Time paradoxes, impending doom, dance-offs... season 3 is finally here!

Episode 1: Meet the Family

To paraphrase one of season 2's most memorable needle drops: Oh my God, they're back again. The Umbrella Academy is back for season 3 and with it, your favorite dysfunctional family of superheroes. You may recall that season 2 ended with the Hargreeves siblings running into a little bit of snag after saving the world from the second apocalypse they caused (these guys really do have the worst track record with starting world-ending events, don't they?), this time in 1963 Dallas: Thinking they've fixed everything in the past and come out on top, they return to their 2019 timeline only to discover that not only is their father Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who was very much dead when they left 2019, now very much alive, but also that their home is filled with seven other superpowered siblings, one of whom happens to be their sweet, dead brother Ben, now also alive and also a complete dick. Reggie gives them the TL;DR: Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Five (Aidan Gallagher), and Viktor (Elliot Page) are not his kids and never were — these seven newbies are the Hargreeves siblings and they are known as The Sparrow Academy. Really puts a damper on the high they must have been feeling from all that saving the world business.

But before we get into that initial showdown, the episode kicks off with a fun alternate timeline version of the opening to the pilot episode of the series. It's once again noon on October 1, 1989, but instead of seeing a Russian woman at a pool giving birth after having definitely not been pregnant just moments before, we find ourselves on a subway train in Seoul, South Korea. A young couple is flirting until those same sparkly particles we saw Reginald release into the air before leaving his home planet in season 1 get absorbed into the woman and bing-bang-boom, she has a baby on the subway car floor. The sequence continues much like the first time we saw it — with Reginald trying to buy the babies born on October 1st, ending up with seven of them, and seeing them all being pushed in numbered strollers. There is, however, one major difference. In the original voiceover, we're told that 43 babies were born at that exact time, but this time, it's just 16. I'd expect that discrepancy will somehow figure into the overall arc of the season. 

The Umbrella Academy. (L to R) Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Justin Cornwell as Marcus in episode 301 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022
Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Justin Cornwell as Marcus
| Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix
Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
| Credit: Netflix

And so we meet our Sparrows: Number One, Marcus (Justin Cornwell), who much like the other Number 1 has super strength; Number Two, Ben (Justin H. Min), you know him and his tentacles; Number Three is Fei (Britne Oldford), she has a murder of crows that come out of her body and do her bidding; Number Four is Alphonso (Jake Epstein), who has some sort of pain transferal power, so if you hit him in face, you're hitting yourself; Sloane is Number Five (Genesis Rodriguez), and she can manipulate gravity; Jayme, Number Six (Cazzie David), spits hallucinatory venom; and Number Seven is a sentient cube named Christopher. It seems they have been much more successful than the Umbrellas ever were as an elite crime-fighting team and have become global sensations. But while the Sparrows have mastered their skills as superheroes, they also seem much colder. The Umbrellas may be dysfunctional and a little rough around the edges when it comes to overpowering evil, but at least you know they really care for each other. Most of the time.

All of which brings us back right to the moment that ended season 2, with the Umbrellas and Sparrows facing off for the first time. As the two sides stand there bickering, there's a loud rumbling and we follow it all the way into the basement of the Academy, where a fiery, floating orb appears. That's weird. We'll come back to it. Upstairs, there's more smack talk between the two groups. Ben seems really bothered by the way the Umbrellas think they know him. All the Sparrows seem weirded out that the Umbrellas call their robot Grace, in this timeline much more disheveled, "Mom." Jayme spits her venom on Diego. Both Number Ones decide this beef needs to be settled "the old fashioned way."

And then everyone starts dancing to "Footloose."

The Umbrella Academy. Colm Feore as Reginald Hargreeves in episode 301 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Colm Feore as Reginald Hargreeves
| Credit: Netflix

Oh friends, The Umbrella Academy really is back. It's a full-length dance-off and it is incredible. Luther's crab move makes a reappearance. Christopher the Cube blasts confetti all over the room. It is pure joy and honestly, if you're against The Umbrella Academy's dance sequences, grow up!! Anyway, it's all in Diego's head — yep, that hallucinatory venom will get you every time. 

After Diego comes back to reality, we get a reminder of that other thing The Umbrella Academy is known for: cool fight sequences. The two academies go at it and it's very evident that the Umbrellas are out-matched. Like, it's not even close. The only thing that saves them is Viktor doing his thing and blasting everybody to hell (not, like, literal hell, which is a thing I very much have to clarify when talking about a show like this). The Sparrows were not expecting that. One very interesting tidbit does come out of this battle, though: While Klaus is hiding, naturally, he confronts Reginald about what the hell is going on. Reginald makes clear what you might have already suspected — after meeting the Umbrellas in 1963 and being absolutely disgusted by them as a whole, Reginald decided not to make the same mistakes and adopted seven different babies. Hey, I didn't say it was good news, I said it was interesting news. 

The Umbrellas regroup and decide they need a place to lay low while they figure out what else might be different about this timeline. Klaus, who doesn't even bat an eye when all of his siblings assume he'll know a place for weirdos to hideout, leads the Hargreeves children to the Hotel Obsidian. It's got both a retro and shady vibe and no doubt some weird things going on behind closed doors. It's perfect for these guys! But while Five, Luther, Klaus, and Diego might be content to decompress a little — Five reminds them that, technically, they've been running around for the past 20 days saving the world twice — Allison and Viktor feel differently. 

Allison is both grieving over the loss of her husband Ray (Yusuf Gatewood) and trying to figure out how soon she can get back home to her daughter Claire (Coco Assad). Viktor is missing Sissy (Marin Ireland), the only person who really saw him, and also isn't into simply waiting around for another Umbrellas versus Sparrows fight. He sets up a meeting with Marcus and demands that the Sparrows return the briefcase that Five left at the Academy — they'll need it to travel back to fix the timeline and Viktor is especially interested in it so that he can get back to Sissy. He offers up perhaps the most badass threat we've seen on this show: "...Your team is good, better than mine maybe, but I don't think you're better than me. I ended the world twice. And you? You're just meat in spandex."

So, yeah, Marcus heads home to find the briefcase. Unfortunately, what he finds in the basement is Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) worshiping that fiery glowing orb. Suddenly, the orb lets out a wave of energy and when the wave returns to the orb, it completely obliterates a whole bunch of people (and animals!) in its path — including Marcus. That's not good!

Meanwhile, Five is over at the Obsidian waxing poetic about how as long as the Umbrellas steer clear of their doppelgangers, wherever they may be (since in this timeline they were never adopted), everything should be just fine. "We won," he says, toasting to a job well done. Oh buddy, he has no idea.

