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The Umbrella Academy: The Swedish Job

Ray: What the hell did you say to him?
Allison: I just told him to leave you alone.
Ray: There ain’t no way in hell that a white cop is just gonna walk away because a black woman tells him to.

Finally, some real connections between some of the siblings, while they make progress in tracking each other down – and taking hits from the IKEA mafia.

We get to see how Klaus transformed himself from alley rat to cult leader. The ghost Ben, who can now affect the material world, has traveled with him, and, with some tricks, makes Klaus appear to have real powers. Which, of course, he does. So Klaus, with Ben’s assistance – and the assistance of other spirits – grifts from the local bored rich people in 1960, goes west in 1961, and even goes to India in 1962. This montage was great, as we watched his hair growing longer and his outfits more outré (especially for 1962; Klaus is sporting styles from the later 1960s). In 1963, because he has a mission, he escapes from his followers and returns to Dallas.

Diego, although shanked by his own father at the end of the last episode, and appearing to be dead, is not dead, but has been rescued by Lila. She finally opens up a little. They have sex while Elliott fusses over his tuna mold.

Vanya, driving in search of something, probably Luther, is discovered by the Swedish assassins, who open fire. She takes cover in a cornfield, which has got to be an inexpensive set. When she can no longer hide from the bullets, she uses her powers to stop them. The sound wave she sets off allows Five to find her, so another connection is made.

The most satisfying moment, however, is when Allison finds Klaus. These two – perhaps because their powers are less physical – are in many ways more emotionally mature than the others. Well, some may find it difficult to call Klaus mature, but he, like Allison, has a genuinely warm heart. And of course, they have been stuck in the 1960s longer than their siblings. Watching Klaus call her name, watching Allison jump into the pool and watching them hug is just wonderful.

By the way, this is Klaus’s second time in the 1960s; he visited back in Season One, where he was dropped in as a soldier in the Vietnam War. In this episode he stalks Dave, the young man he fell in love with back in Vietnam, because he wants to prevent Dave’s death.

Allison has been trying not to use her power of rumoring, so Klaus and Ben step in to get Allison’s husband released. The scene at the jail is so enjoyable: the on-duty cop being spooked by Ben, the typewriter apparently working on its own as it gives an order and a threat. And Klaus, waiting for Ray to emerge, giving the surprised man a hug, and then telling him that they are brothers. Brothers-in-law, anyway. What’s weird is that it feels like night, which would certainly make it spookier for the cop, but this doesn’t track with the other scenes in the episode. Maybe it’s just a dimly lit corridor without windows.

Luther decides to look for Allison and he asks Jack Ruby for help. In some ways, Ruby treats Luther better than Sir Reginald did. Yes, this is because Ruby is invested in his fighter, King Kong, but Ruby shows both interest and sympathy; Ruby comes through and uses his connections to discover Allison’s address. Luther goes to South Dallas with a big box of chocolates, and does not find Allison, but does find Allison’s husband. Ray, we see, is having a very strange day, but he handles it well. I like Ray for Allison a lot more than I like Luther for Allison. Luther – and I don’t think this is the actor’s fault; I loved Tom Hopper’s dance number with Emmy Raver-Lampman’s in Season One’s “The Day That Wasn’t” – this Luther is too much of a thug. Ray quotes Shakespeare; Ray is about “Honor and Dignity”; Ray is trying to make the world a better place. And Ray, who can see that Luther has a thing for Allison, treats the big white boy with sympathy. Luther examines the pictures of Ray and Allison wedding, and is so depressed by this that he throws the fight.

The sit-in is going on at Stadler’s. I don’t know if this is how these protests happened, but it seemed realistic enough to me. The pinched faces of the white workers was amazingly well done and I loved how the blacks walked in and took seats at the counter. Odessa’s determined expression really got to me. The gradual escalation of confrontation, from the words to the hot coffee in Allison’s lap to the police brutality. And that is when Allison finally breaks her resolution and uses her rumor power, to keep a cop from murdering her husband. Ray, instead of being grateful, is freaked out, because white cops don’t listen to black women. Before she can explain, Klaus pulls her away.

Title musings. “The Swedish Job” is the title of the episode, and although the Swedes cause some mayhem, it doesn’t seem important to anything emotional in the episode. I tried to find out if the phrase has any additional meaning, and what popped up was a robbery in 2000 that took place at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, in which a Rembrandt and two Renoirs were stolen (they have since been recovered). For me, the title does not work; if anyone else has some insight that I’m missing, please post it in the comments.

Bits and pieces

Vanya makes a crop circle! Elliott is completely justified in his conspiracy theories.

Klaus, played by Robert Sheehan, not afraid to show his body. In this episode we see him in a loincloth and in a skimpy bathing suit.

Diego, played by David Castañeda, also appears in his tighty-whities. These two actors are most likely to display skin. I thought Diego offered the best beefcake in Season One, but I have not liked the shaggy look in Season Two.

South Dallas is referred to as a dangerous place – I guess it was a black neighborhood, as nearly everywhere was segregated – but it sure looks sweet to me.

What is it about the Handler and fish tanks? Anyway, she leaves a key for Lila in a pet store fish tank – it’s got a sign on it, welcoming people to just come on in – and Lila does, and then goes to see the Handler. Who we learn is – surprise, surprise – her mother!

Given their own personal world lines, Five may be the oldest but now Klaus is second, Allison third, Luther fourth, Diego fifth and Vanya sixth. But I’m not sure if the show is tracking this information.


Lila: So much hostility in such a tiny package.
Note: I wonder if Aidan Gallagher has hit a growth spurt in the last year; he may find it difficult to continue to act as if he’s still in a thirteen-year-old body during Season Three.

Five (to Vanya): Look, you can either stay here and wait for the IKEA mafia to come back to kill you, or you can come with me.

Allison: Oh, my God. Oh, it’s been so long.
Klaus: I thought you were dead. I thought I was the only one left.
Allison: I know. Me too.

Allison: Why don’t we vote on it?
Miles: We’re not voting on it.
Odessa: Why the hell not?
Miles: Because that’s not how this works.
Odessa: You trying to tell me how this works? In my own damn beauty parlor?

Klaus: Why don't you just stay out of my business, Casper?
Ben: This is wrong, Klaus. It's selfish. You're just gonna confuse the kid.

Lila: You hungry? Elliott’s made moldy tuna.
Elliott: It’s a tuna mold.

White woman at Stadler’s: Can’t you read, girl?
Allison: Seven languages.

Overall Rating

I liked the emotions in this episode. Three and half out of four tuna molds.

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

1 comment:

  1. Victoria, I also really enjoyed Allison's reunion with Klaus. And I think you're right that they're trying to de-emphasize the fact that Five is now taller with camera angles and other tricks.


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