Answers To Every Question You Have About Umbrella Academy’s The Handler

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: This story discusses plot points and major spoilers from season 2 of The Umbrella Academy.
Season 2 of original series The Umbrella Academy has now hit Netflix, and viewers get to catch up with the super-powered Hargreeves siblings as they tackle yet another apocalypse. But nuclear war isn't the only threat that the Umbrella Academy faces; they're also racing against time and the woman who controls it: The Handler (Kate Walsh).
While time travel played a pretty significant role in season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, it is the crux of the story's second chapter. After the Hargreeves narrowly escape the apocalypse caused by Vanya's (Ellen Page) uncontrollable power surge, they land in various points of time throughout early 1960s Dallas, where they must prevent the certain destruction of the world yet again.
As the heroes try to find their way back to each other, The Handler reappears with a chip on her shoulder and a bullet in her head, and she's got a brand new mission.

Why Didn't The Handler Die In Season 1?

View this post on Instagram

wednesday @ me

A post shared by The Umbrella Academy (@umbrellaacad) on

Fans (and Five) were certain that the quirky villain had been done away with in the end of the first season. As a high-ranking official in the Temps Commission, The Handler had made many enemies, but it was her double-crossing of Commission agent Hazel (Cameron Britton) that led to what many believed was her death; the time-traveling assassin killed her with a gunshot to the head. Or so we thought.
As it turns out, her seemingly lifeless body was found and taken to a morgue to be incinerated, but she regained consciousness right before being reduced to ashes. Much like the time Five blew her up at the Commission, The Handler returns in the second season of The Umbrella Academy in perfect health.
As for how surviving a bullet to the head is even possible, we're supposed to believe that because she has a metal plate in her head, the bullet merely knocked her out. Okay, sure.

What Is The Handler Doing In Season 2?

Getting revenge, mostly. Even after she survived a murder attempt, the Commission isn't too happy with The Handler. By letting Five and his siblings thwart the first apocalypse, she failed her mission, and the Commission doesn't take failure lightly. When she returns to the time traveling headquarters, The Handler learns that she's been replaced by a literal fish and demoted to a mere desk job after being one of the most powerful people within the organization. Suffice to say, she's pissed.
Now that she has a bone to pick with the people who humiliated her, The Handler has set her eyes on a new goal: total authority over the Commission. If she's in charge of the Commission, getting revenge on Five will just be a matter of dispatching the right agents as she pleases. The best people for the job? Three Swedish triplets who are already on the case for The Commission and Lila (Ritu Arya), her own daughter.

What Is The Handler's Real Name?

Nobody knows! Like Five's real name, the government name of The Umbrella Academy baddie remains a mystery, likely never to be solved. It's suspected by many fans that she may not even have a real name. When The Handler returns to work at the Commission only to discover that she's been stripped of her official duties, she's still addressed by the title we've come to associate her with. Not Stacy, not Jen — just "The Handler."

Is The Handler Really Dead After The Season 2 Finale?

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Unfortunately for The Handler, her scheming doesn't exactly go according to plan the second time around — it actually ends up coming back to bite her in the ass.
The villain's coup is foiled in the very last episode of season 2. Lila's ties to her boyfriend and mark Diego (David Castañeda) are making things increasingly tricky. Plus only one of the mysterious Swedish triplets remains, and he's not so sure that his murderous lifestyle is worth all of the carnage. As The Handler grows more desperate to hold on to the reins of the Commission, she gets sloppy, and Five is once again able to outsmart her; quick-thinking by the young assassin leads to his former employer's death-by-gunshot.
After dying a second time, is The Handler gone for good? According to the actress who plays her, season 2 is the time traveling villain's swan song.
"Yes, I think she is [dead]," Walsh theorized in conversation with Esquire. "I asked that too, but yeah, so far as I know I just did this season. So, I don't have any future plans to come back, but you never know in Umbrella Academy."
She's right — we truly never know with The Umbrella Academy, so this could really go either way. Still, I'm willing to bet that fans haven't seen the last of The Handler. At least, not on this timeline.
Related Content:

More from TV

R29 Original Series