Them, as well as the last two episodes of the series, the first I will be reviewing next, and the latter coming out on April 8th (as of writing). You won’t regret it.