Major spoilers ahead for season two of The Umbrella Academy.
The Umbrella Academy loves to leave us guessing, doesn’t it? Season one ended with our seven superpowered siblings jumping through time just before the Earth was destroyed in the apocalypse. In season two, we learn that the time jump has left the Hargreeves family scattered throughout the early 1960s in Dallas, Texas, where they proceed to cause lots of drama, save the world from a wholly different apocalypse, and also have a dance-party break, as is tradition. Just when you think they’ve solved all their problems and made it back home to 2019 where they have fixed the timeline so as to prevent the apocalypse from ever happening, in the season finale they learn that their late father, Reginald Hargreeves, is now alive and, as he informs them, is not their father — in fact, the Umbrella Academy doesn’t exist at all.
Instead, Reggie created the Sparrow Academy, one of its members includes formerly dead brother Ben, who is definitely not dead now, and whatever Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, and Vanya did to the timeline has clearly had some massive ramifications. And as if that huge cliffhanger isn’t enough to drive us nuts while we wait for news of a season-three renewal, there are a whole host of other questions The Umbrella Academy leaves us to mull. Let’s discuss a few of the most pressing.
Who the hell does the Sparrow Academy think it is, but also, who the hell is the Sparrow Academy?
The Umbrella Academy was never created! Reginald and Ben are both alive! The Sparrow Academy is a thing! If possible, this timeline’s Reginald seems like an even bigger dick than before, and he informs our team that he’s been waiting for them to show up again since that eventful (and hilarious) dinner in 1963 in which they tried to explain that he adopted them in 1989 and raised them as the Umbrella Academy and he was not at all pleased. He seems to take some perverse glee in shattering their world and introducing them to the Sparrow Academy, which at the moment consists of five yet-to-be-disclosed people, one floating cube, and not-dead Ben.
Since an alternate version of Ben is a member of the Sparrow Academy, does that mean other alt-versions of our original U.A. are also members of this new superhero crew? Or is the Sparrow Academy made up of a completely different mix of some of the 43 children born on October 1, 1989? Is an alt-Lila (more on her later) part of the group? Can alt-versions of our Hargreeves siblings even exist, or are the six people we know and love just going to be plopped down into lives they don’t recognize? (Five met a different version of himself, but that was a past version, you know?) What are the time-travel rules here? Does everyone’s head hurt? Time travel is confusing and wonderful, isn’t it? So! Many! Questions!
In what other ways will the timeline be affected?
Obviously, the Umbrella Academy not existing as we know it is a massive change to the timeline, but there could be other changes, too. For one harrowing example, if Allison didn’t live the same life as before, one can assume her daughter Claire doesn’t exist. Or, how about the direct changes the Hargreeveses might have made by being in the 1960s: What does Allison’s husband Ray’s life look like now that he knows about the future and about time travel? Will Dave heed Klaus’s warning about how he dies in Vietnam and end up surviving? Oh, and let’s not forget what Vanya ends up inadvertently changing and leaving in 1963, which leads directly to the next question …
What’s up with Harlan?
When Harlan, the young farm boy Vanya takes care of in Dallas while trying to regain her memories and falling in love with his mother, drowns, Vanya saves his life and somehow passes powers onto him in the process. Vanya and Harlan become psychically connected and Harlan can create large, powerful force fields of some sort. Before the Hargreeves head back to their own time, however, Vanya is able to drain her power out of him, and it seems like Harlan’s back to normal. The last time we see him, however, he’s in the back seat of his mom’s car as they head off to California to start over, and he’s making a toy levitate. So, the kid definitely still has powers. What he’ll do with them or how they’ll affect his life and the world at large remains a mystery.
What is Reginald Hargreeves’s whole deal, anyway?
In season one, we were given scant information on Reginald’s origin. We saw him say a meaningful good-bye to a dying woman before he left his planet and arrived on Earth in the 1800s. In season two, we get a few more details about what he was up to in the 1960s: Mainly, working with a powerful shadow government called the Majestic 12, and giving them his fancy technology capabilities in return for protecting his “interests on the dark side of the moon.” Whatever that means. And then, when the Majestic 12 pisses him off, he murders them all (!) after taking off his human skin suit (!!) and revealing himself to be some sort of reptile alien creature (!!!). Comic-book fans have no doubt been waiting for that moment. Still, Reginald remains more mystery than anything else. What are his plans for Earth and the moon? What was up with his home planet? Does his skin suit itch? All questions to hopefully be answered at a later date.
Perhaps the better question is “When’s Lila?” since last we saw her she grabbed a Commission briefcase and time-traveled the hell out of 1963. You can’t really blame her for wanting to make a quick getaway after the day she had, though: Lila learns that the Handler, whom she believed to be her loving adoptive mother, actually had her parents killed (by Five!) so that she could steal Lila and use her powers to her advantage because, oh yeah, Lila is another one of the 43 children born on October 1, 1989. The Hargreeves siblings welcome Lila — whose power is that she can mirror anyone else’s powers, and it is very cool — into the fold, but all of this information and the Handler’s deep betrayal is too much for her and she time-travels elsewhere. If there’s a season three, we’ll hopefully track her down, but if I were looking for someone who just discovered that her parents were murdered in cold blood and her whole life was a lie, I’d probably start by going back to that event to see if she’s going to try to stop it from happening in the first place. I’m just saying!
Should we be worried about another apocalypse?
It could grow tiresome if every season of The Umbrella Academy has some sort of apocalyptic event that needs to be stopped, and based on that Sparrow Academy reveal, there are some more pressing issues to take care of first, but the point has been made several times that there is always an apocalypse and it is always caused by Vanya. Let’s just all be vigilant. And maybe make sure Vanya doesn’t get angry again.
Is Klaus’s cult still active?
Please say yes. Those guys are going to freak when he reappears in 2019.
What will the Commission look like now?
The Commission goes through some massive turnover by the end of season two: The Handler tricks Five into murdering the Board; she kills A.J., the head of the whole operation, by, um, swallowing his little fish body whole; and then every single field agent is killed after the Handler calls them to the farm in 1963 to take out the Umbrella Academy only to be wiped out by Vanya. By the end of the finale, we learn that dear, sweet Herb has been put in charge of the timeline-defending organization, and we are all so proud. Especially his best bud, Diego. But will Herb usher in a less-murdery version of the Commission, or will the company line of “what happens happens” in regards to preserving the timeline stick (including the apocalypse)? Most importantly: Are Herb and Dot a thing? Because I ship that very hard.
Did anyone else tear up when everyone piled into the car to help Vanya, because the Hargreeves siblings may have problems, but really they love each other so much?
FINE. It’s not technically a lingering question, but I just want to know I’m not alone in all of these feelings, ya know?