Viktor Hargreeves (Elliot Page) has a sit-down with Marcus (Justin Cornwell) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
Viktor Hargreeves (Elliot Page) has a sit-down with Marcus (Justin Cornwell) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
| Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Turndown Service

  • Readers of The Umbrella Academy comics will recognize the Hotel Obsidian, which is a riff on the third series, The Umbrella Academy 3: Hotel Oblivion. There, the Hotel Oblivion is a prison outside of reality set up by Reginald to house the Umbrellas' greatest enemies — like Arkham Asylum is to Batman. The show is doing its own spin on the locale… or is it?
  • We also meet a mysterious older man named Lester Pocket who starts trembling before packing up all of his things and taking a bus to an unknown location. With him, he carries a briefcase full of tapes of random sounds — bees, birds, a typewriter — that seem to calm him down when he gets overwhelmed.
  • Lila (Ritu Arya) shows up and she's not alone! She introduces Diego to Stanley, their 12-year-old son. And surprise: She's leaving him with Diego.
  • Our lonely, lovelorn Spaceboy seems to take an immediate liking to Sparrow Number Five, Sloane. Is there a Romeo and Juliet sort of situation brewing with Luther?
  • Diego telling Five "yeah we get it, your job is soooo hard" after Five reminds them how complicated time travel is, is just the perfect sibling moment. 

Episode 2: World's Biggest Ball of Twine

Now that some of the groundwork has been laid and we've established just what is going on in this new version of 2019, The Umbrella Academy sends the Hargreeves siblings off on their own adventures. Luther gets "kidnapped" by the Sparrows, who mistakenly believe Marcus was taken by the Umbrellas, but he kind of loves it there? He even ends his stay with a tote bag full of Sparrow swag and a floating makeout session with Sloane, who is very enamored by him (Luther's face when she is impressed by him living on the Moon is so precious!). Meanwhile, Diego is grappling with being a father all of the sudden and is surprisingly kind of good at it? Or, at least, he knows he should tell Stanley not to say the f-word and to walk away from the fight he has in the middle of a drugstore with Alphonso and Jayme. That's something, right? 

But the most emotional spoke on episode two's wheel of plot belongs to Viktor and Allison. Viktor leafs through an encyclopedia of sorts at the hotel and not only learns that he and his siblings are recorded in history as "The Kennedy Six," a group of communists who plotted to kill JFK in 1963, but about Sissy's (forever linked to the Kennedy Six) fate: She died on October 1, 1989, while living under an assumed name. Let's say Viktor is just so overcome with emotion that he completely misses the fact that Sissy died on the day he was born — there's no way that is a coincidence on this show. And it's true, Viktor is emotional. It's only been, what, a day since he said goodbye to the love of his life and the woman who told him how sometimes you "don't even notice the box that you're in until someone comes along and lets you out." 

In that spirit, Viktor decides to finally come out as trans. He gets a haircut and tells Diego, Klaus, and Five that he's Viktor now, and after a small beat his brothers are nothing but fully accepting. Viktor looks lighter, relieved. However, his brothers are a little ticked when they hear about his meeting with Marcus and his deal to get the briefcase back. Mostly, Five just doesn't think it's worth it to mess around with time travel again when, as long as they avoid time psychosis by staying away from their doppelgangers, everything is fine here. No worlds are being destroyed and that's a nice change of pace for the old man. 

Viktor goes to his one sibling who'd like to get out of this timeline as much as he does: Allison. She's reeling after learning that Claire doesn't exist here, and when she hears Viktor's plan to meet up with Marcus again and get the briefcase, there's no way she's letting Viktor go alone. Well, there's no way Viktor was going to go without her, he says. It's a very sweet moment for these two, who have a complicated but close relationship. On the way to the meeting spot, Viktor comes out to Allison and he gets to explain what he's been going through in a little more detail than he did with his brothers. His whole life, he felt "strange" in his own skin and hated seeing himself in mirrors. Sissy helped him realize that he was hiding from who he really is. Now looking at his reflection, he finally sees himself. Allison tells him that "there's nothing that would make [her] love [him] less." They're family. It's a lovely way to do a coming out story. 

The meeting does not go as well as that conversation, however. Marcus, of course, never shows with the briefcase because Marcus has been eaten by that orb thing. The thought of not getting to fix things and be with her daughter sends Allison spiraling. She clearly has some PTSD from her experiences in the 1960s, and that, piled on with the thought of being trapped in this timeline without Ray or Claire, is doing a number on her. Three is unwell, friends. 

Not having the briefcase so that the Umbrellas can get out of this timeline is about to be a problem for everybody, which we know thanks to another pairing of Hargreeveses who go on a little excursion: Klaus and Five (seriously, a GREAT character pairing, more of this, please). At one point back in the original timeline, Klaus found an old check stub of Reginald's made out to a woman named Rachel for the purchase of her child, listed on the stub as #4. It's Klaus's birth mother! And now he'd like to find her and see what his life could've been. He enlists Five, who is really leaning into that retirement life, for the road trip. Klaus ends up tracking down Rachel's sister amongst an Amish community in Pennsylvania. She tells him that Rachel died of a brain hemorrhage on October 1st, 1989, and never had a son. Curious isn't it? While Klaus and Five have to flee because the rest of the community is not thrilled that they're there, she also hands Klaus a file with information she's collected about other women who all died the same way as her sister, on the same exact date. Now that's very curious, isn't it?

This news from Klaus, paired with the entire field of cows he saw get wiped out by another energy wave, sends Five into a tizzy ("Can't I get one f—ing day off?"). Once they get back to the Obsidian, Five gets everyone up to speed: The other women in the file? It's all of their mothers. They all died before any of them were born. This means that they don't exist in this timeline… and that means the mere fact that they are now existing in this timeline creates a paradox. That is going to be a big, big problem.

The Umbrella Academy. (L to R) Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves, Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves in episode 302 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022
Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves, Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves
| Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Turndown Service

  • Viktor and Allison aren't the only ones looking to get their hands on the briefcase Five lost at the Sparrow Academy — when Lila's own briefcase stops working and she can't get back to Berlin, she heads over there, uses some of her mimic powers, and steals the briefcase for herself. 
  • Anyone spot who was cutting that ribbon in the 1920 newspaper article about the opening of Hotel Obsidian hanging on the wall? Well, as I live and breathe, that's Reginald Hargreeves.
  • That Lester Pocket guy is now following members of the Umbrella Academy around. What do we think his deal is?
  • Grace is DEEP into worshiping this fiery orb thing — which is only getting bigger, by the way — isn't she?
  • Klaus dunking on Diego for having a kid with Lila continues to make me laugh: "Didn't she try to murder us, like, yesterday?"
  • Let! Five! See! Cowhenge!

Episode 3: Pocket Full of Lightning

Welcome to the Commission Players Present: The Grandfather Paradox! The episode kicks off with a little dramatic enactment of this "temporal anomaly" that basically breaks down to: If you go back and kill your grandfather when he was younger, then you wouldn't exist, so how could you go back and kill your grandfather? Trippy right? The end of the play courtesy of the Commission makes it clear that if this type of paradox were to ever happen, everything and everyone is in "grave peril." Actually, it ends with someone saying "God help us all," but you get the picture. It's bad — and it is currently the predicament the Hargreeves siblings have found themselves in. 

