Is the Umbrella Academy Getting Shadowed by the Sparrows?
The pandemic held up a lot of entertainment and season 3 of the Umbrella Academy was no exception to that. We finally got the return of our six heroes to the show following a quite interesting cliffhanger. At the end of season 2, the team comes back from the past to what they believe is their home only to find a new group of people living there with the man who had raised them. This Sparrow Academy even includes Ben, the member who died but had followed Klaus around through the first two seasons. Along with storyline questions, we have Elliot Page (formerly known as Ellen Page) coming out as trans leaving people wondering how this was going to affect his character. After a couple year wait, we finally get some answers and a very interesting season. Like the first two season, this season is ten episodes long and definitely worth a watch. For those who haven’t seen it yet, go do so and then come back as we are reaching the…
We start out the first episode. The first big change is the fact that there were only 16 children, not 43. Much of it played out similarly down to the marching and choreography of the 7 carriages like in the first episode but with sparrow emblems on the carriages instead of umbrellas. The seven children that Reginald got were Marcus (super strength), Fei (able to spawn crows from her body that she could see through and control), Alphonso (with a voodoo doll like power where anyone hitting him feels it themself instead), Sloane (gravity manipulation), Jayme (spit that causes the target to hallucinate), Christopher (a floating cube whose powers are documented as temperature and fear related), and of course Ben who has the same tentacle powers as the Umbrella Academy member. Two super teams meet so, of course, they need to battle instead of just talking it out. How do they battle? It’s a dance off. Or, at least, that’s what Diego envisions it to be after getting his with Jayme’s spit. The two teams do a whole scene dancing against and then with each other to the song Footloose. The performance is a lot of fun and reminded me of the dance to “I Think We’re Alone Now” that was in the first episode of season 1. I wish they had done this for season 2 as well, but maybe we will see one when we come back to season 4.
Back in reality, the real battle start and the Sparrows who have trained together and kick the Umbrella Academy’s butt until Vanya lets loose with a blast that knocks the Sparrows around the room. Marcus tells them to get out and never come back. During all of this, an obvious connection starts between Luther and Sloane that seems to come out of nowhere. It seems more like something that would come from a love potion the way it starts and how they act since they don’t even really get to know each other until later in the season.
While the battle happened, a ball of energy forms in the basement of the house that apparently comes from a paradox having to do with their presence in the world. This energy builds and starts wiping people, animals, and objects out of reality in waves. Somehow, none of the main characters seem to be affected by this other than ones that walked right up to it. By the last couple episodes, just about everything is wiped out but somehow, none of the two teams are affected by the random wipe-outs which seemed pretty improbable even for this show. This is just like how the building they need access to also ends up being on the last part of the world left floating in this void which somehow still has an atmosphere that people outside the building can still breathe. As much as I love the series in general, this part of the story is more riddled with holes than Bonnie and Clyde’s car.
Speaking of the building, most of the filming is split between the Sparrow Academy’s home and the Hotel Oblivion. This was due in no little part to the pandemic. Using these locations as the primary focus allowed the cast to keep safely away from other people for a majority of the time. One of the changes to the house is a gym where the Sparrow Academy still train showing how things kept going for them since they hadn’t lost any members and it gave the team a whole different feel. Of course, their track record on survival ends when Marcus is lost to the ball of energy knows as the kugelblitz. Jayme and Alphonso are then taken out by a blast of energy from an old man who is revealed to be Harland, the young kid from season 2. Fei and Christopher are lost later due to kugelblitz related incidents as well. This of course meant they didn’t have to explain Christopher anymore, like how did he become a floating cube. Was his born like that, did he wake up one morning like that, or did he slowly morph into that form? I guess we’ll never find out.
Speaking of Harland, he really becomes a focal point of a lot of the story. We knew he got some of Vanya’s energy at the end of season 2. He seems to be pretty powerful now but really can’t control it. Despite Reginald’s telling Klaus that the Sparrow Academy existed because he purposely chose different children after having met the Umbrella Academy (but never having met Ben allowing him to be chosen), it turns out that he didn’t have any choice as we find out that all of their mothers were killed by Harland. When all the babies were instantly conceived, Harland connect to Vanya and the other academy members and then kill the mothers accidentally. This means that the sixteen babies Reginald had to choose from never included the six members of the group that were present. Of course, this only accounts for 22 of the original 43 mothers. What happened to the other 21? This seems to have never been addressed. Were they killed by Harland as well or did Reginald just do something different with the energy because he met the Umbrella Academy in the past?
With all the weird science fantasy happening throughout the show, one bit of reality affected the show. As mentioned before, between season 2 and season 3, Elliot Page came out as a trans man. Everyone wondered how this was going to affect the character of Vanya. Things started out as they were at the end of season 2, but once in the Hotel Oblivion, Vanya becomes Viktor (following a haircut and a new look) after realizing he needed to live his real truth. Thankfully, all of the family supports him without question. Luther, having been abducted by the Sparrow Academy while this all happened, was a little confused but was as supportive as he could be in his more naive way. His reaction was a good way of showing that even people who mean well may not quite understand the situation and need help figuring out how to be supportive while not wanting to be offensive.
Take all this and toss in a hotel built to link to another dimensional version of the hotel, a wedding between Sloane and Luther even thought they’ve only known each other for days, all sorts of drama regarding Harland and Viktor, Allison betraying the team due to her child not existing in this reality since she didn’t, finding out that Klaus’ link to the dead also makes him immortal, Diego being tricked into believing he has a kid, and an attempt to reset reality and you have quite a season to fit into just 10 episodes. One thing I want to know is that if Stan wasn’t really Diego’s kid, how did he get the reflexes and fighting skills on par with Diego that he used in the store battle? I don’t know if we’ll ever get that answer as he drew the short straw and was the only one of the main cast members to eventually die from one of the kugelblitz’s waves, the last one before reality was undone.
Now we reach the end of the story for now. Reality gets reset and we see Allison find her daughter alive, but her husband is now Raymond Chestnut instead of Claire’s actual father. Also, there was a symbol of a squirrel in the house similar to the way the umbrella and sparrow used to look. Does this mean that we’ll have the Squirrel Academy (Note Raymond’s last name.) next season? Also, the team no longer has their powers once they step into the new reality. Is this because the new reality was programmed for them not to have them or because of their energy being used to reset reality. Viktor still had powers right before Allison hit the button so I’m not sure what to think. Ben was still alive and with the team at the end but Sloane was nowhere to be seen. Was this Allison’s doing out of jealousy and does she even exist in this reality? We see Reginald alive with Abigail at the end with apparently a major business presence in the new reality. Could the lack of powers be related to how his history had changed? We also see Ben (presumably the Umbrella Academy version since the Sparrow one was still with the group) on a train which makes you wonder if Reginald still did something and are there still other powered people out there and how many are in this reality.
The season is great but there is so much going on and so many things left unanswered that your head spins. I was talking with someone last night about this season and we came up with so many questions and possible ideas on what could have happened regarding some of the questions I brought up and was going to happen following this season. I guess we’ll see what season 4 brings us to hopefully answer a couple of the questions. I read that season 4 may be the final season because the creators feel it would be a logical place to end it. It’s always good to go out on a good note and not be cancelled after you’ve been running on steam and bad ideas. I’m definitely looking forward to the new season when it comes out and would love to hear about what theories other people have.