The Umbrella Academy: Season Three
June 23, 2022 10:15 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The dysfunctional family of superheroes returns to tackle the mystery of the Sparrow Academy, the enigma of the Hotel Oblivion, and the upcoming Kugelblitz that threatens to swallow all of time and reality.

A Netflix original series.
posted by DirtyOldTown (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm only through the first few episodes, but the characters are jaw-droppingly stupid to this point.

[Emerging from time travel during which they knowingly changed the timeline]
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyy... are things... DIFFERENT?

[Facing off with another group of similar heroes in their own home in said changed timeline]
How could other people possibly be here?
and also
Our team has ended and saved the world twice. Kicking this similar team's ass should be easy.

[During battle]
I can make explosions of energy, but how about I either fistfight or ramp my power up so comically slowly that it's mostly useless?
and also
This guy is the rubber/glue of fighting and whatever we do to him, hurts us instead. How about I hit him even harder instead of using my cool knife throwing ability?
and also
Sure looks like my family is going to be killed. I probably shouldn't use my superpower, which is as easy fucking speaking.

[After having it explained to them that in the altered timeline, their father never adopted them and their lives are completely different]
Whatever. I'm going to go visit my spouse and child now.
and also
How--in a substantially altered timeline--could my family possibly not be home? I mean, other than its central, defining throughline, everything else should be identical, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:24 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]

Allison wasn't there when Five was telling Diego, Klaus, and Luther not to interact with their doppelgangers - she had already headed out when that happened.

I finished the third season last night - a friend and I binge-watched it. I had hoped we'd get some mistaken identity comedy with the other versions of themselves, but the Grandfather Paradox was great.

I was very happy to see Harlan again, though less pleased that he still doesn't have much in the way of agency - in the second season he's basically there for abled people to react to and thus reveal their character and has no agency of his own - kind of a "sexy lamp" of disability, and then this season he's there to take the fall for Viktor's mistake.

I was delighted that this season confirmed that part of Klaus' power is that death just doesn't really take with him, and really happy with the various musical selections - the Footloose dance-off was fabulous!
posted by bile and syntax at 12:31 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

I'm not irritated with Alison for potentially meeting a doppelganger. I'm irritated because "Well, the whole world changed such that my dad didn't adopt me, my siblings aren't my siblings, and I didn't grow up in my own home anymore, but I def still met and married the same guy and have the same kid, riiiiight?"

It's like no one on this show has ever seen, read, heard of, or imagined a time travel story before. And even as the ramifications become clear to them anyway, they keep shaking them off and proceeding like it's inconceivable.

Also: the second episode... I read a fair bit about how the showrunners spoke extensively to Eliot Page about how to handle his transition and hired at least one trans masc writer to their staff to make sure they got it right. All of those things are great ideas.

It is not for me, a cis person to evaluate how well they handled this, and there are eight more episodes I have not seen in which they could do more.

But at this point, it boils down to: revisiting Sissy Cooper's talk about being in a box; Vanya talks things over with Alison; Vanya gets a haircut, and says he's Viktor now; brothers say "Ok, cool." Maybe that's awesome, maybe that's how it ought to be. Or maybe it's step one and many more will follow. But for a substantial life change, it was like the C plot, which surprised me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:38 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

Allison has been desperate to get back to Claire since the start of the first season, and she wasn't thinking about it logically. It's obvious to us as the viewers that she's making a stupid mistake, but it's not consistent with who she is to not try to get to her kid, and she's increasingly breaking down as the season commences. It's not a rational decision, it's an emotional one - she can't not look for Claire.

On an unrelated note, looking back at the whole series I'm curious how Klaus managed to stay dead in the apocalypse when he otherwise can't die. I'm guessing that the official explanation is the same as why Five couldn't time travel back from there - he needed the rest of their cohort to boost his powers, but it still bothers me.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:56 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

DirtyOldTown, trans femme me and my trans masc partner were both teary over how Viktor came out and how the writers made it simple and direct without a big hullaballoo. I'd say they did it well.
posted by kokaku at 5:20 PM on June 23 [10 favorites]

I appreciate that feedback. I'm only coming at this from a place of hoping they do right by my trans friends. Every when you tell me they've done well so far, I hope there's more.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:52 PM on June 23

On an unrelated note, looking back at the whole series I'm curious how Klaus managed to stay dead in the apocalypse when he otherwise can't die.

This is a much better question than my question, which is where do they keep getting wardrobe changes when they showed up at the Obsidian with only the clothes on their back and not a dollar to their names,
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:31 PM on June 23

shopping must be easy when you hear a rumor that those clothes are already paid for
posted by kokaku at 2:38 AM on June 24

shopping must be easy when you hear a rumor that those clothes are already paid for

Much like Alison, I forgot that they could do that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:42 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Sigh. I want to like this show, but the writers are incredible lazy.

Obviously, Hargreaves will be the villain next season, because the kids will need reset thing to Luther's love back. This explains why the whole romance arc was jammed in. Of course, there will be a big conflict with Allison, because now she has her perfect life back.
posted by KaizenSoze at 4:19 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

DirtyOldTown, trans femme me and my trans masc partner were both teary over how Viktor came out and how the writers made it simple and direct without a big hullaballoo. I'd say they did it well.

