The eagerly-awaited series 3 of The Umbrella Academy dropped on Netflix on 22nd June. In this post we’ll be looking at what happens throughout the series, how it ends, the clues that we have for its true meaning and also our theories on where things will be heading in the future.
Now the season ends with the Universe being reset and we see that Hargreaves has not only taken over the world but he’s also managed to bring his love back to life. If we time travel back to the tenth episode in Season 1 then it actually explains a lot of the big reveals at the end of this one.
In it we caught the man whose moniker is the Monocle on his home world as he said goodbye to his wife. Sadly his world was dying and he had decided to travel to Earth to “save us”. With him was a jar full of strange glowing orbs that he then released. For a long time, it’s been theorised that these were absorbed into the mothers who gave birth to the superpowered children. This is confirmed at the beginning of the episode with the orbs flying into Ben’s mother as she rides a train. This somewhat plays into the post-credits scene featuring a version of Ben which we’ll talk about more later on in the post.
Now come the end of the season we see these orbs being absorbed to power up Hargreeves’ machine so that he can start things all over again.
Thus I think that his plan the entire time was to create beings that ended up taking these orbs inside of them so that they could mature and grow to the point that the Universe could be reset so that he could start over again. This could explain why he ended his own life in the first season as potentially he wanted to bring them all together and have them unite so that the machine could be powered.
In Season 2 we watched as he ended up becoming heavily involved in the space race and the comics flesh him out as a Nobel prize-winning, Olympic gold medalist.
Now there are other theories that we’ll talk about later on but Hargreeve’s wife was clearly very important to him. In the season we learn a bit more about Luther’s mission and discover that he was also guarding her body on the Moon which had been put in a status similar to Nora Freeze.
We’re gonna be breaking down why this is and also looking at the comics for some clues on where things could be going. Now the series is loosely based on the third volume in the Umbrella Academy run titled Hotel Oblivion. Not only does this feature the Sparrow Academy but it also features the titular location. However, the similarities pretty much end there and outside of the Sparrow Members, the works are completely different. In the source material, the Hotel was an inter-dimensional prison that housed all of their villains.
When we last left our intrepid Umbrella Academy, they had saved the world again but in doing so they altered events in the past and made it so that there were completely new members of the team.
These were known as The Sparrow Academy which as I mentioned, also featured in the comics. The graphic novel storyline did away with the time travel and it simply had Mother taking Vanya to meet the group. These had been secretly picked by Hargreeves to act as a backup and they showed up at the end of Volume 3 to save the day.
In the show, there are several reasons why things changed. Due to Dallas, he was disgusted by the group and he ended up picking other members with Ben only being there because he never actually met him due to his death.
This is also mirrored in Harlan who we discovered inherited Viktor’s powers. For years he patiently waited for the Umbrellas to return and upon his mother sissy’s death, he felt them. Unable to control his powers he accidentally killed them all except for Ben who, again, he never met.
Little disclaimer, Elliot Page transitioned in real life and when discussing his character I’ll just be using Viktor. They reuse a lot of clips from the Second Season to add new context to the character becoming who he truly is and it’s handled pretty well in my opinion.
Now in this timeline, Marcus, Ben, Fei, Alphonso, Sloane, Jayme and Christopher became the Sparrow Academy which was formed to stop a mysterious threat called Project Oblivion.
Netflix series has shown us recently that you can’t trust No One, and though that is the case initially with Marcus and Ben, they do come around.
They are more successful mainly due to the fact they didn’t split up as the Umbrellas had several tragedies. Five went missing and Ben died, which led to the group fracturing whereas here they’re more of a stable unit. They also have their father on medication which sedates him and this puts a stop to him being the manipulative Monacle that he was in the comics and first two seasons. He has plans for them to go on a suicide mission which they don’t want to happen, hence them filling him with pills.
Yet Another Apocalypse
Now this season sees both Umbrellas and Sparrows having to deal with yet another apocalypse making that three in three seasons.
Their arrival also brings about the appearance of a black hole-esque object known as a Kugleblitz which it’s believed is brought out due to the paradox that the Umbrellas have created.
Due to their mothers being killed before they were born they’ve set up the Grandfather Paradox which Five explains during Episode 2.
The Grandfather Paradox is a well-established theoretical discussion in science that ponders if one would be able to time travel to kill their grandfather because in doing so, it would mean they were never born. Thus they’d never be able to go back and kill him in the first place so it’s a lot of timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff.
The commission we saw last season attempted to ensure that this never happened but well, it did due to them being defeated.
With the umbrellas technically not existing this creates the kugelblitz that starts to fire out a wave that slowly destroys reality.
