Picking up mere seconds after the end of the first season, The Umbrella Academy has done it again: Our seven misfit super-siblings caused yet another apocalypse. They're two for two! You might be asking yourself, how did they get here again? How did they not learn their lesson the first time? What is with these siblings and the apocalypse? Why can't these literal superheroes keep it together long enough to save the day? Some of these questions have answers in season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. Some.
Since we’re jumping right into the chaos with the Hargreeves family, there are a few things you need to remember in case it's been a while since you binge-watched season 1. For starters, these heroes only know how to work solo; put them all together and they get dysfunctional. That's because they were all adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who raised them to be a team of superhero kids. They were referred to only by designated numbers for their entire childhood, and fought together until a tragedy ripped them apart. After Reginald's death, they were brought back together to stop the apocalypse. In season 2 it becomes clear that plan didn't take.
Luther (Tom Hopper), Number One, has super strength and spent the last few years hanging out on the moon. After an accident that almost killed him, Reginald turned him into a half-ape man. Diego (David Castañeda), Number Two, can curve the trajectory of objects around him, and usually uses this to throw knives — he’s also got some intense daddy and mommy issues. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is Number Three and with the power of suggestion can convince anyone to do anything by simply saying “I heard a rumor.” Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is Number Four and has the ability to communicate with the dead, a skill that’s often hampered by his drug and alcohol abuse. Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) can jump through space and time. As a kid he accidentally jumped to 2019, living to age 60 before jumping back in time as his 13-year old self. Ben (Justin H. Min) is Number Six and he's got literal tentacles, but the most important thing to know about Ben is he died in 2006 and is now a ghost — Klaus is the only sibling who he can speak to. Vanya (Ellen Page) is Number Seven and grew up believing she didn’t have powers. Turns out Vanya's actually the most powerful of all: She can manipulate sound waves to cause massive destruction.
That, of course, leads us to the first apocalypse. Reginald suppressed Vanya’s powers her entire life, which renders her unable to control them once they’re finally unleashed. Though her other siblings manage to stop Vanya from causing massive destruction first-hand, they indirectly bring about the apocalypse anyway. When they try to stop her, Vanya accidentally blasts the moon (naturally), and a giant meteor begins hurtling towards earth. Five time-hops his siblings back in time, hoping to stop this mess before it happens. The last scene of season 1 is this ill-fated jump. We don’t know where — or when — they’re going to end up, until the first moments of season 2...
Episode 1: “Right Back Where We Started”
The opening of season 2 gives us a recap of what’s just happened, reminding us that the only six people to survive the apocalypse in 2019 are the same people who caused it: Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, and Vanya. This narrator isn’t messing around.
Thankfully, Five’s last-ditch suggestion to jump through time is successful. Sort of. He accidentally scatters his siblings across three different years, spanning from 1960 to 1963. Not only has he sent everyone back half a century, but he’s also sent them to Dallas, Texas. Whoops.
The first to arrive are Klaus and Ben, who find themselves dropped into 1960 on a very sunny day. They, however, don’t know this yet as they wander out onto one of the main roads in Dallas to investigate. After picking up a magazine with the date, they both have the same conclusion, “shit.”
What follows next is undoubtedly the greatest montage of Umbrella Academy season 2, as one by one, the rest of the siblings arrive set to Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started,” which also happens to be the name of the episode. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Allison — who, don’t forget, had her throat slashed by Vanya at the end of season 1 and hasn’t fully regained the ability to speak yet — arrives at night in 1961, and quickly realizes that Dallas is unwelcoming to her as she stumbles into a diner that proclaims “whites only.”
Luther is dropped into a rainy day in 1962 where he immediately begins screaming for Allison.
Diego arrives on the very specific date of September 1, 1963, also in a rainstorm. He wanderers to a TV store nearby to see President Kennedy give his “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” speech. The wheels in his head are already spinning so yes, let’s just go ahead and spoil this now: Diego is 100 percent going to try and stop JFK’s assassination.
Vanya arrives on October 12, 1963, still clad in her monochrome White Violin getup. Frantically, she runs into the street and is immediately hit by a car.
As for Five, he arrives on November 25, 1963 — right in the middle of the apocalypse. Stumbling out into the street he finds a newspaper that reads “Soviets attack U.S.” and realizes that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. (As far as I know, there was not a Soviet-attack-induced apocalypse in 1963.) “What the hell did we do now?” he wonders, and, well, cue his siblings.
Though they might have previously been scattered across Dallas, over the last three years — on this timeline — they’ve come together to fight as one. Vanya, using her power, stops a nuke from exploding; Klaus commands an army of ghosts to attack a group of Soviet soldiers; Luther stops a blast with his bare back; Ghost Ben unleashes his tentacles; Allison rumors some soldier’s brains to literally explode; and Diego is able to take down half a dozen troops with a simple spin through the air. Seeing Five, Diego asks where he’s been, but before he has time to answer, Hazel (Cameron Britton) shows up. Remember Hazel? He was a bad guy turned good guy in season 1, and he’s clearly aged since the last time we saw him.
“If you want to live, come with me,” Hazel tells Five, and the two zap away as a giant nuclear explosion appears in the distance, wiping out everyone else. Honestly, this is a typical day for the Umbrella Academy.
Hazel and Five jump back 10 days earlier to November 15, 1963. Five comments that he’s no history buff, but he knows that there wasn’t a nuclear holocaust in 1963. This is true, as Hazel explains that he’s here simply to warn Five of what will happen in a week and a half from now if the current timeline stays on this trajectory. He gives Five his time-traveling briefcase and slips something into his pocket.
There’s no time for small talk as a group of unknown men, all with bleach-blonde hair, show up and kill Hazel on the street. (I hope you weren’t looking forward to Hazel being a big part of season 2, because he is not. Bye, Hazel). In the chaos, Hazel’s briefcase is destroyed, rendering it useless to Five. But now at least Five knows what’s going on. He’s got 10 days to find his siblings and stop the end of the world. Again.
When the Hargreeves siblings showed up in the 1960s, they all did so in the same alleyway, and Five stumbles back there. Noticing a camera up on the roof of a nearby building, he heads inside to poke around. He meets a man named Elliot (Kevin Rankin) who might as well be wearing a giant tinfoil hat. Elliot is obsessed with all things weird and unexplained, and Five convinces him that he’s an alien who needs help. Also, it turns out that Elliot has been tracking the Hargreeves siblings and has photos of everyone showing up over the last three years. Convenient!
According to Elliot, all the siblings have come back to the alley over the last few years, hoping to find the others, but no one ever has. Five realizes that his brothers and sisters are already in Dallas, and he’s just got to find them. His first lead is a newspaper clipping showing that Diego was arrested not that long ago.
The last two months of 1963 have not been kind to Diego. He’s in a mental facility because he keeps talking about how the president is going to be assassinated — which, you know, in early November 1963 sounds crazy. In a group circle, he’s less than enthusiastic to cooperate after he’s asked about his daddy issues, and once again tries to stress the fact that the president is going to be killed and he’s the only one who can stop it. During arts and crafts time, he’s approached by another patient, Lila (Ritu Arya), who tells him that she knows he’s planning an escape. She wants to come along, too.
Before they can talk more, Diego is pulled out to talk to Five. Five asks if he knows where the others are, and Diego has no idea. But Diego does know where Lee Harvey Oswald is, because that’s why he’s in the facility to begin with — he’s trying to get to Oswald before Oswald gets to JFK, naturally. But they don’t have time to talk about this future assassination, because Five warns Diego that another apocalypse is coming which doesn’t go over well. Eventually, Diego agrees to help... but only after he’s saved Kennedy. Diego’s hero complex has gone from zero to 60 so fast and sure, saving Kennedy seems like a good idea but also, maybe take it one step at a time, buddy.
Off on an idyllic farm somewhere outside of Dallas, we find Vanya in 1963. The woman who hit her when she first arrived, Sissy (Marin Ireland), has taken her in because Vanya has no memories whatsoever. She knows her name is Vanya and that’s about it. Vanya isn’t too troubled by this, as she spends her days looking after Sissy’s son, Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly), who is speaking impaired. This would actually be a pretty nice, new life for Vanya if it weren’t for Sissy’s sexist, drunkard husband, Carl (Stephen Bogaert), who clearly feels Vanya has overstayed her welcome.
If you’re wondering what Klaus and Ben are up to, they’re coming back to Dallas from San Francisco and having some car trouble — but why were they in San Francisco in the first place? There’s no time for that explanation now. Ben’s upset about leaving San Francisco, and makes references to how “they” need Klaus back there and how Ben has “unfinished business” he wants to see through. Klaus is quick to point out that Ben is his “ghost bitch” and they’re going wherever he says they’re going.
Abandoning the car, the two make their way to a bar along the road where Klaus steals a truck. He tries to “summon” Ben to fight off the men in the bar, but it’s clear that over these last three years Ben has become less than enthusiastic about Klaus’ behavior. Eventually, the police catch up with the stolen car, arresting Klaus. (But not Ben, obviously, because you can’t arrest a ghost.)
Allison is thankfully doing a lot better, having made a life for herself with a man named Raymond Chestnut (Yusuf Gatewood), and now she’s Mrs. Chestnut. She and her husband are very involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and are eagerly anticipating Kennedy’s visit to Dallas in the coming weeks (though Allison is quick to point out that Ray shouldn’t get his hopes up about Kennedy). They, along with a group of other Black activists in Dallas, have decided to plan a sit-in the days before Kennedy shows up in hopes of drawing attention to the movement. While discussing these plans at the beauty parlor where Allison works, a nosey passerby sticks his head into the shop and wonders what they’re doing. Though the man leaves peacefully, he and Allison do get into a little scuffle and he warns the group not to step out of line.
But that’s neither here nor there now, as Ray’s got an early anniversary gift for Allison, a copy of From the Earth to the Moon. Ray explains that he sees Allison staring at the moon every night, and well, that’s because she’s just trying to be as close to Luther as possible.
As for Luther, he’s got himself a job as hired muscle for Jack Ruby (John Kapelos). If that name sounds familiar, I’ll save you the trouble of googling him right now: Ruby is the man who kills Lee Harvey Oswald after Oswald kills Kennedy. Right now, though, Ruby owns a nightclub (this is true, he really did own a nightclub), and Luther works as a bouncer and a fighter for him.
Back at the mental facility, Diego is finally going through with his escape attempt and he literally chooses the absolutely worst time to do it. On his way out of the facility he runs into Lila, who wants in on the escape, and they start their attempted departure. But, remember the Swedes who killed Hazel at the beginning of the episode? Well, now they’re here looking for Diego and will stop at nothing to kill him.
While running through a tunnel under the facility, Diego and Lila are stopped by officers and before Diego can spring into action himself, Lila has taken them down. Diego asks where she learned how to do that, and Lila responds, “my mother.”
Let’s head over to Ruby’s club, though, where Five finds Luther. Ah yes, the team is getting back together again! However, not so fast, because when Five warns Luther about the second upcoming apocalypse, Luther couldn’t care less.
The New Number One:
An ongoing thing for the Hargreeves children is that they are constantly bickering about their number order — sure, Luther is “Number One” but he doesn’t always act like the group’s number one, and it’s a point of contention. So you know what? I’m now in charge of picking the new Number One for the siblings, and for Episode 1, I have decided the honor of Number One goes to Five.
Yes, Five is the reason they’re now all stuck in the 1960s, but he’s also the only one who is trying to do something about it. He’s got the most information and the drive to reunite his siblings, and it’s clear he’s going to go to great lengths to do so. Also, I want to talk about how for most of the episode he’s wearing bowling shoes, since towards the end of season 1 the Hargreeves end up at a bowling alley, and clearly there was no time to swap out for more comfortable footwear.
Episode 2: "The Frankel Footage"
Before we get back to the Hargreeves siblings, want to check in with the The Handler (Kate Walsh), who died last season? Because surprise, she’s not so dead anymore! Hazel shot her in the head, but thanks to a plate in her head, she survived the bullet. After surgery, she waltzes back into The Commission only to learn that she’s been booted from her top spot. She was dead, after all.
The new guy in charge is actually, a, uh, fish? His name is AJ and he’s got a human body but where his head should be, there's a fish tank with a big goldfish swimming around in it. Just go with it.
The Handler learns that she’s been demoted by AJ and she tries to fight it. But AJ isn’t budging, rattling off a bunch of things she’s done wrong in the past including a reference to a “743 incident.” This doesn’t mean anything right now, but trust me, the foreshadowing is great.
So things are off to the usual Hargreeves family start: No one is working together, those who are on speaking terms are mad at one another, and also the world’s going to end in about a week. Same old, same old.
Five is still trying to convince Luther that they have to stop the apocalypse, but it’s going nowhere. Luther is clearly pissed that they’re trapped in the 1960s, but also doesn’t care enough to try and help Five fix it. However, now’s not the time to get into it, as Luther has to take care of someone bothering his boss, Jack Ruby (who happens to be Carl, Sissy’s husband). Luther brings him outside and then realizes that Carl left his wallet behind at the bar. Heading back outside to try and find him, he’s shocked to see Vanya picking Carl up.
Let’s not forget that Vanya still doesn’t have any memories, so even though Luther’s standing right in front of her, she doesn’t recognize him.
