It premiered on July 3, 2021.
Thirty years ago, Eda is telling a healer from the Healing Coven what it's like when she is in her beast form, describing being chased by a giant owl beast in a shadowy void. The healer gives her a gem that will tell her when the beast's energy is bubbling to the surface. Her mother isn't too happy with this, and asks to speak with the healer outside Eda's room. Eda eavesdrops on their conversation; she learns that none of the Healing Coven's members had ever seen such a curse before, and they are uncertain if it can be healed. He suggests that the best they can do is to consult with the Potions Coven and find a way to keep it at bay, but Eda's mother refuses to accept that, demanding that they "cut it out" if they have to. Horrified by this, Eda escapes out her bedroom window. Upon reaching the forest, she discovers the ruins of some building, where she trips over the portal door buried in the dirt. Upon hearing her mother shouting her name, Eda runs through the portal into the human realm to escape from her mother. Unable to find Eda, her mother becomes upset, but immediately declares that she will find a cure for her, no matter what it takes.
In the present, Eda wakes up to find Luz sleeping in the kitchen. Luz complains that she spent all night trying to find information about building a portal to the human realm, but to no avail. Eda is about to tell Luz about the portal, but they are interrupted by Lilith screaming. They find her on the living room floor, with the curse starting to flare up on her arms. As she is seconds away from transforming, Eda gives her a bottle of elixir and stops the curse. Lilith is relieved, but is horrified to find that her limbs are detaching from her body. Eda reassures her that she has hidden elixirs all over the house, and Lilith can just get those if it happens again. Lilith apologizes for what she has done to Eda, but Eda simply brushes it off, saying that at least she's got company now.
Eda then takes Luz outside and continues what she was about to say. Eda explains how she found the portal, but she has no idea who made it, and simply kept it to herself. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blows towards Luz and Eda. It is soon revealed to be a visitation from Eda and Lilith's mother, who Eda refers to as Gwendolyn. Lilith is surprised to see her, but Gwendolyn is more interested in talking to Eda. Gwendolyn then announces that, after thirty years, she has found a way to cure her daughter's curse. However, instead of being grateful, Eda declines and sends her away, much to Luz and Lilith's shock. Eda explains that Gwendolyn comes around every year toting a new cure for her curse, and none of them have ever worked, so she gave up hoping. This shocks Lilith, as she hasn't seen her mother in years. Luz, taking pity on Gwendolyn, runs up to her and talk to her. Luz mentions that she is stuck without a way back to the human realm. Upon hearing that, Gwendolyn offers to tell Luz some information that would be useful to her, with the condition that Luz must help her cure Eda's curse.
Luz and Gwendolyn venture deep into the woods to meet a curse expert. On the way, Gwendolyn explains that, after years of dealing with the Healing Coven, she decided to find help from other sources, eventually finding someone who promised her a cure. His name is Master Wortlop, a travelling curse expert who has perfected next level healing magic. Gwendolyn leads Luz to his cave, where they witness him healing a small gremlin-like creature's eye infection. Gwendolyn comes forward and presents Wortlop with the sacred items he asked her to get: a copper egg from the snowy rib cage, a silver dagger from the swampy toes, and a golden chalice from the desert of palm stings. Wortlop rewards Gwendolyn with a tome that is believed to hold the cure she seeks, but she is advised not to share it with non-believers.
Meanwhile, King is excited by the prospect that Eda's mom turning up could mean his dad could do the same. However, Lilith, who is lounging on the couch binging tubs of ice cream, tells him not to get his hopes up. She is upset because her mother only came to see Eda and not her, which is no surprise to her. All her life, she has been neglected by her mother, regardless of all her efforts and success. Her mother didn't even attend her Coven initiation, and only ever paid any attention to Eda. Lilith then starts to make King believe that his long-lost father never wanted him, which is why he was never there when he hatched or came looking for him. Upon hearing that, King becomes devastated.
Soon after, Luz and Gwendolyn lure Eda into the woods under the guise of free apple blood. They have Eda fall into a series of traps, which are supposed to drive the beast out of her according to the book, but they put Eda under a lot of stress instead, causing her curse to come out. Luz is worried, but Gwendolyn assures her to trust Wortlop's tome, and soon Eda won't have to drink any potions ever again.
Back at the Owl House, King and Lilith have gone through several tubs of ice cream, much to Hooty's concern. King eventually declares that, if his father does care about him, he'll have to come to him. Lilith counters by declaring that she has no mother, and states that she'll tell that to Gwendolyn's face. King tells her to do so, as he saw her go into to woods with Luz to try and cure Eda. The idea of her mother focusing on Eda as usual stresses Lilith out, which causes the curse to flare up. Lilith rushes to find the elixirs, but they have mysteriously vanished. Soon, the curse takes over and she transforms into a raven-like beast, frightening King and Hooty.
