‘The Owl House’ Review: Season 2 Episode 16 “Hollow Mind”

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If you were waiting for a game changer episode of The Owl House, this week we got it. “Hollow Mind” took Luz, Hunter and the rest of us into the mind of the Emperor, providing us with many answers, emotional turmoil and even more questions as we inch closer to the second season finale.

Luz wakes up in a hallway full of paintings. One depicts a battle between Belos and Eda. Behind Eda are depictions of Lilith shielding herself while Luz is reaching out to King. The words under the painting read “Triumph Over Wild Magic”. Suddenly Hunter’s voice comes from behind, blaming Luz for getting them trapped in the Emperor’s mind. 

We flashback to earlier at the Night Market. Hunter is investigating a rumor he heard about someone planning to use wild magic to get into the Emperor’s mind. He tracks down shadowy figures performing a spell. Just when Hunter is about to stop them… Luz chimes in saying she remembers now.

Luz tells her side of the story. Eda took Luz to the Night Market to repair her cape, but the store was closed. Using a walkie talkie, King tries to speak to Luz in very bad Spanish. He’s only feet away from Luz but still using the walkie. 

Prim, the shopkeeper, finally opens the door to the shop and informs Eda she’s decided to join a coven. She rolls up her sleeve, revealing a coven tattoo. She tells Eda that the Titan punishes those who aid wild witches. She sadly closes the door on Eda and Luz. Luz bangs on the door and yells that Belos is lying. People in town grow uneasy, telling one another to not let the Titan hear. Eda warns Luz to be careful and warns her that everyone is used to how things are since he’s been Emperor for fifty years. No one is going to risk change unless she has proof he’s up to no good. King tells Luz she needs to find something to help change people’s minds. Just then Luz sees Hunter running through the market. 

Luz follows Hunter and as he’s about to arrest the people he is after, Luz tackles him and asks him to answer questions. The shadowy figures flee as he’s distracted. In a fit of rage, Hunter stomps his foot on the ground, accidentally activating the magic glyph under his and Luz’s feet. 

In the hallway in the present, Hunter laughs at Luz for the thought that he would help her prove his uncle is evil. Luz says now that she’s in Belos’ head she can try to prove what he’s up to. She’s initially confused because she has been in Willow’s mind before and it looked different. Hunter says it makes sense since the mindscape reflects the individual. 

Hunter notices a painting and explains that wild magic hurt his family and it got out of hand which is why Belos took in survivors and made the coven system. He spots another painting depicting when he got his scout staff. He laments about not knowing who the previous one was. The next painting he sees shows Darius looking sad. Luz looks back at the painting with Eda in it, gently touching it. 

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Just then, Luz hears crying and spots a young Belos. He runs off. At the same time, Hunter sees a grown Belos in a shadowy form approach him. The young Belos appear behind it and signals it is bad news. Suddenly the big Belos figure shifts and glows and lets out a scream. Luz jumps in front of Hunter telling him to watch out and triggers a glyph. The two go flying and crash through the wall. They fall into blackness and Luz pulls a levitating fall spell from her pocket, allowing the two to not crash into the ground. 

They look around and wonder where they are now. Luz realizes they must be in the Emperor’s real mind now. She tells Hunter the one they were previously in was filled with all his lies he tells everyone, trying to prove to Hunter that Belos isn’t who he thinks he is. Hunter notices a palisman on the ground as he picks it up, it crumbles to dust. Hunter says they’re being punished because she provoked Belos. 

Luz hears King’s voice over the walkie talkie and he asks where she is. Eda tells King someone wants to talk to Hunter and Flapjack chirps. Hunter grabs the walkie talkie super fast and asks if he’s ok. Luz tells Eda where they are and she asks if the inner Belos has spotted them yet. Luz asks if it’s possible for two inner selves to exist. Eda says no but strong emotions can manifest. She warns Luz to be careful. If they get devoured in his mindscape they’ll be trapped forever. King says they’ll work on a “return spell” as fast as they can. Eda tells Luz to be careful with the walkie so they can stay in contact. Hunter tells Flapjack he loves him, to be safe and that he’ll be home soon. 

Luz and Hunter hear a rustle and kid Belos appears again. Luz thanks it for helping them and notes how they don’t seem as scary as Belos’ inner self. They hear and feel a rumble from the inner self approaching. Kid Belos clings to Luz. She hypothesizes that maybe kid Belos is his sense of guilt trying to help them. Hunter brushes it off saying he has nothing to be guilty for and thinks maybe it’s his sense of innocence. They hear another shriek and run off, following kid Belos into another memory painting. 