Since this time paradox is a bit disconcerting, Five and Lila (this season is just littered with fun, new character pairings) head off on their own adventure to figure out just what the hell is going on. While they do that, the rest of the siblings have much more earthly matters to contend with. 

Remember that thing I said about Three being unwell? Well, yeah, we should all be concerned about Allison. She's drinking non-stop and is angrier than we've ever seen her. She wants that briefcase from the Sparrows and she wants it now. Viktor is trying to keep the situation under control, but honestly, who could blame Allison for wanting to fight a little harder for a chance to get out of this timeline after everything she's lost? After Luther returns to the Obsidian and informs everyone that he was, in fact, captured (let's not talk about how sad it is that exactly zero people noticed), he tells his siblings that the Sparrows think they have Marcus. He also tells them that he watched people just straight-up disappear from another energy wave. They put two-and-two together and realize Marcus must have been swallowed up by whatever is terrorizing the city. Still, when Allison and Viktor meet up with Ben and Fei, Allison pretends that they do in fact have Marcus and are willing to trade him for the briefcase. Viktor feels betrayed since his plan was to have a more honest conversation — he doesn't want things to escalate. Allison couldn't care less. She is all fighting words and little else at the moment ("You don't get to warn me about s—, Flock of She-gulls," she spits at Fei). Viktor can't help but notice the changes in his sister. They make a plan to do an exchange later at the hotel. Just a guess but, it doesn't seem like it will go well!!

The Umbrella Academy. Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves in episode 303 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves
| Credit: Netflix

Meanwhile, back at the Obsidian, Diego notices some changes in Luther, too: He's a puppy dog in love, people. He's making mixed tapes! That feature songs by Lionel Richie! He's all-in on Sloane. But after a quick sidebar about the wonders of no gravity sex, Luther asks Diego some important questions about Viktor. Mainly, the big guy just wants to know if they should throw some sort of welcoming party as his brothers. Diego tells him to stop being so weird and when they bump into Viktor, Diego's pretty blunt about it in the most wonderful way: "Luther wants to throw you a big, stupid party so you can feel loved. Do you feel loved?" When Viktor responds that he does, Diego says, "Good, 'cause you are." It's all so lovely and Viktor looks so happy after Luther applauds him for his choice of a No. 10 razor for his haircut. Listen, these Hargreeves siblings can say whatever they want about not being a real family and make analogies about big balls of twine all day, but they really do love each other. It's a truth made only more clear by juxtaposing them against the Sparrows this season, and while this show is very much about style and big action sequences, it only works so well because of the characters and the chemistry between the cast.

Anywho, it comes time for Allison, Viktor, Luther, and Diego to meet up with the Sparrows for the big exchange. In the interim, Ben and Fei discovered the blob in their basement and learned that not only did it arrive when the Umbrellas did, but that it definitely took Marcus, so all bets are off as to how this meetup is going to go down since neither side has what the other wants. 

It, um, goes poorly almost immediately. Allison comes in hot, Ben calls the deal off since he knows they don't have Marcus, Sloane is trying to tell Luther to run, but he is an idiot, and then just as it looks like they might start brawling, Stanley runs in with one of the many molotov cocktails Diego hid around the lobby in preparation for the fight and accidentally lights a sign on fire. Things escalate until Ben orders Christopher to attack the Umbrellas. He's frying their brains and the situation looks dire… until that mysterious Lester Pocket, who has recently taken a room out at the Obsidian, shows up and sends out a huge wave of energy that looks very much like what Viktor does. It's brutal and intense and while Luther dives to save Sloane, the wave of energy kills both Jayme and Alphonso. Ben, Fei, and Christopher make a run (or a float in Christopher's case) for it. 

The Umbrellas look up at the man who just saved their lives and as soon as Viktor gets a look at him she knows: The man is Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly). Yes, that Harlan. Sissy's young son who retained some of Viktor's powers after he transferred them while trying to save his life back on the farm in 1963. Well, his appearance certainly adds a new wrinkle to things, doesn't it?

Ben (Justin H. Min) meets with Fei (Britne Oldford) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
Ben (Justin H. Min) meets with Fei (Britne Oldford) in 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3
| Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Turndown Service

  • Klaus is more focused on the "who killed our moms" mystery and heads over to the Sparrow Academy, by way of snorkeling in the sewage drain, to confront Reginald, who they all assume did it. He finds that Reginald and his new set of Hargreeves children have a much different dynamic — they're medicating him to keep him compliant. Klaus spends the afternoon bonding with him in a way he never could before and teaches him how to fake taking pills. I still think it's a misstep to fully trust this dude. Do not hurt Klaus!!
  • While asleep on the couch, Reggie whispers "oblivion" — remember what I said about the comics?
  • Klaus also discovers Grace praying in front of the orb, so at least now one of the Umbrellas has seen where this ball of terror is. 
  • Lila and Five, although both acknowledging that they hate one another with the burning passion of 1,000 suns (he killed her birth parents, she tried to murder his whole family), pool their powers together to get one of the malfunctioning briefcases to work. They arrive at the Commission in the hopes of talking to Herb (Ken Hall) about what's going on with the paradox, but find a snow-covered, desolate building. Not even the Commission remains untouched by this paradox.

Episode 4: Kugelblitz

It's never a boring day at the Commission, even when the place has been completely decimated by a rip in the space-time continuum caused by the Grandfather Paradox. Maybe especially when the place has been completely decimated by a rip in the space-time continuum caused by the Grandfather Paradox. But on this day, things are extra interesting: Five comes face to face with his older self and then watches him(self) die right in front of his eyes. Time travel, as always, is a bitch. 

After Five watches a video that a now-dead Herb (RIP, buddy!) left about how the universe is collapsing on itself and Lila finds a note about getting the Founder to the Operations Bunker in the case of a Grandfather Paradox, the two new allies go on a mission to find this Founder person and see what kind of advice he has for stopping what Five describes as "the opposite of the Big Bang." As soon as Five starts itching and sweating and, yes, farting, you should know that there's another Five lurking around somewhere (the symptoms of time psychosis are pretty obvious). 

Surprise! It turns out that Five is the Founder of the Commission. Are you, like Lila, laughing uncontrollably at learning that the guy who wants nothing more than to retire and get as far away from his life in the Commission as possible turns out to somehow be the one that actually created it? We all are. But there's no time to try and unravel that mystery: This Five is an old, decrepit man being kept alive only by some sort of hyperbaric chamber. He's missing an arm and has a strange tattoo on his chest. He knows our Five must be there because of what he calls "the Kugelblitz" (Kugelblitz is German for ball of lightning) and warns him that "all that will be left is oblivion." (Again with that word!) His dying words to himself are "whatever you do, don't save the world." All in all, it's quite the harrowing meeting for our Five and it doesn't bode well for the universe's chances of survival against this Kugelblitz thing. Old Five doesn't offer much in the way of next steps, so our Five has to make due with the few clues he has — and this includes that strange tattoo… which Five promptly cuts off of Old Five's body before leaving.