Considering he’s a minor in the eyes of literally everyone else, Five leaves Ruby’s club, and on the way out realizes that there’s something in his pocket. He pulls out a reel of film, the same one that Hazel dropped into his blazer just seconds before he died. Elliot just so happens to have a space to develop film, and Five hands the footage over to him.
Running through the streets of Dallas, dodging behind buildings and cars, Diego and Lila steal some clothing to try and blend in a little bit more. Diego’s ready to ditch Lila, telling her that he works better alone, but she’s not about to let him go that easy. Making a case that she’s helped him every step of the way so far, the two steal a car and hit the road.
At home, Allison and Ray are cuddled up on the couch when there’s a bang on the door. Two police officers shove their way inside and arrest Ray, claiming that he beat a man on the street the night before — the man that Allison actually fought. Allison has to watch as her husband is taken away in handcuffs and starts to say, “I heard a rumor,” but she doesn’t go through with it.
Across the street from this, the Swedes — remember them? Because they’re going to pop up a lot! — watch this happen with their guns at the ready.
Over at the police station the next day, Diego is explaining a plan to Lila: They’re going to cut off Lee Harvey Oswald’s trigger finger, and then demand that he leaves Dallas in the next 24 hours. Lila is more than happy to point out this is a stupid plan, and before they can keep arguing about this, Five appears in the backseat.
Meanwhile, inside, Klaus is locked up in jail. He’s minding his own business when another detainee is brought inside and this new guy immediately recognizes Klaus. Bowing before him, this guy explains that he’s given up his life to follow Klaus’ teachings and is wondering if he could get some more sage words of wisdom. Klaus has just the mantra for him: Don’t go chasing waterfalls, stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.
Frustrated by this, Klaus moves to the other side of his cell and strikes up a conversation with Ray, who’s on the other side of the bars. The two start comparing Shakespeare quotes, when Klaus is released thanks to a call from the governor. Allison later comes to visit Ray (just missing Klaus by a few seconds) and promises to get him out. They both know they’re going to be fine, but Ray can’t help but wonder, what was Allison talking about when she said “I heard a rumor”?
Allison manages to dodge the question and on her way out notices someone in the cell with “HELLO” and “GOODBYE” written on their hands. Ah yes, the clear sign that Klaus Was Here.
And where is Klaus now? Staggering back to a giant, deserted mansion where a picture of him as a prophet adorns the wall.
Five brings Diego and Lila back to meet Elliot, who is freaked out by what he saw on the footage he developed for Five. He greets them armed with a rifle, demanding immediate answers. The group first ties up Elliot (Lila kindly paints his toenails green) before watching the film reel from Hazel.
It’s footage from a week in the future, showing a couple at Kennedy’s parade through Dallas. Five explains to Diego that Hazel died to get him this footage, but upon closer inspection, they’re troubled by a face they see in the crowd: Their dad, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, is standing on the grassy knoll.
Diego, still hellbent on stopping Kennedy’s assassination, wants to spring into action right now. Five wants to deal with this rationally. The brothers eventually decide to track their father down, and low and behold his umbrella company has a location in Dallas, too! Conveniently, Reginald is in the phone book and the boys are off to see him.
However, before they do, Diego checks in on Lila, who’s a little freaked out by the current situation. She’s hiding in one of the closets in Elliot’s place and explains to Diego she ended up in the mental facility because she started imagining things. Are her visions happening again? She’s not so sure anymore, but Diego reassures her that everything’s going to be okay.
Over at Sissy’s farm, Luther rolls up in his car to deliver Carl’s missing wallet... and maybe have a talk with Vanya, too. He’s got a gun in his front seat and follows Vanya into the barn while she’s playing a game of hide and seek with Harlan. Their meeting does not go well. Luther is completely freaked out to see his sister, and Vanya is overjoyed that someone just knows who she is — she thinks maybe Luther saw one of her ads in the paper calling her a “missing person.”
Luther wants her to cut the bullshit, and Vanya explains that she was in an accident and can’t remember anything. She starts apologizing to him for hurting him in the past (she’s not even sure what she did, but she can sense she did something), but Luther starts apologizing to her. “What did you do to me?” Vanya asks, and Luther explains that he let her down.
Sissy, though, is less than thrilled to find a giant man in her barn with a gun and shows up with her own rifle. Trying to diffuse the situation, Luther hands over Carl’s wallet and leaves without another word to Vanya.
This season’s troublesome blonde brother have a name now: The Swedes. They have now moved into a house full of cats. While they might not talk much, these three are quite scary. Their overarching mission is unclear at the time, but they are somehow associated with The Commission, and are clearly tracking down the Hargreeves siblings. Suddenly, a message in one of those telltale golden tubes shows up, and they're sent after Vanya.
Vanya is still shaken by her meeting with Luther, but Sissy assures her that it’s nothing. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person to associate with men like that. This reassurance doesn’t stop Vanya from having dreams about what happened in her past, like how she brought about the destruction of the world and all. Unable to sleep, she drives away in Sissy’s car.
Five and Diego show up at Reginald's umbrella company and break into the building, immediately splitting up. Five heads down one corridor, stumbling upon empty room after room that’s been staged to look like a happy family lives there. It’s very reminiscent of those old homes that used to be built for nuclear weapons tests in the 1960s. He eventually comes across a classroom setting, where he hears a rattling in the corner of the room and discovers a chimpanzee. Yes, this is the beloved Pogo as a baby.
Realizing who it is, Five tries to approach the younger Pogo to talk to him, and it almost looks like it’s going to work. And then Pogo freaks out, slashes Five’s ear, breaks out of the building, and disappears into the night.
Diego is dealing with his own problems, too. Down the other corridor, he finds offices that appear to be staged, when he hears footsteps in the distance. The silhouette sure looks like a young Reginald Hargreeves and Diego follows him to an abandoned warehouse. Diego, always one for a confrontation, begins fighting with this man and is shocked to discover that it actually is his father. “Dad?” he asks, barely above a whisper. And then that’s when Reginald stabs Diego in the stomach, leaving him for dead as he disappears into the fog holding Pogo’s hand.
The New Number One:
The Number One Hargreeves sibling is a toss-up between Diego and Vanya here, for completely different reasons.
Diego — though at some points literally blinded by his obsession with saving Kennedy — is at least starting to spring into action. Also, the fight scene with Reginald is a pretty good fight, even though Diego gets stabbed in the end. He’s trying!
As for Vanya, she might not remember anything about her past, but it’s clear she’s trying to do something else with her future. She’s got a clean slate ahead of her and she’s trying to make the most of it. Also, her talk with Luther in the barn is absolutely heartbreaking, because she just wants to connect with someone so badly.
Episode 3: “The Swedish Job”
We’re taking a trip back to 1960 to learn exactly how Klaus (with some begrudging help from Ben) became an accidental cult leader. When the duo first arrived, Klaus got cozy with a group of older, rich women who took him in. Realizing he can use Ben to perform feats of wonder (see: levitation), Klaus slowly takes on followers who believe in him. One thing leads to another, and suddenly they’re in India praying. Then it’s off to San Francisco with Klaus being worshiped in the same, claustrophobic way Jon Snow was almost trampled to death during the Battle of the Bastards.
However, Klaus is just about at the end of his rope with his spiritual group — which, by the way, he’s named “Destiny’s Children.” Klaus takes a fleeting opportunity to escape them, and soon Klaus and Ben are on the run again back to Dallas.
Back in Dallas, Vanya’s running into her own trouble. Out for a drive in Sissy’s car, she comes across the Swedes. This is the first time she’s run into them so she doesn’t know who they are or what they’re capable of. (Actually, no one knows who they are or what they’re capable of. These three men have yet to utter a single word over three whole episodes.)
They come upon Vanya in her car and she can sense that something’s amiss. Before she has much time to react, they’re shooting at her and Vanya drives the car into a ditch. Fleeing into a nearby cornfield, Vanya is pursued by the three Swedes until they’ve got her completely surrounded. Firing at her at point-blank range, Vanya, unknowingly, lets her powers loose, knocking all three of them out.
I'm also pleased to report that Diego is not in fact dead, though the end of episode 2 sure made it look that way. Turns out that Lila was (suspiciously) following him and saw the whole fight. Somehow, she got Diego’s body back to Elliot’s apartment and performed some makeshift surgery on him, scorching his stomach wound closed.
Five, completely indifferent to the fact that his brother has survived their father’s shanking, finally unties Elliot and puts him to work tracking atmospheric pressure. It might sound unlikely, but it actually works: Elliot is able to pick up on Vanya’s powers being discharged outside the city. Before Five has time to explain what’s going on, he’s off to find his sister.
Five finds Vanya in the middle of the cornfield, which you’d think would be a hard task, but Vanya has leveled half of the field. Five has no time for pleasantries, quickly explaining that they’re siblings and he’s here to help her escape the “Ikea Mafia.”
Somewhere else in Dallas, Luther is up for an early morning run through the streets. A group of kids run with him, cheering “King Kong” as he happily punches at the sky. But, a woman who looks strikingly like Allison catches his eye and he trips over the curb, face planting into the ground. The kids no longer think he’s cool.
He eventually makes his way to Jack Ruby’s club, and Ruby notices that Luther is visibly distracted. After a little prodding, Ruby gets Luther to give up Allison’s name, in hopes of tracking her down. He’s willing to do it, just as long as Luther is able to refocus his attention — he’s got a big fight that night, and Ruby’s got a lot of money on the line.
Speaking of Allison, she’s located Klaus and his mansion. Wandering into the empty house, she finds Klaus lounging in the pool and doesn’t even bother to take off her dress before she jumps in to give him a hug. Allison is quick to call Klaus out on his cult, which he waves off with a simple, “whoops.” But enough about Klaus, the conversation turns to Allison and she confesses that she’s married to Ray.
Klaus puts two and two together and realizes that Ray’s currently locked up in the city jail. Why doesn’t Allison just “rumor” Ray out, huh? Allison admits that she hasn’t actually used her powers since the night that Vanya slit her throat, and she was unable to speak for a whole year — that finally answers the question as to when and how Allison got her voice back.
Allison’s still finding her voice again, figuratively speaking. She and Ray have been planning a sit-in ahead of Kennedy’s visit but with Ray locked up, the group isn't sure about moving forward. Allison wants to, however, the men in her civil rights group think they should wait for Ray. She proposes a vote and while a few in attendance oppose the idea at first, Allison eventually gets her way with an overwhelming majority of support — the sit-in is back on.
Don’t worry too much about Ray, though, because Ben has it covered. At the police station, he uses his ghostly ability to flicker some lights, toss a sandwich across the room, and type up a threatening note to the officer on duty: Free Chestnut or die. This gets Ray out of jail, and Klaus is waiting there to welcome him. Klaus also drops the bombshell on Ray that they’re actually brothers-in-law, and it’s clear that Ray has roughly 500 follow-up questions.
Five and Vanya grab a cup of coffee at a nearby diner and Five fills in a bunch of missing details: She’s got a lot of siblings, they jumped into a vortex to avoid the apocalypse, and oh yeah, there’s another apocalypse coming. Vanya asks what caused this, and Five is vague on details, clearly trying to hide his sister from the horrible truth.
This is too much for Vanya to take, so she calls up Sissy. Back at the farm, Sissy is in the middle of dealing with one of Harlan’s outbursts. (Though they never outright classify Harlan’s learning disability, it seems that he’s on the autism spectrum.) Vanya and Sissy try to have a conversation, but Five cuts them off explaining that there are more important things happening, like stopping the end of the world. Vanya, reluctantly, agrees.
If you’ve ever wanted to see Diego in some tighty-whities, episode 3 is the episode for you. Still recovering from his stab wound, he’s trying to get up and out of bed so he can track down his dad again. Lila stops him from moving, literally, by poking him in the stomach with the end of a broom. This manages to subdue him, and Lila then confesses how she found Diego the night before: Facedown and bleeding. She thought he was dead.
This also happens to be the same way that Lila found her parents years ago. As she confesses to Diego, her parents were murdered in a home invasion and it’s not something she necessarily wants to talk about, but she feels comfortable sharing it with him. This leads Diego to lean forward and kiss Lila, which is met with a slap. But, the tension is short-lived as soon comes more kissing and speedy disrobing.
By the middle of the afternoon, Ruby has tracked down Allison and gives the address to Luther. Next thing you know he’s showing up at her house with a box of chocolates but there’s just one problem: Allison isn’t home. But Ray is, having just been released from jail. When Luther explains he’s looking for Allison Hargreeves, Ray corrects him that it’s now Allison Chestnut.
And so begins Luther’s downward spiral, as he eats roughly the entire box of chocolate he brought for Allison. Ray is so, so confused by Luther’s visit (he only just met Klaus, who also called himself Allison’s brother) and Luther is so, so heartbroken by the sight of Ray. He opts out of leaving any sort of substantial message for Allison, and instead tells Ray he needs to talk to her eventually. This is all communicated through mouthfuls of chocolate.
Allison, meanwhile, has started the sit-in at the diner in town. She marches in and demands to be served even though the waitstaff refuses her service. Slowly, she’s joined by the rest of her civil rights group as the other patrons inside heckle them with racist slurs.
In another part of town, Klaus and Ben arrive at a hardware store. Ben is like “WTF” and it’s clear he is so close to just being done with Klaus completely. “Don’t do anything stupid,” Ben advises as Klaus heads inside, so you know Klaus is about to do something completely stupid.
