Toward the close of The Umbrella Academy’s first season, it is our favorite 58-year-old time traveler trapped in a 13-year-old’s body, Five, who tells his superpowered siblings — who, at the time, are trying to wrap their heads around the impending apocalypse — “everything about us is insane.” The man (boy … man-boy?) is not wrong. Netflix’s comic book adaptation kicks off by informing us that the Hargreeves children account for seven of the 43 babies all born at the exact same moment in October 1989 to 43 women who were definitely not pregnant before then. And it gets wilder from there. The Umbrella Academy is playing with a completely different threshold for normalcy.
This, of course, means that a whole lot of over-the-top stuff occurs within its first ten episodes, all leading up to the aforementioned apocalypse and a cliffhanger that left us asking all of the questions. So if you happen to be a little fuzzy on where (and when!) we left the seven Hargreeves siblings, don’t sweat it. Below, find a quick refresher on what went down in season one, before diving into whatever insanity season two will surely have to offer when the new episodes premiere on July 31.
Five saves his family … maybe?
Five may try to act like the grumpy old dude angry that he spent 45 years in the future only to return to his present in his 13-year-old body, but this guy is a softy at heart. Okay, maybe not a softy, but he definitely cares about his family even though he would tell you the contrary. He comes back to save them from dying in the apocalypse! Although he tries so hard — like, the hardest — Five cannot stop the apocalypse from happening. (More on that shitshow below!) He can, however, make one last-ditch effort to keep his family alive. Just as mankind is going to be wiped from existence, he realizes that he could use his powers to time travel all of the Hargreeveses out of there. He’s never done it before and has no idea what will happen, but hopefully he’ll take them back in time and they can sort this whole apocalypse situation out. The final scene of the season is the siblings holding hands (aw!!!) and heading into the unknown together. And then the Earth is swallowed up. Only — ahem — time will tell if Five saved his family in the end.
Well, kids, Vanya caused the apocalypse.
Yes, it was timid, oft-shunned Number Seven who blew up the moon and completely annihilated the earth. In the end, Vanya was anything but ordinary. Who could’ve guessed such a thing? Well, probably Reginald Hargreeves, for one. As it turns out, Reggie knew that Vanya could turn sound waves into deadly energy THE ENTIRE TIME but thought her powers were too uncontrollable and too dangerous and so suppressed them through the one-two punch of medication and using Allison to “rumor” Vanya into believing she was ordinary as a child. The other person who could’ve guessed Vanya could harness enough power to destroy the world is Leonard Peabody, a.k.a. Harold Jenkins, who found Reginald’s journal with all the deets on his most powerful child and manipulated Vanya into rediscovering her powers and unleashing them. Vanya ends up killing Leonard/Harold, and honestly, good-bye to you, sir.
When the rest of the Hargreeveses learn that Vanya has powers, they lock her up in the padded room at the UA, but dang if our fully operating White Violin doesn’t tear that place to the ground. And then she heads to her orchestra performance, as one does. When she starts using her powers at the concert, her brothers try to take her down, but she uses her energy to start sucking the life out of them. Sibling rivalries, right? Allison — who wants to show her sister mercy — distracts her, saving the Hargreeves men. Unfortunately, all that energy sends a violent blast straight to the moon, destroying it, and its fragments come hurtling toward earth. There’s no way to stop it. So Vanya will have a lot of explaining to do when she regains consciousness!
Allison’s voice is gone. This is bad for several reasons.
That explanation will have to include why Vanya used her powers to slice open Allison’s throat. Did I mention she sliced open Allison’s throat? Allison goes to warn her sister that Leonard Peabody is not who he says he is, finds her using her powers and finally puts together why her father asked her to “rumor” Vanya when they were kids. When Vanya realizes Allison played a part in the coverup, she really rages out and, before Allison can use her powers to stop her, silences her sister with a cut to the throat. Thankfully, Allison’s brothers find her before she bleeds out, and they save her, but she can’t speak. Obviously, this is bad, because she can’t use her powers. It’s also bad because she knows the end of the world is coming and all she wants to do is talk to her daughter Claire. Although it does end up being a good thing for us, the audience, because it means we get that emotionally devastating scene in which Allison has Luther call Claire to tell her how much she loves her and misses her, and we know that everything Luther’s saying is actually his profession of love for Allison, and she’s bawling, and they’re shoved in this tiny phone booth together where there is no escaping your feelings no matter how complex they are. Anyway, I’m not, like, tearing up just thinking about that scene or anything.
Klaus made some interesting developments with his powers.
