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The Umbrella Academy: The Majestic 12

Vanya: “Why, so I don’t end the world again? Were you even going to tell me?”
Five: “You know what, in my defense, no. And can you blame me? When you get angry, shit blows up.”

While Allison searches for Ray, Vanya deals with a crisis at the farm. Five, Diego and Lila crash a party at the Mexican consulate, where they each make a connection.

As the previous episode ended with the tantalizing tidbit that Lila calls the Handler, “Mum,” we get a musical montage showing the development of the relationship between the two: how, when Lila was four, her parents were killed (something referred to in a previous episode) and how she was taken in by the Handler. The Handler wins the little girl over with ice cream; young girl Lila is learning Mandarin and fighting skills. In the present, or rather, 1963, Lila is eagerly murderous, and annoyed when she learns the Handler wants her to protect Five. Five ought to be the enemy! Lila, on the other hand, doesn’t want to kill Diego – and the Handler shows how well she knows her adopted daughter by picking up on that right away.

Vanya calls on Luther, who is recovering from injuries after letting himself lose the fight the previous night. Unlike the occasion in the barn, this time there is a real connection. Luther is less nervous around Vanya, and Vanya has a little more to work with now that Five has given her some information. They bond over complaints about Five, who has been ordering them around a lot. Luther lets Vanya know she exploded the moon, but he tries to tell her it wasn’t completely her fault: “You had kind of a bad childhood.”

But the connections of the members of the Umbrella Academy go beyond their siblings. Klaus tries again with the love of his life, Dave, as he wants to prevent Dave from dying needlessly in Vietnam. It doesn’t work: at the insistence of Dave’s closeted uncle, Dave punches Klaus. A despairing Klaus goes into a liquor store and ends three years of sobriety, much to Ben’s disgust. Klaus, when he reaches home, is alarmed to find that his cult has tracked him down. Another connection made, this time with many scores of followers.

Allison has been searching for Ray since the riot and finally tracks him down. He’s not in some hospital, but in the beauty shop at a meeting, avoiding her deliberately. He’s a smart man; he saw what she did and now he’s suspicious. Even though it’s clear she saved his life, I don’t blame him. He demands an explanation, but she can’t find an easy way to explain it while standing on the sidewalk.

Allison, who learned from Ray that Luther is also in Dallas, finally finds her stepbrother, and the way they react I can see the connection between the two. I like how the scene was shot, with it just being the two of them for a bit, and then putting back the rest of the people. Of course, their reunion was awkward. Do you have to be faithful to a not-quite-declared love when you think you’re in a timeline where you’ll never see the other person again? Luther, at least with Allison, can be forgiving. Also women, back in the early 1960s, often needed protection, so her marriage to Ray makes sense (besides, there's so much to admire in Ray).

Then there’s Sissy and Vanya. Although I can relate to Sissy’s situation – a few decades ago women were so trapped by society, and as I said, they needed protection – for some reason I don’t care much about this pair. Harlan, overhearing that Vanya plans to leave (as she’s being targeted by assassins and doesn’t want them to come to the farm), runs into something between a pond and a lake and drowns himself in it. Vanya, using her powers, manages to bring him back to life. Although the young actor playing Harlan is quite good, I don’t relate to him either.

Luther, looking for Five, goes to Elliott’s. They have both been having an awful time of it, and so they take a break with some nitrous oxide. This reminds me of a scene in Season One, where the assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha consumed some of Klaus’s drugs in the form of a brownie. They shot up the fake eyeball place while dancing around. In this episode, we get some laughs and some confessions. Although last season’s high moment was kind of fun, this was more meaningful.

The trio of Diego, Five and Lila, sneak into the party at the Mexican consulate. Some discoveries occur. Diego sees a woman who appears exactly like his robot-mother, but it turns out to be a human woman with a Texas accent, and so, not his robot-mother. However, the woman answers to Grace and is dating (!) Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Lila’s discovery is not so pleasant. The Swedish mafia appears, and while protecting Five, she realizes that they would happily kill her too. Given her earlier conversation with the Handler, Lila’s going have trust issues with her mother. Five is finally in a position to speak to Sir Reginald, although only from a distance. Five does something intelligent – at last, someone does! – by speaking to him in ancient Greek, quoting Homer, in this case the beginning of The Odyssey:

Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home.

Given Five’s wanderings through time, the verse is apt – we can hope Five will be more successful than Odysseus was!

Title musings. “The Majestic 12” is the title of the episode, based on a conspiracy theory of local-in-time human Elliott, but we only have speculation about one possible member (although the guy with dark glasses seems suspicious). I wonder if we’ll get to learn more about them as the series develops. Anyway, I see no double entendre, and not much significance to the words in the title. Twelve reminds me of the gods of Olympus, but that’s a stretch. How can I muse about titles when there’s so little to muse about?

Bits and pieces

It’s fun watching Lila lead Diego in a dance, as she mirrors what he was doing. Remember this for what we’ll see in episode ten of this season.

Diego’s hair is very long for the times.

Jordan Claire Robbins, who plays Grace, does a Texas accent sufficiently well that I went and looked up where she was raised. Bermuda, where very few people speak with a Texas accent. Kudos to this actor.

I like how so many of the characters speak multiple languages.


The Handler: Look, if they wanted you dead, you would have been long gone by now, Little One.
Lila: You need to stop calling me that.
The Handler: Aww. Listen to me. No one is trying to kill you.

Luther: Look, you had kind of a bad childhood.

Allison (on the phone with people at a hospital): Of course you don’t treat Negroes. How silly of me.

Diego: He stabbed me.
Five: I’m surprised he waited this long, Diego. I mean, we’ve all had the urge.

Elliott: I don’t leave the house except between 9 am and 10 am Monday through Friday and when it’s daylight on Wednesday.
Note: I expect this was just an example of obsessive compulsive behavior but I would love it to be connected to Elliott’s conspiracy theories.

Allison: I told you, I can explain.
Ray: Then do it. Please, God, explain.

Sissy: Do you know what it’s like when you have a man who can’t see you, a son who won’t talk to you?
Note: Although the show makes husband Carl out to be the bad guy, he’s not having it easy either.

Luther: No one gets to tell us how to deal with the end of the world. Right? Not even each other.

Luther: You know, in the last twelve hours I lost a fight, my job, and the woman that I love loves someone else.

Overall Rating

There were some really good bits in this, even though the title is misleading. I loved the interaction between Allison and Ray, and I’m giving half an uptick for the Homer. Three and a half out of four hits of nitrous oxide.

Victoria Grossack loves math, birds, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

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