Inside the store, Klaus finds Dave. Remember Dave? During season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, when Klaus accidentally travels back in time to the Vietnam War, Klaus and Dave had a relationship. Sadly, Dave dies in battle and after returning to present-day 2019, Klaus carries the weight of Dave’s death. So what’s something Klaus can do to help Dave in 1960? Why stop him from enlisting, of course!
Quick sidenote: The Umbrella Academy is playing hard and fast with their time travel rules, so honestly, don’t think too hard about any of this. Just accept that Klaus is going to try and stop Dave from enlisting in 1960 so they don’t meet in 1968.
Using a lame excuse of looking for paint, Klaus asks Dave to mix some paint for him and has a flashback to Dave’s death on the battlefield. It’s a lot for Klaus to handle and is almost near tears by the time his paint is done. Dave clearly feels a little bit off by the interaction, too, clearly confused by what’s just happened.
Now Ray has made his way to the diner and joins Allison and the others at their sit-in. Allison is thrilled to see him, but Ray is cold and distant with his wife — you probably would be too, if you had just met her two polar-opposite siblings she never told you about. Ray brings up Klaus and Allison shrugs it off as just being Klaus. But then Ray mentions how he met “the biggest white boy ... trembling like somebody’s lost puppy” and Allison realizes he’s talking about Luther.
She barely has time to process this information when the protesters and police officers reach a tipping point — and a clear reflection of our current reality in 2020. Distracted by the news of Luther, Allison isn’t alert to the fact that one of the servers at the diner is about to pour coffee on her. This startles her upright, and a physical confrontation begins between everyone.
Two officers drag Ray away and start beating him out in the street. Allison rushes at them, trying to intervene but it’s no use. She knows what she has to do, but it’s clear she doesn’t want to do it. Grabbing the officer’s hand, she whispers, “I heard a rumor that you walked away,” and just like that the officer does.
The problem is that Allison did this in front of Ray and he can’t process what he just saw. The officers go from beating him to peacefully retreating in a matter of seconds, so what’s going on? Ray’s freaked, Allison is screaming, and through the crowd, Klaus comes and pulls her away.
Luther’s in the middle of his own fight, albeit a completely different kind of one. He can’t stay focused in the ring and keeps flashing back to Allison and her new life with Ray. He takes punch after punch and asks his opponent to hit him as hard as possible. He just wants to feel something. His opponent does, sending him careening to the ground as the onlookers look on amid cheers and boos. In the crowd, Five and Vanya have come to the fight and watch Luther take this absolutely beating, confused as to why their massive, strong brother isn’t fighting back.
At least someone’s having a good night, as we find Diego and Lila cuddled up in bed together. But if this whole time you’ve been thinking, “Hey, there’s something off with Lila,” you are correct. She slips out of bed with Diego and leaves Elliot’s apartment.
Earlier in the episode we saw The Handler head to a pet store and drop off a room key in a fish tank — Lila retrieves it now. Using the key in the designated hotel room door, she moves inside and immediately makes herself comfortable on the bed, asking if she can order room service.
“Of course,” The Handler replies, appearing from the bathroom. “Thanks, mom,” Lila says with a kiss on the cheek.
The New Number One:
Allison! She is handed a lot in this episode and manages to handle just about everything with honor and dignity. The fact that she’s finding her voice in so many different ways is great, and there’s something so cheerful about her jumping into Klaus’ pool to hug him.
Also, it took Allison losing her voice to realize that she doesn’t always need it — in terms of her power, of course. Look at all she’s accomplished in the 1960s without rumoring anyone. It’s clearly changed her for the better, and she’s a stronger woman because of it.
Episode 4: "The Majestic 12"
We’re traveling through time again, so let’s take a trip to London in 1993. An unseen assailant kills two people at point-blank range; go ahead and cue The Handler. She walks into the room in sparkly red sequined shoes, taking note of the lifeless bodies. “Shame,” she says, without a shred of emotion. That’s when she notices the toys scattered across the floor and puts two and two together: There’s a kid somewhere in here.
Tucked behind a secret door in the wall, the Handler finds a young girl hiding. With outstretched hands, The Handler takes her into an embrace and here we have the start of her relationship with Lila. Jump forward and The Handler has trained Lila to be the ultimate Commission fighting machine. And she’s damn good at it.
That brings us to now, where the mother-daughter duo discuss Five over pancakes. The Handler wants Lila to protect Five at all costs, and Lila can’t figure out why. “He’s the reason you were demoted,” she reminds her mom, but The Handler shrugs it off, suggesting that Lila kill Diego if she’s bored.
The conversation then moves to the trouble Lila ran into at the mental facility with Diego, referring to the Swedes as “cowboys.” The Handler is surprised to hear this, since she didn’t expect them to show up so soon. Turns out, The Handler hired them but Lila shouldn’t worry too much. They’re not here to hurt her.
Luther, still recovering from his rough night, wakes up to find Vanya standing over his bed. He’s shocked to see her, considering Vanya didn’t even know who he was last time they met. Vanya now fills Luther in on what she knows about her past, but when she gets to the 2019 apocalypse, she guesses correctly that everyone’s leaving something out. Luther is the first one to tell her the truth, admitting that she in fact caused the apocalypse — but it wasn’t entirely her fault.
They are interrupted by Jack Ruby, who storms into Luther’s bedroom screaming about the fight he lost. Ruby’s at the end of his rope with Luther, and because the club owner is out a decent amount of money and sees no other option, he fires Luther on the spot. Luther, clearly pissed, asks Vanya to leave but she has more questions for him. Luther, letting his rage boil over as usual, puts his fist through the brick wall of his bedroom. Yep, that’s Vanya’s cute to leave.
Vanya has now gone from semi-accepting of her long-lost family to wanting to get the hell away from them. She storms back to her car and tells Five that she’s heading back to Sissy’s farm. Five tries to convince her to stay, but it’s no use. “New timeline, new me,” she says as she drives off.
Five returns back to Elliot’s where Lila, having returned from The Handler’s, is tending to Diego’s wounds. The brothers aren’t sure what they need to do next, but one thing they do know is that their dad is somehow involved in all of this. Diego wonders how they’re ever going to track him down, but Five is already one step ahead: At Reginald’s office, he found an invitation to a party that night.
The party is being hosted by Hoyt Hillenkoetter, and the name makes Elliot perk up. He’s heard of him before because he’s one of the “Majestic 12,” a secret shadow government group. According to Elliot, President Kennedy is the first one to attempt to expose the group and it’s quite possible that Reginald is part of this committee, too.
Over at Allison’s house, she’s trying to track down Ray. He didn’t come home the night before and Allison fears the worst. Klaus, meanwhile, is asleep on her living room couch and when she slams the phone he wakes with a jolt. He tries to reassure her that Ray’s fine and tells her the fable of the scorpion and the frog — you know, the one where they’re crossing a river together. But Klaus’ tale doesn’t make any sense, and according to him “Frogs are bitches and we do not negotiate with terrorists.” None of this is what Allison needs to hear right now.
While Allison is off finding Ray, Klaus decides to find Dave. He locates him at the diner, eating breakfast with his uncle, and the second the older gentleman gets up to use the restroom Klaus makes his move. Sliding into the booth, he tries to explain to Dave that he knows him. Using scary stories of the Vietnam War, Klaus tries to convince Dave not to enlist.
Sadly, it’s no use, as Dave’s uncle returns to the table and has zero time for Klaus’ nonsense. He encourages Dave to punch Klaus, and eventually, the young boy does so, sending Klaus running out of the diner...
...and right to the liquor store. Ben begs him not to do this — Klaus has been sober for three years now. But Dave’s rejection is enough to knock Klaus off the wagon. He grabs every bottle in sight, drinking most of them as he makes his way through the liquor store. He eventually returns home to his giant mansion only to discover that his cult has finally found him. Klaus’ day just went from bad to worse.
At the beauty parlor, Allison finds Ray in the middle of a group meeting — without her — and she immediately confronts her husband. Ray, for his part, says he needs to know what Allison said to the cop the night before, because he doesn’t believe that the cop would just suddenly leave him alone. Ray’s mind is clearly in overdrive, as he grills Allison about who she really is — is she an undercover cop? FBI? Some sort of plant? Her arrival in Dallas is far too convenient, so she must be feeding information about the movement back to someone else.
Allison begs Ray to let her explain, but when it’s finally time she can’t bring herself to say anything.
She wanders around town, eventually stumbling upon a BBQ joint where she finds Luther stuffing his face with savory meats. They don’t even say anything at first, and instead just embrace for a very long time. (Everyone else “disappears” for a moment, reminding us that when Luther and Allison are together no one else even exists.) Luther invites Allison to join her at the table, and she can’t help but notice that her brother is a “mess” — her words, not mine, but it’s true.
It’s all awkward small talk for a few minutes, until they move onto Allison’s new life with Ray. Luther is happy she wasn’t alone this entire time, as Allison explains she just needed someone to hold onto. And then Luther says a line that I will 100 percent be tweeting with a caption like, “Me, coping with the ongoing pandemic.”
“No one gets to tell us how to deal with the end of the world.”
This calms Allison down a bit, and the two then pivot to discussing their siblings: Luther explains that Vanya is on a farm and happy and Diego is in the nuthouse; Allison informs Luther that Klaus has started a cult. As for Five’s part, Luther passes along the message that they “did it again, apparently.” You know, apocalypse stuff.
That night, dressed in their very best (and also the only outfits they’ve had this entire time) Diego, Lila, and Five head off to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas to find their father and the Majestic 12. Diego heads into the party first, leaving Lila and Five alone for a few seconds. This gives Five just enough time to admit that he doesn’t trust Lila whatsoever; he knows she’s up to something. Lila tries to shrug it off, but there’s no fooling Five.
Inside the party, the trio blends in as much as possible with Diego rocking a caveman haircut. Five says he’s going to head upstairs to try and find the Majestic 12, and Lila follows him — remember, she has instructions to keep Five safe at all costs.
Diego asks her why she’s running off again. She dodges the question, and instead the two start dancing to slow mariachi music. It’s fun! It’s sexy! And then Diego spots a face in the crowd… it’s… Mom?
Literally abandoning Lila after chastising her for abandoning him, Diego moves towards a woman that bears a striking resemblance to Mom, aka Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins), the robot woman who Sir Reginald built as a nanny for Vanya (you know, because she kept killing all the other nannies). Diego approaches this woman and calls her Mom (a true nightmare scenario) and she responds in a thick southern drawl that she’s never heard that pickup line before.
Wasting no time, Diego asks this woman if she knows Reginald, and Not-Mom replies that he’s her date for the evening. Grace tells Diego that Reginald went off to a meeting but that was 20 mins ago and she hasn’t seen him since. Also, in real life this woman’s name is actually Grace which raises a lot of icky questions about the robot Grace, but there’s no time for that now.
Vanya has made it back to Sissy’s house, and the duo are excited to be reunited. Vanya quickly fills Sissy in on what’s happened, they talk about leaving town. But Sissy says she can’t just up and leave; Harlan overhears this. Unable to process what he’s hearing, Harlan runs out of the house and disappears down the dirt road.
Frantic, Sissy and Vanya follow him, splitting up along the way. Vanya chases Harlan to a nearby retention pond and finds one of his toys bobbing in the water. Fearing that he’s underwater, she hesitates for a moment before unleashing her powers. She literally parts the pond water — apparently manipulating sonic waves means “can do anything she want” — to find Harlan on the bottom.
Harlan’s not breathing when she brings him to shore, so Vanya immediately administers CPR. It doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work, and it still doesn’t work, and then something strange happens: a magical, glowing spark floats from Vanya into Harlan and the boy’s cheeks begin to glow. If you’re wondering if Vanya just accidentally gave Harlan some of her powers, the answer is yes! But no time for that now.
Vanya is too busy to notice the magical business, beecause Sissy comes running down the path and embraces her son. After putting Harlan to bed that night, Sissy breaks down, explaining to Vanya that her life has gotten so much smaller. You can probably see where this is going, because as Sissy cries about her predicament, Vanya comforts her and then kisses her. Sissy kisses back.
Back at Luther’s place, his landlord is patching up the brick wall he destroyed earlier. The guy doesn’t want to be on Ruby’s shit list, and tells Luther he's got to be out of his room today. With no other place to go, Luther heads over to Elliot’s. The conspiracy theorist is mesmerized to see Luther, recognizing him from the alley all those years ago. Clearly looking to take the edge off, Luther happens to spot a canister of laughing gas in the corner of the room (Elliot’s father was a dentist, so he’s got some leftover equipment). Next thing we know, these two are completely high off of the gas, laughing about their shitty lives and the end of the world.
Meanwhile, hidden in a closet, Five snoops on a meeting of the Magnificent 12. They are discussing Kennedy’s upcoming motorcade through Dallas when Five accidentally stumbles in the closet, drawing attention to himself. It’s just enough noise for the Magnificent 12 to hear, and Reginald turns to look at the closet, jamming his walking cane into the door over and over.
Thankfully, Five zaps himself out of the closet just in time. The problem is, he zaps himself right to the Swedes, who are at the party to kill him and Diego. Five and the lead Swede start trading punches, as Diego joins the fight on the other end of the hallway. That’s when Lila enters the melee, only to have to choose between brothers.
