One puddle under the umbrella

Season three of “The Umbrella Academy” focuses on character and family


Peyton McKenzie

Graphic by

Ashley Pelletier, Staff Writer

Any show season premiere that features a dance-off to “Footloose” is a good one in my book. 

On June 21, Netflix graced us with season three of “The Umbrella Academy,” which follows a group of seven superhero siblings as they navigate yet another apocalypse scenario. The show still has all the qualities I love — a killer soundtrack, great dialogue and the occasional campy moment — but this season feels fresh. 

In the first two installments of “The Umbrella Academy,” we see the future with Five, who can unreliably time travel, before the other characters meet the same fate. We knew sooner or later the Hargreeves siblings would face an apocalypse. Season three doesn’t give the viewer that foresight. We have just as little of an idea of what is going on as the family does. 

There are also less subplots in season three that crowd the story. Among other plotlines in season two, Allison was part of the Civil Rights movement, Diego tries to save John F. Kennedy from being assassinated, Viktor falls in love with a woman who hit him with her car and Klaus leads a cult. Season three continues the effects of most of these plotlines, particularly the trauma each sibling faced while living in the 1960s, but each character now ultimately faces the same challenges. 

The apocalypse that The Umbrella Academy now faces is all but certain, with the characters accepting their fate where they once would have fought tooth and nail to prevent it. This leads to my favorite episode of the season. In terms of plot, the episode is almost purely filler, but has some of the best moments in the entire show, including karaoke, binge drinking and a spectacular velvet suit that Klaus wears. 

The simplicity of the story allows for some characters to get great development this season. For instance, Viktor, played by Elliot Page, comes out as a transgender man. The show doesn’t overdramatize this moment, each sibling quickly accepts Viktor for who he is. The writers also didn’t include a superficial plotline where Viktor faces discrimination for being himself, something that is often included in LGBTQ media written for mass consumption. This was refreshing to watch in a time when transgender people are facing attacks from government officials and bigots alike. 

Luther really shines in ways he couldn’t before, learning to say no to his father, Reginald, and growing past his unhealthy attachment to Allison. 

However, Allison, once the sweet, levelheaded sibling, takes a completely different direction this season, becoming petty and vindictive. Many of her actions are understandable, as she loses her daughter and husband in the span of a few days, but one action in particular is unforgivable, which completely lost me as an Allison fan. 

The only thing I feel this season lacked was balance. Six new characters, members of The Sparrow Academy, were introduced this season. We really only learn anything about one of them. These characters deserved more characterization, especially considering they were created in opposition to the Hargreeves we have grown to care about. 

I also think that the writers could have handled an adult Harlan Cooper better. Cooper is introduced in season two as a nonverbal autistic child. However, season three has a grown-up Harlan who has no issues speaking. While it may be easier to write a verbal character, erasing Cooper’s autism for the sake of convenience rubs me the wrong way. 

However, the sibling dynamics of the show are still the most realistic ones. The characters clearly all care for each other, but can get at each other’s throats, both in a metaphorical and literal sense. 

Season three ends on a plot-safe note. The writers made it so that “The Umbrella Academy” could end where it is now. However, I am hoping the show gets renewed, as there are a few plot threads I would like to see played out still. Regardless, I had a blast binging season three.