Well, here I am at the end of season two of The Umbrella Academy. As I type this, I have no idea if there will be a season three, but this is Netflix we’re talking about, so I won’t be surprised much either way. If the service would cancel a seemingly popular show like Ozark, then you need to be a Stranger Things-style hit to go behind a second or third season from the looks of things.
Regardless, here I am at the end of one season and possibly the series.
So, for starters, good news for me in that I much preferred season two to season one. True, season one was more faithful to the source material, but not by much in the grand scheme of things. Plus, I think I have a better handle on this show. It’s got superheroes, sure, but it isn’t as much a superhero show as a show about a very dysfunctional family where everyone happens to have superpowers.
Case in point, the episode opens with Ben’s funeral, during which Sir Reginald actually blames the other children for his death, including Vanya who wasn’t there. Then Klaus summons Ben and appears to be keeping his dead brother from moving on (later revealed to not be true). Likewise, the family is under suspicion for JFK’s death since Vanya killed a couple FBI agents during her rampage, and for the rest, well, they include an escaped mental patient with an obsession with JFK (Diego), part-time mob muscle (Luther), a rabble-rousing Civil Rights activist (Allison), a cult leader who didn’t pay his taxes (Klaus), and the boy they seem to be holding hostage (Five).
Small moments like that make the show work for me.
And in case we didn’t need proof this isn’t a superhero show, when the superheroics go down, when the family needs to both defuse Vanya’s girlfriend’s now-superpowered son and make sure the Commission doesn’t kill them because the Handler clearly set them up, while Vanya can take out the army of agents without any problems, they can’t handle Lila since she has the power to copy their individual powers. Lila knocks Vanya aside, outmuscles Luther, almost kills Allison with the rumor-power, and even teleport-fights better than Five. Five, at least, was tired from too much teleporting and having a chimney dropped on him, but it wasn’t using their powers that saved the day so much as letting Lila know they cared.
Especially since the Handler didn’t. Sir Reginald was an awful parent, but at least he didn’t kill the others’ biological parents so he could raise a living weapon. And the Handler was there for young Harlan for the same reason.
Anyway, the trip to the 60s ended in a satisfactory way. The Handler dies at the hands of the last Swede, and that guy then gets recruited into Klaus’s happy cult. Ray gets a letter from Allison that more or less lets the poor guy off as easily as possible. Sissy and Harlan get to plot their own course through life. And the Umbrella Academy kids get to go back to their own time without a looming apocalypse.
Where they find their father and Ben both alive with another batch of kids called the Sparrow Academy because, well, clearly Sir Reginald wasn’t going to adopt the same batch of babies after he saw how they turned out in the 60s.
So, all things being equal, an enjoyable season of television. If we get more, I will gladly tune in. If we don’t…well, we got two good seasons at the very least.
8.5 out of 10 talking chimps.
But what to do for Tuesdays now? Well, when I started this weekday TV write-up thing, I had five shows picked out. Most of them have since ended (Vikings still has a half season to air…eventually). But then, one of them came back in a somewhat unexpected form, so let’s go back to Penny Dreadful, or, more accurately, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.
Only got one season of that, so hopefully it has a decent conclusion.
Better Call Saul “Something Stupid”
Noteworthy Issues: The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #7 (December, 2013)
The X-Files “The Erlenmeyer Flask”