Emmy Raver-Lampman Explains That Batsh*t Umbrella Academy Finale Cliffhanger

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Umbrella Academy season 1 finale, “The White Violin.”
Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is an unapologetically wild show. Over its 10-episode first season, it throws uber-intelligent, glasses-wearing primates and time-traveling frustrated assassins at us in between raves and vaguely incestuous tension and so much family trauma. However, the season 1 finale, “The White Violin,” is shockingly straightforward. Seventh Hargreeves sibling Vanya (Ellen Page) — formerly believed to be the “ordinary” one — is revealed to be a supervillain in the making. Her power, “the ability to harness energy” when a “certain chord is struck,” as co-star Emmy Raver-Lampman explains to Refinery29, is so great, it is destined to unleash the apocalypse. So Vanya’s six superpowered siblings try to stop her.
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Unfortunately, they fail, which makes sense. As many people say over season 1, this apocalypse is inevitable. What wasn’t inevitable is the finale’s “ultimate cliffhanger,” as Raver-Lampman calls it, where Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) uses his time traveling powers to help the entire Umbrella Academy jump to any time but their present one. As the group prepares to leave the current apocalypse behind, the Umbrelladults turn back to their tween selves, as Five did during his premiere episode time jump.
The final seconds of the episode show us the kid Umbrella Academy traveling to the great unknown. We’re left wondering what the hell will happen next if Netflix does order Umbrella Academy season 2. Thankfully, Raver-Lampman is here to tell us, and she sounds excited.
“We all read it and were like, ‘Oh! This is like, if you need a better excuse to go to a season 2, I don’t know what it could possibly be,’” she explains of her television family. “‘Where have they gone? When have they gone?’”
It’s no surprise the Hamilton alum and her TV siblings were asking the same questions fans likely have, as showrunner Steve Blackman kept “White Violin’s” finale surprise from them as well. For nearly three weeks of finale filming, the cast’s script ended with Raver-Lampman’s rumor-powered Allison shooting Vanya. Then, when it came time to film the apocalypse, everything changed. “They gave us the pages and were like, ‘This is where we’re at. We have this crazy idea that we’ll bring the kids back in,” Raver-Lampman recalls of the dumbfounding moment. “We were all like, ‘What are we... How is this gonna…. What’s gonna happen?’”
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While the Netflix star doesn’t know exactly what will happen next, she does have some ideas on what the appearance of the Umbrella Academy’s youthful selves actually means. “It’s touching on the fact they’re not going to zap to another location in the current time. They have the ability to then maybe go anywhere in time,” she explains. That last-ditch signal makes sense since, as the final seconds of “White Violin” tick down, blazing chunks of the moon fall to Earth, setting the entire world aflame. It is highly suggested nowhere is safe in that time.
But, the Umbrella Academy members are safe together after a season of trying “to find the place they came from and the time where their lives were better — where their lives were good,” as Raver-Lampman says. The superpowered siblings close the season in the most literal physical embodiment of that era. “They have now found some odd common ground and are like, ‘Yeah, maybe we are better together,’” Allison’s portrayer adds.
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Now one question remains: “Are they all going to end up like Five? In the first episode [of season 2], are we going to realize they all jumped forward into the future, and they’re back in their childhood form?,” Raver-Lampman asks. Although the Umbrella Academy writers have kept mum about their plans, showrunner Blackman has assured the Broadway alum she will be back to using her voice if Netflix renews their show. Remember, Allison ends the season with slashed vocal cords (a gruesome Vanya incident in the eighth episode is to blame).
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“He’s still apologizing for it,” Raver-Lampman jokes about the Blackman-orchestrated “I Heard A Rumor” catastrophe. “And is like, ‘You know, second season, I promise you’re going to be talking. If we get one.’” So, that means no matter what happens, the Umbrella kids are bound to return to their adult bodies.
We can also hope Vanya returns to her non-supervillain self. As we learn throughout Umbrella Academy season 1, many of the problem around No. 7's extreme powers stem from the fear-based way her father Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) dealt with his children. If he had helped Vanya — rather than lock her in a torture chamber, drug her for a lifetime, and manipulate Allison into rumoring them “away” — no one would be in this end-of-days mess in the first place. Now that the Hargreeves siblings are “all on the same page” for the first time in a decade, as Raver-Lampman says, they might be able to heal the sins of their father.
“It’s a matter of trying to help Vanya find the joy and the understanding of the ability she has,” she continues. “That it isn’t a bad thing — it’s an amazing thing … I think that would be a fun project for [the siblings] to all band together to help their sister who is desperately in need.”
So can the Umbrella Academy save Vanya — in whatever form they happen to be in — with a prospective season 2? “I hope so,” Raver-Lampman sighs. “Because if they don’t have hope I don’t know what we’re doing.”
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