Diego is clearly taking a harder beating than Five, but Lila is under strict instructions to keep Five alive. Making a split-second decision Lila decides to assist Five and takes off her heels ( more scenes of women taking off their heels before they start throwing punches, please!) and springs into action.
With Lila’s assistance, Five overpowers the Swedes and breaks free. Diego, meanwhile, continues to struggle because even after Lila is done helping Five, she doesn’t assist Diego. Five runs outside to catch his father, and the only thing he can think of in the moment to get his dad’s attention is to recite ancient Greek. It seems to catch Reginald’s attention, but he still gets into his car with Grace and drives away.
The New Number One:
Luther gets the top spot here, not because he was the best Hargreeves kid this episode, but because I feel the worst for him. In the span of one day he lost his girl, his job, and his housing. And sure, he’s been described as a “lost puppy dog” before, but now he really is one. At least he and Elliot are able to find a moment of happiness in between puffs of laughing gas.
Episode 5: “Valhalla”
We’ve jumped back a year again, this time landing in 1962. A crate is wheeled through a research facility and stops in front of Grace — a very real person and not at all a robot, who works as some sort of research scientist studying chimpanzees. But not just any chimpanzee; inside the crate is an adorable baby Pogo.
Grace spends some time training Pogo to do simple tasks, under the watchful eye of Reginald Hargreeves, but right now it’s unclear exactly what he’s doing there. Pay no attention to him, though, as the real star is Pogo who’s off to space! Grace and her scientists send the chimp high into the atmosphere, but the mission is unfortunately unsuccessful. Pogo’s ship crashes, but thankfully he’s recovered, but he’s badly wounded.
On the operating room table, Grace tries to save Baby Pogo’s life but she’s not getting anywhere. In walks Reginald with a suspicious needle attached to a red vial that we’ve definitely seen before — this is the same thing he used on Luther, and Allison, to save their lives. Pogo is revived, and Grace is relieved to have her science experiment back. Soon, Grace, Reginald, and Pogo are one big happy family. Before bed, Reginald reads Pogo some Homer in ancient Greek.
Back in 1963, Five, Diego, and Lila watch as Reginald and Grace drive away. Five is quick to turn on Lila, questioning how she is so good at what she does. Not holding back, Five tells her that if he sees her again he will kill her. Diego is starting to grow suspicious, too, and questions why Lila helped Five and not him. “He’s a bloody kid!” Lila proclaims, but Diego still doesn’t believe her.
The next morning a very hungover Klaus peels himself off of Allison’s floor, but not before Ben gives him some grief about it. Allison overhears Klaus talking to someone, and asks which ghost he’s speaking to now. Klaus tells her it’s “some cowboy” and THAT’S RIGHT, Klaus’ siblings still don’t know that Ben is also stuck in 1963! This is honestly a dick move, and I know everyone universally loves Klaus, but Klaus’ treatment if Ben is so far pretty shitty.
Klaus tries to get Allison to join him for a drink, but she’s not biting. Sensing something’s off with him, Allison gets Klaus to reveal everything troubling him, from his cult tracking him down to his recent encounter with Dave. This doesn’t make Allison feel any better, and she gives into Klaus’ request to start day drinking, grabbing her better booze and a blender.
Everyone’s waking up now, and that includes Vanya and Sissy who are in bed together. They exchange some morning pillow talk and cuddling. Vanya feels safe and at home for the first time in a long time, and revives the idea that they should run away. She’s serious about this, and Harlan could come, too, obviously. However, their moment is interrupted when Carl comes back from a work trip ready.
Over breakfast, Carl is super excited to tell his wife and their houseguest that he sold a bunch of showerheads to HoJo (‘60s speak for Howard Johnson hotels). Carl wants to celebrate by taking Sissy and Harlan out for the day, sans Vanya. This leads to a little spat between Sissy and Carl; Sissy doesn’t want to go, but their fight is too much for Vanya. She unconsciously summons a storm cloud and a loud thunder boom startles the whole family, including Harlan. Harlan can sense that Vanya summoned it, and though he’s not communicating verbally, he reaches his hand out to help calm Vanya down.
Know who else is having a rough morning? Luther, who is drowning his sorrows in a giant skillet of maybe, like, five dozen scrambled eggs. (I can’t be certain, but I assume the amount of eggs in Gaston’s self-centered anthem from the Beauty and the Beast is the standard measurement for strong man breakfast.) And so begins the saga of Luther eating too many eggs, which yes, is a running theme for the rest of the season.
Five and Diego are also in the kitchen, bickering about what to do about their father. Last night was the closest either of them have gotten to Dad, except for that time Reginald stabbed Diego, so how are they going to talk to him? Luther pipes in with a secret he’s kept this entire time, which is that he actually took a bus to visit their father in the city when he first arrived in the ‘60s.
In a flashback, we see Luther on the bus rehearsing a speech to give Reginald that starts, “This might sound crazy, but I'm your son.” However, when it comes time to actually say it in person, Reginald scoffs at the notion. Even though Luther cites Reginald’s own time travel studies, Reginald assumes Luther is bluffing.
He certainly believes Luther is from the future since that’s not far fetched… but the idea that Reginald would have kids? He hates kids. He would never willingly adopt seven of them. And even if he did, no son of his would ever be as scruffy, unkempt as Luther.
This story doesn’t dissuade Five from believing that they need to talk to Dad. However, quick pause just to bask in the sight of Luther eating a giant bowl of scrambled eggs because it’s marvelous. Okay but back to Five’s plan: He’s going to fetch Allison and Luther will get Vanya, so they can all have a family meeting.
The reason Luther is not the one visiting Allison, is also the reason he’s drowning in scrambled eggs. The siblings have always known he and Allison have a thing going on, and Diego leans forward to ask, “Do you want to talk?” At least the sibs are supportive of each others' romantic troubles. Talking won’t do anything, though, as Allison is married and Luther is clearly very happy with his eggs.
Arriving back at The Handler’s hotel (who is in the middle of doing arts and crafts, which is once again massive foreshadowing), Lila is pissed. She knows her mom set her up and wants some answers. But, The Handler isn’t going to give up her secrets that easily, simply telling her daughter that The Commission doesn't know they’re in 1963, but everything’s going to be fine in the end! Don’t worry about it!
Back at Elliot’s the first Hargreaves Family Meeting of 1963 is about to start. “Did we all get sexier?” Klaus asks, seeing his brothers and sisters again, and honestly? Yes.
Vanya, who still doesn’t have her memories back, is thrilled to meet Allison for the first time and the two sisters embrace. The moment is short lived, though, as Klaus quickly joins them, too. If you want to keep talking about Things That Klaus Ruins, Five asks, “Is Ben is here?”
“No, ghosts can’t time travel,” Klaus lies with a sigh, as Ben from the corner of the room yells, “Are you kidding me?” It’s a funny moment, but also my heart is breaking for poor Ben, who can’t talk to anyone else in his family but Klaus.
Getting down to business, Five reiterates what everyone (but Klaus) already knows: That the world is going to end in six days and they’ve got to figure out a way to stop it. Five theorizes that their father is somehow involved in this, and Diego is quick to bring up JFK’s assassination again. Diego. This again?
Paying no mind to Diego’s JFK obsession, Vanya can’t help but wonder if they’re the cause for the upcoming apocalypse. None of them are supposed to be here anyway. Since she still needs to be clued in on everything anyway, the family secrets start spilling out to entertain this theory that they altered the timeline.
Diego is stalking Lee Harvey Oswald; Luther is working for Jack Ruby; Allison is now influencing the civil rights movement; and Klaus started a cult. Vanya is “just a nanny on a farm” and wants no blame for anything here. Diego, for some reason, is still on his soapbox yelling about saving JFK.
Five interjects, explaining how he saw all of them die in this timeline and he doesn’t want it to happen in real life. For him, the only reasonable option is to talk to their father, but that’s the last straw for Luther. He walks out of the meeting, brushes Five, who attempts to stop him, out of the way. This is Five, though, so he just zaps himself outside to safety where he finds Lila on the roof, eavesdropping on the family. Five runs after her, as Diego heads after Luther in the opposite direction.
Now only Klaus, Allison, and Vanya remain, and hey, how about tacos? Klaus wants tacos. So they get tacos. Though they can’t see him, Ben is still watching all of this, and says to no one in particular since no one but Klaus can hear him, “I’ve missed you all so much.” I wonder if Ben can hear my heart breaking for him.
Checking in with the Swedes real fast, they’re busy trying to keep the cat-filled house they’ve commandeered clean when a pneumatic tube arrives for them — remember how The Commission sends messages as if everywhere is a bank from the ‘80s? Well, the Swedes’ new message says that it’s time to kill Diego. The message provides coordinates for his location, and soon, the brothers are off to kill Number Two.
Wandering around town, Diego and Luther bicker about their father and what they’re supposed to do now. Luther recognizes that Diego has some hero complex he needs to fulfill, and Diego knows that Luther is trying to live up to ridiculous expectations. Basically, they’re going nowhere. However, Diego spots that there’s been a car following them for the last few blocks and the brothers are hand delivered a message: Sir Reginald Hargreeves requests to meet his “pursuers” for dinner.
At Allison’s beauty parlor, she primps Klaus in one of the chairs while complaining about their dad. Klaus starts grilling her about her feelings for Luther, and that’s when Vayna interjects — uh, aren’t they all siblings? How can Luther and Allison be a thing? Vanya having amnesia is certainly a fun road block for the season, but it’s also getting a little annoying that she constantly needs to be brought up to speed.
But that’s neither here nor there, as Klaus eventually concludes that the only thing the Umbrella Academy knows about love is how to screw it up. Just like Luther and Diego, these three are also not getting anywhere, so they decide that the only way to move forward is to tell the truth. Vanya is going to tell Sissy that she loves her, Allison is going to tell Ray the truth, and Klaus is going to try breaking free from his cult once and for all. Now that that’s decided, it’s time to dance. You know how the Umbrella Academy loves dance sequences, and this one is set to Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ The Night Away.”
Vanya heads back to Sissy’s to declare her feelings. However, upon returning back to the farm, she finds that Sissy and Carl have just slept together. “He’s still my husband,” Sissy tries to rationalize, but Vanya’s letting her emotions get the best of her. She tries to convince Sissy that they’ve now got limited time before the end of the world, but it’s no use. Sissy isn’t about to abandon her family.
By this time, Five has tracked Lila to an abandoned warehouse. He confronts her, immediately challenging her to a fight, which she accepts. They start trading kicks and punches, and it’s clear that Lila is actually a good match for Five, easily deflecting his blows. Also… she can maybe zap through time and space herself? Five is clearly confused by her fighting abilities, but it’s not long before he has her down on the ground, defeated.
“You can come out now,” Five calls to the empty space, beckoning The Handler to appear. She does, calling Five a “little shit.”
For a quick change of pace, the Swedes are out in the woods hunting for Diego. We, the viewers, know that Diego is not in this forest. The Swedes do not. They’ve walked into a trap and they realize that a little too late. Accidentally stepping on a detonator, one of the Swedes blows himself up, leaving only a bloody foot behind.
For what is maybe the most shocking (and hilarious?) musical moment this season, we’re treated to a Swedish cover of Adele’s “Hello” by My Kulsvik. Set to that background music, we see the Swedes give their fallen brother a proper funeral at sea, letting a boat ablaze with a flaming arrow.
It’s a mood shift for everyone, as Klaus returns back to his cult (and is welcomed back, against all odds, with open arms), and Allison finds Ray at home. She’s decided she’s finally going to tell him everything.
The New Number One:
Honestly, all the siblings had major faults this episode but the Number One honor goes to Vanya. Yes, the fact that she has no memories is a little tedious, but she is trying her best to move forward with her life. She’s making good use of this clean slate and she knows she wants to be with Sissy. She might not understand that she has literal Earth-shattering powers, but right now she’s just intent on following her heart.
Episode 6: "The Singapore Sling"
We’re back in 1961, and Allison has just been dumped out of the vortex. Her throat was only just slashed by Vanya, so she can’t talk and now she’s in a strange and racist place. Heading into the diner (the same one where she recently staged her sit-in), she’s immediately sent out, with the server pointing to a sign saying “whites only.”
We’ve seen some of this already, but we haven’t seen what happens next.
Wandering down the street, three white boys catcall Allison. After she fights back, they chase her down alleyways and in between buildings. Allison keeps running until she finally spots the Black beauty parlor and rushes inside. Though she can’t say anything, she doesn’t need to. The women inside, brandishing scissors and hot curling irons, threaten the white boys, who quickly flee into the night.
Some time has passed, and we know this because Allison has a new hair 'do. Allison has a new steady job at the beauty parlor cleaning up after everyone. But, when someone directs a question to her, one of the other women pipes up, reminding everyone that Allison can’t speak. However, that doesn’t stick.
After stealing glances with Ray on and off for the last few months, Ray finally approaches Allison. She’s been secretly editing some of his pamphlets anyway, and she’s more than happy to hand over some edits for him. Ray chuckles. “Maybe we can discuss these over dinner?” He asks her. For the first time Allison talks, telling him her name. Her voice is scratchy, but it’s there, and she agrees to go to dinner with him.
Back in the warehouse, Five is busy unraveling The Handler’s plan and has figured out that Lila’s her daughter. Five really doesn’t have time for chitchat, but The Handler has a mission for him: She’s willing to send Five and his family back to 2019 if he does a simple job for her. The Handler wants The Commission’s Board of Directors taken care of, and wants Five to do it.
