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The Umbrella Academy: Valhalla

Klaus: “Allison, your marriage is in trouble and your rally turned into a riot. If now’s not the time to do some drink party, I don’t know when is.”
Recap of troubles.
Allison: “I’ve got a blender and some much better booze. So, if we’re going to start day-drinking, we’re going to do it right.”
Klaus: “I love you so much!”

When the siblings are told by Five that the world is about to end – again – they choose different ways to spend their last days.

Sir Reginald, observing Grace as she takes care of Pogo, can’t help but fall for her. Heck, I was falling for her, as she combined beauty, intelligence, and devotion. Anyway, this means that Sir Reginald is not made of complete stone (we saw that before as he left another woman for the US). Sir Reginald may not suffer fools, and he has a deep suspicion of strangers, but he does seem to have a heart. Of sorts.

I love the exchanges between Allison and Klaus, who are really comfortable as brother and sister.

We also get Luther’s backstory, from his arrival in 1962 and how he went in search of Sir Reginald and how Sir Reginald rejected him. This was interesting in that this must have been the first time one of the siblings looked up their father-to-be. Anyway, after having been “Number One” throughout his childhood, the rejection was extremely hard and explains some of Luther’s funk in this time period. It also means that Sir Reginald has heard this odd claim of his having children in the future before.

Sissy and Vanya spent the night together and when Carl comes home, he feels like the odd man out, even though he has a chance at replacing all the showerheads for Howard Johnson’s (that would be a fantastic deal).

Five finally gets all of his siblings to meet (although Klaus denies that Ben is there, which is uncharacteristically cruel on his part). They discuss the end of the world, which, as they have been through this before, doesn’t have the urgency that it did in Season One (although Five tries). They speculate that it might have something to do with the assassination of JFK, which seems reasonable as it’s imminent. Besides, Diego has been stalking Oswald, and Luther has been working for Jack Ruby. Nevertheless, the others have also been busy: Allison is working in civil rights and Klaus started a cult. Vanya, working as a nanny on a farm, seems not to have done much to influence the timeline, but given that she blew up the moon earlier (later?), she’s also a suspect.

We’re finally seeing some character growth in Luther, especially during an exchange between him and Diego. They were both too dominated by their father, who has rejected them so completely in this time period. And then, in a nice twist, their father acknowledges them by inviting them to a light supper, although he refers to them as "My Pursuers."

Klaus, who knows the other brothers have stuff to work through, suggests tacos to Allison and Vanya. The three of them have a fun time together (how did they get to the beauty parlor, and why isn’t it being used for cutting hair, and I guess I shouldn’t be asking so many questions…). I love the dance scene with Allison, Klaus, and Vanya. It's nice to see siblings enjoying themselves, and in the 1960s the twist was such a phenomenon!

Allison, Klaus and Vanya all have emotional ties in this time period, so they all go to their respective digs to connect with those ties before doomsday. Vanya’s conversation with Sissy is complicated by the fact that Carl is back and wants a romantic evening with his wife. Klaus is extremely brave, going to his house – which I guess he got from a benefactor – to confront his cult. And Allison, whose relationship I care most about, makes Ray sit down as she starts to tell him the truth.

Title musings. “Valhalla” is the title of the episode, research shows that means the hall of the fallen. I guess it's now the nickname for Elliott’s place. Anyway, the fallen – the siblings – have a meeting; it’s the first time they’re all together since Vanya blew up the moon. Valhalla’s not the worst title, but it’s still too oblique for my taste. I prefer titles where the first meaning is obvious, while you have to find the second and third meanings. In this series I keep struggling to find any depth to the first meaning.

Bits and pieces

Sir Reginald reads the same passage from Homer that Five quoted at the end of the last episode, "The Majestic 12." It’s from the beginning of The Odyssey.

My grandmother taught me the twist when I was little.

People keep complaining about how bad Luther smells. I have been in the mountains of Africa, and it is true that gorillas reek something awful.

My favorite explanation of what happened in the assassination of JFK is covered in Mortal Error, which describes a theory based mostly on ballistics.


Five: You know, I’m starting to get the feeling that Dad’s avoiding us.

Lila: I just saved your life, you kinder-shit. If it weren’t for me, all that would be left of you is a blazer and some bloody socks.
Five: And that’s the problem. You’re too good. You ask too many questions. You know too much. And you fight like you know what you’re doing.

Ben: Curious, how many more rock-bottoms are you going to have to hit before you start taking care of yourself?
Klaus: I’m thinking of a number between 11 and 25.

The Handler: Sit.
Lila: No.
The Handler: Yes, you’re bleeding, and all that rage is bad for your complexion.
Lila: Fine, but I’m not done being mad at you.
Remark: Really good mother-daughter exchange. The Handler is so skilled at manipulation.

Lila: You just said you lied.
The Handler: You lied to them and they lied to me and everybody lies to everyone else. Grow up, buttercup.
Remark: Hmm, I don’t lie very often. Perhaps I would have gone further in life if I had.

Diego (upon seeing Vanya): The last time I saw this one, she had me suspended midair, sucking the life out of me with energy tentacles. I think I’m allowed a little time to process.
Elliott: Oh, I would love to see an energy tentacle.

Klaus (upon hearing about the impending apocalypse): My cult is going to be so pissed. Five! I told them we had until 2019.

Diego: Since when are you a quitter?
Luther: Since the last time I destroyed the world by overestimating my own importance.

Klaus (after wondering if Five will grow up hot): Please, “Miss Luther was my lover.”
Allison: We have never even kissed.

Allison: I mean, clearly we’re not saving the world tonight, but perhaps we can try to save my marriage.
Klaus: No! No, because that’s like asking a nun how to hump someone’s leg. I mean, who in this room knows shit about relationships?

Vanya (who still can’t remember, but accepts her siblings as her siblings): How do you guys deal with this? … I mean, all of it. The time travel, the seeing the dead, the end of the world.
Klaus: Well, I get really high, Allison – Allison lies to herself, and you suppress all your emotions deep, deep down, until you blow shit up.

Sissy: Who gets to be happy all the time?
Vanya: We can!

Overall Rating

I loved the stuff between Klaus and Allison, and I thought the other characters grew as well. Three and a half out of four twists.

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

1 comment:

  1. Loved the dance scene in the beauty shop.

    I really wish Klaus would acknowledge that Ben is there so he can interact with his siblings. I know Klaus must have his reasons, but it's so sad.


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