King, Eda and Flapjack arrive at the Owl House. Eda tells Hooty to lock down the house. From outside the house, the three shadowy figures watch. One of the figures writes in the dirt to tell the others they know how to get around Hooty. 

Hunter and Luz arrive in the memory. In town a group is assembled hearing rumors someone can talk to the Titan. Belos arrives on stage and warns about the dangers of wild magic. Suddenly explosions go off and he tells everyone to run. Luz and Hunter run behind the stage and see Belos yelling at the old Golden Guard saying he almost blew him up. Belos says it’s time to go to the next town and they set off the rest of the explosives and leave. 

They exit the memory and Luz asks how Hunter can help someone like that. He tries to come up with an explanation, fumbling over his words. The inner self begins to appear again and they jump into another memory.

Luz and Hunter arrive in the memory on a snowy hill. A city behind Belos burns and he tells the citizens wild magic caused it. He tells them he can save their souls. Golden Guard gives them coven each tattoos. As they attempt to use their powers, they become corrupted and scream in pain. They all fall to the ground and the Golden Guard notices they’re still alive. Belos laments the news and orders him to take their palismen. Hunter looks disturbed at what he witnessed. 

They exit the painting and Hunter comes up with another excuse for Belos, saying he was trying to perfect sigil magic. Then he says maybe he’s remembering things wrong. Hunter chases after kid Belos when suddenly the inner self catches up to them. They sprint away with Luz helping Hunter into another memory. 

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In the new memory, Luz spots Belos has the portal and asks Hunter if he knew. He says he helped rebuild it. A laugh echoes through the room and the Collector tells Belos he’s bored and asks if the draining spell is ready yet. Belos tells him he’ll have his moment on the day of Unity. A memory of Hunter rushes into the room. Past Hunter tells Belos he knows he didn’t want him going to Eclipse Lake and shows the key he stole from Amity. Belos grabs it and looks at the Titan blood leaking out of it. Belos orders Hunter out. With past Hunter out of the room, he reveals that he only tells Hunter the Titan has plans for him just so that he follows orders. The Collector insinuates that Belos has fun making “those things” just to destroy them. Belos says he doesn’t enjoy every time “he chooses to betray me” and it hurts. 

They exit the memory and Luz tells Hunter he doesn’t have to go back. He can stay at the Owl House and Eda will understand once she hears what they found out. Hunter stares down a hallway. Cracked Golden Guard masks and staffs litter the floor under crooked pictures. 

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They hear a commotion and kid Belos has set a trap for the inner Belos. When the inner Belos appears, it warms Luz and Hunter. They suddenly realize kid Belos was the real inner self all along. The trap comes to life, attacking the spirit of all the palismen souls Belos consumed. Kid Belos suddenly transforms into the real Belos and welcomes the two. 

Belos is happy to have finally caught the palismen souls in his memories. Belos thanks Hunter for helping to distract it. Hunter asks Belos what he did to the other guards. He then asks what he did to their family. Belos suddenly goes “what a shame” and flicks Hunter’s hair. Belos continues speaking saying, “out of all the Grimwalkers, you looked the most like him.” Suddenly the ground opens up and begins pulling Hunter down. Luz takes off her jacket and throws it at Hunter to try and grab him. He gets sucked down completely. 

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Belos laments that he thought Hunter would last longer than the “others”. Luz threatens she’s going to tell everyone the truth and how he’s lied to them for years. Belos says the whole ruse has gone on longer than he would have liked. He reveals himself to be a witch hunter. Luz asks how people could fall for this. Suddenly a memory of when Luz met Philip begins playing. She falls to her knees saying his name is only Belos. He asks her to call him by his real name. He replays more moments of Luz saying Philip from the past. 

At the Owl House, Eda and King continue to make a spell. A knock on the door sounds and Hooty says he’ll handle it. King is very worried and asks if everything will be okay. Hooty reappears with a bouquet of flowers. He says it’s a special delivery for Eda from a secret admirer. Eda tells Hooty it could be booby-trapped and to get rid of it. Suddenly the flowers turn into yellow balls, which fill the vase with a yellow liquid. A note reveals it’s a potion to get into the mindscape. She peeks out the window to see who gave it to them but doesn’t see anyone. King says they can worry about it later and to use it now to save Luz. The note says it still needs a power source to work. King runs and grabs the glove with Titan blood on it. Eda says Luz can’t go home without it. King counters Luz will never get home if they don’t save her now. 

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In the mindscape the walkie goes off with Eda saying they’re gonna get them out. Philip slowly approaches Luz who crawls backwards, away from him on the ground. Belos reveals he changed his name once he was run out of too many towns. Luz falls down a hill. Belos theorizes that maybe they were destined to meet. Luz counters by asking what happened to Hunter and asks what’s a Grimwalker. She doesn’t get any real answers from him. Luz asks why he’s doing this. Belos says he’ll do anything to save humanity from evil. Luz calls Belos evil and launches his arm at Luz as an attack, saying “you can’t reason with crazy”. 

