Luz Noceda finally feels understood. For The Future aired this past weekend, acting as the second of three specials set to tie up The Owl House. It was a dense middle chapter with a responsibility to wrap up multiple character arcs, set foundations for a final showdown, and begin to prepare for a farewell that is now only months away.
Showrunner Dana Terrace and Sarah Nicole-Robles (Luz) announced that the actor has now recorded her last lines for the character, making the resolution granted by For The Future all the more sobering. Two seasons have been spent watching our hero question her identity, neglect a tragic past, and carve out a place for belonging she has waited her entire life to uncover.
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Only in the aftermath of grief and abandonment was Luz able to finally conquer her demons and become the person she deserves to be, even if people she cared for ended up hurt as a consequence. Now those burnt bridges are being rebuilt while the ashes remain to remind this character of her victories, failures, and growth as a flawed, empathetic witch.
For The Future jumps between different character arcs and perspectives at a swift pace, keen to develop new struggles and resolve them in under an hour. Despite this limitation, everyone gets a chance in the spotlight, whether it be Willow and the weight of expectations, or King as he covertly rebels against The Collector. Fittingly though, the most time is afforded to Luz and Camila Noceda.
The mother and daughter duo are together in The Boiling Isles for the first time, Camila able to see precisely where her daughter has been all along and if she can come to appreciate this world like Luz does. Even if she can’t, a willingness to not only understand it, but also her daughter’s continued plight, would be more than enough.
Luz spends a lot of the special cradling her unhatched palisman, fearing the capture of her magical companions and desire to leave the demon realm behind means this egg will never be anything more than unfulfilled potential. She has spent so much of her upbringing losing people or facing abandonment in spite of her loving family, and now believes the only way to repair the chaos she’s indirectly wrought is to walk away, tail between her legs and tears in her eyes. It’s irrational, but in the eyes of a young woman driven by trauma and indecision, the only way out of a bad situation. Camila, who Luz feared would shape her into a person she isn’t, is the very same voice who brings her back from the brink.
Camila had a rough past defined by bullying, hardship, and a continued struggle to find joy in a life that kept exploiting her. Eventually she did, her late husband a reflection of her bubbly personality and nerdy disposition. Luz is every bit her daughter, but Camila was so keen to suppress that individuality in the fear that she’d go through the same turmoil, turning her into an anxious shell of a person who constantly fears what others think. It’s why she was sent to camp, why she ran away, and why the past three seasons unfolded in the first place. Now the cycle of generational trauma has been torn asunder, grief an unsuspecting catalyst of reconciliation at the heart of the storm.
Everyone screws up sometimes, and even if you feel regret or loved ones are hurt as a consequence, rolling with the punches is not only part of life, but what makes us human. Without it, we lack the capacity to learn, love, and come to terms with who we want to be. Camila opens up to Luz about her own mistakes, like moving to Gravesfield in the hope it would prolong her husband’s life, ignorant to how it would split their family apart and take Luz away from a place of comfort. They all had to start again, and Manny’s passing made it tempting to give up entirely. Camila worked to make ends meet, rejecting her daughter to the point of resentment, meaning the only place she had to turn was a magical world that soon became real. So off she went, and For The Future finally reunites them on equal footing.
Camila admitting she’s a giant nerd who always makes mistakes and can empathise with everything her daughter is going through is the understanding Luz has always wanted. Not to be pampered or punished, but finally seen as a person with strength, flaws, and agency. She found that in the Boiling Isles, afraid the human world would never provide such solace due to how the past has been little more than a gauntlet of misery. Now her actions threaten a place that means everything, and if walking away can protect it, she will do just that. Yet she doesn’t, and even if things can’t be fixed, she still has value and people still love and care for her, expressing an understanding that for years the show has been building to.
The Owl House has always centred around Luz Noceda finding herself and leaving her trauma behind, becoming a witch in the face of unfair expectations and ridicule. Above all the magic adventures though, sits a desire to be loved and understood for who she is from those who mean the most to her. For all their problems, Luz and Camila love each other more than anything, and nowhere is that more clear than in For The Future.