Back at the Obsidian, the other Umbrellas are dealing with a Harlan problem. The episode kicked off with a little recap of what happened to Harlan and Sissy after they left their farm in 1963, which mostly entails them having to move over and over again any time Harlan let his powers get out of control. That all changes on October 1, 1989, when Sissy dies in the hospital — Harlan lets out a wild energy wave in anguish, making everything around him explode. When Viktor gets Harlan alone, he learns more about what his life has been since they last saw each other. Harlan explains that he's connected to everyone with powers, he hears them inside his head — this explains the use of sounds on those tapes to calm himself — and the noise gets louder the closer they are. When Viktor let out that big wave during that first fight with the Sparrows? That's what drew Harlan to Viktor's location. 

But that connection has a real down side. Like, the worst down side. As suspected, it's no coincidence that Sissy died on October 1, 1989, the same day all of the Umbrellas' mothers died, too. In that moment after his mother dies, when Harlan is wildly out of control and exploding s—, that connection causes him to, well, explode the brains of those women who would be the Umbrellas' mothers. He killed the mothers, thus setting the Grandfather Paradox into motion. Viktor knows that his siblings will not take this news well. You can see it in his face that he fears what will come next.

The Umbrella Academy. (L to R) Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Javon 'Wanna' Walton as Stan in episode 304 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Javon 'Wanna' Walton as Stan
| Credit: Netflix

Turndown Service

  • Diego puts the two biggest pains in his ass — his son Stanley and brother Klaus — on cleaning duty after Stanley almost burnt down the hotel. The two get along well until they enter the White Buffalo Suite and Stan accidentally sets off a spear gun right into Klaus's chest, killing him. I know it seems wild that Klaus dying isn't the major news coming out of this episode, but we're not even halfway through the season, so I have a feeling Klaus will be just fine somehow.
  • Between that newspaper clipping showing us Reggie was there at the opening of the hotel, all of the Obsidian/Oblivion stuff, and the fact that he has a painting of a white buffalo over his mantle, it seems like dear old dad is going to have much more to do with the central mystery of this season than he's currently letting on.
  • I'm glad the show took a moment to let Allison talk about how hard it was to be a Black woman in the 1960s, and that she has that conversation with her only sibling who is also a person of color, Diego. She admits that she's just so angry about everything and that she doesn't know what to do with it all (she almost melted Sloane's brain by rumoring her too hard!). Diego helps in his own way: He brings her to a bar full of white supremacists so that they can beat up some racists. It's worked for him in the past!
  • After the big loss at the Obsidian, Ben, who has declared himself the Sparrows' new Number One, is spiraling. He has this insatiable need to be seen as a great leader and he just isn't. When Reginald hints at some secret plan, he latches on to it. When the Umbrellas return Sloane and the bodies of Jayme and Alphonso, he tells them that if they don't turn Harlan over, they'll pay a steep price. He's making all sorts of big, risky decisions!
  • Okay, Luther has annoyed me in the past, but his big speech to Sloane about how all he has is his family, who he would do anything for — except betray her? It's very sweet! I guess these two are really in love?

Episode 5: Kindest Cut

There's some real wish fulfillment happening for our Hargreeves siblings, but while some of those are things to celebrate, there are also several cases of "be careful what you wish for" here at the midpoint of the season. Should we kick things off with that Allison and Luther scene? It's one of the most gutting of the series and I'm not even on board with that 'ship! 

After Five and Lila return and let everyone know that there's a Kugelblitz and it's going to destroy the entire universe, everybody's pretty devastated. And also exhausted! This is their third apocalypse in a month! The best way to stop it would've been using a briefcase to travel back in time and stop whatever caused the paradox (which we now know was Harlan killing the Umbrella moms) before it happens. Without a briefcase though — the one Five and Lila hotwired to get to the Commission is now useless — that's a no-go. Plan B is to team up with the Sparrows and fight this thing together. Of course, the Sparrows won't play ball until the Umbrellas turn over Harlan. Viktor is not going to let that happen without a fight. All of this disagreement over what to do next really hits Allison hard. She's been non-stop drinking since learning that Claire doesn't exist and that bar brawl Diego took her to the night before helped relieve some tension, but not enough. She's hurting. Luther is the first sibling to really see how much, because of course he is.

She feels hopeless. Even if they do live to hop into another timeline, each timeline always seems to get worse and worse for her. She's tired of losing people. When Luther goes to hold her, she goes in for a kiss. At one point, that would've been his dream come true. But not anymore. When he backs off and explains that he's seeing Sloane, Allison's whole demeanor changes. He's yet another person she's lost. She rumors him to stay. She rumors him to "want" her. He starts kissing her and you can see him fighting it, but he can't stop. It goes bad, fast. Finally, Allison yells to stop and the "rumor" breaks. Luther is crushed that she would betray him by using her powers on him. It's gutting! 

Luther runs off to be with Sloane and Allison runs off and winds up finding the other sibling who knows her the best: Viktor. Like his brother, Viktor is getting something he wished for in years (and timelines) past, and yet finally getting it now doesn't feel so great: He's always wanted to be part of the Umbrella Academy team and now that he is, he's forced to make a tough call regarding Harlan. Viktor is still the only one who knows that Harlan killed 27 would-be mothers of kids with superpowers in 1989. Harlan explains that it was an awful accident born from his grief over his mother, his anger at Viktor for never returning to them as promised, and his inability to control his powers. Viktor feels guilty for burdening Harlan with this power and wants to figure out a way to get rid of it and then send him away, rather than turn him over to the Sparrows, who will definitely kill him. His siblings think the end — having a fighting shot against the Kugelblitz and saving the universe — justifies the means. 

Viktor makes a choice: He sneaks Harlan out of the hotel to buy him time. While he's doing it, he runs into Allison, who he begs not to tell the others. Allison says she'll get Harlan somewhere safe as long as Viktor is upfront with the rest of the group. Viktor is moved that Allison would support him like this. "You'd do it for me, right?" she says.

The rest of the group isn't so amenable. When Viktor tells them that he isn't letting them touch Harlan, all of their feelings can be summed up in Luther's response: "Congratulations, Viktor. You managed to destroy everything, again."

Hey, at least Diego gets a happy moment in this story, right? Diego's major emotional arc in this series has been tied to his Number Two-ness (we see the same thing happening with Sparrow Ben), his need to prove himself, and how desperately he hangs his worth on his father's approval. Remember that disastrous dinner in Dallas when Reginald tore Diego apart? Brutal. But with this Stanley storyline, we get the mirror image of all that. Here, Diego gets a chance to be a father and not only show his son playful affection, but also make sure Stanley knows that he'll always support him no matter what. Even when Stanley accidentally kills Diego's brother! It's a type of love that Diego never received and yet is still able to give to his own son. What a thing to see! Lila is certainly impressed, and the two lovebirds end up hooking up again despite trying to fight it since returning to 2019. They are so into each other, in fact, that they are completely oblivious to the fact that the wall in the White Buffalo Suite, where they're having sex, is a door that leads to some sort of glowing hallway. A mystery for another day, perhaps!

