‘The Owl House’ Review: Season 2 Episode 18 “Labyrinth Runners”
After two episodes featuring Luz gaining a lot of important information about Belos and the Day of Unity, we get an episode focusing on Hexide and her friends dealing with their own problems. Mainly focusing on Gus, with good character growth between Amity and Willow, the kids and staff of Hexide are forced to fight back for the ability to make their own choices. Plus we finally find out what happened to Hunter after being freed from Belos’ mind and him learning the truth. There’s no stopping the deep storytelling as we get even closer to the Day of Unity.
At school a younger Gus in the past is putting the final touches on a presentation. His assignment partner walks in telling his friend how he pawned it all off on Gus and he didn’t have to do any work, making fun of him. Gus hears and runs off upset. He runs into a classroom and sits behind a table. He knocks into it, dropping a book on his head. His eyes begin to glow and a projection of his inner fears and thoughts begins playing out around him. Suddenly he sees a poor excuse of an abomination say hi. Willow pops out from behind another desk. She says she thought she was the only one who hid in the room. She gives Gus some advice on how to deal with the voices in his head. Together they slow their breathing and count. The visions disappear and the two exchange names, cementing the start of their friendship.
Principal bump talks to a teacher about how students are excited about multitrack learning. A hooded figure approaches and warns it might not be for long.
At lunch, Amity shows Gus and Willow the messages she got from Luz. She can’t make them all out but Luz is trying to tell Amity about all she learned in the past few days about Belos and Titans and more. Willow says she saw scouts outside the Owl House and contemplated kidnapping one to get information but she didn’t want to draw more attention to Eda and Luz. The bell rings and Gus notices Willow and Amity are trying to be closer and that Willow is reintroducing the real her to Amity.
Gus hears a rustle from the garbage and Flapjack flies out. Gus recognizes the palisman and chases after with his own staff and palisman. They fly through the halls of the school and into the Paranormatorium which is closed for repairs. Hunter emerges from the shadows and Gus goes into a fighting stance and asks what he’s doing there. Gus notices an area Hunter has secretly been hiding out in. Hunter admits that things got complicated and he needed a place to crash. Bump announces to the school to gather for an important meeting. Gus gives Hunter his lunch and heads to the meeting.
In the auditorium, Adrian Graye introduces himself. He is the head witch of the Illusionist Coven. He announced that the Emperor is going to stop multitrack studies and will introduce every student into a coven before the Day of Unity. Bump assures the students he’s there to help. Before any scouts come Adrian is going to make temporary illusions of sigils on the students wrists. Ed gets chosen first. Gus notices Adrian’s hand glows as he’s about to perform the illusion and yells to stop. Gus knows he’s hiding behind an illusion and casts a spell disrupting the illusion. A scout is exposed to be under the spell. Bump and the teachers instantly get ready to defend the students.
The real Adrian suddenly yells to stop and more scouts appear in the room. He begins to give critiques to the scouts for their performances as if he’s a director. He grabs Gus and holds him. Adrian is about to take away his illusion track in favor of abomination. As his hand reaches for Gus, Gus casts a giant illusion in the room and Hunter suddenly bursts in, grabbing Gus. They run off. Adrian clears the illusion around him and realizes the school itself is now covered in a giant illusion. He tells the scouts to find Gus. They ask for direction in helping to track him down and Adrian belittles them. The main scout says how much he hates the guy under his breath.
Willow and Amity run through illusions together. The illusion stops changing and they don’t know how they got where they are when Willow realizes it’s all an illusion. Amity gets a text from her siblings telling her they’re all hiding together with Bump and they should join them. A scout begins to appear behind Willow and Amity yells to watch out. Just then Willow uses her plant magic to catch the scout. Amity tells her good shot, which bugs Willow. Even the scout tells her he knows she got him fair and square.