Speaking of some changes regarding powers, we should talk about Klaus. Precious Klaus! He’s dealt a devastating arc in which, after being kidnapped by Cha Cha and Hazel, he inadvertently goes back in time to the Vietnam War, where he serves for almost a year, falls in love with his fellow soldier Dave and then has to watch Dave die on the battlefield. He returns to find his family in disarray (what’s new?) and has to stop Luther from going down the path of alcohol and drugs and raves. This giant man kills at raves. At said rave, Klaus hits his head and winds up in the afterlife, where he meets God — a spunky young girl who hates him — and gets a shave from his father. Reginald informs his son of two major items: First, that he killed himself, knowing it would bring the UA back together and second, that Klaus hasn’t yet reached the full potential of his powers. That “full potential” ends up being that he can manifest Ghost Ben (honestly, Ghost Ben for everything) into the physical world. This comes in handy when the UA is battling the Commission at the theater because the Commission wants to stop them from stopping Vanya from causing the apocalypse (what happens, happens and timeline shenanigans, etc). Klaus has Ben appear in the real world and use his monster tentacles to stop the Commission. Finally, Ben gets to help his family again. It is extremely awesome.
Luther’s having an identity crisis.
Yes, that Luther I mentioned above as the one getting into the rave scene is the very same straitlaced Luther who has always been duty-bound to his father and the mission of the Umbrella Academy. Luther was already feeling down about himself since his father turned him part-ape in order to save his life after a solo mission gone wrong and because he’s perpetually in love with his adopted sister Allison, but things really start to unravel once Luther learns that the “mission” his father sent him on to do research on the moon for four years was completely made up and all for nothing. With his trust in his father and his worldview shattered, he goes on a true bender — the big guy even loses his virginity! — but eventually comes around to joining his siblings to try and stop the apocalypse. He may have found his new mission, but the guy still seems a little aimless. One is the loneliest number and all that.
Turns out Diego is in fact both a lover and a fighter.
Sure, all of the Hargreeves children are emotionally stunted, but Diego, our knife-wielding Number Two, is surely the most emotionally closed off. He’s a brooding “I don’t play by the rules and I don’t need anyone’s help” vigilante, after all. And then there’s Detective Eudora Patch. They’re exes from the police academy, and Patch tolerates Diego interfering in her investigations, but it is obvious they both have the hots for each other. One of the most heartbreaking scenes of the season is Diego finding Patch murdered on the floor of Hazel and Cha Cha’s motel room. He should’ve been there with her. This is his fault. A person will never listen to David Gray songs the same ever again, and that’s just a fact. The rest of the season finds Diego seeking revenge on the two time-traveling assassins who did this to his great love — but it’s Five who reminds Diego that Patch wouldn’t want him to murder for her — she had a good, kind heart. And so, when Diego finally comes face-to-face with Cha Cha in the theater, he walks away. That’s how he can truly honor Patch’s memory. And then he joins his family — a team, who’d have imagined! — to try and save the planet. He’s not alone anymore, and he’s looking out for much more than himself. Aren’t you so proud of him?
Reginald Hargreeves remains a mystery.
From the get-go, we’ve known Reginald was an eccentric billionaire genius who was emotionally abusive to his seven adopted children, but by the end of the season we get a few more details about the guy — which really only create more questions. Thanks to Klaus and his time in the afterlife, we know that Reginald knew the apocalypse was impending. How? We also get a weird scene with him and a dying woman in which it seems like he leaves his own planet only to arrive on earth in the maybe-1800s and start his Umbrella company. “The world needs you,” the dying woman tells Reginald before he goes. It’s all very mysterious!
The outcome for the employees of the Commission is a mixed bag.
Could it be true? Doughnut-loving, emo, time-traveling assassin Hazel kind of gets a happy ending? Sure, he betrays his long-time partner Cha Cha and leaves her for dead, but he wanted a simple but happy life with doughnut shop owner Agnes, and getting rid of Cha Cha was the only way to do that. Oh, also, he had to shoot The Handler in the head and take a briefcase so he and Agnes could escape to a different time, which it looks like they do, moments before the apocalypse. Cha Cha survives Hazel’s treachery and, ever the company woman, continues to go after Five and the rest of the UA but ultimately fails her mission and then seemingly dies in all that fire and brimstone.
DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON POGO.
Pogo is dead, and, yes, he kept a lot of secrets for Reginald Hargreeves that caused a lot of pain, but I do not care, I am forlorn. Killed by Vanya in her “Barracuda” blaze of glory out of the Umbrella Academy house, Pogo protected the Hargreeves kids until the very end, distracting Vanya in order to give them enough time to escape. Say it ain’t so-go, Pogo! Okay, I’ll see myself out.