The Umbrella Academy. Pogo in episode 305 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Pogo in episode 305 of 'The Umbrella Academy'
| Credit: Netflix

Turndown Service

  • Understandably, Five is not doing well processing the fact that he just watched himself die. He admits to Klaus that he figured since he cheats time so much that the same would be true for death. "It turns out I die a one-armed nightmare inside a bureaucratic hellscape of my own making." That's bleak, dude!
  • Five's also puzzled by his older self's warning to not save the world when that's kind of been his whole deal. He shows Klaus the tattoo, his only clue as to what happens to him, and Klaus instantly recognizes part of it as the symbol of the Mothers of Agony biker gang. Five heads over to their HQ to meet whoever does tattoos there and who should he find giving the bikers' ink but… Pogo. He's a biker now!
  • See? Klaus is okay! He spends some more time back in that black and white afterlife situation we've seen him in (with God on a bike) and thanks to his dead mom and some important memories being replayed, Klaus realizes that he's sort of immortal? He's apparently died and come back to life 56 times.
  • Klaus's mother also helps him realize that his obsession with figuring out who murdered her is less about vengeance and more about looking for a purpose. The thing is: His powers and his family have always given him a purpose, he's just been too scared to face it. Everybody is learning and growing this season!
  • Okay but seriously, if someone cut off Klaus's head, would it grow two of him? Stanley's asking the real questions.

Episode 6: Marigold

Well, I'm not going to bury the lede here: By the end of this episode, Allison kills Harlan and delivers his body to the Sparrows. Let that sentence sink in! Tensions were rising while she was babysitting Harlan for Viktor and then things really got going once Viktor and Harlan made some initial attempts to transfer Harlan's powers back to Viktor. As Viktor's other siblings have wondered, Allison just doesn't understand the hold Harlan has over her brother — she can tell that something else is going on between the two. And her instinct is right. We know that Viktor is trying to keep the truth about Harlan killing their mothers and causing this paradox from his siblings, but the truth will out, babe! 

And it does. The process of transferring power ends up taking a toll on Viktor and Allison can't stand to watch it. At one point, she gets engulfed by the force field Viktor and Harlan create when they connect their powers, and it seems to amplify her own superpower: She screams at them to stop and it works without her ever having to say "I heard a rumor." So that's something interesting and fun that will probably come up later! Both Harlan and Viktor, however, don't want her interfering. Allison is the saddest girl, to be honest. She won't stand by and watch Viktor kill himself to help Harlan get rid of his powers for reasons he won't fully explain, but she also has nowhere else to go. So, she's around when the transfer of power finally does work, and she's there as Viktor is resting when Harlan makes the big mistake of thanking Allison for letting them do this even though he kind of, sort of killed the moms and caused the paradox. Allison has been looking for someone to blame for the loss of her daughter, and now she has one right in front of her. Is she angrier at Harlan for what he did, or at Viktor for keeping the truth from her? 

Next thing we know, she shows up solo in front of the Sparrow Academy with Harlan dead in her trunk, ready to make a deal to solve this whole Kugelblitz thing with Ben & Co. Wait until Viktor finds out.

Allison isn't the only one who will have to explain a few things to the rest of the siblings. Take Diego, for instance. He and Lila lose Stanley and follow a trail of Slim Jim wrappers into the weird hallway in the White Buffalo Suite. It leads to a room that looks exactly like the one they just left, except everything is backwards (no really, instead of the bust of the buffalo over the mantle, it's the buffalo's ass). They're in another version of the hotel, but it's emptier, way creepier, and they can't leave. And what do you think that hotel is named? It's the Hotel Oblivion. So, yes, Diego will have a lot to tell everyone, including the fact that when he rings the service bell a monster of some sort comes out, throws a weapon that chops off two of his fingers, and chases them until they are able to safely return to the room in the Obsidian. Oh, and he's also going to have to explain that, surprise, Stanley isn't actually his son, it was just a little test Lila was putting Diego through to see if he was a good dad. She borrowed Stanley from her friend, Trudy. On top of that exciting afternoon, Diego and Lila do find Stan hanging out back at the Obsidian… but then he almost immediately gets eradicated in the next Kugelblitz wave. Trudy will be so mad!

When Five finally returns to the hotel, he'll have something to share, too: He tracks down Biker Pogo at his trailer, explains a little bit more about who he is and tells him how the entire universe is at stake if they don't do anything. That's all Pogo needs to hear — he knows that "it's happened." And by "it" he means Reggie has put a plan of his back into action that had been sidelined in 2014 when the Sparrows started doping him up. Reginald called it "Project Oblivion." We get an illuminating flashback to 2014, when Pogo was still training the Sparrows, and learn that he and Reggie disagreed on not only how ruthless to be with the Sparrows, but on Reggie's plans to send them "to the other side" in what Pogo deemed a suicide mission. When Reggie fired Pogo, he left the teary-eyed Sparrow Hargreeves siblings with a box full of pills to keep themselves safe from their father. Now that Klaus has helped Reggie get off of those pills, he's clear-eyed and clearly working on some sort of plan (there are some knowing nods with Ben). 

Now that we've seen that nifty Hotel Obsidian/Oblivion trick, I think it's safe to say we've gotten a little glimpse of "the other side." Based on Diego's experience there, Pogo's right about it being dangerous. 

Five's time with Pogo doesn't end there. When Five shows him the skin flap with the tattoo from his older self (don't you just love that Five's walking around with this thing?), Pogo recognizes the symbols as a sigil Reggie had been obsessed with and believed to have magical powers. Aside from Five getting the tattoo to "close the loop," really all this visit with dear Pogo gives us is more questions than answers.

Turndown Service

  • And yet another Hargreeves with some explaining to do: Ben offers Luther a spot on the Sparrows. When Allison shows up to the Academy, she finds her brother standing there in a spiffy new Sparrows uniform. How dare he!
  • The conversation between Luther and Sparrow Ben about Umbrella Ben reveals more of what makes this new Ben tick. He can't wrap his head around why the Umbrellas miss their Ben so much. It's because he was the best of them, Luther says, and they loved him. Deep down, you know that's all this Ben really wants. 
  • When Luther talks about Ben's death, he refers to "the Jennifer Incident" but doesn't say much more. It's the most info we've ever gotten on how Ben died. 
  • Klaus pays his not-Dad another visit and this time asks if he can help him figure out what the deal with his powers is and why his actual dad let him die in a mausoleum when he was a kid. Reggie seems eager to help… by electrocuting him. This cannot end well for Klaus.

Episode 7: Auf Wiedersehen

You know, it's about time the Hargreeves siblings of all timelines had one big family meeting, isn't it? Everyone has come to the inevitable conclusion that the only way to stop the Kugelblitz, and therefore the end of the universe as we know it, is for the Umbrellas and Sparrows to find some way to work together. This is how all the remaining siblings — except for Klaus, who is sadly off in a different storyline with Reginald — end up in the Academy living room. It's also how everyone is present for the big Allison/Viktor confrontation that we knew was coming. 