In the comics, this was the result of a combination of the people in the Hotel Oblivion prison causing chaos in the city and the villain terminal used this to build his strength.
This season is very much about how the past can come back to haunt you and nowhere is this more apparent than in the arrival of Harlan. When we last saw him he was levitating a foreboding sparrow at the end of season 2 but now he’s all grown up.
Making it so that the Umbrellas never existed also meant that Allison never had a daughter which sends her into a deep spiral in what’s one of the most complicated and well-acted subplots this season.
Now all these issues mean that the world is slowly starting to look like an Incursion in The Multiverse Of Madness.
As their members are taken out one by one the Sparrows and Umbrellas put their differences to the side and try to get to the bottom of what’s going on. They have a face-off in episode 1 which juxtaposes what happens in the comics. This face-off happened in the final issue of Volume 3 with them easily outmatching the sloppy Umbrella Academy.
Not much is known about them in the source material but they will be explored more in the upcoming Volume 4 Sparrow Academy.
After this, they all lick their wounds and head to the Hotel Obsidian which, in the show, is like a merge of the Chateau Marmont combined with the Cecil Hotel. There are also several references to The Shining, namely in the carpet pattern used. This location becomes the mainstay location for the series. The Pandemic obviously had a big effect on the show and there were aspects of it limited by what was happening in the world.
Obsidian was built by Hargreeves as a cover for the portal to another dimension and this is watched over by tryphobia-triggering guardians.
Here Lila arrives with her and Diego’s apparent son Stan who you may recognise as being Ashtray from Euphoria.
This entire thing was a test to see if Diego would be a good dad and stay with her which he does in the end as really he’s a big softie. We discover Stan was actually a kid she found in Berlin after being set free by the Commission and he ends up getting wiped out by the Kugelblitz later on in the series.
As for the Commission, it turns out that their founder was actually an older version of Five who warns his younger self not to stop the apocalypse.
What do you call Old Five…95…
Also, I don’t know if this is an older version of Five or if younger Five is older but moving on.
We also learn what happened to Pogo in this universe and discover that he ended up joining a Biker gang after leaving Hargreaves’ employment. This biker gang was also in the comics named the Mothers of Agony but they were connected to Klaus’ story instead.
Now Pogo ended up training them but he fell out with Hargreeves over the Oblivion mission which we learn will kill all those that take part in it. Interestingly in the opening of Episode 6, we see that the group are forced to fight over a bell and these bells end up playing into the finale as being what the group must stand on. Hargreeves tells them that this Legend of Seven Bells comes from myths and legends and he plays coy over the whole thing even though he’s subliminally planting the idea in their heads that this is how they save everyone.
Whereas in the comics, the Hotel was akin to Arkham Asylum or The Raft, as mentioned earlier it absorbs life to power the machine to reset the universe. Reginald has tried several times to power up the machine and we see a mixture of soldiers sent into the pocket dimension that all get wiped out by the guardians. This is why Pogo and Hargreeves decided to train the children so that they’d be strong enough to fight back.
Pogo didn’t want to be part of it though and neither did the Sparrows because they knew that it would lead to their deaths.
This led to the Sparrows drugging him so that it couldn’t happen and thus Hargreaves was unable to put his plan in action. Now he just sits about watching TJ Hooker until Klaus comes along and gets him off the drugs. He of course was addicted himself and he sees saving him and finally getting some quality time as somewhat redemptive.
This opens up a full storyline where Klaus is manipulated once more to get not only the Umbrellas back together but get Hargreaves back into the family so he can use them to enact his plan.
All About Allison
Elsewhere, Allison learns of Harlan’s attack on their mothers and she ends up killing him. She ends up joining forces with Hargreeves later on due to him providing a way to bring back her daughter. This alternate timeline seemingly brings in everyone’s heart’s desires as not only does she come back but so does Ray who she of course only knew in the 60s. Again…lots of timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff but there is even potential that this may either be a false reality or heaven due to everyone getting what they want even though several paradoxes would be created.
Alongside this, we also have the romance of Luther and Sloane. Slowly over the season they start to fall in love and as reality dwindles they decide to get married.
There’s a party and after Hargreaves makes a pact with Allison and he then later kills Luther. This was designed to bring them all together to stop the destruction which again calls back to season 1 saying that they only see each other at weddings and funerals.
Klaus is killed in the final wave and the remaining heroes end up fighting the Guardians. Standing on the Sigils they defeat the last one but then the truth about the machine is revealed.
Allison realises that it’ll kill her family and thus she ends up murdering Hargreaves, stopping his plan.
