One could give ‘Umbrella Academy Season 3′ full points just for the groovy dance face-off episode one starts with! It’s Umbrella Academy versus Sparrow Academy, both teams jiving to Kenny Loggins’ Footloose in near-perfect synchronization. There’s Luther with his huge big simian body at the front dancing like he is weightless, Vanya is like an older Wednesday Addams doing the routine with a deadpan face, a blood-splattered Five keeps up with his footwork at the back with Allison, a dazed Diego wonders WTF is happening but catches on, and well… Klaus doesn’t need a reason to party. After the hectic ‘saving the world’ routine, watching the Hargreeves’ siblings let their hair down was worth every second.
Season 3 is all about – another apocalypse. Obviously. But this around, time the Hargreeves siblings are back in 2019 and have brought along a ‘kugelblitz’ with them. To make things more complicated, ‘The Umbrella Academy’ doesn’t exist anymore, because their father Reginald Hargreeves adopted a completely different set of super-babies (except for Ben) in 1989 and christened them as ‘The Sparrow Academy’. Ben is back to being alive, but he is a Sparrow and a mean one at that. So, not only do the Umbrellas have to save the world AGAIN, they also have to fight a new bunch of superheroes, who’ve been trained better and battle harder. And their daddy issues aren’t as profound as the Umbrellas.
Also Read: The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Review
This latest installment is probably the most fun season of the show, but the episodes feel a lot more tedious too, dwelling into emotional moments that aren’t necessary. Fortunately, with two solid seasons to boot, the Hargreeves are a lot more likable than before and their sibling bonding is at its strongest. Elliot Page’s character Vanya comes out as transgender and transitions into becoming Victor, a change that is brought about after Vanya’s relationship with Sissy in the 60s. The transition comes about too quickly, and Victor’s siblings are swift to embrace his new identity, never getting his pronouns wrong. If it only were that easy in the real world. While it was a heartwarming/groundbreaking sub-plot, mirroring Elliot’s own real life transition and finally has the powerful Seven/Victor at ease in their own skin, but the evolution is too smooth to feel believable.
Just like before, Aidan Gallagher’s character Five is the only sibling putting in his all to understand how to stop the kugelblitz, Ritu Arya’s character Lila Pitts helps him out for a change. The rest of the gang is caught up in their problems, as always. With multiple time-jumps, season three does open up a lot of questions and plot-holes, stuff that you need to just ignore if you want to enjoy what’s happening. For example, when a timeline is restored, how come Five continues to remain in a child’s body, despite being 50+, or why doesn’t he at least attain his 30s self, like the rest of the clan? The easy answer is the fact that Aidan Gallagher has become such a beloved part of the Academy, replacing him would upset fans.
Reginald Hargreeves has more screen-time than usual, but he is quite different from the earlier version and the mystery over his origins is further deepened, with zero answers, which is quite frustrating. Klaus notices the changed Hargreeves and does some father-son time with the old man, leading to an exciting revelation about his supernatural abilities and reaffirmation about a know fact – Reginald is definitely a psychopathic asshole. This season was the first time I actually liked Diego as a character, although I was back to hating Allison, who gets quite villainous and unbearable. Tom Hooper’s Luther continues to be the densest one and gets a new romantic interest that serves up some laughs and light moments.
Season 3 was kind of all over the place, with no big villains, no assassins commissioned by The Commission to kill anybody and the Sparrows turn out to be not as formidable as they seemed to be. A new character from season 2 is pushed to the forefront this time around, but meets with a rather quick undeserved end. There’s a climactic battle between the superheroes in the last episode with a bunch of ‘gatekeepers’, which was supposed to be epic, but was pretty underwhelming. Aidan Gallagher and Robert Sheehan (who plays Klaus) make this season worth a watch with their delightful performances.
The ending was extraordinarily neat, with a killer twist, but it felt super freaking random. Viktor gets to have the last word on the show and ironically felt quite satisfactory. What does he say? He just looks at Reginald Hargreeves’ bust with disdain and says “asshole”.
It’s a 7/10 from me.
Subscribe to our podcast on YouTube by the same name – AbstractAF
Listen to Ep 69 – The Dangers of Smoking In Bed – Book Review