The Hargreeves of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy

Umbrella Academy poster – Netflix

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

     This article may have mild spoilers relating to powers and minor details; proceed with caution.

     Friday, July 31, the Netflix show “The Umbrella Academy” released its second season. With ten episodes in each season, this show, adapted from the comic by Gerard Way, has 20 episodes that explore the lives of the children of the Umbrella Academy. 

     All born on the same day, these children are gifted with special talents. Seven of them are bought by a billionaire, Reginald Hargreeves, who distantly raises them in an attempt to grow their powers more than their relationships.

     As for the plot, the first season of the show follows the death of Reginald Hargreeves and the children joining together again after years to find out how he died, as well as to stop the apocalypse. The second season deals with the aftermath of a hasty time jump that scatters the seven of them through different years of 1960s Dallas, Texas, and preventing the apocalypse, again.

     Through the seven siblings, The Umbrella Academy shows the difficulty of abandonment, ostracization, drug addiction, and the consequences of abusing your powers, on top of growing up with a cold father who saw them as tools.

     Number One, called Luther, is gifted with super strength, but grew up the most naive and dependent of the family, being the most hurt upon the father’s death. His character is loyal to Mr. Hargreeves and mentally immature, leading to him being stubborn and narrow-minded, causing his family to grow distant as he searches for a possible murderer. 

     Personally, I find Luther to be my least favorite of the siblings. Throughout both seasons, he does not grow much as a character, relative to the others, as his original extreme loyalty and ignorance of reason were not appealing to my taste. He also has a crush on his sister, and even if they are not related by blood, it is a little weird.

     Number Two, Diego, is a guy with the right idea but poor execution. He has the ability to bend the path of anything he throws and he mainly uses knives. His sense of justice is massive and he feels he is the only one who should be sacrificing for the greater good. In both seasons, he tries to do the right thing, but in solitude, so it never works. I could bear with him in season one, but in the second season, his bloodlust towards the president turned me away.

     Allison, or Number Three, is a woman with the ability to mind control people by “rumoring” them. She has combat training as well and is one of the few characters that seem to be faring better as an independent person. 

     She is a character I am more fond of. Level headed and smart, she does not act on impulse but still has realistic moments of weakness and is trying to grow after a life of using her powers to get everything she wanted. In season two, she even joins in civil rights protests and proves her worth outside without the use of her powers.

     My favorite, Klaus, is Number Four. With the ability to speak with, see, and sometimes touch the dead, he drowned himself in drugs and alcohol the second he was out of the Hargreeves household. He is a sarcastic guy with a heart of fool’s gold but does love his family and helps them on occasion. He is probably the most fluid character in the show, going through several journeys of addiction, rehab, relapse, and other difficulties such as PTSD and some loss of bodily autonomy throughout the seasons. His lack of self-preservation and spastic attitude never changes, and that helps him stay grounded and familiar to the audience.

     Number Five is a man who was lost in time, making him 58 and the oldest of the family, but his appearance tells a different story. Five has the ability to jump through time and space, but he does not always get it right, so he is stuck in the body of a 15-year-old. He is an interesting character, having lived just under twice as long as the other characters, through an apocalypse, and now trying to save the world and his family. His personality is strict, direct, and paired with a huge ego. His actions throughout the series show that he does truly care, though he never says it.

     Number 6, Ben, is deceased at the start of the show, dying in an offscreen accident years earlier. His powers were never explicitly stated, but a handful of scenes with four large tentacles coming from his chest said enough. In the show, he is only ever seen in parts where Klaus is talking or interacting with him. His character is caught in an interesting situation. He is the most logical of the group, but with Klaus as his translator, he never gets his chance to help the way he wants to. He plays a big role in the finales of both seasons. He is a rounded character despite the smaller amount of screentime he gets.

     Finally, Number 7, Vanya. She was the one child born without powers, causing her to be raised away from her siblings and treated poorly by them. She is quiet and emotionally closed off but, early in the series, she tries to reintegrate with the family with minimal success. Due to the nature of the show, I cannot go into too much detail, but her role as a character increases dramatically as the show progresses, even into and through the second season. 

     Along with the main cast is a large and varied set of side characters that are eye-catching, funny, and entertaining. The show is the proper amount of frustrating, funny, and exciting and it would be a good show to binge if you have still got the time and a Netflix subscription.

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