Suddenly a wall of vines pops up in front of Luz, stopping Belos’ attack from hitting Luz. Hunter appears with a handful of glyphs. All the while, Eda begins counting down from five. Luz uses a fire glyph to punch a hole in the vines and runs past Belos, holding Hunters hand as they flee. Luz reaches the walkie and tells Eda to do it now. Yellow light fills the room then appears at the Owl House. Luz and Hunter appear on the floor of the room. 

Eda asks if they’re okay. Flapjack flies to Hunter who begins to realize Belos knows they were in his head. He can’t go back now. Eda tells Hunter to breathe and reaches her hand to him. He cowers away panting. He stands up, rips his cloak off, and runs out the door. Luz runs out calling his name. Flapjack flies after Hunter. Eda and King ask Luz what happened. Luz turns to them, noticeably worried, her eyes glistening. 

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Poor Hunter. He was so set on believing everything Belos had told him and promised him. His inner turmoil must be at an all time high now. He’s always been on edge and anxious, trying to prove his worth to Belos and also to himself that he’s good enough. Luz was trying to let him down easy, but seeing everything he believed was true collapse around him all at once must have been devastating, as seen by his actions at the end, ripping off his cloak and fleeing the Owl House. 

I really enjoyed seeing how close Hunter and Flapjack have grown. Seeing Belos destroy a bird palisman in his mindscape must have been traumatic. Deep down Hunter has a good heart, he was just manipulated. Now that he sees the truth, I hope we see him team up with our heroes. 

Now we have the question about who Hunter is to Belos. Why is he so set on making so many versions of him. Could it have been a close friend or relative who eventually turned on Belos, so he recreated him in order to make a better version of them? It seems like every attempt has failed, but he has extra high hopes for our Hunter. Some of the paintings in the mindscape seem to depict someone who looks like Hunter. 

Could it be that Philip was a witch hunter even before he ended up in the Boiling Isles? He just happened to end up in a place completely inhabited by witches so he planned to completely eradicate them all? Is he so far gone and lost all sense of time that he doesn’t even realize how different Luz is from other humans he left behind when he left the Human Realm all those years ago? Who is he doing this for truly? 

For some reason I thought the Collector may have been a possible ally to Luz and the rest of the gang. I must have remembered the vision he appeared in wrong. This episode dispelled that thought for me! He’s clearly helping Belos for nefarious reasons. Could he possibly be an even bigger baddie our heroes will have to face down the line?

I wonder who the shadowy figures were that Hunter was following and helped Eda out with the return potion. My guess is the one casting abominations is the one who was communicating with Raine last week. Are the three true possible allies, or do they have their own wants and plans that don’t completely line up with our gang. Could we assume they are Raine, Darius and Eberwolf? The fact that one of the figures knew how to get around Hooty and wanted to help has me convinced. 

Eda is still struggling with magic on her own and likely would have failed without their help. She may need them for the inevitable showdown between Belos and her as teased in the painting in his mind. One thing that leaves me hopeful is the fact that the plant vines that Hunter activated with the glyph were strong enough to withstand Belos’ attack. This kind of magic may be able to take him on if used and strategized properly. But still, even if they can take him on, Eda used the last of Luz’s Titans Blood. They still need to find a way for Luz to get home. 

Luz realizing she helped Belos become the man she is today was tough to watch. She physically collapsed due to the overwhelming realization. It has me wondering if that time loop is locked, as if it was inevitable to happen. You never know how time travel works until it’s truly explored, but I doubt we’ll get many more answers about it due to the amount of episodes left in the entire series. 

Now that the team knows the real truth, is that going to be enough to convince the town and those who have fallen in line to stand up against Belos? Or is the massiveness of the lie and his power too much to overcome without the entire collective banding together. If the three shadowy figures are in fact coven leaders themselves, plus Raine, maybe they could convince enough people to fight back or push back. In a way it sort of mirrors real life. How important is the actual truth if you have someone in power who is charismatic and holds all the power?

For a “kids show”, it really gets me thinking. There are so many things to explore and speculate about going forward. It’s hard to believe we only have so many episodes left to wrap up everything! Animation provides for such a strong, powerful, and important medium that can appeal to all ages. With so many questions up in the air about the state of western animation these days, it’s important to truly celebrate the great ones and savor them. 

The Owl House Season 2 airs Saturday mornings on Disney Channel. New episodes can be streamed on Disney Now

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