However she still goes to press the button and though Viktor initially tries to stop her, he ends up trusting that it’s the right thing to do. Not like there was anything else to do anyway and this changes the entire timeline.
Now interestingly they travel there on an elevator which could be a nod to the comics, namely the one that they use to travel into the Hotel. This new universe seems completely idyllic and rather than being how it should really be, it’s exactly how they want it to be.
Ray appears to be Claire’s father instead of her ex-husband and the heroes no longer have their powers. This also means that Luther’s body is back to normal and that he’s no longer fused with Ape DNA.
Everyone hurt or killed also appears to be alive with Diego getting his fingers back. However Sloane is missing and though Luther goes looking for her, we’re left wondering whether she exists here. Now the heroes find a plaque with a brass model of Hargreeve’s head that was donated on the day the children were born. It’s unlikely that he ever went looking for them because he didn’t need to release the orbs due to his wife Abigail still being alive. It seems that he’s taken over with all the skyscrapers bearing his name and it’s important to note that they look far more advanced than what the city used to.
Now I have seen theories that Allison might be in her own separate timeline. This is because she didn’t arrive in the elevator with the rest of the group and her arm still has a bandage. I think this is probably just down to the fact that she was the one who pressed the button and perhaps Reginald wanted to keep the things that were part of his body in this universe. He may have modded it when carrying out his research and thus the pilot could wish to retain the parts of them so that they didn’t get reset as they did with the rest of the group.
However, this could also be because she didn’t get drained as the other members did. They all stood on the Sigils whereas she didn’t. So in this reality, she could end up still possessing her powers and she could potentially use them as ways to bring the abilities back of the other family members.
This also allows Number 5 to actually grow up as well. He’s 18 now so it’s gonna be a bit difficult going forward for him to constantly keep playing a 13-year-old boy so they might have done this as a way to let him age up a bit. We saw something similar at the end of Eternals and it makes sense looking at what things are going on behind the scenes.
Now going forward I think that the cast will realise that their lives are all missing something and that though this seems like an ideal world it’s not. They might end up having to take on their father once more and potentially they could end up restoring the universe back to how it was in the first season. It’s difficult to use the source material to guess where things are gonna go as it’s not really in line with the work at this point and if you’ve read the graphic novels then you’ll know the show is only very loosely based upon them.
Cut to the post-credit scene and we have what I believe is the original Ben seemingly living his life in Seoul South Korea.
With this being an ideal timeline and him never being part of the Umbrellas it would mean that he never died as a kid. Though his spirit left in peace in Season 2, there was another version of him created for the third season whereas the other children were stopped from existing by Harlan. Therefore we likely have two Bens, namely the Sparrow timeline version and the original.
However, being born and being on the same train shows that his mother still had him. Makes you wonder how this happened as her sudden pregnancy was still down to the orbs. Behind him we also see sparks that look like them flashing up and though this could just be off the train tracks, it could also potentially be the powers, if we’re reaching. Which we often are.
I also scanned the QR code in this scene and as many of you know we get early access to shows like this. Nothing was coming up for weeks so I was actually expecting it to be a massive secret like the announcement of the release date for volume 4 or even a new season. However, it’s just a link to Pogos tattoo shop where you can get designs. Bit of a waste of time so Pogo on that you daft t***
So going forward I’d love to have us learn that there is this alternate world where everything worked out. However, this might show that there are doppelgängers in this universe and the group could come to realise they don’t belong here. This could make them want to reset the universe again as they’re stuck in a timeline where they’re not welcome. Who knows, they might even try and start the apocalypse this time which I think would be a great twist. Hargreaves seems like he could be a tyrant in this reality and whereas the other seasons were clearly about resurrecting his wife, this could be about killing her. They are of course both aliens and the pair might rule over the planet like Tyrants.
Lots of possibilities and as for my thoughts on the series, I think this was probably my second favourite one. Season 2 is still the top for me but this was brilliant and it’s so good being back with the family. They, like the season, have their bad points but overall they’re such a fun group to hang around with that it’s difficult not to have a blast. Whether it’s the opening dance number or just the situations they find themselves in, I had a lot of fun even though I feel the series did fall apart a bit towards the end.
Obviously the Pandemic massively affected this as well and whereas in the past we’d get lots of jumping around locations through not only time but the city, this one becomes a bit stationary. Still, though I enjoyed what we got and the character development, numerous twists and reveals all build nicely on what’s come before. Kinda wild to me that both this and The Boys have been better than all the other Marvel comic book shows by the bigger studios and I think they could learn a thing or two from them.
In the end, Umbrella Academy Season 3 was great and it gets an 8/10.
I’d of course love to hear your thoughts so make sure you comment below and let me know.