Spoilers will fly and report back.
There’s a point in a show about superheroes saving the world in which saving the world is no longer the point. It’s usually around the middle of the second season. By the third season, we have to drop the pretense and start getting under the skin of every character to see what makes them tick. Now, in the case of our extended cast, we know who’s going to catch on to what’s going on, who’s going to stumble on to it by mistake and who’s going to remain lost even after all the cards are on the table.
The Umbrella Academy was created for Netflix by Steve Blackman and developed by Jeremy Slater. The last two seasons have been a thrill ride and we’re finally back to the present time – but just to find out that our cast of misfits are no longer part of the timeline. Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Five (Aidan Galllagher) and Viktor (Elliot Page) show up back at the mansion just to find it now belongs to The Sparrow Academy, headed by their still living father Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore). The Sparrows are Marcus (Justin Cornwell), an alive but different Ben (Justin H. Min), Fei (Britne Oldford), Alphonso (Jake Epstein), Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), Jayme (Cazzie David) and Cristopher who is a cubic-shaped entity.
The cast seems to have expanded, but at the same time it has also done away with all the ancillary characters. I’m still on the fence on whether this was the best decision. At least we do get Lila (Ritu Arya) back, and bringing back a surprise for Diego in the form of their son, Stanley (Javon Walton). Another detail is how the show carefully handles the transition of Vanya to Viktor (Elliot Page). The show was very wise in never turning Viktor’s journey into something supernatural. Viktor and Allison have a major fallout for other reasons but I’m glad it never thought to mix up one issue with another.
Actually Allison and Viktor are the characters that are once more tested to their limits this season. Allison in particular, really goes dark in both her attitude and her decisions. Viktor will have to deal with an unforeseen consequence that might once again end the world and alienate his family. In comparison, Diego trying to bond with his son and Luther having a romance with Sparrow’s telekinetic Sloane are almost comical. Ben has a lot more to do this season, although his character is completely different and antagonistic for the most part. Five is still trying to prevent the apocalypse, but he forms an unlikely alliance with Lila which at least doesn’t have him talking to himself this time. We also get Klaus bonding with this version of Sir Reginald and although he does discover something new of himself in the process, he also forgets how particularly treacherous his father can be.
Highly recommended for an audience that doesn’t mind exploring the darkly humorous possibilities of superhero families, with the reservation that we’re doing it again. It’s not realistic or gritty but rather far fetched in fantasy and grounded in human behaviour. These characters might not live in a realistic world but they do act human as in being misguided and taking the wrong decisions. It’s less about adding real world scenarios but keeping their human flaws. That being said, it is the third season so unless you’re still connected and interested, it might be tiresome for some. Really worth a watch but only if you’re still hooked.
That will do for now.