Which big questions must The Umbrella Academy tackle in season 3? Arriving on Netflix in early 2019, The Umbrella Academy was a palette-cleansing revelation in an over-saturated superhero genre. With the return of their brother from a post-apocalyptic future, the Hargreeves siblings spent their debut season attempting to prevent the end of the world, before realizing one of their own was the cause, and ultimately, failing spectacularly. The Umbrella Academy season 2 threw the cast back to the 1960s. With a new, Cold War apocalypse on the horizon, the Hargreeves family had their work cut out, but successfully saved the world from both the 1963 and 2019 incidents.
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Given The Umbrella Academy‘s continued popularity and strong reviews, as well as season 2’s monumental cliffhanger ending, the show was widely expected to be renewed for a third outing, and confirmation finally arrived in November 2020. Viewers have speculated that The Umbrella Academy season 3 will comprise more time-travelling madness, as the Hargreeves family seek to undo the mess they caused last season, but while a Back To The Future-style rewriting of history looks likely, there are plenty of other avenues for Luther, Allison, Diego, Klaus, Five and Vanya to explore (and ruin).
The Umbrella Academy season 2 wrapped up with both apocalypses averted and the siblings returning safely back to the present day, but the show’s list of mysteries is far from checked off completely. These are the biggest unanswered questions The Umbrella Academy must answer when Gerard Way’s kooky kids return.
What Created The Sparrow Academy Timeline?
The big cliffhanger of The Umbrella Academy‘s season 2 finale comes after the Hargreeves siblings arrive back in their own timeline. The group’s delight at returning home to an intact 2019 is short-lived when they discover Sir Reginald alive and well in the family mansion, and in command of the so-called Sparrow Academy. Included in this new bunch of superheroes are a less ghostly (and less polite) Ben Hargreeves and a floating cube glowing with green light. Although the other members are obscured in darkness, none of the original Umbrella members seem to be there. From the brief exchange between Reginald and the original siblings, a few key details can be gleaned.
By approaching Reginald in the 1960s, it seems the Umbrella Academy prevented their own creation. The disguised extra-terrestrial was clearly left so unimpressed by his Umbrella students as adults, he deliberately picked different babies from the 43 spontaneous births in 1989 – apart from Ben, who Reginald never met. While this much can be guessed, there’s plenty about the Sparrow Academy yet to be revealed. Was it just the light supper of 1963 that changed the timeline? Why Sparrows instead of Umbrellas? What became of Luther, Klaus, etc. in this new reality? Most importantly, how can the timeline be corrected? The Umbrella Academy season 2 hinted that time travel shenanigans were occurring during the meeting with Reginald – Luther farts during the elevator ride, which is No. 4 in Number Five’s seven stages of paradox psychosis. Of course, the Sparrow Academy won’t take being erased from existence lying down.
What Becomes Of Harlan?
Harlan remains a figure of mystery in The Umbrella Academy. An autistic child trying to navigate an era uneducated in his condition, Harlan forges an immediate bond with Vanya when she moves into the Cooper family’s farmhouse. Vanya manages to revive Harlan after a tragic drowning accident, but she inadvertently passes on whatever alien hoodoo gave the Umbrella Academy their abilities. Harlan loses control of his powers and threatens another apocalypse, but Vanya is able to talk him down from the edge. The Hargreeves siblings assume Harlan’s stolen abilities have been lost, but the closing scenes of The Umbrella Academy season 2 prove otherwise, as the child levitates a model sparrow.
In the original timeline of The Umbrella Academy, no one should’ve received superpowers until 1989, so Harlan’s existence from 1963 onward could be game-changer, introducing powers at an earlier point in history. The real question is how Harlan utilized his abilities as an adult. The recurring sparrow motif suggests he played a part in forming the Sparrow Academy alongside Reginald, and some viewers have theorized that Harlan is the floating green cube – an object that allows his consciousness to exist indefinitely. Whatever mischief he caused, it’s safe to say Harlan didn’t live a quiet life after 1963.
What Else Is Different In The New Timeline?