Allison doesn't even hide that she killed Harlan. "I did what needed to be done," she says. Viktor has heartbreak written all over his face. Allison tells everyone about the secret Viktor has been keeping from them and lays into her brother about fighting harder to help Harlan than to figure out a way to bring Claire back. She also brings up the little fact that Viktor has almost destroyed the world twice, and killed Pogo by the way, and has never had to answer for it. When Viktor tries to point out that Allison didn't kill Harlan for altruistic reasons, but for personal ones, Allison throws it right back at him: Everything with Harlan is personal for Viktor. Then Allison ups the intensity level on this fight by using her upgraded powers and yelling at Viktor to shut his mouth — he begins to suffocate. "We should've left you in the basement," she whispers into his ear. By now all the other brothers are on their feet — this has crossed a line. Allison stops, Viktor runs off, and when Ben comments that the Umbrellas fight just like his siblings do, it's Diego who says "no, we don't fight like this." This is something new and deeply unsettling. He's such a softy underneath it all.

The problem is that Sloane has come up with a plan to contain the Kugelblitz (Sloane is super smart!) involving Viktor. Ben is the one who gets him to rejoin the group — he might do it in a dickish way, but come on, deep down, he cares — and they head to the basement. Sloane, Viktor, Lila, and Christopher are going to work together to shrink the Kugelblitz down and contain it inside Christopher. And it works! It prevents the next wave from happening, which is a good thing because at the moment, the city around them is burning to the ground. It couldn't take another wave. And so the two families celebrate their hard-earned victory: There is champagne! And dancing! Of course there's dancing, you know what show this is. And hey, Luther even has time to propose to Sloane using a precious little moon rock engagement ring he made. 

Now, with the pressure of the third apocalypse off his back, Five also has time to have a heart-to-heart with Viktor. Okay, so maybe it's less of a heart-to-heart and more of a threat dressed up as brotherly advice. He doesn't excuse Allison's actions, but he, the guy who slaughtered an entire boardroom of people in an attempt to get his family out of 1963, understands what drove her to it. He also wants Viktor to understand that there is a cost to having powers, and many times that cost is other people's lives. Viktor doesn't believe that way of thinking, he says — but that's exactly what worries Five. He tells him that because Viktor is so powerful, his decisions affect everyone, and he shouldn't be making them alone. Whether Viktor has good intentions or not, lying to the rest of them is not going to work for Five. He'll kill him if he ever does it again. "You know what they call a superhero who works alone and doesn't listen to anybody? A villain."

All the Hargreeveses might think they have this thing in the bag, but you didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you? We find Ben, Fei, and Christopher discussing next moves. Fei wants to murder the Umbrellas the next morning because Fei is gonna Fei, I guess (Just kidding, we know nothing about Fei, a character truly begging for a great backstory!!), but Ben says they aren't done with them yet. He has some sort of deal with Reginald. This infuriates Fei, who says that she and Christopher aren't taking his orders anymore, and then she clinks her champagne flute against Christopher. The vibration is too much with the Kugelblitz inside and Christopher explodes, killing Fei with him. The Kugelblitz sends out its deadliest wave yet as it begins to grow into an alarming size.

The Umbrella Academy. Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves in episode 307 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves
| Credit: Netflix

Turndown Service

  • So what's Klaus up to? Oh you know, his not-Dad is repeatedly having him killed to build up his reanimation skills. They have a nice little catch in the middle of the road where Klaus gets hit by buses and cars as he skims down the time it takes him to come back to life. Then, the real test: Reggie takes him back to the cemetery, where he has awful memories of what his actual dad did to him, and makes Klaus face the ghosts — he passes with flying colors. Let's hope all this training comes in handy soon.
  • The episode opens with a recap of what happened to Lila after the battle at the barn in 1963: After seeing her mother, the Handler, murder her on the infinite switchboard, she takes a deal from Herb and he drops her whenever she wants in the timeline. She chooses 1989 West Berlin right as the Berlin Wall falls, where she knows her mom stashed an emergency briefcase. Then she joins Trudy's band and meets Trudy's son Stanley, before bringing him to 2019 with her (he's very much on board with the trip).
  • Why did Lila use Stanley to trick Diego? Surprise! She's actually pregnant and was too scared to tell him (she has trust issues, naturally!). She wants them to be a family, since she never really had one. He needs to think about it.
  • When Lila was talking to Allison about her needing to find a focal point while she jumps through timelines, did anyone else immediately think about Desmond and Penny from Lost? Me too. Everyone needs a constant!
  • There's another mention of "the Jennifer Incident." Did you catch the name written on all those sketches in Ben's room? Jennifer. The mystery continues!
  • During the attempt to contain the Kugelblitz, Grace almost ruins the entire thing by coming into the basement, guns blazing, dressed as a nun — she is deep into her new, fiery god. While Diego, who we know has always felt close to his mom, tries to reason with her, Five blinks her out of there and kills her upstairs. Later, Viktor commends Five for taking that burden away from their brother. "It was nice of you to kill mom so Diego didn't have to." Five's response: "My god, we are a weird family, aren't we?"

Episode 8: Wedding at the End of the World

The Kugelblitz is growing and really all that's left in the universe is the Hotel Oblivion and the ten people (plus our concierge) inside of it. Some of those people are surprised that Five's big plan is no plan, but honestly, I get it. He reminds his siblings (and Ben, Sloane, and Lila) that all they've been doing is trying to save the world from the apocalypse and each time they do, they've only made it worse. Whatever they're doing is not working, so why not take the opposite approach and embrace the end times? It's bleak, but Five's last words to himself were "don't save the world," so he tells the group to get their affairs in order and live their best lives for the next 24 to 48 hours. 

With that in mind, Luther and Sloane announce not only their engagement, but their wedding, that night, in the ballroom. An Umbrella Academy wedding? That's the stuff dreams are made of. The only thing that could really rain on the parade is their dear old dad, who rolls in with Klaus and gives everyone crap for not working on a way to stop the apocalypse. He has some sort of big plan that he wants them to start training for, but no one wants to hear it. He's not even invited to the wedding. Klaus tries to explain to Reggie — who he has never felt closer to, by the way — that perhaps he should take a softer approach. 

Speaking of awkward non-invites: Luther has a bachelor party (thrown by Viktor, the best man, who looks so happy to get the job!) and all the guys are invited except for Ben. Ben tries to act above it, but his sister Sloane has his number: She knows he's more upset about being excluded from that than anything else that's happened because he wants to belong to something. He's all alone. He's even rejected by his dad, who is too busy with Klaus, and you know he wants his dad's approval more than anything (it's a Number Two thing). Plus, who wouldn't want to be invited to this karaoke party? A chance to sing "The Time of My Life" with the Hargreeves brothers, come on! 

