Sometime between when I watched the penultimate episode of season three and the season finale, Netflix announced The Umbrella Academy would come back for a fourth and final season, just like the series had always been planned for. So, good news there. Otherwise, this show ends on something that feels like it might have worked as a finale, but it would have been a fairly dour one at that.
As it is, I think I like The Umbrella Academy a little more the more I watch it. While the series will never be among my absolute favorites, it’s general blend of the weird superheroic stuff with flawed characters just trying to find a piece of happiness for themselves makes this show what it is. It’s funny and deep at the same time though the humor often overshadows the family drama in a way I generally prefer. At the same time, it does often have good action scenes even if most of them show the heroes being incredibly ineffective against whoever or whatever they’re fighting.
Case in point: the four guardians of the Hotel Oblivion can generally resist Sloan’s gravity powers, mostly ignore blades to the eye as thrown by Diego or Lila, and seem to shrug off even a blast from Viktor. Combine Viktor with Lila, sure. But they move fast, cost Five an arm, and generally cause a lot of pain to the heroes. The only way to really beat them is to doubleteam them. That includes a revived Klaus summoning Luther’s ghost to hold one back at one point. And they aren’t even the real villains here.
Nope, that was Sir Reggie. Surprise surprise surprise. The whole scheme, indeed Luther’s sole reason to be on the moon, was to resurrect his dead wife by rebooting the universe, a scheme that largely succeeds. He just needed seven suckers to step on some power (and life) draining spots on the Hotel Oblivion’s floor, and Allison is told not to. Such that, when the episode ends, and even though Luther is returned to life at a more humanly proportionate size, it does seem as if the Umbrellas, plus Ben, all lost their powers. Allison is noticeably absent, getting her daughter from the present and husband from the 60s back, not a bad deal considering she finally betrayed Reggie to save the others, but the episode neither confirms nor denies whether or not she can still rumor people.
Also, Sloane is missing and there might be two Bens.
Played the right way, this could almost work as an ending, where the group can basically go be themselves all on their own, Allison and Reggie getting what they want, and the others finally able to put the craziness of the world behind them. Of course, it does look like Sir Reginald managed to gain huge financial stakes in the city they call home, and the tone suggests that if this is the end, it isn’t a happy one.
So yeah, it’s a good thing Netflix renewed this one. Now do it for Sandman before I finish season one, you corporate jerks.
However, the finale does play up to the show’s strengths. The bonds of family do seem to finally get through the Allison, and while she could still play an antagonistic role–like, is she the reason Sloane is missing and Luther is alive again?–her role in saving the universe and finally regaining Viktor’s trust in the process might mean something. Again, I don’t know, and it is noteworthy that season four would be the first that won’t be a very loose adaptation of one of the comic book version’s storyarcs. So, while seasons two and three only shared a couple minor plot points and character names, this upcoming final batch will certainly be a surprise. Given what I have seen so far, I am looking forward to it, especially if the Umbrellas need to defeat their father to save the world one last time without their powers.
In the meantime, after a high quality third season full of laughs and some deep emotional moments…how about I do that again? Only Murders in the Building did come back after all.
OK, I am not sure how deep a comedy series like this can get emotionally compared to other things I watch, but it had its moments.