Episode Review: The Owl House (Season 2, Episode 6) – Hunting Palismen
With The Owl House, Dana Terrace introduced the concept of the palisman, a combination of a talisman and familiar, in the form of a creature that a witch would carve themselves, and place on a staff.
Much like our previous season 2 episodes, this one looks to expand our knowledge a little bit more regarding them.
At Hexside, Luz is excited as she and a number of students are included in an initiation where they will be able to choose their own palisman.
Meanwhile, Emperor Belos begins putting his plans into action, but finds that he needs some additional power that only palismans can provide…and his associate known as The Golden Guard, may be able to fulfill his request.
This seasons episodes have often managed to tie into previous season 1 episodes, and this one was most notable in regards to a number of unexpected callbacks.
One of the most unexpected was the Batqueen, who utilizes the Hexside students to help adopt from the numerous abandoned palismen she cares for. This also brought about additional revelations regarding palisman creation, that helped expand our knowledge.
Most surprising about the episode, is that Luz is the primary focus (Eda and King show up, but just fleetingly). Since finding out about magic, she has been intent on becoming a witch herself, but this episode asks her a deeper question: what is her purpose to becoming a witch? It reminded me of Kiki’s Delivery Service, where Kiki takes on a rite of passage to leave home at age 13, but questions just what her purpose should be.
Thinking back on the Emperors coven talk and how it was handled in the first season, I often felt much of the information was kept away from us until the final two episodes. Because of this storytelling method, it still feels like much about Belos and his movement (let alone the other covens that serve him) are still a mystery waiting to be unwrapped.
Another unexpected reappearance was from Kikimora, a figure who much like Lilith Clawthorne, is rather irked at the Golden Guard’s closeness to Belos. It feels like this could evolve into something more going forward, but still, getting to see her operating outside the norms was very unexpected. Plus, her appearance also brings about a new creature that fits well within the Boiling Isles in its design (whether we’ll see more of this nightmare-beast, remains to be seen).
A highlight of this episode, is a much larger story element involving the character known as The Golden Guard. My original fears upon his first reveal, were that he was just going to be some cool-looking dude in a mask. This episode surprised me on how we got to learn more about him, as well as him dropping what could be hints on where Luz’s journey may go.
The episode is also notable in pairing up both the Golden Guard and Luz for part of the storyline. This is where the episode largely shines, in that neither is really happy with this arrangement, but circumstances have forced them to team up. Plus, there is an exchange of information between them, that could possibly benefit each of them in some way going forward.
What helps this episode quite a bit, is that it sticks to a singular story, as we follow Luz on a most unexpected journey with a number of revelations revealed (reminding me of episode 3 of this season), while adding new mysteries to be unraveled.
At times, it feels like we’re given a lot of new information here-and-there (which kept me from rating this episode higher, given it felt like the episode felt a bit too “busy” when dropping possible future hints), but this story so far feels like one of the strongest of the season.
Final Grade: B+