The thing is, though, that no one knows who is on the Board of Directors, because they meet somewhere in the timeline in secret, and never the same place twice. Thankfully, The Handler’s already done this research, and knows where they’re going to be and when. All Five has to do is kill them.
Lila doesn't like this plan. She wants to be trusted with the mission to kill the board since she knows she’s ready for a mission like that. But her mother doesn’t want her messing with something that big, since they need deniability and also a scapegoat. It’s becoming increasingly clear that for most of her life Lila has been made to just accept information from her mother without questioning it.
What is Luther eating this time? Still eggs! So many eggs! I can’t wait for all the memes about Luther eating giant plates of eggs! But that’s neither here nor there right now, because over at Elliot’s, Diego and Luther are trying to convince Vanya that their father is a bad man. Vanya still wants to meet her father. Diego is also now all for this idea, suggesting that the siblings go in as a united front calling themselves “Team Zero.” No more silly numbers for them.
Over at Klaus’ Cult House, Ben is trying to convince Klaus that he needs to not tell Destiny’s Children the truth. Klaus is ready to go out there and tell his followers that the world is going to end, justifying it by saying these people need to go back to their families if the world is going to end; Ben, however, points out that these people are part of the cult because they don’t have families out there. He cites one specific follower named Jill, and it comes out that Ben’s got a little bit of a crush on her.
Eventually Klaus decides to go out there and talk to his followers telling them that he’s a fraud (let it not be lost that Klaus is basically in a thong diaper this entire time). This backfires, as quickly everyone else believes they’re frauds, too. One follower mentions Klaus’ teachings, and how “as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive.”
Klaus tries to explain that he’s making everything up as he goes, but everything he says is taken as a new prophecy, no matter how hard he tries to be honest. Soon all of the members of Destiny’s Children are proclaiming “I am a fraud,” and Klaus gives up, retreating back to his room.
Ben’s pretty upset about this, because for the last three years (heck, Ben’s whole undead life!) Klaus has messed everything up for the two of them. Klaus says Ben is turning into their father, which sets Ben off. He runs at Klaus — probably just to pass through him quickly, he is a ghost after all — but Ben accidentally throws himself inside of Klaus.
“That was weird,” Ben stumbles up, trying to figure out what just happened. Klaus is weirded out by it, also a little physically shaken, too. But before they have time to figure out what happened, the girl Ben has a crush on, Jill, shows up with Dave, who’s there to talk to Klaus.
Dave is sorry for the way he acted the other day, apologizing for punching Klaus in the face. Klaus is eager to accept the apology and uses his status as a “prophet” to rattle off facts about Dave that startle him, including the reason why he joins the military. That’s when Klaus tells Dave about how he dies in the future, even revealing Dave’s dog tags that he still wears around his neck. This is just enough to freak Dave out, but not enough to convince him not to enlist. He shocks Klaus by saying he’s already enlisted and that he’s shipping out in a week. This absolutely breaks Klaus.
At least things are going better for Allison, who is in the middle of telling Ray all about her powers and the future. Ray is delighted to learn that, in the future, there’s a Black president (come back, Obama, we miss you). He’s not so convinced that Allison has powers, though, and he wants to see them in action. Allison is hesitant, but eventually agrees.
The couple visit a fancy men’s clothing store where Black people are forbidden to shop. But right away, Allison rumors him. Soon, Ray is trying on all the suits in the store, doing a fabulous little fashion show for his wife before she shops for her own fashions at the next shop.
“Why don’t you do this all the time? Everything we could accomplish? For the movement?” Ray asks, as they walk down the street. They then pass the diner, and Allison can’t help herself — she heads inside to rumor the racist waiter who poured coffee on her at the protest. She rumors him in front of all the other patrons and asks for coffee, which she makes him server pour it until it’s spilling over and burning his hand. Ray sees there’s a dark side of her powers, too.
Now let’s head to a steam room where The Handler meets the Swedes. We hear one of them talk for the first time, as The Handler references some “problems” they’ve run into recently. She’s willing to give them the location of where Diego is going to be, which benefits them both: The Swedes believe he’s the one responsible for their brother’s death and The Handler wants Diego gone so Lila stops sleeping with him. The Handler stresses the Swedes are not to kill the one with the “cute socks.” That’s Five, obviously.
So many other things have happened in this episode by now, you’ve maybe forgotten that all the Hargreeves children are heading to dinner with their father. The group piles into an elevator to the top floor of an office building, which is a Tiki Lounge. Of course.
They’re barely inside before they all start fighting, since everyone has their own idea about how to approach the situation and their dad. Diego is still pushing “Team Zero” — of course Number Two is obsessed with getting rid of their numbers. There’s really no time to discuss that, though, as Sir Reginald Hargreeves marches into the room with purpose and starts rattling off everything the kids have already done to him — the most pressing one being the fact that they keep calling him “Dad.”
He’s done some reach on them already and knows they’re not FBI, KGB, or MI-5. So who are they? Five explains they really are his children, they’re from the future, and he’s trained them to fight against the end of the world. Reginald asks the group why he would adopt six children, and Allison points out it’s actually seven. One of them is dead.
“Klaus, tell them I’m here!” Ben begs from the side of the room. Klaus shoos the request off, so get ready for my upcoming TED Talk about how Klaus is Ben’s villain.
Reginald still isn’t sold on the fact that he would adopt a bunch of children, and Five mentions that they’ve all got powers. Dad needs proof. So, Diego curves a knife, Five zaps around the room, and Allison rumors Diego to punch himself in the face. When it’s time for Vanya’s turn, she believes she can control her powers and instead, well, she explodes a platter of fruit with a simple clink of her glass.
Since Diego is never going to give up his quest to save JFK, he demands answers from his father about the upcoming assissination. Reginald is willing to play along with this, making Diego feel like an idiot for “figuring out” what was going on. With a few quick and succinct sentences, Hargreeves has reduced Diego back to a child, and his stutter has come back (we saw him stuttering in season 1, and Grace was a big help in helping him overcome it).
Putting aside JFK (chill, Diego), Five tries to get Dad to talk about the upcoming apocalypse. Reginald doesn’t understand what he’s supposed to do here, suggesting his children “band together” to try and stop it themselves. We knew he was a dick in 2019; now we know he’s always been a dick.
Meanwhile, Ben has had it so he suddenly jumps back into Klaus. “Is he having a seizure?” Allison asks. Nope, it’s just Ben. Ben tries as hard as he can to overpower Klaus and get words out, but only manages a scratchy “I’m Ben!” before the two are separated again.
That’s about all Reginald needs to see. He abruptly stands up to leave when Luther rips off his shirt screaming, “Look at me!” referring to his ape chest. That still doesn’t get Reginald to stop, but he does ask to talk to Five before he leaves. Back in the elevator, Allison notes that this is the first time anywhere in history where Luther has stood up to their father.
Now sitting at the bar, Reginald has a civil conversation with Five. They make small talk about Homer, and how they were all forced to learn the Greek quotes as children, before the conversation turns to time travel. With a quick rundown of the ways Five botched all his other time travel attempts, Reginald suggests that next time Five should “start small. Seconds, not decades.”
But, Five knows he needs more time than just seconds to try and save the world. “So much can change in a matter of seconds,” Dad muses, but this doesn’t help Five. Without any sage information from his father, Five knows he’s got to make a deal with The Handler now. She’s got the time and the location of the next Commission Board meeting, and Five has a job to do.
Outside the Tiki Lounge, Diego finds Grace sitting in Reginald’s car. He pulls out the photo of Reginald on the grassy knoll and explains what he knows to her: In a few days Dad is going to be involved in JFK’s assassination. Grace doesn’t believe it, but keeps the picture anyway.
In a nicer moment, Sissy finds Vanya after dinner and it’s time for them to have a heart to heart. Sissy confesses that she knows “women like us” don’t fit in in Dallas, and that she can’t have the life she wants right now. Sissy lets Vanya down as gently as possible, and Vanya once again suggests running away. This time, Sissy actually agrees! They start formulating a plan to disappear with Harlan, but Sissy just needs a bit of time to get things in order before they leave. Since none of the Hargreeves kids can have nice things, of course Carl is watching the duo from a distance.
If you started watching this season thinking that poor Elliot couldn’t be long for this world, you are correct. The Swedes have followed him home and, well, you know what happens next. The Swedes want to know where Diego is, but Elliot genuinely doesn’t know.
When Diego and Luther do eventually return back to Elliot’s, they find a trail of blood and eventually Elliot. Written on the floor, in Elliot’s blood, is “ÖGA FOR ÖGA.” That’s “eye for an eye” in Swedish.
The New Number One:
Diego is trying very hard to prove to his family that he’s a leader and he’s the one with the right plan moving forward. So, I’m going to go ahead and call him Number One for this episode. He is also almost the one to get through to their dad at dinner, but leave it to Dad to knock his son down a dozen pegs with barely a few sentences. My heart did in fact break when Diego started stuttering again.
Episode 7: “ÖGA FÖR ÖGA”
Time to head to 1982, where Five is on a mission for The Handler. Upbeat polka music plays as Five wanders into some sort of lodge, which is serving as the Board of Directors’ meeting place. He asks the first cheerful woman he sees the location of the “Midwest Soybean Society”and she points him in the direction of the Muskellunge Banquet Room.
Along the way to the room, he stops at a vending machine trying to get a candy bar but the machine is broken and Five destroys it in a fit of rage. That’s not the end of his rampage though, as he picks a decorative ax up off the wall and marches into the banquet room to find the Board of Directors mid-meeting — with AJ the Fish at the head of the table.
One by one, Five kills all of them in the bloodiest scene in season 2. With only AJ left, he makes his way towards the fish, when he’s suddenly attacked by the same cheerful woman he just recently met who is furious about… the vending machine. She does not seem to mind the bodies all over the floor, but that is neither here nor there.
Breaking free from her, Five chases AJ out of the room, grabbing a paddle along the way to fight him. While AJ has a head start, he’s no match for Five who eventually corners him. With one swift swing, Five destroys AJ’s fish tank head, rendering his body useless and AJ nothing but a fish on the ground gasping for air. They don’t call Five one the deadliest assassins ever for nothing, you know.
Back in 1963, Five hands AJ over to The Handler in a plastic bag, and The Handler trades him a briefcase. Completely covered in blood, Five tells The Handler that this is it for him; no more killing. The Handler is like “cool, sure” and as she turns on her heels to leave she tells him the one caveat for the briefcase — it’ll only work for the next 90 mins. He has 90 minutes to round all of his siblings up so they can go back to 2019. This is pretty much impossible and Five knows it.
Klaus and Ben are in the middle of a staredown. Ben is waiting for Klaus to fall asleep in hopes of possessing him once again; Klaus, to the surprise of no one, is refusing to fall asleep. But it’s been days, so Klaus keeps dozing off. With each nod of his head, Ben gets a little bit closer to his brother, and every time Klaus startles awake exasperated. At one point he yells, “Ben!” in shock, and the subtitles on the episode right it out as “Ben-uhh!” and I will never forget that.
Klaus is asking for Ben’s understanding right now, citing that Dave is going to go off to war and die and there’s nothing he can do about it. He feels powerless. Ben explains this is literally how he feels every day since Ben watches everything and can’t do anything. Eventually it comes out that all Ben wants to do is talk to one of Klaus’ followers, Jill, and it would mean so much for Klaus to let Ben possess him for an afternoon. This tugs on just the right heartstrings for Klaus and he finally agrees.
Over at Sissy's, the family and Vanya are having a very tense breakfast. Sissy tells everyone that she’s going to take Harlan in for a checkup, and asks if Vanya would like to come along. Carl insists he’s got another task for Vanya; he wants her to drive her to a nearby ranch.
Ray’s got some good news: Kennedy’s office has called and they want to sit down with him and his group. Allison isn’t eager to let him go, asking if they can talk for a little bit instead but he’s got to get into town as quickly as possible. Allison watches him go, knowing there’s nothing she can do to stop him.
Finally there are Luther and Diego, who are busy dealing with Elliot’s death. Just when you think Diego is so close to giving up on his obsession with stopping Kennedy’s assassination, he’s like “the Feds probably killed Elliot.” Oh, Diego. Looking at the blood on the floor he asks if “Öga Foroga” (his misreading of Öga For Öga”) could possibly be a name. Oh Diego.
But Luther is none the wiser and wants to look her up in the phone book. Oh Luther. Let’s remember for (the hypothetical) season 3 of The Umbrella Academy to not let these two work together on serious and intense missions. Thankfully, Five arrives just in time to explain that the blood writing actually translates to “an eye for an eye” so Diego can walk back his threats to an old lady they found in the phonebook.
There’s no time for dilly dallying so Five quickly explains the plan to get back to 2019. Diego has some followup questions, namely about why Five is covered in blood. Five says there is no time for that — oh, but he does have time to drop the truth bomb on Diego that Lila works for The Commission and has been using him.
At The Commission, The Handler wastes no time seizing back control. She tells the employees there that the Board of Directors is dead, so she’s in charge. Lila watches this happen from the back of the room, and can’t help but notice the whispering everyone’s doing. Later, while looking at new outfits The Handler gives Lila a major promotion to Head of Security. Lila is hesitant for a second, as she can sense that her mother is trying to keep her happy and quiet — but you know what? She’ll take the job. But she’s going to do it her way.