Everyone arrives at the wedding dressed in the best duds they can find, Klaus officiates the ceremony — he is the Prophet, after all — and people start drinking and dancing and sharing feelings. It's not the most action-packed episode, but it does use a lot of the emotional arcs the season, and series, has been building to to its advantage. Diego has told Lila he's all in (he's one of the last to give up on saving the world because he wants a chance to have a family) and they are very in love, it's adorable. When Reggie finally shows up and tries to make nice with everyone — it includes poetry! — Lila gets Diego to talk to him and in a true surprise, Reggie actually compliments the guy. It's all he's ever wanted. Luther had asked Viktor to attempt to make amends with Allison before this is all over and so he does, but fails miserably. He wants forgiveness for betraying her, but she won't give it. When he says he forgives her for killing Harlan, she doesn't want it because she still doesn't think she did anything wrong. It gets intense again and Allison remains in a very bad way. Hey! Klaus even gets Ben to break down a wall or two, and if there's hope for that guy, there's hope for Allison. 

They end the night sitting outside together taking in the burning end-of-the-world sky. I spoke about long-held wishes coming true for the Hargreeves kids this season in an earlier episode, but here's another: All Luther has ever wanted was to be a part of a real family instead of some sort of weird experiment built by Reginald. Here at the end of the world, he finally gets that. He finally has "everybody coming together when it really matters." It's all very sweet, but also a little anxiety-inducing since TV is notorious for offing characters once they have a poignant moment of emotional growth, especially one that so effectively ties up a thread that's been present since the get-go. Is everyone going to make it out of this apocalypse alive? 

As much as I want to watch the whole family dance to The Rescues' dreamy cover of "Teenage Dream" for the rest of the season, this entire wedding has felt like a small respite before whatever insanity is yet to come. Perhaps that insanity will have something to do with the secret meeting Reginald was holding in his room that a super drunk Five happens upon. Of course, he's so drunk that he can't see who Reginald is telling that he can't do "this" without and shakes their hand to denote that they've made some sort of deal. It seems like Reginald is asking someone to go behind their siblings' backs — and I think we all know one member of the Hargreeves family who might just be desperate enough to do that at the moment.

Turndown Service

  • We finally get a direct look at Reginald's ties to the Hotel Obsidian. We see him in a field in 1918 with some funky, sci-fi equipment sending a flare into the sky where there is some sort of door to a different realm. He builds a hotel around it and eventually sends six military guys through the passage in the White Buffalo Suite, where they're all brutally killed by whatever lives over there.
  • I love that everyone agrees Reginald calling Luther "adequate" in his toast is the nicest thing he's ever said to his son. They're blown away!
  • I'm still laughing about Klaus calling his and Reggie's father/son catch "bus ball." 

Episode 9: Seven Bells

Aw, you didn't think Reginald Hargreeves had actually had a change of heart, had seen the errors in his ways, and really wanted to become a better, kinder father, did you? That's so cute. No, Reginald Hargreeves was always up to something and while Klaus fell for the guy's act fully and completely, Five always had a sneaking suspicion that even this new version of his dad wasn't being forthright. Five is right, and the consequences of no one else seeing it are dire.

Post-wedding, everyone is hungover as hell — we do not know exactly what Klaus and Ben got up to, but apparently there was enough bonding to make Ben immediately retreat back into his tough guy routine — but there are two people working hard to get everyone's minds back into Stopping the Apocalypse mode: Reginald and Allison. The show tries to tease out Allison making a deal with Reggie as some kind of mystery, but it's pretty obvious she's joined forces with dear old dad from the get-go. We still don't know exactly what deal she made, but surely it has something to do with getting her daughter back. The two of them eventually get everyone to gather for a quick family meeting about Reggie's plan to save the universe. Reginald spins a yarn about the myth of "the seven bells," stories and legends passed throughout time that are all versions of a story about a shaman bringing disciples to a sacred cave to ring seven bells and save the village from total annihilation. 

In this case, Reggie is the shaman, his children are the disciples, and the cave is whatever realm is on the other side of the White Buffalo Suite. He explains that the portal is a backdoor left by the creators of the universe as a way to fix things if the situation ever got… well, exactly like it is now. There's, of course, a Guardian to defeat in order to do it, but it is their only shot. Ben and Allison are immediately on board with going through the portal, Diego volunteers but only if Lila stays back (she refuses), but everyone else is pretty suspicious. Five thinks this is all some sort of trap. If only someone could take a second and realize how oddly coincidental it is that in both timelines, Reginald adopted seven children — the exact number of people he needs to go through the portal. Hmm, it's almost as if this whole thing was planned. 

Much to Reggie's (and Allison's) chagrin, the consensus is that they should take an hour to think about it and come back to vote on it. Now, you really know Allison is up to something when she finds Viktor and makes a big apology speech after being so adamant about not apologizing. She's trying to win him over. To remind him of family sticking together. She makes that same play when the group reconvenes. She reminds them of all the people — and mannequins — they've lost and how they at least need to try to make their deaths mean something. Again, she and Ben vote yes, Lila votes yes, which in turn makes Diego vote no (he doesn't want Lila risking her and the baby's lives), Klaus is very team dad, so he's in, but Viktor, Luther, Sloane, and Five all vote no. Ben wants to know why the four who voted yes can't just go in there and fight the Guardian (god, Ben wants to be daddy's favorite so badly), but Reginald is clear — there must be seven.

Everyone heads off to face the end of the world via Kugelblitz in their own way. Luther and Sloane are happy to spend their last hours in each other's arms, but then they need ice for their drinks, the ice machine on their floor is broken, and Luther walks by Reginald in the White Buffalo Suite. Luther can't help himself but check on his dad, who gives Luther this whole speech about how this is his own fault for being so unkind to his children in various timelines. It's very convincing, and Luther finally has the guts to have an honest conversation with him — telling him that for his entire life, up to this point really, he lived his life for his father. He did everything that was asked of him and he ended up being manipulated and used. He won't allow that anymore. Reginald calls him "remarkable" and asks for forgiveness. Luther buys the whole act long enough for Reggie to use one of his alien arms to slice right through Luther's chest. "The best way to bring a family together is at a wedding or a funeral. We tried the one, now it's time for the other." Once again, one last time, Reginald is using Luther. It's gutting. 

When everyone discovers Luther's body, Reggie tells a story about how it must have been the Guardian who killed him. His plan works: Just as the Kugelblitz is about to take the Hotel Obsidian and end the universe, everyone rallies together to run through the portal and get justice for Luther.

Unfortunately for Klaus, as he is about to join the group in the portal, Reginald pushes him to the ground and shuts the door. "You did a fine job bringing me back into the fold, but you're just more trouble than you're worth." Yet another son Reginald has used and discarded. Trapped at the end of the world, Klaus throws himself on the horn of the white buffalo, killing himself before he can get kugelblitzed. It seems like that quick thinking might be the key to everything.

