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The Umbrella Academy: Auf Wiedersehen

Ben: Have you been waiting for someone to come chase after you this whole time? Wow! That's so embarrassing.
Viktor: Well, it's official. Our Ben was better.
Ben: So I'm told. But didn't he die? You know, people say we have egos, but you're the real messy bitches. Letting the world burn because you're angry at your sister?

At last, the Sparrows and the Umbrellas work together to stop the end of universe. But as three additional episodes remain, it’s unlikely they solve all their problems.

We get a scene at the Commission of the 1950s, which is always fun. Lila, because of her mother’s vicious megalomania in the previous two seasons, is not welcome, so Herb and Dot help her escape to a time of her choice. Lila goes to Berlin of 1989, because she knows her mother hid a briefcase in the wall. It also allows Lila to hit things, and Lila, who saw her mother shoot her in one of the timelines captured at the infinite switchboard, is in the mood to smash things.

Klaus wakes up in the trunk of a car driven by Reggie. That’s a nice little surprise. Then, Reggie wants Klaus in top form, so offers to train him. Why? I suspect it’s the Project Oblivion that we heard in the last episode from Pogo. Still, although this Reggie appears nicer than the other timeline Reggie, his methods are pretty cruel, as he sends Klaus into oncoming traffic and Klaus dies over and over again.

Allison is at the Academy. She’s still bitter. Still drinking and smoking. I think they overdid Allison’s negativity in season three; it’s becoming exhausting, especially when she was the most empathetic character in the last two seasons. Despite her bitter funk, she gives excellent advice to Lila about how to apologize. Or rather, how to make up with someone, not through apology but through confession. Hmm. Advice worth noting for our own lives.

Sloane is not just gravity girl, but she knows about science gravity, as we see in a conversation between her and Five about Dyson spheres in such a way that even Lila finds it hot. I agree, smart is sexy!

Anyway, the Sparrows and the Umbrellas work together to trap the Kugelblitz. We need two of each: Viktor and Lila (an honorary Umbrella), as well as Sloane and Christopher. The rest (with the exception of Klaus, who is learning to resurrect himself) are watching but also keeping watch. It turns out they are necessary because Grace the robot objects to them trying to put God in prison. Diego notices, tries to take her out, but is stopped by a blast of fire. Then Five zaps himself behind Grace and twists her head until the robot is dead. Remember, Five is an experienced assassin.

They do some gravity stuff, with Lila mirroring Sloane and Viktor, and then Christopher breaking into bits and putting the kugelblitz inside him. There’s a little smoke, rather like a fart. OK, that was sort of cute.

Then, we have a real, not a hallucinatory dance scene (Tom Hopper is such a good dancer). People who have been at each other's throats are getting along: Ben and Diego; Lila and Five. Nevertheless, Allison is still extremely angry at Viktor. Like I said, that’s getting old.

Then Luther asks Sloane to marry him. He’s been carrying around a moon rock for a while, probably for Allison. Sweet. I understand why Luther is crazy about Sloane. He’s a man of simple wants and she’s letting him sleep with her. But why does she like him? Well, Luther is certainly a good looking guy, and he’s nice, which she hasn’t had much of in her life. Besides, he’s agreeable, devoted to her, considerate – and will often do what she tells him to do. Decent husband material.

Then The Umbrella Academy gives us the much more interesting scene between the other couple. Lila tells Diego she’s pregnant. She does it by following the advice of Allison, and basically asks Diego not exactly to marry her, but to form a family unit with her. I must say that Diego has been my favorite character this season.

We finally deal with something that has been lingering on a back burner: Five confesses he killed the board of the commission (back in season two) to rescue his family. Actually, he’s committed many more murders; he’s been an assassin for a while. After all, he killed Lila’s biological parents.

Despite the families getting along, Fei mentions to Ben that they should kill the Umbrellas the next day. This seems out of character for Fei. It would be much more reasonable for Ben to want to kill the Umbrellas.

Christopher the cube can’t manage the next kugel wave and he explodes; the Sparrow Academy is swallowed by the kugelblitz. Fei is sucked up and is dead, as is, Christopher the cube. Only Sloane and Ben now remain from the Sparrows. Ben of course is part of the original cast and Sloane is engaged to Luther, which explains the story reasons for their survival.

