Having established characters and setting in the first half of the season, the second half is able to dig deeper into some of the character conflicts that were barely introduced in the first half. Amity, in particular, is revealed to be one of the co-protagonists, and background characters emerge as some of the more vexsome antagonists of the series.
Central to the second half of the season, Luz becomes a student at Hexside Academy, which enables many more interactions with peers her age. Luz doesn’t have a natural affinity for magic, so she must learn by observing the magic around her for glyphs that for the basis of her spells. Through this process, it’s becoming more clear that the Amity/Luz relationship is more along the lines of Pride and Prejudice than a competitive rivalry. “Understanding Willow” reveals that Amity has been pressured by family to break off a friendship with Willow and socialize only with elite witches. “Enchanting Grom Fight” makes Amity’s crush on Luz explicitly clear. The development cumulates with “Wing it Like Witches,” where Amity stands up to her former clique. The season points to a reconciliation between Willow and Amity, although Willow makes it clear that fixing the friendship will require more work from Amity. Mean-girl Boscha likely will continue to be a problem for Luz, Willow, and Amity in the future.
On Luz’s side, it feels a bit less developed. While she’s growing more powerful, I find it less clear that she’s starting to think more deeply about consequences. Luz repeatedly charges into situations and makes challenges without fully understanding the consequences. Amity is fearful of consequences or change and tries to control both. Amity refers to Luz as fearless and admires her for it. But Luz is often reckless and it’s not clear to what degree she really sees Amity.
These conflicts play out in a different way between Eda and Lilith. Lilith values control and order, while Eda values freedom. While the series leans Eda’s direction, it also suggests that Eda’s extremes have caused considerable pain to herself and other people in her life. Through Lilith we meet The Emperor, who either saved the boiling isles from wild magic or is seeking to control the world with his own social order. Emperor Belos becomes a series 2 antagonist, and likely serves as the big bad who will tie together all of the hints other characters have dropped about the history of the Isles.
While news coverage has focused on Luz as the first bi character in Disney animation history, Amity’s crush is much clearer. Also quietly in the background, we get Willow’s two fathers.