This may be an Umbrella Academy Season 2 SPOILER review. However for anyone who clicked and is now in a panic, worry not. Here is a quick paragraph of what I thought of Season 2 before I get into the SPOILERS.
I enjoyed Umbrella Academy Season 1, but didn’t love it, I absolutely loved Season 2. Season 2 has great world building, shocks, character growth and a general widening and deepening of the story from Season 1. Essentially, Season 2 was Like The Empire Strikes Back to me versus Season 1’s A New Hope. My desires as a viewer going into Umbrella Academy Season 2 were both met and exceeded.
**Now time to get specific, so SPOILERS for Umbrella Academy Season 2 will follow**
A Satisfying Sequel
A few weeks ago, in the run up to Season 2 of Umbrella Academy coming I wrote about it in my Friday column. My Friday column is called What This Fan Wants From… In it I talked about what I hoped to see from Season 2 as a fan. I had a few specific requests, and most, if not all of them were met in Season 2.
Deeper world building, and more information about the various factions playing in this Universe, those were my main desires. So much of Season 1 remained a mystery, and I wanted to lift that veil, just a little at least.
Who was Reginald Hargreeves, what were his goals? Well, in Season 2 we found out a heck of a lot more about Hargreeves. Season 2 spends much more time with the younger version of Hargreeves than I anticipated and it was intriguing. However, like all the best stories, we may have got some answers, but we got even more questions to go along with these answers.
Hargreeves was involved with some shady cabal, somehow connected to the assassination of JFK. However, he never intended any harm to come to the President. Hargreeves has access to technology far more advanced that he should have, now we know why? Hargreeves isn’t Human, the assumption is that he is an extra-terrestrial being. Not only that, but he has some kind of secret on the dark side of the moon. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining why Luther was sent to the Moon pre-Season 1?
The Commission, who are they, what do they really want? Again we spend a lot of time getting to know more about the Commission in Season 2. The Handler is orchestrating a coup, and she needs the aid of Five. That means sending her daughter Lila to infiltrate the Umbrella Academy siblings. Oh, and what about the other children that Reginald Hargreeves didn’t adopt? Turns out Lila is one of them, and has her own unique power set. The Handler took her from her parents as a child and trained her to be her ‘daughter’. A great example of how to both answer a question and yet create several more in the viewers mind. Great world building.
The Characters were somehow, more likeable in Season 2, especially Vanya. Instead of being the central MacGuffin like Season 1, Vanya has amnesia to begin with. A common trope, but the amnesia allows Vanya to be herself without the weight of everything she did in Season 1. That’ can’t last forever, and when Vanya’s pain returns she threatens to destroy the whole world again. This time, though, this time she is saved by her siblings and as the finale kicks in Vanya is a character more confident in her awesome abilities.
The relationship between Klaus and Ben, specifically how much time is given to ghost Ben in Season 2 was refreshing. Ben gets a great character arc in Season 2, and we think it’s all over for him. Only for a shocking end scene to reveal Ben will most definitely be back in Season 2, and alive. Aside from those I’ve mentioned above, everyone was great.
Five and Luther made a great pairing. Diego gets a rough deal in Season 2 and matures from it all. Alison has built a life, but struggles to handle how a black woman is treated in Dallas in the ’60’s. I really enjoyed Alison’s story in Season 2, where I didn’t like her character much in Season 1. The way Season 2 handles the issues of racism and homophobia in 1963 was perfect social commentary and yet never once felt shoehorned in. Instead this bang on social commentary felt a natural part of the characters progression from Season 1.
Honestly, the action at times here is less than Season 1, yet, I didn’t miss it. When there is action to be had in Season 2 it feels more epic and emotional because of the story being told. The final super powered battle between Vanya and the entire Commission is short but awesome. But then the real fight begins as Lila’s powers are shown for the first time.
My only issues with the finale, was not necessarily how it played out, but how they chose to film it. Seeds are sown early on that Five is going to have to learn to use his time travel abilities at a smaller level. When everything turns to crap in the finale Five uses his powers to fix events and save everyone. It was pretty obvious this was where the plot was going, I don’t mind it. However, the pre-time travel dialogue and aesthetic was so good, I wished we had an alternate take re-run of it after Five saves the day. The second version of the finale all happened far too quick for me, and therefore it felt out of place somehow.
As for where does Umbrella Academy go next? Well the team have managed to stop two apocalypses they caused, so they head back to 2019. The problem is, when they get there, not only is their father alive, but he has a different team, called the Sparrow Academy. The only member of the Sparrow Academy we see the face of is Ben, but this is clearly not the same Ben.
What will happen to the Commission now? How will they carry on, and will Lila still be with them? What is Reginald Hargreeves up to? Did he train a new team because he saw his failures with his first team? Is the fact Hargreeves is not Human a good reason for him to be such an uncaring father figure? Will Hargreeves wish his old team eliminated to prevent trouble with his current team? Is the Sparrow Academy the same characters, with a different upbringing, or a separate set of the mysteriously born babies in 1989? What is happening on the dark side of the Moon?
So many answers in Season 2, but so many new questions still to answer. Umbrella Academy Season 2 was exactly what I wanted to see from the next step in the story. I managed to take in Season 2 across three evenings viewing. Already, I can’t wait to find out even more in Season 3.
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