Hunter and Gus run through illusions until they crash into lockers hidden by the spell. Gus stands up with one eye glowing. He can see the illusion and the truth at the same time. He realizes his spell is still active and he doesn’t know how to undo it. He’s never cast an illusion that big before. Hunter says they should look for a teacher. Gus asks Hunter why he saved him. He’s still under the impression that Hunter works for Belos. Hunter says he owed Gus for the food. They reach a staircase and Hunter asks if the stairs are real or not. He suddenly falls down the stairs. Gus asks again why he’s helping and that they need to trust each other to get through this. Just as Hunter is about to talk, they’re spotted by a scout. They capture Hunter and Gus. When the scouts realize they have the Golden Guard they free him and tell him that Belos has been worried sick looking for him. Flapjack begins pecking at the vines holding Gus as Hunter draws a glyph in abomination goo. He activates a flame and the two run off. The scouts chase after but another illusion hides Gus and Hunter.
Hunter begins to panic, breaking down on the ground saying he has to run and hide. Gus offers a hand and teaches him the breathing exercise Willow taught him in the past. Gus asks why he ran away from the Emperor’s Coven. He looks like he’s going to talk, then crosses his arms and puffs. Gus tells him he gets it but he promises he can be trusted and won’t mess with Hunter. He brushes Gus off again and Gus gives him space. They head out of the illusion.
Willow and Amity fight off scouts but their magic gets in the other’s way. Amity tells Willow she just got her back as a friend and wants to protect her. Another attack comes and Willow saves Amity. She tells Amity she doesn’t need her protection. She just wants her to see who she really is. Ed, Em and Bump disrupt the illusion for the two to join them in hiding.
Gus and Hunter arrive in the real part of the school when they spot Willow. She calls Gus Augustus and seems off. Hunter realizes it’s an imposter. “Willow” acts scared and Hunter says Willow would never be afraid of him from their time in Flyer Derby. Suddenly Adrian calls cut again and the illusion ends. They try to escape but Adrian catches them. A fake Belos appears but it’s just two scouts hidden in an illusion. Hunter orders them to stop as their superior. Adrian reminds them that Belos wants the runaway and to tie him up. Hunter fights them off but is put under by a sleeping spell.
Hunter awakes in the healing homeroom with other injured students and staff. Em and others perform healing spells. Bump says the flyer derby team saw him being dragged off and saved him, but he’s not convinced he’s innocent. The other students question him and don’t trust him. Hunter swears he’s not with them and that he was with Gus the whole time. He tells the group he Gus gave him a sandwich and he taught him a breathing thing. Willow hears that and instantly perks up, telling the group he’s telling the truth. Hunter tells Bump and the students that Adrian said he’d be in the gym. Amity says Willow can help fight and Willow says she can use the help. The two picked up on each others signals and are finally in sync. Bump begrudgingly agrees and comes up with a plan.
In the gym Adrian begins monologuing and notices Gus isn’t paying attention. He’s too busy being upset with himself for falling for an illusion of Willow. Just as Adrian is about to extract memories from Gus using an amplifier, a spell bursts through the room turning it back into the gym. Adrian turns his focus back to Gus who now has both eyes glowing. He begins to glow even stronger and more powerful.
Outside the gym, Bump approaches the scouts. They inform Bump the gym is closed but Bump says that as Principal he should be let through. They refuse and Bump takes his staff out and reveals the rest of the students behind him. The scouts charge. They all use their different forms of magic, spells and attacks to counter the scouts. They successfully knock out and capture the scouts but not before one triggers a button.
Hunter runs into the gym to find Gus fully engulfed by the blue light orb. The scouts and Adrian all cower and suffer through Gus’s memories and their own. Amity and Willow come in and Willow knows that Gus is trapped in his own head and the others are trapped with him. Just then a giant abomination controlled by a device wielding scout enters the gym. Amity says she has to talk to her parents about this, as it is their creation. Willow and Amity charge at the abomination and Willow tells Hunter to save Gus.