This. I appreciated having a trans character played by a trans actor and for that not to be a primary focus of the story.
posted by Pryde at 1:29 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]

I almost admire how much they flaunt the family drama in this show. Like when they first discover the buffalo room, they forget to investigate it because family drama. Then the door opens and they ignore it because family drama. Then they get to the other side and have some family drama before they look around. I don't think I'd say it's lazily written; it seems like a lot of work to turn that crank.

The one thing that got under my "it's a knowingly dumb show just roll with it" armor is when the Sparrows did their thing in the Hotel Obsidian, and were about to kill them (Ben tells Christopher to kill them IIRC), then Harlan kills Roughalo and Spit-Girl — no one defends Harlan, or checks Sloane with like, "YOU were about to kill US". That fact, which seems really important! to dealing with the morality of it all, just doesn't seem to register with anyone at all.
posted by fleacircus at 10:00 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]

DirtyOldTown, for what it's worth, as a (new) trans femme whose family was not as simply accepting as Viktor's, I appreciated how they handled it. I also think Elliot Page has been pretty amazing about his transition.

I think the reason why it might have felt odd is that the general populace is used to the standard trope of seeing such a change in the context of, Tonight, in a Very Special Episode of Umbrella Academy ...

The fact that it was treated as simply as it was is actually a feature, not a bug, at least IMO.
posted by MollyRealized at 11:13 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]

I was also annoyed by the extremely long time it took Allison to figure out that if her life had been completely different in this timeline, the odds of her having had the exact same child were vanishingly small. It felt as if this was dragged out unnecessarily just so that we could have the Big Dramatic Reveal with the completely different kid in her ex's house -- it seemed very forced.

I also found the resolution with the machine at the end to be very unsatisfying. So Reginald is twiddling knobs and pushing buttons, doing something that nobody else can understand, and Allison can see that he's killing everyone else to make the machine work, so -- she makes a sudden, dramatic decision to sacrifice the "fixed" timeline that she was promised in the deal, to save her siblings' lives. Cool! Except... it means nothing, because it looks like he was basically done anyway, and then Allison pushes the big red button despite having no idea what state the machine is in and what will happen, and then the timeline is successfully restored. This all seemed very random and arbitrary, and rendered Allison's choice completely meaningless.

Buuuuut despite these complaints I enjoyed watching this, and hope there will be another season. I enjoyed seeing both Callum Keith Rennie and Julian Richings -- they're among my favourite "it's that guy!!!" actors.

What happened to Stan?! I hope that Stan is OK.
posted by confluency at 4:17 AM on June 26

I'm only just into episode two, but the family stuff is kind of the point, isn't it? Everything else is just narrative kinetics, surely? They're a lot more fun now they're getting along, at least for a couple of episodes. Anyway, we'll see.

All I really want from this is fun, really. And I hope the pug comes back.
posted by Grangousier at 2:25 PM on June 26

I loved the Footloose dance-off, and was really annoyed at the boring standard punch-em-up after.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:36 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]

I'll chime in as another trans person happy with how Viktor's transition was handled. My favorite part was the look on his face when Diego tells him about Luther wanting to throw him a party.

Sure, they could have had some drama in there. One of the siblings could have had trouble with it, and eventually come around, but I'm glad they didn't. I think it's okay to occasionally just model good behavior. Maybe a few cis people walk away with the impression that, hey, if this group of screwups can handle their sibling's transition without drama, maybe I can, too.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 7:45 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]

I loved Luther's "Should we do something?" moment of indecision and the unanimous "It's all good. Don't make it weird." reaction to that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:28 AM on June 27

This is the show that suffers the most from the binging release schedule

there are a lot of callbacks and repeat gags that feel like they were written to be watched week to week, when remembering things about the show is not so much a given, and the characters are more symbolic or representational, like with an older type of show.

i feel like it really drags on if i watch a few episodes at a time, and i get impatient to have this or that plot line resolved--i am forgetting that the plot is not really the center of this show, no matter that I do enjoy it. I often see the plot tricks way ahead of time, and I forget that the strength of this show is the character interactions, rather than figuring out the mystery.

Certain things, like the Viktor - Allison relationship, alternately saving and trying to kill one another, are viewed in their best light as 'this eternal tension and conflict between these kind of family personalities' rather than 'these yo-yoing relationship beats happened over the course of actual lived months where the characters underwent tens of life events in a short period while being in a constant state of culture shock from time travel'
posted by eustatic at 10:24 AM on June 27

I'm left wondering why Hargreeves resurrected all the Umbrella Academy peeps but didn't bother resurrecting the Sparrows and left out Sloane?

I'm guessing that Allison made a deal to keep her siblings alive no matter what? And they still would have been alive in the new timeline even if they died to create it?

Still doesn't explain why Sparrow Ben is there at the end; should have been OG Ben if Alison made a deal.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:16 PM on June 27

« Older Movie: Nashville...   |  Podcast: Reply All: #189 Goodb... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments