Eclipse Lake was a very hyped up episode and it delivered. From Amity’s insecurities again being tested, more insight into Hunter and Belos, development with Luz’s journey home and the day of unity, a beautifully animated fight sequence, and more this episode was another amazing addition to this phenomenal season.
The opening gave us new insight into Belos and Hunter. In terms of clarity specifically Hunter as the book we see shows that Hunter is a cloning creation, “Grimwalker”. Not only was Hunter made, he was made for the purpose that Belos has for him for the Day of Unity as Belos specifically notes what a hassle it would be to find a replacement for “his purpose”/the titans plans.
In terms of Belos based on this episode there’s two large possibilities. One is he’s Philip as his appearance looks like it could’ve been an altered (like ear shape), things he deals with could be tied to attempting to stay alive/control aging, and he would've first hand experienced the dangers of the mission Kiki is on. The other possibility is he is a failed Grimwalker as we see he has a similar ear shape to Hunter (“failed” because of the eye color and possibly his curse/diminishing state). He notes that he’s been to the human realm before which would of course make sense if he was Philip and if he’s a failed Grimwalker maybe he went on a trip there with Philip.
This episode highlights the pressure of the Emperor’s coven and the mindset Belos instills in his followers. While a lot of Lilith’s drive was to help Eda, the pressure of succeeding ultimately came from the threats and control of Belos. Belos imposes this to the point of any other motivations/ways of thinking being overcome, such as in Agony of a Witch with the threat of being stripped from the coven pressuring Lilith to succeed for Belos.
Kikimora also places a lot of pressure on herself with success but hers grows beyond goal oriented and into a competitive mindset with how others working in the coven (Hunter) can undermine her success. Hunter meanwhile is solely focussed on pressure in terms of the goal, if he can’t deliver he’s not just disappointing Belos but also himself as he’s been pushed to belive that serving Belos is his sole purpose.
We also got new Lumity moments! When the term “GF” was used last episode many assumed it was Disney’s censoring, so it was amazing to see that wasn’t the case as “girlfriend” was used multiple times throughout this episode. We also saw Amity’s insecurities come to the surface again when she’s misreading the messages Luz is sending. Getting into a relationship doesn’t immediately wash away insecurities especially when they were built up her whole life by the treatment of her parents and isolation from people who’d actually care about her beyond what she can give them.
Amity spent her life in a parental environment full of constant control and expectations of achieving success and maintaining status. We’ve seen it through her desperation to get back the top student badge, her actions and her parents enforcement of their family’s status like hanging out with Boscha over Willow, the path her parents are pushing her towards becoming a coven head, and more. It culminates in a consistent need to succeed and do everything in her power to retain what she has, feeling it can be taken away at any moment. Now that she’s in a relationship with Luz that mindset finds its way into that, she feels desperation to do everything to prove sh’s an awesome girlfriend and the second she feels like she’s incapable of meeting the standards she’s set for herself and she believes others are setting for her, her insecurities come to the surface and she thinks she’ll lose the relationship.
Hunter is in a similar mindset as he notes, “we can’t fail because there’s nothing worse than disappointing someone who thinks you're special”. Hunter sees his purpose as serving Belos, if he can’t fulfill that he belives he’ll lose everything just like Amity believes she will. Both of these mindsets came from their unhealthy parental relationships but unlike Amity who has support systems Hunter has yet to fully find and accept them. All he has and knows is Belos, even if he needs to keep Hunter around for the Day of Unity that doesn't change how he brought up the possibility of replacement.
With the reinforcement of Amity’s support system of Luz she’s able to push back on her insecurities and attempts to offer Hunter support in return. He does listen but because of his lack of exposure to support systems and not seeing other ways of existing beyond that path Belos has dictated for him as soon as he sees Amity has the key he goes after it. Amity would’ve made similar choices in the past, like with Amity it will take time for Hunter to work through the mindset he’s trapped in.
But Amity had Luz as a support system to pull her out of that negative cycle, showing her she is worth it and can be loved. Amity was against Luz in the beginning but Luz kept trying, she gave Amity kindness even when Amity wasn’t returning it or didn’t belive she deserved it.
“I grew up thinking that everything was an opportunity to justify existing. But there are people out there who won’t make you feel worthless”
This is emphasized in the end where without asking how the mission went Luz immediately hugs Amity and says she’s glad she’s ok. This reaffirms to Amity that people don’t need her for her success or expect results, she can be loved for who she is not what she can give to others like the She-Ra quote, “You’re worth more than what you can give to other people. You deserve love too.”