Hunter stammers but runs over to Gus and touches the blue light, getting pulled into Gus head. Hunter begins seeing images of his time in Belos’ head and grabs his own head. He pushes through and grabs Gus’s shoulder. Gus suddenly disappears. Hunter is in another illusion where Gus is questioning himself. Then another memory, and another. Gus is being tortured by his own thoughts. Hunter tries calling out to Gus. Hunter sits down next to Gus and begins sharing his own struggles, especially with trust. He spent his whole life thinking he was doing good and a part of him still wants to believe the lie. Hunter tells Gus to trust him and that he wouldn’t mess with Gus, calling back to when Gus tried to reach out to him earlier. He begins to try the breathing exercise Gus taught him but messes it up. Gus begins to laugh at his poor attempt, breaking the spell.
Gus sees Adrian’s amplifier lying on the ground, picks it up and pockets it. Amity and Willow have beat the abomination and Willow runs to Gus, hugging him, saying she’s so glad he’s okay. Willow thanks Hunter and pulls him into their hug.
The scouts retreat from the school and drag a still distraught and dazed Adrian back onto their ship. The scout warns Bump that Belos is going to hear about what happened. Bump counters that he’s sure Belos would be thrilled to hear a group of teenagers defeated them. The ship flies off.
Amity still can’t believe Gus took down a coven head. Gus is amazed he didn’t go down with him. The rest of the students approach Hunter asking what is going on at the castle and if it’s true that he abandoned the Coven. Ed asks the real question: if Hunter has ever sneezed with his mask on!! He answers each question. Everyone at the castle is heading to the head of the Titan for the day of Unity. Hunter thinks he left the coven. He also has sneezed in his mask before. Ed is grossed out by the answer. Hunter then reveals that Belos has been lying to everyone and that the Day of Unity isn’t about magic or the Titan. Willow and Amity hold each other’s hand. Hunter apologies and says there’s a lot to explain. Bump tells him that he better get started.
Now we know what Hunter has been up to since fleeing from the Owl House. The information was too much for him to handle and he hid in a place he knew Belos would never expect him to hide out in. It was great that Gus was the one to figure out Hunter’s hiding spot. It was a sad reveal, but I’m glad Hunter is doing relatively okay after the emotional reveals. Hunter growing closer with Willow and now Gus shows how well he fits in with the group. They’re all underdogs but their real power lies within, and by trusting those around them.
Hunter being associated with Belos has done a lot of damage to his credibility, but he has already show and proven that he can be helpful, especially now that he has revealed all the truth he has learned. Hopefully now alerting an adult like Bump will help ramp up the resistance and add more credibility to the resistance.
Learning about Gus’ past and how he got teased and bullied for being smart and young was sad to see play out. We did get to see a tender moment between him and Willow which sparked a strong friendship instantly. He’s grown into a more confident person as he was able to find close friends like Willow and Luz.
The way they portrayed his inner fears and his conflicted mind as a giant illusion was a great way of addressing how we all can get beat down by our own thoughts. Having his illusions become so powerful as a result and his eyes glowing was so cool to see play out. These kids are all becoming so strong in their own way when they’re not being forced into one kind of magic. The freedom to choose their own path only makes them stronger, preparing them to even take on a Coven head.
Adrian was a jerk. It was great to see him fall to Gus. It’ll be interesting to see how powerful Gus can be now that he has Adrian’s amplifier too! I’m certain it will come into play somehow as we get closer to the Day of Unity. Anything that can help them will be of use I’m sure!
Willow and Amity’s relationship seemed to be on rocky ground, but it turned out they just had to show each other how much they care and how strong they can be. I can see how both of them thought they were doing what was best to heal their friendship. The pose we got from their battle together was worth it all.
It didn’t even dawn on me until now that aside from Amity’s mention of the messages she got from Luz, we didn’t see Luz at all this entire episode! That might be a first! My guess is this was all playing out as Luz was returning with King and Hooty as Willow mentioned seeing the Owl House surrounded by scouts. We still don’t know what’s going on with Eda and Lilith inside the house. It feels like everything is starting to ramp up even more as more pieces of the puzzle begin to fill in ahead of the Day of Unity.
How are there only 3 episodes left in this season?!
The Owl House Season 2 airs Saturday mornings on Disney Channel. New episodes can be streamed on Disney Now.