Over at Klaus’ cult manor, Ben’s about to have the best day of his life. After laying down some ground rules (like, “don’t cut my hair”), Klaus agrees to finally let Ben possess him so he can go out and experience the real world for the first time in over a decade. Set to the perfect song, Baio’s “Sister of Pearl,” Ben is now Klaus and he’s about to live today like his first and last day on Earth. Major props to Robert Sheehan here, who completely transforms himself into Ben for the montage. His movements, actions, facial expressions, and even inflection have completely transformed Sheehan into Ben. It’s hard to not get a little emotional here. I’m not saying I cried a little bit watching Klaus-Ben roll around in a pile of dirt, but I also didn’t not cry while Klaus-Ben rolled around in a pile of dirt.
Ben’s crush Jill appears and asks to join Klaus-Ben in the dirt, and this is all Ben could have ever wanted. He and Jill make dirt angels, giggling the whole time. “You’re different today,” Jill tells Klaus-Ben, explaining that he seems dorkier. That leads Ben to profess some of his feelings to Jill, rattling off some of the quirks and traits he’s noticed about her over the years.
“Wanna do it?” She bluntly asks, and Ben-Klaus stutters for a second before agreeing to. But, he can’t get very far before blurting out that he (Ben) is a virgin. Jill is like, what are you talking about we had sex last week, and obviously she’s talking about sex with Klaus. You’d think this would dissuade Ben a tiny bit, but nope, not today.
Unfortunately, Diego shows up at this exact moment. Klaus-Ben is delighted to see him. “It’s so great to talk to you again Diego!” Klaus-Ben giggles and Diego just assumes that Klaus is high. Klaus-Ben confesses that he’s actually Ben, and after proving to Diego this is true — thanks to an old Teddy Ruxpin memory — the brothers embrace for the first time in years. Diego is just as happy to connect with Ben, too, however, no sooner does this happen that Klaus starts trying to overtake his body again. We knew it wouldn’t last forever.
In a less happy turn of events, Carl has taken Vanya out to the middle of nowhere and stopped his car to look at some cows. What follows is a very harsh warning from Carl: He knows what Vanya is, he wants her away from his family, and he wants her gone now. On top of that, Carl has decided to send Harlan away to a facility that will be able to look after him better than Sissy can unless Vanya leaves.
This sends Vanya over the edge. Distraught and preoccupied, she just so happens to pass Five on the road. Vanya doesn’t want to go to 2019 with Five, but he points out that she doesn’t really have a choice. This is the only way they can stop the 1963 apocalypse. Vanya begrudgingly agrees, but only if Sissy and Harlan have to come, too. Five says no, and Vanya screams back at him that a mother and her eight-year-old son can’t alter the timeline that much. Unfortunately, Five isn’t willing to take that chance.
Something we all should be worried about at this point is the fact that Vanya is coming into her powers, and quickly. She’s not standing down with Five, and she even summons enough energy to make him a little nervous. He gets ready to zap out of there himself should things get rough. Are we about to see a Hargreeves vs. Hargreeves showdown?
Sadly, not today. Vanya agrees to go with Five, but she’s at least going to say bye to Sissy and Harlan first. As you’ve probably already guessed, Vanya definitely has other plans. When Sissy and Harlan show back up at the farmhouse, Vanya is already in the middle of packing them up to run away. Quickly explaining the situation to Sissy, she agrees to go but wants to leave a message for Carl. Vanya says there’s no time for that, but maybe you can guess this too: Sissy 100 percent leaves a note for Carl.
Let’s not forget that the Hargreeves siblings are still on the clock now. Luther shows up at Allison's house and announces that they’ve now got *checks watch* 42 minutes to make it back to Elliot’s so they can zap back to 2019. Allison is not having it. She’s finally happy and isn’t so sure she wants to give it that up just to maybe go back to 2019 and avoid an impending doomsday. Luther, turning into the hero again here, reminds his sister that they have to risk everything to save everything and that their family is really good at one thing: Hope. It might not be what she wants to hear, but that’s what she needs to hear. But since today is a day of people interrupting big moments, Ray walks in mere seconds later.
While everyone is frantically trying to make it back to Elliot’s alley so they can return to 2019. Diego is off burying Elliot’s body in a ditch. Lila happens upon his spot (that’s not suspicious or anything), but Diego isn’t really in the mood to talk to her now, or honestly ever again. He just wants to bury Elliot’s body and get back to 2019. Offering up a drink to toast to Elliot, Lila and Diego both take a swig from the same flask, but Lila spits hers out. It takes about five seconds for the drugs to hit Diego; now Lila can add drugging her estranged boyfriend to the list of things she’s done today.
Over at the Chestnuts’, Allison is trying her best to explain the situation to Ray. The long and the short of it is that she’s going to leave him and go back to 2019, and this would be so much easier if Ray sucked. But, Ray is actually a great guy. After she suggests that she “rumor” him to forget about their time together, he says that he would “take my year with you over a lifetime with anybody else.” It’s heartbreaking.
While in the middle of a goodbye kiss, the doorbell rings, revealing the Swedes dressed as vacuum salesmen. “Now’s not a good time,” Allison says as she tries to shut the door, and that’s when one punches her in the throat.
Meanwhile, over at Klaus’ cult mansion, Klaus-Ben is running away as fast as he can. One of the followers stops him as he dashes out the door, asking where he’s going. “Quick vision quest. Back in a few years. Maybe!” Klaus-Ben yells over his shoulder. But then he stops for a second to ask his follower to tell Jill that rolling in the dirt was the best part of his life.
“Any last words of wisdom?” the follower asks.
“Oh my god, we’re back again! Brother sisters, everybody sing! We’re going to bring you the flavor, we’re going to show you how!” Klaus-Ben yells, which yes, is the opening to Backstreet Boys’ hit song “Everybody (Backstreets Back).”
Weird music cue? Sure. But it works! The actual Backstreet Boys songs kicks in as we head back to Allison’s house. She is choking, gasping for air, and obviously can’t rumor the Swedes like this. She can barely get up and walk. Ray joins the fight, trading punches with the assailants. Allison stabs one of them in the eye with a vacuum cleaner attachment. Eventually, Allison is able to regain her voice in time to tell the head Swede, “I heard a rumor you killed your brother.” He does and then goes screaming from the house.
Unfortunately time is almost up for the Hargreeves siblings, as Five and Luther show up to Elliot’s and are greeted by… no one else. Moments later Klaus-Ben comes around the corner screaming, “We made it!” and Five is like, “We?” Klaus then literally throws Ben up, which is gross but also par for the course.
If you thought things were going to go right for once, think again. With a minute to go, Five realizes that no one else is coming. Allison now has to deal with a dead body in her living room, Diego wakes up from his drugging to find himself face to face with The Handler (who Lila introduces as Mom), and Vanya and Sissy are pulled over by the police, thanks to Sissy’s note.
When the cops approach the car to question her, Vanya is quick to jump out and run at them, their guns blazing. Her power starts to flow through her as she blasts them with energy, sending them flying through the air. However, Vanya does not anticipate a blow coming from the side as she’s knocked unconscious by the barrel of a rifle.
The New Number One: I can no longer withhold this title from Ben Hargreeves. Sure, he didn’t do anything with his power this episode, but he finally got to live for the first time in years.
Episode 8: “The Seven Stages”
Vanya wakes up in the FBI building in an interrogation room. Special Agent Willy Gibbs has a lot of questions for her, starting with some of the basics: Her last name and why she can’t remember anything. Vanya explains that she has amnesia, but that’s not the only reason this interrogation is going to be difficult. Agent Gibbs can’t help but notice that her name is “Vanya,” which he says sounds suspiciously Russian. He implies that because she remembers nothing but her name, she may be a spy. It’s not long before Vanya is unleashing her powers on Agent Gibbs, but somehow she is chloroformed by another agent in the room before she can do any damage.
In Elliot’s alley, Five is raging. He can’t believe his siblings blew their chance to get back to 2019 and he is d-o-n-e. He also wishes that it hadn’t come to this, being super vague about what “this” is, before locking himself in Elliot’s place and leaving Luther outside.
Everyone’s having a rough night because now Allison and Ray are fighting over what to do with the dead Swede on their couch. Klaus shows up to check on them and though Ray tries to shoo him away, he pushes inside. “It’s going to be one of those kinds of nights,” he says looking at the Swede on the couch and rolling up his sleeve.
As for the remaining Swede, he’s devastated that he killed his brother with his bare hands. One of the numerous cats in the Swedes’ temporary home happens to knock over The Commission’s last pneumatic tube and that’s when he gives it another look. Remember all the way back in Episode 3 when The Handler was doing arts and crafts? Suddenly, it all connects for the Swede and he realizes that The Handler faked the tube and Diego’s location. She’s been setting him up this whole time.
Speaking of The Handler, she and Lila are in the middle of fighting about Diego with Diego just sitting right there. “Sweetheart, your vagina needs glasses because he is not worth it,” The Handler snarls — a mantra we all need to adopt. But Lila doesn’t think her vagina needs glasses because she’s seen Diego fight and believes he is much better than some of the other agents at The Commission.
Diego is keen to stick up for himself, telling The Handler that the only person he’s looking out for is himself. That’s really all The Handler needs to hear before she has Lila bring Diego down to orientation because, very much against his will and without his true consent, he’s now one of The Commission’s newest agents.
If you’ve been wondering what Grace has been up to, she’s busy snooping on Reginald Hargreeves. Clearly what she’s recently learned about him is not sitting well with her, and she stumbles upon a secret room in his office. Inside are all sorts of documents and blueprints, including a drawing of President Kennedy’s upcoming motorcade route.
Reginald finds Grace inside this room and doesn’t even bother asking why she’s in there. “There’s so much about you I don’t understand,” Grace tries to explain, “I want to share my life with you, Reggie, but I need to know you’re a good man.” But plea or no plea, he’s still not going to share his secrets with Grace. He asks her to trust him, but she can’t do that, leaving him for what is presumably the last time. (Okay, but then how does she become Mom?)
Luther wakes up to Five chugging water in the kitchen and then slathering baby powder all over himself. Luther is confused as hell, but realizes that Five has a plan and demands to know it. Five says he has to go find himself. If you don’t follow where this is going, remember that season 1 of The Umbrella Academy explained to us that once upon a time, adult Five was in Dallas in 1963 to help with the assassination of Kennedy. That means Old Five just showed up in 1963 with a briefcase. And our Five is going to get it.
Five knows this is a bad idea, but not just for the usual time travel reasons: There are serious physical side effects to two versions of one person showing up in the same moment in time. They are as follows:
3. Extreme Thirst and Urination
4. Excessive Gas
5. Acute Paranoia
6. Uncontrolled Perspiration
7. Homicidal Rage
Luther is now pretty sure this is a bad idea. But goes along with it anyway. Five has tracked Old Five to an Irish pub and no sooner are they inside than Five starts getting a little gassy. Luther suggests that he go and talk to Old Five first. Introducing himself as “Number One,” Old Five is shocked and surprised to see his sibling standing in front of him. He’s even more surprised to see his younger self come around the corner.
Over pints, Young Five tries to explain to Old Five what’s happening. Since time travel is never not confusing, basically it boils down to this: Young Five wants the briefcase Old Five has, and he’s willing to trade for it. Young Five will give Old Five the correct calculations so Old Five can go back to 2019 and stay an old man (if you recall, Five is actually 60-something in a tween’s body) in exchange for the briefcase. Easy enough, right?
At The Commission, Lila drops Diego off at security orientation. Diego is less than thrilled to be sitting in a classroom with a bunch of other new recruits, but I am actually thrilled he is here because the video that starts playing is very reminiscent of Lost’s orientation videos. Yes, tell me more about this secret, shady, timeline organization! But then Diego sees that the instructor is asleep and takes this as his chance to slip out after he’s learned about the “infinite switchboard.”
Diego’s next stop is the infinite switchboard, but he has no idea how to make it all work. He starts fiddling when he’s caught by Herb, an analyst at The Commission. Herb knows Diego, and calls him a “legend,” so Diego asks to look at Kennedy’s assassination. Herb isn’t so sure that he can do that since unauthorized use of the switchboard is strictly prohibited, but eventually, Herb boots the video up and we’re watching a clip of the future, November 22, 1963. Kennedy arrives in Dallas and starts down his motorcade route when he passes the FBI building. It is glowing blue — that’s new. Diego braces for the sight of Kennedy being shot, but instead the FBI building in the background blows up.
Kennedy drives away from the scene unscathed. This is what starts the apocalypse because the U.S. blames Russia for the attack, and well, you know what happens next. Diego asks if there’s another angle of this chaos. Herb brings one up and we see Vanya rise from the rubble of the FBI building. She’s the bomb. She’s always going to be the bomb. Realizing he’s got to get back to Dallas to warn his siblings, Diego asks for help and Herb brings him to La Résistance — aka a bunch of agents at The Commission who are working against The Handler.
Over at the FBI building Vanya is straight-up being tortured, hooked to all sorts of machines and water torture devices to try and shock information out of her. They then load her up with LSD (even though historically that was more of a CIA tactic), and she starts tripping into her memory and she soon finds herself at the Umbrella Academy house.
