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The Umbrella Academy: Wedding at the End of the World

Luther: We've, uh, got a little announcement to make.
Sloane and Luther: We're engaged! ...
Luther: Yeah. Look, we realize the timing is less than ideal. But, obviously, it's now or never. Am I right, Five?

Instead of trying to stop the current apocalypse, Luther and Sloane have a wedding and everyone comes.

The episode starts with some backstory of Reggie in a field of grain; the general flatness informs us that we’re probably in the Midwest. He shoots upwards; the air shimmers. He builds a hotel around it, the Hotel Obsidian. Not only does he own the Hotel Obsidian; he constructed it in the first place. This could be a reveal if you missed a picture of a clipping from a newspaper several episodes earlier.

Anyway, Reggie, at some point in the past, sends mercenaries into the mystery tunnel (where Diego lost his fingers a few episodes ago) in order to kill something. It doesn’t go well. I have the feeling he’s planning this mission for his adopted offspring, but why?

In the meantime, the Umbrellas don’t know how to stop the end of the world and Five doesn't even want to try. Diego, who really wants to be a dad, is most invested in its continuation. But they don’t have a solution. They’re not ready to listen to Reggie, who really is annoying. Klaus offers Reggie excellent advice on how to get along with his kids – I love Reggie's attitude that listening to kids is for hippies – but this also seems like an approach that Reggie should have realized sometime during the last century on Earth, as he has been on Earth at least that long.

Luther, as he is getting married, first has a bachelor party, which now includes Viktor. The only twist is that they deliberately decide not to invite Ben. This doesn't really make sense. Luther isn’t the type to hold a grudge, and he’s marrying Ben’s sister. The bachelor party is rather sweet but it is also, as the characters complain, rather lame.

The wedding is fine. At least we’re not subjected to the usual break-up-then-make-up trope of the betrothed couple just before it happens. Instead, as they discuss, their wedding was marked by Reggie’s weird poem about death, Allison and Viktor nearly coming to blows, and several getting blotto drunk. I think there should have been some gravity dancing. The argument for having characters sing and dance poorly relative to their actors’ abilities is that it’s in character, but hey, but good singing and dancing would be so much more entertaining. I loved the dance sequence in the season's first episode.

We see Luther and Sloane as a married couple. Although they do care about each other, they really don’t know much about each other. He wants to take a bite of her lamb, which shocks her. I enjoyed that a lot. Little things like that are usually resolved when your engagement lasts the usual amount of time, but given the situation, I don’t blame them for having a wedding. She gets him to relax when Reggie appears, too; I think one reason she was attracted to Luther was because he was obedient.

Ben is suffering, but mostly because he’s self-absorbed about being number one but also being accepted by the Umbrellas. He wants to be accepted by the Umbrellas, but he’s just a jerk about it, and the moping is not interesting. However, at the end of the episode, that’s resolved, by Luther, of course. It should have been done earlier but that would have taken away much of the episode’s filler plot line.

As there are so many reasons to get blotto drunk – the end of everything, his life of stopping apocalypses was meaningless, perhaps watching Luther marry Sloane makes him long for the mannequin Dolores – Five staggers around the Hotel Obsidian, and he catches a glimpse of Reggie having a serious conversation with someone. Five doesn’t see the someone, but isn’t it obvious? Only one person left the wedding early; even Chet hangs around to take photos (and charges people for them). I’m sorry, but trying to make a mystery of this does not work, and The Umbrella Academy only managed to defy expectations by having a mystery be so lame. Five should figure it out more easily.

Title musings. “Wedding at the End of the World” is the title of this episode, and that’s what the episode is about. A useful title, very clear, but not especially interesting.

Bits and pieces

They use a lot of make-up on Colm Feore to make him look younger in 1918.

I wonder what the significance is of the weird bugs.

Love the large hard-on particle thingy in Switzerland.

Asking Viktor to be his best man is Luther’s version of welcoming Viktor to brotherhood discussed in a previous episode.

I love Klaus being the wedding officiant. It makes sense; he was a religious figure for a while, and so he has the most experience officiating.

Chet really is the most relaxed guy around. Even though the world is ending he’s just going around taking photos of the wedding party.


Diego: We go with the large hard-on particle accelerator. You guys do some science, and... we launch the Kugelblitz into outer space.

Five: The universe is disappearing outside. So you can keep rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic if it makes you feel better. But the fact remains that we are too late.

Klaus: Yeah, we laughed, we cried, we played in traffic, and long story short, I'm immortal now.

Lila: Not all fights are worth fighting for. Odds are, we don't survive this one.
Diego: I'll take those odds if it means I get to spend it with you and the baby.
Lila: What happened to Mr. Lone Wolf doesn't need anybody?
Diego: He met a crazy lady. Changed his mind.

Klaus: There's such a thing as catching more flies with honey. You see what I'm saying? We're trying to make friends here.
Reggie: Why should I want to befriend my own children? That's for hippies and people with low self-esteem.
Klaus: All I'm saying is, why don't we try a little small talk before we go, you know, full Stalin?

Ben: I'm a Sparrow, and so are you.
Sloane: Not anymore.
Ben: What's so damn special about them anyway?
Sloane: They're a real family. They don't exist to sell action figures and tote bags.

Luther: Listen to me, you two. This is my day, all right? So if you two can just get along for a couple of hours, you can consider that my wedding gift.

Ben: I was Number One. Twice. Does Dad give a shit? No. He was busy hanging out with you.
Klaus: Oh, man, methinks you might be trying a little too hard. Look around. Nobody's polishing their boots or pressing their tights. We're a complete and total shit show. Ya get it?

Overall rating

Pleasant, and some of the dialogue was excellent. Still, there was lots of filler, and a few bits out of character. Two out of four of Chet Rodo’s wedding photos.

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

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this episode a lot. Great fun to watch. It might be one of my favorites in the series. I think it was because it was all family, just interacting the way a family would at a wedding, but much weirder. I especially liked the bachelor party, Klaus teaching Reggie how to relate (that felt like payback for Reggie making Klaus master his gift), and I liked how well Lila and Sloane fit in with the Umbrellas.


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