The Owl House Review: Yesterday’s Lie

We have made it to the midseason finale of The Owl House, and boy, was “Yesterday’s Lie” a stellar way to kick off the hiatus. If I had to describe this episode in a handful of words, it was an emotional lore dump that’s going to keep theorists busy for the next few months. There is SO MUCH packed in these twenty-two minutes, so let’s get started!

 

Luz and company make somewhat of a portal door to try and get her home or at least communicate with her mom, Camila. Since’s it’s put together by magical duct tape, wishes, and the Titan’s Blood from last week, Luz gets stuck between the two realms in the reflection of mirrored and glass objects. Her only option is to watch events unfold and comment. Here, she finally comes face to face with Creepy Luz who has been living in Luz’s place in the Human Realm.

Creepy Luz isn’t creepy at all! In fact, she’s an adorable shapeshifting basilisk named Vee (Michaela Dietz, Steven Universe) who only sought out a place to belong. Vee is another victim of Emperor Belos and his experiments on magic. Her kind was completely extinct until Belos created her and at least four others. Enslaved, he forced her harm creatures to study how basilisks consumed magic. Vee was raised in captivity, never asking to be made. Luckily, she was able to escape and passed through the portal during the events of episode one. In the Human Realm, she found a new start and someone to care for her for the first time in her life. Acting as Luz, Camila took in Vee thinking she was her daughter.

Instead of being angry, Luz showed a ton of compassion and understanding to Vee, again showcasing why she’s a wonderful protagonist. Unable to physically help, Luz guides Vee through the events of “Yesterday’s Lie” in a small compact mirror as they search out magical items in the Human Realm.

Luz’s choice in the opening episode of the series comes to the forefront. Luz chose to walk away from her life to seek out adventure. She chose to destroy the original portal door to keep Belos from accessing the Human Realm. Both of these actions took her away from her mother. At first, it seemed harmless enough. Luz would have a fun summer adventure and then go home. But after the destruction of the portal door, she met the consequences of her actions getting herself trapped in the Boiling Isles.

Vee resents Luz leaving her life behind. As someone who didn’t even have a choice in being created, all Vee ever wanted was safety and love. Luz walked away from that to have a magical adventure. This outside perspective made Luz realize how harmful her actions were. She didn’t do anything maliciously. She honestly didn’t think anyone would get hurt. But her lies and choices came out when she finally got to talk to her mom again.

Camila was the standout of “Yesterday’s Lie.” Having her tied into the adventure, we saw who Camila is and what’s she’s made of. Luz finally tells her the truth about the Boiling Isles and where she’s been. Ever the logical one, Camila doesn’t believe her at first. She thinks it’s one of Luz’s made up stories from anime or something.

Then, Camila finds Vee in her basilisk form trapped in a cage. Understandably, she’s at first confused and scared. But it’s when Vee is in danger that Camila’s mother’s heart comes out. She might not understand why this girl impersonated her daughter or what exactly is going on. But Camila sees a child in danger and protects her from the museum curator wanting to kill Vee. In the most stellar moment, Camila pulls out la chancla AKA a thong flip-flop from her bag and beats the crap out of the man hurting Vee.

Despite learning about demons, magic, and other realms being real only moments prior, Camila takes in Vee. Finally, the girl has a safe place to stay with someone to care about her.

This leads to the emotional height of “Yesterday’s Lie” when Camila confronts Luz about everything. Earlier in the episode, there was a photo of Luz, Camila, and a man who we can assume is Luz’s father. Camila asks Luz in the climax, “Did you hate living with me that much?” insinuating that Luz’s parents are more than likely divorced. When framed this way, a lot of past episodes thread together for a more complete picture of Camila and Luz’s relationship.

Luz left in the first place because she didn’t want to go to a normal camp her mom signed her up for. It was framed as her mother not understanding her. “Yesterday’s Lie” gives Camila context that she never wanted to squash her daughter’s creativity or fun. She even rescued several of Luz’s weird knick-knacks from the garbage that Vee threw out. It was just that Camila could see that Luz was unhappy and worried that her daughter didn’t have friends. She was only a mother trying to help Luz learn how to get along with people. For several episodes in season two, Luz has mentioned being bullied in her human school. Camila simply wanted the best for Luz.

So when the truth that Luz chose to leave her mother comes out, Camila is absolutely heartbroken. She begs her daughter to find a way home so Camila can make it up to Luz. So much of this season is Luz coming to terms with her actions. Seeing her mom devastated by her flippant choices is a huge eye-opener for Luz.

I was not expecting the midseason finale to focus on the Human Realm so much. It was a welcomed surprise to have Camila take center stage in her daughter’s story. I’m so happy we finally got to dive into Luz’s and Camila’s relationship.