Vanya finds her family sitting around the table with her dad at the head. Reginald starts quizzing her about whether or not she’s ready, and this sends Vanya into a tailspin. She doesn’t know what she needed to prepare for in the first place, so she doesn’t know anything. Grace comes to the table with a plate of food for her, which turns out to be a brain.
The rest of the Hargreeves children dig right into their brains, but Vanya hesitates. In the real world, Agent Gibbs turns up the voltage on the machine she’s strapped to, as Vanya starts thrashing around. And way over at Sissy’s farm, Harlan starts doing the same, clearly overcome with the same force Vanya is feeling.
At Allison and Ray’s the couple is busy rolling the Swede up in a carpet when Diego and Herb show up and scare the bejeezus out of them. Also Ray, meet Allison's other other other brother, Diego. But there’s no time for small talk, as Diego quickly explains that Vanya’s a ticking time bomb and they’ve got to get to the FBI building to stop her.
Ray’s clearly freaked out. Allison tries to comfort him, but she’s got to go off and help stop her sister from destroying the world. With one long, lingering kiss she says goodbye to Ray and I already miss him.
Back in Vanya’s mind, Reginald is berating her and calling her new life on the farm with Sissy “silly.” He wants her to eat the brain in front of her, and with one more bite she can leave. With this bite all sorts of memories come rushing back to her, from birth, to her childhood, to killing Pogo and the end of the world in 2019.
Agent Gibbs realizes that the machine is overloading and tries to shut it down as Vanya is growing too strong. The machine chooses the wrong time to stop working, as it can’t be shut off and across Texas Harlan finds himself going through this same painful shock, too. Just as Vanya really unleashes her powers, Allison, Diego, and Klaus show up at the FBI building and realize everything is going horribly wrong.
The New Number One:
Though he might be filled with homicidal rage right now, Five is the new Number One. He’s still hellbent on figuring out a way to get back to 2019, and even though each one of his plans is crazier than the next, eventually one of them is going to work.
Episode 9: “743”
Here we are at the penultimate episode of season 2 and things have gone from bad to worse. Vanya, still in the middle of an FBI interrogation, loses control of her powers and sends energy shooting down the hallway where Allison, Diego, and Klaus have just arrived. They’d hoped to get to their sister before this exact thing happens, but it looks like they might actually be too late. The trio huddles behind a desk while they try to figure out their next move and Klaus admits defeat. “Vanya would understand because she has realistic expectations of what I am. And what I am is sexy trash!” It’s hilarious because it’s true.
Allison goes first, fighting her way down the hallway against Vanya’s power while screaming for her sister. Unfortunately, she barely makes it halfway before an energy burst sends her sailing backward. Next it’s Diego’s turn. Using his knives as grappling hooks, he crawls towards Vanya as best he can, but it’s too much for him too. He makes it as far as a fire hose, which he sends back to Klaus as a rope. Klaus has to hype himself up, repeating out loud that he’s already survived much worse: He survived a family of seven, he once wore a sarong to a fraternity party and got a shitload of numbers. Casual feats of excellence.
Still, Klaus throws himself forward towards the room where Vanya is being held, but can’t muster the strength to open the door. Soon he’s joined his brother and sister at the other end of the hallway in a pile of defeat.
Do you know who can make it to Vanya without being pushed back by her energy blasts? A ghost named Ben Hargreeves. It is Ben’s time to shine and I am READY FOR THIS. With a knowing nod from Klaus, Ben starts his successful walk down the hallway towards the sister he hasn’t talked to in over a decade.
The other two Hargreeves siblings, Five and Luther, are still with Old Five trying to get him to give up the briefcase. Old Five has his own plans to make sure Kennedy is killed during his fateful motorcade. Old Five is worried Young Five is going to do something stupid, and he has every reason to think so.
Young Five is going through his own problems because he is diving headfirst into the seven stages, slowly going insane from being so close to his older self. He has also figured out Old Five’s plan to save the day: To kill Young Five and join everyone as they jump back to 2019.
This whole Young Five-Old Five situation has completely broken Luther’s soul, though. He tries to just go along for the ride, and help save the day in whatever way he can, which largely involves taking orders from Old Five, smiling, and nodding. Young Five eventually realizes that Luther’s simply following Old Five’s commands because of his ongoing daddy issues, which spawns the perfect moment in which Young Five yells, “I’m the daddy here!” We then arrive at the grassy knoll, which is the spot we actually saw Old Five jump from in the first episode of The Umbrella Academy, and the aged assassin begins to set up while his younger self storms around like a little maniac.
Meanwhile, The Handler has finally gone full Effie Trinket and is wearing her most ornate, opulent outfit to date. She’s getting ready for her swearing-in at The Commission, but Lila rightly snarks that it seems like more of a coronation. But the jokes end quickly when Lila has to tell The Handler that Diego only lasted 10 minutes at orientation. This is where Herb comes in, informing Lila that Diego commandeered the infinite switchboard, watched a video, and then took off. “Your puppy, your responsibility,” The Handler tells her daughter. Translation: Kill Diego, dear. But The Handler isn’t sure her daughter can be trusted, so she casually threatens Lila while also demanding her allegiance.
While this is going on, Herb makes his way to The Handler’s desk, where AJ is in a fishbowl on her desk. We know it’s AJ, but does Herb know this? He peers into the bowl and notices AJ has arranged the pebbles to write out “743.” Right on cue, AJ plays dead to finalize the message and Herb scurries off to find file 743. You may not remember the throwaway line from episode 2 of this season, but “743” was brought up as a Commission incident that went sideways. Herb is horrified by the contents of file 743, and when Lila sees them, she fully collapses, so you know it’s something huge.
Back at the FBI building, Ben has finally reached Vanya in the interrogation room (it should be noted that once again, Harlan is also going through what Vanya’s going through, but we’ll get to him in a sec). Ben’s ghost powers were never really explained, but I suppose that doesn’t really matter now, since Ben enters Vanya just like he entered Klaus in the last episode. He traces Vanya’s steps, walking into the Umbrella Academy, which appears to be under water. On the dining room table, Ben finds Vanya’s white violin. Inside of the violin, Vanya is hiding, having completely given up on everything.
Vanya is shocked to see Ben and instantly remembers him, even though she hasn’t seen her brother since they were kids. Vanya actually remembers everything she’s ever done and yes, that includes the 2019 apocalypse. She doesn’t understand what’s happening or why she keeps doing this.
“Dad treated you like a bomb before you ever were one,” Ben tells his sister. Even though Ben wasn’t there for her childhood, he still knows everything Reginald did to her. Their father couldn’t handle his anger, but “that doesn’t mean you can’t.”
Ben continues, “It’s a shitty world full of shitty people sometimes. You aren’t a monster, you’re my sister.” You should probably be crying at this point, because Ben is so good, and so pure, and so perfect for this world, even though he actually isn’t actually of this world.
As Vanya calms down, Ben starts to flake away, like a slow motion dusting from Avengers: Endgame, only little blue, glowing embers begin to come off of him, like fireflies. Vanya realizes what’s happening, recognizing that she’s hurting her brother even though he’s already dead. Ben reassures her that it’s not her fault, explaining that he’s been holding on for as long as he can anyway, and now it’s his time. He died 17 years ago, and all these extra years with Klaus have been “gravy.”
That completely broke my heart, but then Ben has to go and ask Vanya to hug him while he slowly disappears forever. Just before he does he whispers a message for Klaus in Vanya’s ear, then suddenly Ben is gone and Vanya wakes up.
At Sissy’s farm, Sissy and Carl are busy freaking out about Harlan’s current state. Carl decides it’s time to get him to a facility, but Sissy refuses, chasing Carl out of the house. He loads Harlan into the back of the car and begins to drive away when Sissy runs at her husband with a shotgun.
When Vanya wakes up, so does Harlan, and he finds himself in the back of his dad’s car and sees his mom with a shotgun. Carl is screaming about the “Russian mad-woman” (Vanya), and Sissy is yelling back about being repressed all these years. Harlan gets out of the car and joins his mother, which makes Carl snap. He reaches for Sissy’s shotgun and in the scuffle, it goes off in Harlan’s direction. With Vanya’s powers still flowing through him, Harlan suddenly repels the bullet… and sends it right into his dad’s chest.
There’s a lot happening at once now, but Old Five is still busy setting up to shoot Kennedy on the grassy knoll. Luther tries to keep Young Five at bay, and it works for about 30 seconds before the two Fives are fighting. After kneeing Luther in the crotch, the two start zapping back and forth, trading punches — all while Luther recovers from the first blow.
Having read file 743, Lila knows the truth. All those years ago her parents were killed by Five and AJ’s stamp was on the order. But AJ didn’t approve it, The Handler did, using AJ’s stamp to keep her name off the record. Thinking quickly on her feet, The Handler suggests that maybe Diego was trying to hide the evidence that Five killed Lila’s family. Lila, who is already distraught and fragile at this point, wants to trust in her mom more than Diego right now, so this flimsy line is all she needs to hear to completely turn on her “boyfriend.” With Lila gone, The Handler turns on AJ, realizing he’s responsible for Lila reading the file. She swallows the goldfish in one gulp, closing the loop on AJ and her lie.
Back at the grassy knoll, Luther has finally got the upper hand on the two Fives (or do two Fives actually make one Ten? That’s such a bad joke, and I’m so sorry). With Old Five’s rifle in hand, Luther turns it on Young Five, but it’s a fake out and knocks the older man out with the barrel. Quickly, Young Five opens the portal back to 2019, and we see the portal scene from the first ever Umbrella Academy episode again.
Young Five tells Old Five to jump into the vortex, just like he did last season. But, Old Five refuses to go before he gets the numbers for Young Five’s corrected calculation so he can jump as his old self, and not as a 60-something dude in a tween’s body again. Young Five spouts a lot of convoluted math, but it boils down to the fact last time, Five miscalculated by one decimal. The hope is that when Old Five jumps this time, he’ll still show up as an old adult.
Also, remember when, in the first episode of The Umbrella Academy, Klaus threw a fire extinguisher into the vortex? Well that move paid off 18 episodes later, because as the Fives talk, that extinguisher hits Luther square in the face and sorry, Lu, but it’s hard not to laugh at this. The extinguisher is also just enough of a distraction for Old Five to make a run for the briefcase. As the Fives struggle, Luther shakes off his injury and pushes Old Five into the vortex… with half of the briefcase. The suitcase is now useless and this entire mission has been for naught.
Waking up in the FBI interrogation room, Vanya rushes into the hallway and finds her siblings on the floor. They’ve still got a few minutes before Kennedy’s motorcade is set to pass FBI HQ. And since DIEGO WILL NEVER GIVE UP HIS QUEST TO SAVE KENNEDY, he rushes to a nearby window to watch. He believes that since Vanya didn’t blow up, he now has a chance to see the president once and for all.
Outside, a black town car pulls up and someone brandishing an umbrella gets out. It’s Reginald Hargreeves… right?
From different vantage points in Dallas, the Hargreeves siblings watch Kennedy’s motorcade move. Diego, STILL TRYING TO BE MISTER HERO, runs at full speed from the FBI building to his father’s spot on the grassy knoll and throws himself at Reginald, only to realize the umbrella guy has been a decoy all this time. Though we don’t see it, we hear the shots ring out and Kennedy is killed. His car speeds away. The decoy hands Diego a note from his father that says “told you so.”
Over at the Tiki Lounge, the Majestic 12 watches as JFK’s successor Linden B. Johnson addresses the nation. The real Reginald shows up, furious that the president has been killed. So according to this revisionist history, there was a JFK assassination conspiracy: The Majestic 12 killed Kennedy, Reginald — an actual alien — opposed it. The Majestic 12 explain that Kennedy had to go one way or another because he pissed off too many people and knew too much. Plus, Reginald got what he wanted: access to the moon. This isn’t actually what he wanted, so he bids goodnight to the Majestic 12, but they threaten to reveal his secrets.
Which ones, exactly? Well, as Reginald unzips the back of his head, we see that he’s an alien in a skin suit — this was hinted at in season 1 when we saw Reginald’s past on another planet, but not the part where he looked like a slimy creature under that stoic beard. Though we don’t see it, we certainly hear the screams as he kills the Majestic 12 to protect his true identity.
In the infinite switchboard room, The Handler is called in to check out an anomaly in the timeline. Once again, we don’t see what she’s looking at, but it’s enough to make her stab the switchboard operator in the chest to silence him. Picking up the phone, she recalls every single agent in the field to return to The Commission because they’re going to war.
Meanwhile at Sissy’s farm, a strange Vanya-like glow comes from the barn.
The New Number One:
Number Six, Ben Hargreeves. If Ben sacrificing his ghostly life to save Vanya and the world doesn’t completely break you, nothing will. All along Ben was so good and since he couldn’t do anything physical, all he ever tried to do was help his siblings out any way he could.
To be honest, I think I will forever be mad at Klaus for not letting anyone else in on the long-running Ben secret even though there were so many times he could have. Oh well. It’s all gravy now.
Episode 10: “The End of Something.”
The final episode of The Umbrella Academy season 2 begins with one last trip to the past. The year is 2006 and, one by one, the younger Hargreeves children file out into the courtyard — all except for Ben. We’re about to watch his funeral.