After returning to 2019, the Hargreeves siblings didn’t have an opportunity to venture beyond the walls of their grandiose mansion – so what else has changed in their alternate reality? Replacing the Umbrella Academy with the Sparrow Academy is a very big butterfly to step on, and a host of changes will inevitably have been made to the new timeline aside from Reginald recruiting new students. Key events in history might’ve never happened, and with the Sparrow Academy still going strong in 2019 (the Umbrella kids had already long split up), Reginald’s alternate team might’ve prevented incidents that went ahead in the original timeline, changing history in a profound way. Of more concern to the Hargreeves siblings will be how the new timeline has affected their personal lives. Allison was previously mother to a beloved daughter, but her life would’ve played out differently without Reginald’s influence, meaning Claire could’ve been wiped from reality.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 could depict a vastly different world, unrecognizable compared to the 2019 of season 1. This provides even more motivation for the Hargreeves kids to try and fix their mistake. A blimp here and averted assassination there may be overlooked, but the Umbrella Academy won’t accept the non-existence of Allison’s daughter without a fight.
Is Ben Hargreeves Gone For Good (& How Did He Die In The First Place)?
Ben Hargreeves has been an Umbrella Academy mystery since his very first non-corporeal appearance. The Horror was introduced as a ghost, dying over a decade before the story begins. Ben lives on through Klaus’ ability to conjure the dead, but the actual cause of his demise is never specified, and even the original Umbrella Academy comics don’t offer a definitive answer. The Umbrella Academy season 1 left Ben’s death ambiguous, never confirming whether the cause was murder, suicide or accidental death. In season 2, Reginald blamed his superheroes for allowing their brother to die on a mission, but no further details were given. Considering how Reginald loves to emotionally manipulate his children, his words can’t be taken at face value. The Umbrella Academy still needs to reveal what happened to Ben, and all options remain on the table.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 can also offer closure on Ben Hargreeves’ status as a ghost. When the FBI were provoking Vanya into causing another world-ending apocalypse in 1963, it was Ben who managed to diffuse the situation, entering Vanya’s mind and bringing her wild rage under control. Vanya claims that Ben’s ethereal existence was sacrificed in this moment, and Klaus is no longer seeing his transparent brother around every corner. Since the Sparrow Academy gives Justin H. Min a new role in The Umbrella Academy, ghost-Ben is very likely gone, for now at least. But Klaus’ powers have plenty more room to develop, and the Seance might be able to summon his brother again after mastering his communing abilities.
What Is Reginald’s True Goal?
The Umbrella Academy season 1 hinted at a deeper motivation behind Reginald Hargreeves’ presence on Earth. It appears that the extra-terrestrial was responsible for creating the 43 super-powered babies in 1989, and thirty years later, takes his own life to bring his Umbrella Academy back together, knowing they would prove instrumental in saving the world. But did Reginald foresee the apocalypse triggered by Vanya, or an entirely different end for humanity? The Umbrella Academy season 2 suggests the latter, as 1960s Reginald has aligned with the Majestic 12 in order to protect his “interests on the dark side of the moon.” Plenty of questions marks still revolve around Reginald Hargreeves. Why did he come to Earth? What world-ending event does he foresee? What interest does he have in the moon?
The Umbrella Academy season 1 hinted that a grim fate befell Reginald’s home planet. His intention may be to prevent something similar happening to Earth, with the moon harboring a possible solution. This will almost certainly tie into the real reason Luther was assigned to keep a vigilant eye on Earth’s satellite shortly prior to Reginald’s death.
Is The Commission Still In Operation?
The Umbrella Academy season 3 leaves the future of the Commission entirely open ended. The board of directors were wiped out by Number Five and replaced by The Handler, who was subsequently killed by the Swedes. The humble Herb is left in charge, but with no agents under the Commission’s employ, how can they continue to preserve the timeline? The very fact that the Sparrow Academy timeline happened at all suggests the Commission are no longer able to prevent disturbances to human history, as they struggle to recover from the 1963 incident that left their entire roster of agents dead. The Umbrella Academy season 3 must also address the fate of Lila Pitts. After learning the truth about her parents’ deaths, Lila was offered the friendship of the Umbrella Academy, as fellow members of the 1989 superpower club. Still in shock, however, she runs away using a Commission briefcase, with no clue given as to her destination or intentions. Will Lila become an enemy in The Umbrella Academy season 3? Will she help get the Commission back on their feet? Or will she finally become an honorary Hargreeves sibling?
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