As Five tries to find a concrete way to stop the apocalypse, “The Umbrella Academy” starts to feel like it is in a loop that isn’t getting better.
|Director(s)||Tom Verica, Ellen Kuras|
|Writer(s)||Bronwyn Garrity, Robert Askins, Aeryn Michelle Williams|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Episode 4 “The Majestic 12”
Who are the Majestic 12? Well, they are the people that planned and decided John F. Kennedy’s fate, and Reginald is one of them. Which is discovered by Diego and Five, alongside Lila, who we learn did see her parents die the way she claimed. It’s just, for reasons not explained, The Handler, when she found her, took her in, and Lila attached herself to her. Granted, what alternatives did she have but, considering she was there when her parents were killed, it does make you wonder why she has been close to her for so long? Unless, after the training she went through, she is just conditioned to be attached?
Either way, she is tasked with protecting Five, for he is much more valuable to The Handler alive than dead. But, in multiple instances, it becomes clear what Lila’s goals are as she leaves Diego to fend for himself. Leading you to wonder, will this cause a row between them?
Speaking of row, Luther has been abandoned by Jack Ruby, and with that, he wanders about. As this happens, Allison learns Raymond thinks she was planted into his organization, and with her refusing to use her powers on him to end the nonsense, she ends up alone. At least until Klaus, who gets denied, and punched, by Dave, ends up at her house drunk.
But, if it is any compensation, as Klaus sleeps off a drunken stupor and Luther gets high with Elliott, since his place is the only one that Jack can’t keep him out of, Vanya is having a good time. Granted, after Luther reveals she caused the first apocalypse, and having a fight with Five, she seems to want to isolate herself, but Sissy won’t let her. She needs her, wants her, and based on a kiss they share, truly loves her.
Episode 5 “Valhalla”
So, how did Grace and Reginald meet? Well, through Pogo! You see, Pogo, in 1962, ended up chosen and trained to go into space and lived – barely. However, with the serum Luther was later given, Pogo was revived, and, for some time, it seemed Reginald and Grace were some kind of family. One which, upon his arrival, Luther traveled to be part of but was swiftly rejected due to his smell, look, and Reginald noting he detest children.
Thus, in modern times, the idea of hunting down their father for answers doesn’t appeal to him. But considering Reginald is well aware he is being watched, he just invites his pursuers for a light supper to handle things. Though considering the siblings are at a bit of an impasse on the apocalypse, which is now 6 days away, who knows if they may all show up?
After all, Diego still has intentions of saving JFK and is dealing with Lila not having his back. Vanya is loving the fact she has a family, but struggles with Sissy not leaving hers for her. Klaus finds himself forced to deal with his cult, after a pleasant time with Vanya and Allison, and speaking of Allison, she decides it is time to tell Ray the truth.
Which leads to our villains. Well, fun fact, Lila doesn’t know The Handler was involved with killing her family. Rather, she was told some kind of white savior story in terms of The Handler taking her away from alcoholic parents who lived in the slums. So there’s that. Oh, and as for the Swedes? Between Lila and The Handler, one of them die and as they mourn, Lila and The Handler arrange for a meeting with Five.
Episode 6 “A Light Supper”
How Allison met and fell in love with Ray is touched on, as well as his discovery of her powers. Well, better said, Allison explaining and showing her powers. Which, originally, was supposed to bring the two together. However, with him now fearing she used a spell on him, it seems Allison is experiencing a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
But, at the very least, the family is brought back together. Granted, partly by Reginald calling them together, but considering one of the few ideas everyone has to stop the nuclear war is Reginald, what choice do they have, right? Sadly though, while nicer than the man we knew in season 1, Reginald remains curt and cutting. I’m talking he reads Diego to the point the man is left with a stutter, and while Luther stands up to him, only Five gets any real conversation.
Mind you, the conversation doesn’t necessarily help, but it does push the idea that between the loss of Five and Ben, maybe that is what killed any sense of kindness Reginald had. For while he likely never liked kids, the loss of what damn near appears to be his favorite, then Ben, it probably broke him in unexpected ways. Similar to how the Swedes broke and killed Elliott.
Oh yeah, Elliott is dead, and it is all The Handler’s fault. You see, she has a grand plan to regain her power, and that means having Five murder the board of directors, taking the blame, and her rising likely due to taking him out. But, until it became clear The Handler was his only option, Five tries to avoid that plan. That is despite a promise to not put in the timeline any other apocalypse scenarios. Since, at this point, Five’s ability to trust doesn’t really go beyond his siblings – and sometimes, his trust in them is fickle.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Episode 4 “The Majestic 12”
- Did Harlan gain some of Vanya’s powers when she gave him CPR?
- When it comes to Grace, with learning she was a real person before becoming a robot, is anyone else wondering if she was for show or if Reginald truly loved her?
- Lila’s parents were killed in London in 1993, and based on episode 3, she was 4 at the time.
Episode 5 “Valhalla”
- Why is Klaus refusing to let everyone know Ben is around? Is this just part of their tit for tat petty relationship?
- Does the actor who plays Ray look like he should play Stokey Carmichael to anyone else? I’m not saying they are twins, but the look is similar enough, and the talent is there.