Carrying black umbrellas to shield them from the snow, everyone crowds around the casket for Ben alongside Pogo and Mom. Reginald gives a depressing as hell eulogy for his fallen son, basically blaming the rest of his children for his untimely death: “You allowed Number Six to die.” Allison shouts back through tears that it was an accident, but Reginald isn’t hearing it. He heads inside, leaving the children to continue their mourning alone.
It isn’t long after that before they all start fighting. Vanya says no one should blame themselves, and Diego snaps back that she wasn’t even on the mission. Luther and Allison then gang up on Diego.
Soon, only Klaus is left behind. Moving into the gazebo, he clenches his fists and summons his fallen brother for the first of many, many times. Appearing in the same exact garb we’ve seen him wear this entire time — black hoodie under a black leather coat paired with black pants — Ben knows he’s dead, but he doesn’t know where he is. Ben is happy to see his brother, he thinks he should walk towards the light. Klaus shoots this idea down, telling Ben he can walk towards it anytime he wants, but in the meantime, does Ben want to watch Klaus pee in their dad’s gas tank? That’s obviously a “yes,” and Ben and Klaus begin their years of secret antics together.
In 1963, the remaining Hargreeves children gather to watch the news at Elliot’s. They’re being identified as persons of interest in Kennedy’s assassination and are wanted for all sorts of other reasons (most notable, is Klaus, who is wanted for tax evasion). Naturally, this leads to a fight as they figure out what to do next. If these siblings are together, they are fighting. These are the facts.
It gets heated between Five and Diego, who bicker about The Commission; Five is blissfully unaware that Diego has been through orientation there. He’s also seen the infinite switchboard, which Five immediately doubts, but Diego shoots back, “I made that machine my bitch.”
While that continues, Vanya heads upstairs to call Sissy. She doesn’t reach Sissy, but does get a vision of Harlan as he begs for her help. Memories of Vanya helping him out of the water and accidentally transferring some of her powers to him come rushing back. This is all she needs to declare that she’s leaving. Vanya doesn’t know what’s going on, but she knows Harlan needs her help. “I’m scared, and for the first time in my life I don’t want to do it alone,” she says, asking them to go with her to Sissy’s farm.
Diego’s the first one to turn Vanya down, citing the bigger issues they need to worry about right now. One by one, the other siblings agree; they’re still preoccupied with what happens next in 1963 and how to get back to 2019. Realizing she’s got to do this alone, Vanya heads out to the car, where she’s immediately joined by Klaus, who muses about Ben being gone. Klaus, way too nonchalant, asks if Ben happened to say anything about him before he disappeared forever and Vanya tells him yes: Ben wanted Klaus to know he was too scared to go into the light. It wasn’t actually Klaus who made him stay.
“That little shit-hell,” Klaus mutters. He spent his whole life believing he was the reason Ben couldn’t pass over to the other side. While Vanya enjoys this little talk, she’s got places to go and a Harlan to save. That’s when Klaus reveals that he’s going with her, and slowly everyone else piles into the car, with Luther and his massive limbs climbing into the trunk. As they drive away, the last Swede watches them from the stolen milk truck before following them.
At the farm, they find that not only is there a lightning storm over the barn, but it’s also snowing. Sissy comes running out of the barn with a rifle, screaming about Harlan. Vanya introduces Sissy to her brothers and sister and while Sissy is skeptical, there are really only two options: Take Vanya’s help or watch Harlan suffer.
She makes the obvious choice and leads everyone into the barn where Harlan is stuck in his own power vortex. It’s like one Vanya could create, but a bit smaller, and acting as a force-field. Vanya is able to enter this energy bubble and starts to talk to Harlan.
Since things only ever go from bad to worse for this family, Klaus hears a familiar zap outside and finds The Handler and Lila standing in the middle of a nearby field. Five and Diego start trying to explain The Handler and Lila to their siblings, but why bother? “They both look angry,” Luther remarks.
Clearly hoping for peaceful agreement, Five and Diego head out into the field. The Handler gets to the point: As the new head of The Commission, she’s here to eliminate the criminals responsible for killing the Board of Directors. Diego is incredulous, unaware that Five is the one who did it. Five justifies his actions, telling Diego that he was just trying to save his family. (From a distance, Luther, Klaus, and Allison watch this exchange and Luther finally asks, “Which one’s the girlfriend?” Since when does Luther get so many great one-liners?)
The Handler set Five up to fail, so he’s busy being pissed, but Diego is convinced that he and his siblings can handle two aggressors. “Let’s change that,” The Handler says and with a snap of her fingers, zaps in hundreds of Commission agents. With the drop of her red scarf, the Commission agents run at Diego and Five, who dart as fast as they can back to the barn; a distance ahead of them already, Luther, Allison and Klaus take cover behind some bales of hay.
The agents’ guns reach the barn, which prompts Harlan to let out an energy burst that sends Sissy and Vanya flying. Out on the field, Diego is able to hold off some of the bullets with his powers (they’re not just for knives!), which allows Five to make it all the way back to the house. But every bit of shelter is quickly disappearing because the siblings are so outnumbered.
Cue Vanya floating in mid-air. Finally able to control her powers, she rises out of the barn, beaming with her White Violin light, and sets off an energy blast that completely levels the field. Like, all of it. Every Commission agent falls to the ground defeated… except for The Handler and Lila, who apparently have their own force-field bubble.
“Your turn, dear,” The Handler says to her daughter and suddenly Lila floats up, mimicking Vanya’s powers. She sets off an energy blast of her own, sending the Hargreeves in different directions. The Handler is clearly enjoying this, giggling and shouting gleefully after Lila, “Let me know when you’ve killed them all!”
Lila zaps herself into the house and comes face to face with Luther, but she wants Five. Luther isn’t about to let that happen, but when he rears back to punch her she stops the blow and sends Luther flying through the wall. He lands outside near Allison, who immediately gets up to fight Lila. Soon the two women are kicking and punching each other and it’s not long before Allison has the upper hand and leans into Lila and whispers, “I heard a rumor...”
But she can’t finish it; Lila does with “you stopped breathing.” Allison, hit with her own power, falls to the ground gasping for air as Luther frantically tries to get her to fight it. It’s no use, so he leans down to give her mouth-to-mouth and I feel incredibly cheated that Allison and Luther’s first kiss is CPR. But at least it works and Allison comes to. Luther apologizes for doing “the thing,” and I honestly want a redo on it, but whatever.
Meanwhile, Lila has found Five and the two start fighting, kicking and punching and zapping. The rest of the siblings gather, running through the facts: Lila has super strength, can rumor people, and creates sonic blasts like Vanya. “If she can do everything we can do she might as well be one of us,” Vanya pants, and at first it’s comical. But then that idea really sinks in.
Could Lila actually be just like them? There’s no time to figure that out now; they need a plan to stop her. Sure, she can mirror their powers, but they reason that she can only mirror them one at a time. That’s her weakness.
By now The Handler has made it inside the barn and finds Sissy and Harlan hiding in the basement. With a simple whack, The Handler knocks Sissy out and says she’s Harlan’s new mom. Harlan is sitting in a new, smaller energy bubble and The Handler is thrilled. She’s got a new powerful child and she’s especially thrilled that this one won’t talk back. Chilling.
Lila and Five are really fighting it out again in the barn, and Lila is ready to drag this out as long as possible for what Five did to her. When Five is like, “What?” Lila brings up her parents’ murder in 1993. It all comes rushing back to Five and tries to get the truth out: The Handler ordered Lila’s parents killed, not AJ, despite the stamp on the kill order.
But none of this makes sense to Lila, so Diego clears it up: “Because you’re one of us.” Turns out Lila was also born on October 1, 1989, just like the Umbrella Academy. She’s got powers, just like the Umbrella Academy. She was one of the 43 kids born around the world on that day, but not one of the seven that Reginald *checks notes* purchased.
Diego tries to reason with Lila. The Handler stole Lila away from her parents and never really cared about her, only her powers — as a way for The Handler to gain her own power. “I know that we can be your family if you just let us,” Diego tells Lila, barely above a whisper. I know they’re talking about being a family here, which creates another Luther-Allison conundrum, but this is the first time during all of season 2 that I have actually shipped these two and I’m not apologizing for it.
And that would have been a wonderful, nice moment if it weren’t for The Handler, who shows up and shoots every single one of them except Lila. So yeah, the Umbrella Academy is… dead?
Lila needs to know the truth. “Did you ever love me?” she asks the woman she’s called “mum” for almost 20 years. But before The Handler can answer, she shoots her, too. Now all the super kids are dead.
Except Five is just barely alive. The Handler notices. She walks over to him, ready to off him like all the others, when suddenly the last remaining Swede shows up and shoots The Handler. Now, everyone is just... dead?
But here’s where Reginald is actually useful for once. Five starts recalling all his prior horribly botched time travel attempts, and remembers his dad’s only words of wisdom: “seconds, not decades.” With all his remaining energy, Five reverses the clock undoing The Handler’s death, and Lila’s death, and the deaths of all his siblings. In this zap, he moves across the barn to the door where he’ll stop The Handler when she first walks in. It works, and he disarms her to get the upper hand.
We’re back to Lila asking her mother for the truth when the Swede shows up again and shoots The Handler. This time, she actually seems dead (deader than last season). Luther, realizing that The Handler has left a briefcase behind, makes a move for it but Lila’s faster and Diego jumps in front of his brother. Why did Diego do another confounding thing like letting Lila get away? “Because I love her.”
Finally, the last Swede and Five call a truce, and everyone drops their weapons. Honestly? The whole Swedes vs. Hargreeves battle was pretty anti-climatic. Even Klaus is mad, asking, “Who was that guy?”
But oh yeah, Sissy and Harlan are still in the basement. It’s okay if you forgot they were down there, too, because 500 things are happening, including but not limited to time travel. Everyone rushes down and Vanya throws herself into Harlan’s force-field. Since apparently Vanya can now give and take away powers, she’s able to pull them out of Harlan, saving the boy from her fate. At least, that’s what she thinks she’s done.
Once things have settled down, Vanya once again asks Sissy to come to 2019. This time, Sissy knows there’s no way she can, but she thanks Vanya for helping her feel alive again. She’s got a friend out in California and she’s going to go live there for a while and get back on her feet. Pay attention to details like this.
Out in the field, Five and Diego meet Herb, who just zapped onto the battlefield. With The Handler gone, Herb is now in charge and more than willing to help the siblings out. All they need is a briefcase, and looking over the field of fallen agents, Herb says, “take your pick.”
Before they leave, Allison writes a note to Ray, which he finds tucked in From the Earth to the Moon. Her note opens saying that they both knew she would get in the last word and in it, she apologizes to him for leaving, but she knows she doesn’t belong in 1963. Over Allison’s words, everyone else slowly comes to peace with what’s happened, too.
Klaus kisses Dave’s dog tags as we see Dave shipping out — but it’s important to note in this timeline he’s joined the marines, not the army, so it’s possible Klaus did manage to prevent his death.
The lone Swede walks away from the barn when Klaus' former cult pulls up and asks if he needs a ride. Seeing no other great option before him, he gets onboard.
Luther tries to call his former boss Jack Ruby, in order to stop him from killing Lee Harvey Oswald, but it’s no use. Ruby doesn’t answer the phone.
Sissy and Harlan hit the open road and cross the New Mexico border. In the backseat of the car, and out of sight from Sissy, Harlan makes his bird toy levitate. Vanya didn’t take all her powers back after all.
With a new briefcase in hand, Five has his siblings gather around to jump back to 2019. Just as they’re about to go, Klaus asks them to wait and goes rushing back inside the house... to grab a cowboy hat.
Just like that, they’re back in 2019 — April 2, 2019 or the day after the would-be apocalypse, to be exact. They’re back inside the familiar foyer of their childhood home and can't contain their excitement. How about a round of drinks for everyone? Allison makes a comment about rushing off to go see Claire — and I admittedly didn’t keep track this season, but is this the first time Allison has mentioned her daughter?
In the parlor, Luther heads for the bar while Diego can’t help but notice that there’s a painting of Ben above the mantle. Uh, that’s not supposed to be there. The painting is supposed to be of Five.
“I knew you’d show up eventually,” Reginald says, rising out of his chair as mysteriously and menacingly as possible. In 2019, their father is supposed to be dead, so everyone is collectively shocked. Putting that aside for a second since there will be time for questions, everyone’s just glad to be back home.
But Reginald literally says, “wrong again.” This is not their home. He is not their dad. This is the Sparrow Academy. From behind them up on the balcony, five figures and one glowing green cube appear cloaked in shadows. On the first floor, a vaguely familiar voice asks, “Dad, who the hell are these assholes?” and I swear to god the Netflix audio description for this scene literally says, “It’s Ben in an emo haircut and a goatee of stubble.”
The Hargreeves siblings obviously recognize Ben; but he does not recognize them. He is in fact dressed very emo, wearing an outfit for the Sparrow Academy and sporting a Gerard Way circa 2014 haircut.
All together now: Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, and Vanya say, “Shit.”
The New Number One:
I have to give this to Diego. He has gone through an emotional rollercoaster this season, and in the end he proves that he’s the hero he wants to be — and the hero his dad scolded him for not being as a child. His relationship with Lila has definitely changed him for the better, and hopefully, in season 3 he won’t spend all of his time and energy trying to change history for the better. He’s just gotta focus on changing himself.