 

But the trip to the Human Realm along with Vee’s reveal gave us SO MUCH LORE. “Yesterday’s Lie” is going to keep theorists busy throughout the hiatus.

We get a look at Luz’s hometown of Gravesfield as Vee goes into town to search for magical items. The first thing we see is the town sign. It was founded in the 1600’s along with a crest with a golden bird on it. And who was lost in the 1600’s? Phillip Wittebane, the human who came to the demon realm before Luz! There are also two statues in the square, one that looks suspiciously a lot like the shadow play versions of Phillip we’ve seen so far. The other statue is of a man that actually appears to have a lot of similarities to Hunter, the Golden Guard. Adding to all of this information is Jacob Hopkins, the museum curator who tries to capture and kill Vee. He explains to Camila the game-changing lore of the episode:

Phillip had a brother and they both vanished into the Demon Realm when lured there by a witch.

Pow! Mind blown! This is big! It absolutely puts Belos back into the spotlight of being from the Human Realm. Even if Belos isn’t Phillip, he might have been Phillip’s brother. This is odd though because Belos looks a lot more like Phillip than the brother. Perhaps Hunter is the clone of his brother or the grimwalker we saw in last week’s episode?

There’s also Hunter’s cardinal Palisman to consider in all of this. Jacob shows Camila a picture with one of the human brothers with a cardinal on his shoulder. Several episodes ago, the Bat Queen told Lil’ Rascal to find their person “after all this time.” Could Hunter’s Palisman be the original cardinal that belonged to one of the Wittebane brothers? Did it seek out Hunter who is more than likely a descendant or a clone of them? There is so much here to consider in “Yesterday’s Lie!”

Also, more of the rules of how magic works in the human world are revealed. We knew from the season one finale that Luz couldn’t do magic in her world but Lilith could. This is probably because Lilith has her magic bile sack inside of her. Vee discovers that Eda has been coming to the Human Realm for years which is why she was seeking out magical artifacts to consume.

These items still have power to them even in another realm. Eda actually changed living beings when a bunch of rats consumed pastries she had enchanted. The rats can now talk thanks to Eda’s meddling. Does this mean that Luz might eventually be able to do magic there? If rats can accidentally be magical, I have to assume that baby girl will one day get the power to as well.

This would also be a wonderful way to wrap up Luz’s arc for the show. She’s wondered all of season two what it means to be a witch. She wanted to learn magic for fun, but she never actually considered having magic in the long term.

Vee and her fellow basilisks’ creation are another piece in the overall puzzle too. Belos wants to control all magic for the Day of Unity. There has to be a reason he wants to learn about absorbing magic. I think that’s the purpose of the Coven System. When someone is in a coven, they get a patch on their skin that restricts all of their magic. It also lets Belos control them like when Raine was captured a few episodes back. The vines to restrain Raine came out of their coven tattoo/patch thing. I have a horrible suspicion that the people of the Boiling Isle are going to be a magical battery to power whatever is coming for the Day of Unity. Belos needed basilisks to learn how to absorb it.

Whatever is coming is probably going to be horrible.

Some random thoughts to round out Yesterday’s Lie:

I gotta address the Gravity Falls elephant in the room. Dana Terrace, The Owl House’s creator, worked on Gravity Falls as a storyboard artist. She’s also the real-world partner of Alex Hirsch who created Gravity Falls and voices both King and Hooty (They are super cute together!). Before The Owl House was made, there was a comic called Gravity Falls: Lost Legends. In the background of one of the panels, there is a wanted poster for Eda the Owl Lady years before her show was created. It was always a fun little Easter egg.

Gravity Falls is a story with the potential to world/show hop as Ford Pines built an interdimensional portal. This has been used in other series as Gravity Falls characters and Easter eggs have shown up in Rick and Morty. This week, we got a big hint that Eda could be tied more to Gravity Falls than previously thought. One bit of lore in Gravity Falls was the character Stan Pines got married to a woman named Marilyn for 48 hours. They broke it off when she tried to steal his car. When Vee goes to the coffee shop, she asks about a woman banned for life. And there’s Eda in a photo pinned up. Except, she signed it under the alias “Marylin.”

I like to imagine that Dana Terrace and Alex Hirsch sit on their couch together and giggle over stuff like this.

It really gets fun with Amphibia also doing dimension jumping. With Amphibia Easter eggs in The Owl House and the series being sister shows, I wouldn’t be surprised if some lore came out down the line that these two worlds were also connected.

 

As The Owl House moves into its hiatus, I am so impressed with season two so far. Season one had the occasional episode where it was fine, but not great. But every single episode of season two has hit it out of the park. There’s no filler, no fluff. It’s been a fantastic ride. I can’t wait for the show to return.

 

This article was originally posted on The Geeky Waffle and has been reposted here with permission.

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