Title musings. “Auf Wiedersehen” is the title of the episode, and most people will recognize that it means goodbye in German. We say goodbye to several characters in this episode: Grace, Fei, Christopher.

But, literally, auf Wiedersehen means also until again seeing, or, less literally but more in the spirit: until we see each other again. And in this episode, we see several things again. First, obviously, is Klaus, who keeps dying and returning to life. Second, Diego, who thought he had said good-bye to the responsibilities of fatherhood in the previous episode, discovers he’s going to be a dad after all. And, of course, at the end, the big problem returns: the kugelblitz is devastating everything and everyone.

I like the title of the episode.

Bits and pieces

Love Lila smashing posters of Ronald Reagan on the Berlin wall. Yes, he did say, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” so maybe that’s why they included it. But I’m no fan of Reagan.

Of course Lila plays the drums. How very Lila. And so does the actor, Ritu Arya, which explains why she was so good.

Although it was fun, it was not necessary for Reggie to put Klaus in the trunk of his car. Reggie could have used the back seat, which would have been a better place to monitor Klaus's resurrection.

In case you’re wondering – I was – a Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its solar power output.

Like how Diego is worried about Grace’s robot eye.

Love how The Umbrella Academy plays "Cat’s in the Cradle" while Reggie is making up for being a rotten father by killing Klaus over and over. For those unfamiliar with the song, it’s about a father who ignored his son when the son was a kid – and wants to make up for it later (when the son has no time).

It’s very The Umbrella Academy in that none of the vehicles ever stop to check on the guy they just hit on that road. Maybe they’re all like Chet Rodo, the manager of the Hotel Obsidian.

I think this is the first time for Klaus to see ghosts this season. Why is he so scared of them now? He was getting along with them fine in Dallas, when they were helping him out. Or is it just the cemetery?

Interesting that Obsidian is so close to the word Oblivion.


Klaus: Well, things kinda went sideways at the ol' Academy early on.
Reggie: How so?
Klaus: Five got lost in time. Just... gone. Ben died during the Jennifer incident. Tragic. Oh, tragic? I'm not finished. You drսg your daughter. For years. You turned Luther into a half-monkey moonboy freak thing. You locked me in a box full of ghosts. And then you killed yourself so that none of us would ever get any answers.
Reggie: I see.
Klaus: What I'm saying is, you were a terrible father.
Reggie: Yes. Picked that up. Thank you.

Reggie: Near-immortality is an unbelievable gift. Yet, you come back to life at unpredictable intervals outside of your control, with the reflexes of a wet noodle. Thoroughly unable to defend yourself or your team. Somehow, you've turned an asset into your liability.
Klaus: Yeah, well, not that I care about your opinion, but if I were to improve myself, how would I do it?

Lila: Speaking of wankеrs, uh... Any inside tips on how to get your stupid brother to accept my apology?
Allison: People don't want apologies. They want confessions. They want you to stand there and list the shitty ways you've hurt them so they know you understand.
Hmm, maybe that is what people want.

Lila: Sorry I lied to you about Stanley. I miss him too, you know. I liked that little shit and his wonky ears. He deserved better.
Diego: Yeah, he did.
Lila: Do you know why I brought him to you?
Diego: Because you're a sociopath?
Lila: No. Because I'm a coward. Dropping a kid in your lap and seeing if you'd reject us and run felt safer than telling you the truth.
Diego: Which is?
Lila: I'm pregnant, Diego. ...
Lila: I think I'm a bloody mess. And I think that someone who's... who never had a family is in no position to ask for one. But that's what I want. With you.
Diego: Can I think about it?

Five: You know what they call a superhero who works alone and doesn't listen to anybody? A villain.
Viktor: I am not a villain, Five.
Five: And, Viktor, I hope to God you never will be. But that remains to be seen. No more going rogue. If you ever need anything, I'm always here for you. But lie to us again... Viktor, I'll kill you myself.

Overall rating

This episode is difficult to rate. There were some excellent bits – Reggie and Klaus, Diego and Lila. Then there were bits that were tiresome (Allison) or that did not make sense (Fei). Three out of four moonrocks?

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

1 comment:

  1. The Cats in the Cradle sequence was really amazing. I cringed and laughed at the same time. It's sort of awful that what Reggie did actually helped Klaus master his death thing. It shouldn't have worked because it was so cruel, but it did.


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