Netflix 'The Umbrella Academy' review: Amid the gore it is Hazel's relationship with Agnes that stands out
'The Umbrella Academy has given us many memorable moments on the show, but none came close to the picture of beauty, that is Hazeel and Agnes' relationship on the show.
Netflix's adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's award-winning, cult comic book series 'The Umbrella Academy' finally aired last Friday in all its strange and visually stunning glory. While Steve Blackman, the show's writer, did make a few changes to the script for the live-adaptation series, his story didn't take away from Way's dream of seeing his graphic novel come to life.
The show chronicles the lives of six family members with superpowers, who get reunited after 17 years in order to stop an approaching apocalypse while having two futuristic assassins, wearing brightly-colored cartoon masks, hot on their tail.
The two assassins are none other than Hazel and Cha-Cha and are played by Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige respectively. The duo is quite an odd pair, who share an affinity over killing and over-sized cartoon plushie masks, if not anything else. In the graphic novels, Hazel and Cha-Cha have never taken off their masks in their ongoing pursuit of Number 5, and it's good that the writers gave a face to the "faceless killers", for if not, we wouldn't be able to witness the blossoming relationship between Hazel and the Griddy's Donut shop waitress/owner, Agnes.
Cha-Cha and Hazel work for the Time-Travelling correction facility, The Commission, and they're sent to past events to make sure that the world is functioning according to The Commission's plan. The duo have killed innumerable people over their lives in the past and future, and while Cha-Cha particularly loves the smell of blood and gunpowder, Hazel starts doubting his ability as an assassin when they can't perform the seemingly simple mission of apprehending Number 5.
Hazel's doubt grows over time, and his only solace is to eat donuts and have meaningful conversations with Agnes as she serves him. This is definitely not your usual relationship, and Hazel, who seems to be in his 30s, slowly starts falling for the 60s-something Agnes while Cha-Cha is just focused on the mission of capturing Number 5. Agnes gives Hazel the motivation to realize that he's tired of killing, and would rather retire and spend his life with someone meaningful rather than with the catatonic Cha-Cha.
Hazel and Agnes also gave us one of the most beautiful scenes in the show. When the whole world is turning into fire and brimstone all around them, Hazel, holding the last time-traveling briefcase along with his beloved, time-travel to safety just milliseconds before the apocalypse engulfs the world. It didn't seem that they cared if they made it out alive, and as long as they have each other, that's all that matters. Cliche, but still sweet.
What's beautiful about this relationship is that it totally flips the script on cinema's pairing older men with younger women, and shows that love knows no bounds. Viewers sympathize with the authenticity in acting that the seemingly mismatched couple were so easily able to portray, and it is the "sincere" on-screen love between Hazel and Agnes that have really on the hearts of viewers.