Turndown Service

  • Could all of this Project Oblivion, sending-seven-superheroes-to-the-other-side-on-a-deadly-mission stuff have to do with Reggie keeping his dead alien wife Abigail encased in some sort of chamber on the moon? Probably.
  • Now that Five remembers seeing Allison make that deal with Reginald, what is he going to do about it?
  • Let us see the entirety of Five's apparently very moving wedding speech when he spoke about "a family bound by destiny and love!" The next morning, as everyone cheers for him when he makes his entrance, he tells them all it was "the booze talking. In the light of day, you're all still deplorable." The old man is getting soft with age!!

Episode 10: Oblivion

And so Reginald Hargreeves finally gets to put Project Oblivion into action. The group — sans Luther and Klaus — make it through the tunnel and take in the Hotel Oblivion scenery. Reggie once again spins a story about how Klaus didn't make it. You can see in Allison's face that even if she didn't know about Reggie's plans to kill off two of her brothers, she certainly feels guilty for pushing the company move to this other realm. 

Reggie informs everyone that the key to saving the world is finding the sigil, which is hidden somewhere in the hotel. If they can find the sigil, they can reset the universe. He splits people into groups and sends them off on separate adventures. Five and Viktor fight to get Allison on their team since they've figured out she made some sort of deal with Reggie and want to confront her. Diego and Lila head off to a different floor, reminding us not only of how in love they are, but just how much Diego wants this family of theirs to work. He's ready. Sloane is left to listen to Ben whine about how daddy doesn't appreciate him enough. While she's beside herself with grief over Luther, she still has time to remind Ben that their father is an ass and shouldn't define who he is. Ben can't shake the moody, scheming bad guy he's become. And that's when the hotel starts changing. Walls show up where they weren't before, people walk out of one room and onto another floor. It's trippy and does not bode well for the Hargreeves children.

But wait — there's another Hargreeves grouping we should talk about: Klaus and Luther. They're hanging out in the afterlife, munching on some pizza, until Luther remembers that his father is some kind of alien bug and murdered the hell out of him. They need to warn the others, Klaus needs to go back. Klaus is hesitant since, you know, "there's no pain in the void!" Luther pleads with him, then threatens him, and finally, Klaus agrees. 

His powers must be more powerful than even Reginald realized, because when Klaus shows up alive in the Hotel Oblivion, Reggie is shocked that he could resurrect himself into this other realm. He knocks Klaus out before he can interrupt his plans, but not before giving us more clues to what is really going on here: "Everyone is in position. The battle is about to begin. I am one bell ring away from my prize!" So Five's instinct about Reginald withholding information and this being something more self-serving rather than him wanting to save the world was dead on. Reginald is after some sort of "prize" that he has been training his kids for their entire lives to be able to get. It's a bad look!

And then Reginald rings that bell. We've seen what happens next before — the lethal Guardians arrive. By now there's been so much shifting within the hotel that Allison and Viktor are left to face one Guardian on their own — in the melee of it all, Allison confesses to Viktor that she did make a deal with Reginald, but says she did it for all of them and to trust her — but eventually, they're split up. Viktor ends up running into Lila, who Diego locked in a closet in an attempt to keep her safe (they have a very emotional good-bye through a door!!), and the two of them use Viktor's power to kill the Guardian they come across. Five, Sloane, and a reluctant Ben come together to kill a second one. Everyone winds up back in the lobby, where Klaus is waiting to tell them what their father did to Luther (and to him), and they all finally confront Reginald. 

Before Reginald can really answer as to whether he simply brought them all there to die, the third and final Guardian that's been wandering around shows up, chops Five's arm off (as was foretold by his 100-year-old self), and then starts in on everyone else. Sloane finally slows him down, but just as it looks as if she can't hold him off anymore, Luther, powered by Klaus, appears and saves her ("Nobody hurts my wife, you son of a bitch!"). Since Klaus is dying again, he can't hold Luther in the world of the living for too long, but he does get the chance to confront his father one last time about wasting his life up on the moon, to which Reginald mysteriously responds, "I left you to guard the most precious thing in the universe." As Luther fades away, he and Sloane get the goodbye they weren't afforded before. "I will love you forever," he tells her. You'd think there'd be too many cockroaches crawling out of monster Guardian bodies for me to be able to tear up, but you'd be wrong.

Five realizes that the sigil is hidden in a pattern of seven stars on the floor of the lobby. Reginald orders each one of them to take a spot on the stars — it's the only way to stop the final Guardian. Curiously, he orders Allison to make sure she stays off of the stars. This is where her deal is coming into play. As soon as the other seven take their spots, their life energy, and those sparkly particles that gave them their powers, begin to get sucked out of their bodies. It's killing them. The hotel fades away and they're left standing in some giant, glowing machine. Reginald runs for a section of the room and begins putting in formulas and pressing buttons, all while his "children" are standing there dying. Allison begs him to stop, but he explains that he can't — the hotel was a facade for this machine made by whoever created the universe. Their bodies fuel the machine. This is the only way for them to get what they came for, and what Allison wanted comes with a price. Everything does. She tries using her powers to stop Reginald as she watches in horror while her siblings scream out in pain, but it doesn't work. Finally, she grabs the Guardian's scythe and slices Reginald's head in half — his alien goo comes spilling out! — and while whatever was sucking the life from the others stops, Allison can't resist pressing the final button. Viktor is the only one who can stop her — because who knows what Reginald was hoping it would do — but Allison asks him to trust her one last time. And he does. And she pushes the button. And everything goes black.

We immediately find Allison back at her house in California. It's another rainy night, but this time she finds Claire in her bed where she's supposed to be. And then she finds Ray there too. How is this possible? The rest of the gang get off the hotel elevator and it opens up into a garden. The world is back. The universe has been reset. Sloane is missing, but you know who is alive and well and no longer part ape? Luther. He's alive now. Five's arm and Diego's fingers are all back. And maybe most alarmingly: All of their powers are gone. They have no time to dive into what that means. Luther runs off to look for Sloane. Klaus follows Luther, since someone who has just come back to life for the first time really shouldn't be left alone. Diego and Lila walk away to go start living their lives together. A whiny Ben stomps off. Five is more confused than ever and walks off, seemingly to go figure a few things out. That leaves Viktor standing alone, cursing the bust of Reginald Hargreeves that sits in the middle of that garden with a plaque that reads "Obsidian Memorial Park" and "October 1, 1989." The camera begins to pan up to give us a better look at the city, now littered with buildings that carry the Hargreeves name. Finally, we see Reginald standing above it all with his now-alive wife Abigail at his side. What did this guy do now?

Turndown Service

  • We get a mid-credits scene in which we see a lighter, happier Ben reading a book on the subway in Seoul — right back to where this whole season began. 
  • Don't get me wrong, I'd never wish harm on one of my Hargreeves babies, but having Luther return to the realm of the living erases the high stakes of the choice to kill him off, thus removing some of the emotional heft from his death scene and goodbye with Sloane. Those two moments were gut-wrenching… and now, maybe not so much?
  • Why did Five need the sigil tattoo at all? Just to learn what it is? Seems like a real roundabout way to do that. 

And that's season 3! Stick around EW for plenty of more coverage on the latest season. The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix.

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