Ok, that wasn't what I was expecting. Still really good tho (could've been perfect with a little more PRIMODIAL FEAR)
I wasn't necessarily anticipating it to end on such a (relatively) happy note. I wasn't expecting a tragedy, but I was expecting a larger cliffhanger, like Luz being put back into the human realm temporarily. This isn't a flaw (also gives them more episodic freedom at the start of season 2), but a bit weird for me personally.
MOVING ON TO LILITH. If I had a twitter account I would be dunking on all the Lilith antis rn. Obviously she's still far from perfect, but in the end she made the right call, casting aside her own self-justifications for her sh*tty situation and actions and making a genuinely empathetic decision. Her taking on the curse (or at least part of it) to begin making amends was a great start. She'll obviously be Luz still doesn't like her, which is totally justified, given what she did, and I doubt Eda's going to be exactly chummy right after this, so she might go off on her own a bit towards the start of S2, gradually mending her relationships while also dealing with the curse (I wonder if she'll get a Ravenbeast form?) and her slowly receding magic. As for why she cursed Eda, I was kinda surprised by the reveal that it was because she wanted to win against Eda to get the Emperor's Coven spot (I was expecting it to be more of a "choose one horrible thing or another", a la amity), but the fact that she didn't nearly expect the extent of the curse (she though it would just block her power for a day) softens the blow a lot. Anyways, Lilith has shown herself to be a person capable of horrible, selfish things, but also capable of developing tremendous empathy, and I look forward to seeing where her path takes her (even if I was anticipating her staying as an antagonist for a little longer).
Luz was great this episode, exhibiting a wide range of emotion. Her rage against Lilith was very justified, and it was cool to see her anger both push her to fight harder than she ever has and overtake her in a way we really haven't seen outside of Sense and Insensitivity. Seeing her use her magic to it's fullest against her opponent was a treat (and Wrath was absolutely hilarious again). She's not on the level of even Lilith yet (and Belos was absolutely toying with her), but she's probably the most versatile and combat ready of her peers, which is very impressive. It was also great to see her explicitly familial bond with Eda, and how much they cared for eachother was really sweet. Also, her decision to both surrender and destroy the door was great and genuinely selfish; not only did she deprive herself of her only way back to her mother so that she could save her family, but she also did it so that the human world was safe from Belos. Overall best mc.
I want to talk a bit about the curse. It's still a factor in the story (with two people sharing it now), which means that it has plot relevance. Given that Belos seems to be the crux of the plot, it stands to reason that the curse has a connection to Belos. It also seems like he was (directly or indirectly) manipulating Lilith into cursing Eda, and given that the curse scroll glows with his red aura, it stands to reason that he had a hand in Lilith selecting that particular curse (either through telling her which one, or simply making it available). I don't think it's part of his essence anymore, but I do think that he made the curse as a means to manipulate Lilith and keep Eda under control.
Also, Belos himself seems to be a part of the body horror magic that he can utilize. Glad to finally know what that's about. I do really like the angle they're going at with Belos. He's playing a sort of pope role with his relationship with the Titan, and while I think that some of it is just him using it as a political tool (welcome to religion 101), I do think that there is some truth to his relationship with it. The opening to the episode definitely established that both Belos' backstory and the Titan's backstory will be important later. His role in the plot seems to be very unique for an overlord figure, as he's currently being set up to have a much more active role (he's the only named and important big bad, and has already come into direct physical conflict with the protagonists) than most, and I certainly hope that S2 picks up this steam. His interest in the human world is also kinda unique, as he doesn't want to conquer it. I suspect that, given how wild magic doesn't seem to work on Earth, Belos wants to use the gate on the Day of Unity (which is looking suspiciously like Sozin's comet) to control the wild magic via Earth technology. His power is also very interesting, displaying a wide range of capabilities (and we don't even know his full power, given how he was toying with Luz). Most Skilled Witch on The Boiling Isles is definitely an earned title, and even though Luz is feeling pretty good about her chances against him right now, I suspect that he'll pull the rug out from beneath her in mid-late S2 for some major angst. Also lmao they gave Belos Sans' eyes and powerset.
Eda was also great this episode, even if she didn't get too much to do. Her being so explicitly motherly towards Luz was great. Eda's relationship with Lilith pre-curse was so sweet, with Lilith actually caring for Eda, and Eda wanting both to follow her sister wherever they may end up and for her sister to be happy, which just makes the gut punch of the curse even harder (especially for Lilith).