Spoilers might blink into the timeline at any second.
Remember what I say about how I don’t do spoilers on a Viewer’s Cut… Well, I’ve been revisiting my older reviews and sometimes I do. So, let’s just say that the spoiler thing depends on each post and leave it at that. Since this is the intro paragraph that gets revealed with the post, this is a non-spoiler thing you should know. It’s an amazing show if you are the audience for it. Chances are if you were enticed by the screenshots, the poster or the trailer, you should really watch Season One first. If you have already, then you’re probably onboard for this one.
The Umbrella Academy was created for Netflix by Steve Blackman and developed by Jeremy Slater. The initial premise of a family of dysfunctional individuals born on the same day with special powers remains unchanged. When we last left the Hargreeves, it wasn’t clear if they had prevented the apocalypse – or more accurately, prevent themselves from causing it. Then again if you know anything about time travel, you’re aware of the trope of racing to prevent a known catastrophe just to end being the cause of it. Now, when are we?
Five (Aidan Gallagher) has blinked his family into Dallas, Texas back in the 60’s. They’ve all arrived in the same place, but in different years. On top of that Five arrives later to find himself in the middle of a war that culminates in the end of the world. He’s saved by an older Hazel (Cameron Britton) who manages to blink him to ten days earlier so he can gather his superhero family and prevent this new apocalypse. Also, the Commission has send a hitmen posse known as The Suedes to take out anybody that shouldn’t be there.
The show once more splits up the Hargreeves into the individual lives they’ve taken while they’ve been on their own. Vanya (Ellen Page) was hit by a car, lost her memory was taken in by a married couple. She works as a nanny for her special needs kid. Luther (Tom Hopper) is an underground boxer and bodyguard for Jack Ruby. Diego (David Castañeda) is stuck in a mental asylum and obsessed with preventing the Kennedy assassination. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) has recovered her voice and is married to a civil-rights activist. Klaus (Rupert Sheehan) has started a cult, with the ghost of Ben (Justin H. Min) still tagging along.
The show gives a lot of time for each character to fill in the blanks of how they got to where they are and at the same time keep us updated on the main storyline. Vanya’s story with Sissy Cooper (Marin Ireland) is given its time to grow into a romantic one. Allison has to take over for her husband, Raymond Chestnut (Yusuf Gatewood) at a sit-in protest in the local diner that only serves whites. Diego must trust another patient named Lila (Ritu Aria) to help him break out of the asylum. Klaus’ story as a cult leader is mostly played for laughs, but I did like the way that he allows Ben to live through him for a bit.
This second season did justice for a lot of characters. Vanya’s story of coming out and trying to find both her and Sissy’s happiness, as well as her connection to the young kid Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly) was tender and well done. The story of Allison and Raymond’s small civil rights movement making big waves was handled very maturely and seamlessly relevant to today’s current events. The additional surprise was Ben, who had his time to shine and even talk directly to a few of his siblings. Five on the other hand goes for a more comic-style mission and the over-the-top violence more reminiscent of the first season, but he’s still entertaining to follow.
There’s a few surprises and reveals that I’m not going to go into. As violent as it can still get, it’s also has this rather tender and beautiful moments. Stand-out performances by Ellen Page as Vanya, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison, Justin H. Min as Ben and Aidan Gallagher as Five. Klaus (Rupert Sheehan) who was my favorite to watch on Season One is still amazing, but I’m glad Ben gets his time to shine here. I didn’t feel enough of a connection with Luther to relate to him. His story was also the less interesting. On Diego’s side, the story of Lila was more interesting than his own.
Highly recommended for an audience that wants more realistic but still humorous superhero stories. This season further develops not only each character, but the way that each member interacts with those around them. Most of the stories felt like they had a deeper personal connection. There are a couple of plot holes here and there and time travel logic doesn’t really check out, but overall it deliver a solid season of entertainment with a decent conclusion. If you have seen the first season, I don’t need to convince you to watch this one. If you haven’t seen the show, now would be the time to watch it from the start.
That will do for now.