- So, why was the shop Allison works at closed or empty in the middle of the day? Surely Odessa doesn’t just take off so Allison can have the shop to herself, right?
Episode 6 “A Light Supper”
- Ben has been dead 16 years at this point.
- It’s two days until JFK’s murder.
- Klaus tries to dissolve his cult, but it fails. Also, Dave comes to visit, and Klaus learns he altered Dave’s timeline so now he has enlisted sooner and might be beyond saving.
Allison Assumed To Be A Mole
While we know Allison was not a mole, the idea of a Black person acting as a mole in a civil rights organization is a fascinating idea. But, on the flip side, Ray and Allison has been one of the best, uncomplicated relationships this season, perhaps on the show. So though the idea is good, I’m glad they didn’t press the idea and get Allison isolated.
Klaus’ Love For Dave
Despite it seeming Klaus ultimately failed to save the love of his life, it was beautiful watching him try to save him. It gave Klaus substance, and really, that’s all we want because his antics lost their luster a long time ago.
Pogo’s Origin Story
Pogo doesn’t play a strong role in season 2, but that doesn’t mean his life and death, in season 1 isn’t still a strong memory. So to see his journey from an ape from the Congo to going into space, then being adopted, it was touching. It makes you hope even that, in scaring him off, hopefully, Five and Diego didn’t alter the timeline.
The Family Dynamic
More often than not, the siblings have uneasy relationships with one another. However, as the show built up to the light supper with Reginald, it wasn’t like that. Note: We didn’t get one big happy family for long. More so, we got small clusters, and Vanya was able to be part of the two sects. Thus leading to a sweet dance sequence with her, Allison, and Klaus, and there being a reminder that, like her slate was wiped clean, maybe the family, as a unit, can start a new as well.
Vanya and Sissy
Though like so many lesbian storylines, things are way more complicated than you’d want, you have to admit Vanya and Sissy are made to be rooted for. Not to downplay the times, never mind it being Dallas, Texas, so them running off and being happy isn’t likely – especially since Carl seems aware of their tryst. But Vanya, and in extension, Ellen Page, remains one of the reasons to watch and get invested. And this relationship, and each individual one Vanya has, it’s the knot holding many of the interpersonal interactions amongst the Umbrella Academy members together.
How Reginald Read Diego
I would never say Diego is as annoying as Luther, but I do believe he can often be as one note. So to hear Reginald break down his character and leave him stuttering, I gagged. It was hilarious and while it didn’t change anything, as shown by Diego trying to expose Reginald to Grace, it was a moment that was needed.
Will this man ever do more than whine? I get there is a play on masculinity with “The Umbrella Academy,” considering how Luther is the most emotional, Klaus the most feminine, and Diego easily cut with words, but Luther doesn’t have much beyond his size. He isn’t funny, doesn’t have any notable relationship, since he – THANK GOD – isn’t with Allison and using her as a crutch, so he is often just there. Like Five’s mannequin except he talks for himself but, like the mannequin, is still being dragged around everywhere.
With one killed and the remaining two killing Elliott, an easy target, I think we can officially say the villain problem from season one carried over. Which sucks but, considering the show isn’t tapping into the other kids likely born when the members of the Umbrella Academy were, what you expect? Plus, as increasingly shown, the writers have their favorites, and if you aren’t one, you’ll be treated as a necessary evil.
Our issue with Ben is that he is being held back so much by Klaus. Who I get he is the straight man to, but considering Ben openly has a crush on one of Klaus’ followers, is it wrong I want to see him get to have some romance? Hell, would it be too much for a means to suddenly come about for him to be brought back to life?
On The Fence
Lila’s Relationship With The Handler
One of the things we’re starting to notice with binging this way is how reliant weaker characters are one either what should be stronger characters, or characters whose actors are well-known names. Lila is a prime example for, as shown before the reveal The Handler is her mother, she was doing fine with Diego. He relied on her to make him interesting, and their dynamic worked.
But now, with her being The Handler’s little slum child, she feels so neutered. Add in Five taking her down, with relative ease, and it’s like watching a character’s potential being swept away like a cluster of dust on the floor.
Taking note of how The Handler said the former apocalypse had to happen, and this one seems destined as well, is it wrong to want to see an apocalypse situation play out? Especially since Five is the only one who seems? That creates this general lack of urgency, even with knowing the apocalypse is nuclear war, that almost makes you wonder how things would look if they were just allowed to happen?
The Beginning of Ray and Allison
Considering Allison is the only character who has ever gotten married, and is the only one married, yet again, I must admit not getting more of how her and Ray went from a date to spouses was disappointing. Part of the reason I say that is due to “The Umbrella Academy” often dangling relationships you’d want to see developed or be happy. Yet, as shown, if it isn’t a sinister motive there are issues that cut the relationship short.
So, for once, I was hoping we got to see someone in bliss. Yet, we don’t get to see the honeymoon period, and no sooner than she reconciles with Ray, it seems they got troubles again.
Trajectory – Plateau
“The Umbrella Academy” remains in that odd space of not having a sophomore slump but barely feeling like it has learned anything from its first season.