Back in the woods, Luz starts to doubt if Wortlop's methods actually work. She becomes even more suspicious when Gwendolyn trades in a few family heirlooms in order to get the next volume. She takes the book from her with a plant spell and finds it to be filled with a load of nonsense, implying that Wortlop is a fraud and is scamming Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn refuses to listen, and reveals that she has ordered her palisman Hawksley to take all of Eda's elixirs from her house. Gwendolyn tries to throw a bottle of elixir away, but Luz pounces on her trying to grab the bottle, causing both of them to fall to the ground, which grabs Eda's attention. Eda has gone through many traps and is now all stressed out. After realizing that Luz has seemingly teamed up with her mother, she becomes even more stressed, causing her to transform into the owl beast. Gwendolyn checks the tome to find out what to do, only to realize she has to buy the next volume.
Suddenly, King runs out from a bush behind them. He tries to explain what happened to Lilith back at the Owl House, but before he can finish, Lilith lands in front of them, revealing herself to be much larger than Owl beast Eda. The two cursed sisters rush towards each other, and Lilith simply snatches Eda up and fly away. Gwendolyn is shocked that Lilith is cursed too, which causes King to yell at her, accusing her for not paying attention to Lilith. Luz and King go after them on Eda's Owl Staff while Gwendolyn begins to doubt Wortlop. She flies to his lair, only to have her doubts confirmed when she discovers Wortlop is in fact a gang of gremlin-like creatures who scam witches of their assets. Gwendolyn becomes enraged and confronts them. She regrets not listening to Eda, and threatens to have every beast in the forest come after the gremlins if they ever returned to Bonesborough, sending them to burrow downward into the ground in terror.
Eda and Lilith's fight leads to Bonesborough, damaging multiple buildings along the way and causing people to flee in terror. Luz rushes to Mr. Elixir to get some elixir from Morton, and attempts to pay with a drawing of Morton drawn by her. Morton becomes annoyed and close the shop panel door in front of her, which upsets Luz. Fortunately, Gwendolyn arrives just in time with a large bag of snails she took from Wortlop's cave, and comes up with a plan. Luz, King and Gwendolyn watch as the sisters' fight leads to rooftops. Luz and King fly off on the Owl staff, while Gwendolyn confronts her daughters. She approaches Eda and is able to get through to her. She apologizes to her, stating she now understands why Eda pushed her away, as she made her think her curse was something to be ashamed of. But whether they want it or not, the curse is now a part of Eda, and she loves every part of her daughter. Gwendolyn's words give Eda the strength to confront the owl beast in her head, causing it to shrink, resulting in her gaining control of her owl beast form. Soon, Eda partially reverts back to normal, much to Gwendolyn's gladness. Lilith tries to attack them, but Eda pins her down instead. Gwendolyn apologizes to Lilith as well for never giving her the attention she deserved. Upon hearing that, Lilith calms down and starts sobbing. While her daughters are distracted, Gwendolyn shouts at Luz and King to act immediately. King jumps down from the Owl staff and pins Eda and Lilith down, while Luz dumps elixirs from above into their mouths. Eventually, the sisters return back to normal, and Gwendolyn hugs them in her arms. Lilith bursts into tears, apologizing for what she did as the beast, while Gwendolyn reassures her that it's okay. The three women then hug together as Luz and King look on.
After returning to the Owl House, Gwendolyn prepares to head home. She again apologizes to Eda for everything, and she forgives her. Lilith has also decided to go home with Gwendolyn in order to make up for lost time, which surprises everyone, especially Hooty. Gwendolyn tells Eda that Lilith told her that she was the one responsible for cursing Eda, and wishes she knew sooner, so they wouldn't have to have been weighed down by such a secret. Lilith hopes to learn more about the curse, while at the same time reconnect with her family. Hooty cries and stretches towards Lilith, begging her not to leave. Lilith tries to assure him that they can be pen pals, but Hooty cries even harder, as he cannot hold a pen. Before leaving, Gwendolyn thanks Luz for opening her eyes, and in return reveals to Luz that she is not the first human to have lived on the Boiling Isles. According to her, there is a rare substance called Titan's Blood, which happens to be extremely powerful and sometimes causes leaks between the two realms. Plants, animals, and human trash had occasionally crossed through these leaks, but humans are rare. Gwendolyn's great-grandmother told her about a human who once lived on the Isles until he mysteriously vanished one day. Rumor has it that he left something in the library, and if Luz could find out more about him, she may find out how he came to the Isles. This builds up Luz's hopes of returning home.
