Sure, you can quickly identify all of the Hargreeves siblings and their corresponding numbers, but what about all the new characters circling them? The Umbrella Academy season 2 greatly expands the world of the show, not just taking everyone to a brand new destination and year — Dallas in the 1960s — but also gives us a brand new roster of new friends and enemies that Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Five (Aidan Gallagher), Vanya (Ellen Page), and Ben (Justin H. Min) have to keep track of.
When the action picks up in season 2, some of the siblings have been in Dallas for three years already, some of them barely a week, and in Five’s case, about three minutes. With this in mind, it only makes sense that those who have been there longer, namely Luther and Allison, have started brand new lives with newfound families. Diego finds himself locked up and making friends as he goes. As for Klaus... well, he’s got an entire cult following him, but that’s a story for another time.
As you dive into season 2 the brand new faces might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry! You have to care about all of them! Luckily, we're going to help you keep all these new faces straight — and explain why they'll matter in the long run.
AJ The Fish
There’s a new person in charge at The Commission and he’s… well, there’s no other way to say this: He’s actually a fish. Following The Handler’s (Kate Walsh) death at the end of season 1, AJ has moved into the top spot as the new Handler — and unlike the unnamed Handler, he actually has a name, which is of course AJ. AJ seems like a perfectly pleasant guy — er, fish — who is running The Commission without much incident when The Handler shows up to reclaim her title. As far as antagonists for our antagonist goes, don’t sweat learning AJ’s backstory too much, other than the fact that he’s a fish atop a robot body. This character is actually pulled right from the page, and in the Umbrella Academy comics, the fish is actually named Carmichael. In this version, Carmichael is AJ's last name.
Lila (Ritu Arya) might seem like someone just tagging along with Diego after he breaks out of the mental facility, but play close attention to her because she’s so, so much more than just a sidekick. You should immediately realize that something is kinda off with Lila, especially considering the punches she throws while taking down some security guards in episode 1 (she cryptically tells Diego she learned to punch like that from her mother). By episode 3 we know that she’s actually got a connection to The (totally not-dead) Handler which, surprisingly, makes her both an ally and friend to the Umbrella Academy siblings.
Sissy & Harlan (& Fine, Carl Too)
The first person that Vanya meets in 1963 is the woman who accidentally hits her with her car. With no memory of her past life, Vanya is taken in by that same woman, Sissy (Marin Ireland), and her family. Said family also includes a sleazy salesman and shitty husband, Carl (Stephen Bogaert), and a young son, Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly). Carl is a jerk, constantly objectifying his wife, telling her what to do, getting absolutely blasted, and talking down to Vanya.
As for Harlan, he is speech impaired and hasn’t uttered a word as far as we know (it’s implied that he is on the autism spectrum, though never outright said). After Vanya rescues Harlan from an accident, she develops an even deeper bond with the young boy. I won't spoil how or why, but Harlan like, genuinely connects with her. However, that’s not the only connection Vanya forms with the family, as she and Sissy slowly come to realize they have feelings for one another.
The Swedes aka The Blonde Milkmen
On top of all the other bad guys in season 2, The Umbrella Academy unleashes a trio of brothers to cause mayhem. The Swedes — Oscar, Axel, and Otto (Tom Sinclair, Kris Holden-Ried, and Jason Bryden) — have been dispatched by The Commission to track down and kill the Hargreeves children and anyone who gets in their way. After stealing a milkman truck they use that to drive around Dallas, they commandeer a house filled with cats and stick the owner's head in a freezer. But for being skilled, highly trained assassins, they’re only like so-so at their job most of the time. Additionally, they rarely speak, barely even grunt, but they sure care a whole lot about one another.
When we first meet Ray Chestnut (Yusuf Gatewood), he and Allison have been married for roughly a year. The couple met at the beauty salon where Allison because it's the spot Ray uses as a meeting place for his civil rights group. In true Allison form, she secretly edited one of his pamphlets, and it turned out Ray had secretly taken a liking to her. When we find them in 1963, they are leading a happy newlywed life, but it quickly becomes apparent that Allison has not told Ray about her past or her powers, let alone her family. All he knows is that she’s got some family “up north” somewhere, but because it’s hard to keep secrets hidden forever, Ray eventually witnesses Allison’s power to “rumor” people and it causes some serious issues for their relationship — and Ray's movement.
While he may not be found in any of the official stills from this season, Jack Ruby is a real person, which gives him some importance in season 2. Needing work, Luther takes a job with club owner Jack Ruby (John Kapelos) and if that name rings a bell, it’s because he’s the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald after Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy. Luther fully knows this part of history, but is turning a blind eye to Ruby’s work ethics, since he needs the money.