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The Umbrella Academy: The End of Something

Diego: “So, what do we do now?”
Five: “Well, we got two choices. Fight and die now or run and die later. Either way, we’re food for worms.”
Diego: “Preference?”
Five: “Wouldn’t mind a few more minutes breathing air through the old windbags.”

Reeling from the events at Dealey Plaza, the siblings head to the farm to help Harlan – only to find themselves drawn into a deadly showdown.

Yes, it’s a showdown, in which the show shuts down for the season.

After the end of the previous episode, not only is JFK dead, but most of the siblings are now wanted as persons of interest, with the exception of shorts-sporting Five, who is believed to be a hostage (which is ironic, as he is the most responsible). Our heroes may be able to escape from the FBI – Klaus recommends taking refuge in Iceland, where he has connections – but they have little chance of escaping the Commission.

The episode gets lots of payoff from Diego’s afternoon working for the Commission. Also, in this episode, Diego is less of an idiot, which I always appreciate.

Vanya, who now remembers everything, wants her family with her as she goes to help Harlan. Her family joins her, although it takes them a few minutes to reach this decision. After all, they are facing many crises! Klaus is the first one to join her, which gives him the chance to talk to her about Ben’s finally going into the light, but also makes sense as Klaus is more sensitive than the other brothers.

Harlan, having accidentally killed his father, is having the same sort of freak-out that Vanya had in the previous two episodes. I guess they both have sensitive natures, or else Harlan absorbed some of Vanya’s. Harlan’s freak-out is different than Vanya’s because he is changing the weather, and I don’t recall Vanya ever doing that. Of course, she blew up the moon, which is much worse.

Harlan’s effect on the locale is what attracted the Handler’s attention at the end of the last episode, which is when she stabbed the guy in the Infinite Switchboard room.

There is a ferocious fight at the farm. Normally I am not a great fan of big battle scenes, even though they are de rigueur in so many shows / series, especially in season finales. However, I liked this a little better than others because it was less technical, without the gizmos so popular on other shows. Five moves Diego with him through space, something Diego finds nauseating. Then Vanya takes over and wipes out the entire force, summoned by the Handler (CGIed in).

Lila also starts to fight. In fact, she apparently can mirror powers. Remember in a prior episode when she, while dancing with Diego, switched places with him and leads? I think that was foreshadowing.

The most alarming moment is when Lila mirror rumors Allison, so that she stops breathing. Luther drops everything and saves Allison by breathing for her. This is their first kiss ever (which is why we were informed in a previous episode that they had never kissed). He keeps her alive long enough for her to get past the rumor curse and start breathing on her own.

The Handler wants to collect Harlan, the way she collected Lila. Anyway, Lila finally realizes that the Handler murdered her parents and she joins our siblings.

As this is the last episode of the season, they tie up many threads and pay off many of the odd clues left before. Five, taking the advice of Sir Reginald, jumps a few seconds back in time – rather than years – and changes the course of history. And then, the last Swedish assassin shows up and takes out the Handler, who he rightly blames for the deaths of his brothers. He is walking on foot when he joins the Klaus-cult bus, which is a lovely end for him.

I never quite bought the relationship between Vanya and Sissy – it was too short and too founded on desperation – but they say good-bye. Sissy’s farewell doesn’t ring quite true, because even if she does fear for Vanya, she should also be fearing for herself and Harlan, as Carl is dead and Carl’s brother is a vindictive deputy. Driving to California would not be enough to protect Harlan (who can obviously protect himself, but Sissy can’t know that). Leaping forward more than fifty years would be a way to escape from Carl’s brother. On the other hand, Sissy is right in that Harlan has already been through a lot. Still, he is attached to Vanya; is it wise to separate him from her?

Allison’s farewell to Ray, although delivered by letter, is more moving, as she explains she doesn’t belong in 1963. They don’t show another farewell between Klaus and Dave.

The time travel, thanks to all the briefcases, is no trouble now. Except the actions of our heroes have apparently changed the timeline, because when they return to 2019 their adopted father still does not recognize them. He denies there was ever an Umbrella Academy, and calls it a Sparrow Academy. I suppose the conflict between the umbrellas and the sparrows will set up Season Three.

Title musings. “The End of Something” is the title of the episode. And, several things are ending. It’s the end of Season Two. It’s the end of several relationships. It’s even, if all those agents are dead, the end of many lives. And, when our siblings get back to 2019, they discover the end of their timeline. Oh, and it’s the title of a short story by Ernest Hemingway, about which Google said this: "In 'The End of Something' by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of change, disillusion, commitment, independence and acceptance.” I’d say all of those themes are present in this episode, so I’ll assume the fact that they’re using a Hemingway title deliberately. A fine title.

Bits and pieces

Sissy and Harlan take off for the west. What happens to Carl’s body? And the farm animals? Perhaps Herb and the Commission take care of things. There are a lot of bodies from their own vanquished agents.

Vanya killed all those Commission agents. Does she feel any guilt?

I knew Ben wasn’t gone from us forever, because I checked out the number of episodes for the actor, Justin H. Min. 30. He’s now a member of the Sparrow Academy.

So, who else will we see in Season Three? Given that more than fifty years have passed, it’s unlikely that Ray Chestnut or Sissy are still alive. However, Harlan, who still has some of Vanya’s powers, could be.

I’m curious about what they will do with Aidan Gallagher in Season Three. It’s hard to make him stay young when adolescents are growing so much. Perhaps we’ll move two years ahead and catch up with the ages of the actors and get us into 2021. Or even into 2022, when the season should drop!

We in the audience know that Sir Reggie is an alien, but our heroes do not. I wonder if any are at all suspicious, given their adoptive father's very long life? Another open thread for Season Three.

Quotes

Sir Reginald Hargreeves: The world is full of injustice. Good people die along with the bad. This cosmic equation will never change until evil itself is wiped from existence.

Young Klaus: Hey, wanna watch me piss in Dad’s gas tank?
Ghost Ben: Yeah, sure.

Five: Hey, numbnuts. Hiding’s not going to make a difference here. The Commission’s going to hunt us down wherever we go.
Diego: He’s right. They’ll never stop.
Five: I’m sorry, since when are you an expert on the Commission?
Diego: Since I got back from there.

Vanya: I need your help, too. I’m scared. And for the first time in my life, I don’t want to do it alone. I want my family with me.

Vanya: Look, I didn’t know who I was, but I do now. And we are not the monsters they say we are. We did not kill the president. We are not terrorists. We’re not here to help anyone.
Sissy: Then – who are you?
Vanya: The only one who can help Harlan.

The Handler: As the head of the Commission, I’ve decided to eliminate the criminals responsible for the former board of directors.

Diego: Dude, I can’t believe you killed the board of directors. You have no idea how messed up the Commission is right now.
The Handler: Messed up? Who’s saying that?
Diego: Everybody. Christ, even the janitors think it’s going to shit.

The Handler: Let me know when you’ve killed them all, will you?
Lila: Okay, Mum.

Five: Just like our asshole father took all of us.
Lila: No. It’s not the same thing.
Diego: You’re right. Because he didn’t have our parents murdered.

Overall Rating

Enjoyable, with some excellent moments. Three and a half briefcases.

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

1 comment:

  1. Victoria, congratulations on finishing season two, and thank you so much!

    I really enjoyed this finale. Like you, I'm not a fan of the big climactic fight scenes, but this one held my attention. I wasn't surprised that Lila was one of the special babies.

    And I loved the ending with the Sparrow Academy -- what a fascinating bit of set-up. I'm very much looking forward to season three.

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