After Lilith and Gwendolyn depart, Hooty continues crying on the floor, while Eda decides to go inside and crash on the couch. Luz looks up to the sky and promises her mom that she will be home soon. Luz realizes that summer camp has probably ended by now, and her mother must be worried sick. Back in the human realm, at the Noceda residence, Camila is seen sitting on the couch crying. However, it is soon revealed that she is actually crying over an animal documentary. A hand passes a tissue box over to her, which turns out to be another "Luz". Unaware that the Luz sitting beside her is an impostor, Camila thanks her, remarking that she always know what to do.
- Sarah-Nicole Robles as Luz Noceda and Luz impostor (uncredited)
- Wendie Malick as Eda Clawthorne
- Natalie Palamides as Young Eda
- Alex Hirsch as King and Hooty
- Cissy Jones as Lilith Clawthorne
- Deb Doetzer as Gwendolyn Clawthorne
- Dee Bradley Baker as Eda and Lilith's cursed forms
- Eric Bauza as Healer and Gremlins
- Elizabeth Grullon as Camila Noceda
- Shannon McKain as Morton
- Gary Anthony Williams as Master Wortlop
Title in other languages
|Spanish (Latin America)||Al día con los sustos||Keeping up with the scares|
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Karma do Passado||Past Karma|
|Mandarin||母女連心||Strong Bond between Mother and Daughter|
|German||Mutter Dornenklaue||Mother Claw of Thorns|
|Danish||Frygt og stolthed||Fear and pride|
|Arabic||مواكبة الخوف||Keeping Up with Fear|
|Spanish||Mantener las a- pánico-riencias||Keep the panic-riences|
|French||Sauver les A-peur-ances|
|Indonesian||Menjaga Rasa Takut||Keeping Fear|
|Hebrew||הפחד לא הולך לשום מקום||The fear is not going anywhere|
|Italian||Mantenere le a-ppaur-enze||Keeping Up A-fear-ances|
|Dutch||Angsten behouden||Keep fears|
|Norwegian||Gode miner til sleipt spill||Good mines for slick play|
|Portuguese||Receios Bem Guardados||Well-Kept Fears|
|Polish||Za wszelką cenę||At all costs|
|Romanian||Ține Pasul cu Frica||Keeping Up with the Fear|
|Swedish||God min i elakt spel||Good mine in nasty game|
|Turkish||Sihri İdare Etmek||Managing the Magic|
|For a full transcript of "Keeping Up A-fear-ances", click here.|
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- Viewership: This episode was watched by 0.38 viewers on its premiere.
- When Gwendolyn Clawthorne says that "she got the golden chalice from the desert of Palm Stings", it is a play on Palm Springs.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Gwendolyn and Vee, albeit as Luz's impostor.
- The coded message is found on a boulder next to the entrance to Wartlog's lair, and it translates to "puppet".
- The sign Luz wrote which says “IT REALLY IS ¡THAT GOOD!” at the end of the trail has a second exclamation sign inverted (¡). This is how exclamation signs are used in Spanish.
- In the photo of Luz and Camila, Camila is wearing the shirt Luz wears in the pilot.
Revelations and significant events
- The gem in Eda's chest was given to her by a healer, and it was meant to help her monitor the curse.
- Additionally, her golden fang is revealed to be a prosthetic.
- Eda stumbled upon the Portal by chance, partially buried in the ground, when she ran away from home. She does not know its origins, and she describes it as having already been old even back then.
- Eda's first time entering the human realm is shown.
- Eda dons a new outfit in this episode.
- Lilith transforms into a beast for the first time.
- Body parts constantly falling off is revealed to be a side effect of the curse.
- Eda and Lilith's mother is named Gwendolyn, and she is part of the Beast Keeping Coven.
- Gwendolyn did not attend Lilith's Coven Initiation, which rankled in Lilith's mind.
- Gwendolyn finds out that from Lilith herself that she gave Eda the curse.
- Lilith leaves the Owl House to spend time with her mother and study the curse.
- Gwendolyn reveals to Luz that she's not the first human to visit the Boiling Isles, and the previous human left a clue in the Bonesborough Library.
- In the human realm, summer camp is over, and an impostor of Luz has been living with her mother.
- The potion keeping Eda's curse at bay is revealed to taste disgusting.
- This episode takes place three months after "A Lying Witch and a Warden", as the camp Luz was meant to go to has ended.
- Gwendolyn remarks on the events of Eda's failed petrification from "Young Blood, Old Souls".
- King mentions his goal of finding his father, as stated in "Echoes of the Past".
- Deb Doetzer was confirmed as the voice of Gwendolyn Clawthorne by Acting Studio Chicago on July 16, 2020, months before the second season premiere.
- Keeping Up Appearances - The title is a reference to the British sitcom.
- Cats - During the flashback, there is a poster in Eda's room titled Rats, which is a parody to the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.