Luther’s Super Serum Came From Pogo

Luther Hargreeves (Tom Hopper) was given a life-saving serum, which turned him into an ape-like man prior to the events of The Umbrella Academy season 1. Based on details revealed in the Netflix show’s second season, there’s enough evidence suggesting that the serum came from Pogo’s blood. Pogo, who is voiced by Adam Godley, was the chimpanzee butler that worked for Sir Reginald Hargreeves, Luther’s adoptive father. The sapient figure was also the assistant and primary confidant of the complicated billionaire.

Luther and his six siblings – Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, Ben, and Vanya – were originally adopted by Reginald from the time they were infants. Aside from Vanya, the group was raised to form a special team due to their superhuman powers. Luther, in particular, possessed superhuman strength and enhanced resilience. While Reginald was present during the kids’ upbringing, he didn’t act very fatherly. Instead, he treated the siblings as if they were his property or employees while Pogo stepped up to make sure the kids knew they were loved.

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Related: Umbrella Academy Season 2’s Biggest Unanswered Questions

Even though Pogo greatly cared for the Hargreeves siblings, he had no choice but to hide the truth from them on multiple occasions. The figure ended up losing his life for one of those hidden truths at the hands of Vanya, but that didn’t stop Pogo’s involvement in The Umbrella Academy season 2. His presence was able to provide a proper backstory for the character, but more importantly, it drew more similarities to Luther’s journey thus far.

Pogo And Luther Share An Origin Story

Pogo in The Umbrella Academy


Despite the fact that Pogo was killed by Vanya in season 1, The Umbrella Academy found a compelling way to include the character in the follow-up installment. Since the Hargreeves siblings were stuck in the 1960s, the series had the chance to not only feature baby Pogo, but there was an opportunity to delve into his backstory as well. The Umbrella Academy season 2 revealed Pogo was in Reginald’s care since he was young, but episode 5, “Valhalla”, followed the ordinary chimpanzee as he was launched into space for a solo rocket mission. Pogo was gravely injured during the mission, but an experiment gave him another shot at life. Rather than live as a normal chimp, Pogo was given sapient characteristics before he eventually turned into one of Reginald’s most loyal allies. His origin story closely mirrored that of Luther, who also spent most of his life in Reginald’s service.

Like Pogo, Luther came into Reginald’s care from a very young age. He was, of course, one of the 43 children born on October 1, 1989, who turned out to have special abilities. Instead of treating him like a son, Reginald raised Luther and the rest of the Umbrella Academy to become a team of crime-fighting superheroes. Essentially, the children were bred for special missions in the same fashion that Pogo was intended for his space launch. Going even deeper into Luther’s arc, he ended up being physically changed by one of Reginald’s experiments. Whereas Pogo turned human-like, Luther received ape-like physiology. The ape transformation was thought to enhance the man’s super-strength, but it has been proven that Luther has become weaker since his change.

Luther And Pogo Are Both Saved From Near Death By Serums


Another similarity between Pogo and Luther were the actions taken following their respective near-death experiences. Luther’s disastrous mission was explained in the season 1 episode “Man on the Moon”. Seven years before the events of The Umbrella Academy season 1, Luther became the only remaining sibling working for Reginald. And so, he was sent on a mission by himself where he faced a biochemical threat. Luther was seriously injured as a result, leaving his body exposed to a deadly chemical. Since Grace was unable to revive him, Reginald ordered Pogo to bring him “the serum”. Pogo hesitantly handed the red serum to Reginald, and the man then plunged it into Luther’s chest. Luther then woke up sometime later with a lot more hair on his body as well as increased muscle mass. In the comics by Gerard Way, which the show is based on , Reginald grafted Luther’s body onto a Martian ape’s body, making for a very different origin story.

Related: The Umbrella Academy Season 2: The Biggest Easter Eggs & Secrets

Pogo’s near-death experience almost mirrored the fallout from Luther’s mission. The failed space launch left the chimp with severe burns across his body. As the case with Luther, the 1960s version of Grace was unable to revive Pogo, forcing her to turn to Reginald. The man then grabbed a red serum in a vial that looked identical to the one used on Luther. The serum was also injected directly into Pogo’s chest, but unlike Luther’s experiment, the substance worked on the chimp instantly. He instantly opened his eyes, which quickly became more human-like.

Luther And Pogo’s Parallel Extends Beyond Their History

Tom Hopper

While Luther and Pogo’s pasts share many parallels, the connections go beyond both of their roles in history. Essentially, Pogo marked what Luther could have become if he stayed in his father’s service. Following his transformation, Pogo became Reginald’s assistant and the master of the house. He also helped the robotic Grace raise Luther and his six siblings for the duration of their time at the Hargreeves mansion. While serving Reginald, Pogo became complicit in the man’s actions, even when they skewed to the evil side. For example, Pogo was well aware that Reginald was suppressing Vanya’s powers, and he respected his master’s decisions even though he didn’t always agree with what was being done.

Had Luther not gone on the solo mission, he wouldn’t have needed the life-saving serum. In addition, he probably wouldn’t have been sent to the moon for a mysterious secret mission. If that was the case, Luther would have fallen deeper into a role that resembles Pogo’s work alongside Reginald. Even when Luther was transformed from the serum, Pogo was visibly upset. He most likely realized that it was the end of Luther’s chance of ever escaping the man who raised him. Although Luther wasn’t directly interacting with Reginald in the years before his father’s death, he was fulfilling a mission, believing that he was still in his father’s service.

Luther’s Serum Was Developed From Pogo’s Blood

Umbrella Academy Pogo

The correlations between Luther and Pogo can’t just be coincidental. There seems to be a significant reason why the original serum used on Pogo was later given to Luther. When Pogo received the injection, he didn’t acquire increased muscle mass, suggesting that it was a slightly different type of concoction. It’s possible that the serum used in the space launch accident was intended for Pogo at some point during the chimp’s life. Reginald could have used Pogo’s genetic makeup and created something that would alter his traits as an ape. Due to the dire consequences, Reginald was forced to use the serum on Pogo earlier than expected.

Perhaps Reginald continued experimenting on the serum, using Pogo’s blood as the main ingredient. The fact that Luther became undeniably ape-like must have a connection to the fact that Luther’s long-time assistant was once an ordinary chimpanzee. The serum worked on Pogo, giving Reginald more motivation in his continued work on the substance. Pogo could have been the key to serum’s success, which may have convinced Reginald that the chimp’s blood was a valuable source. Hopefully, The Umbrella Academy season 3 dives deeper into the connections between Luther and Pogo.

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Updated: November 4, 2020 — 11:46 pm

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