'The Umbrella Academy' review: Season 1 takes us back in time, but what does it spell for the future of the series?
With the first season of 'The Umbrella Academy' having aired, what entails our heroes now that they failed to stop the apocalypse?
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The years 2018-2019 has seen the superhero genre meeting acceptance like never before and any layman would question the sheer amount of superhero series and movies that grace our screens today. But the genre is persistent and throws as many, if not all well-known, and lesser-known heroes into the limelight, forcing viewers to accept their presence as the norm.
'The Umbrella Academy' is one of the lesser-known superhero stories to grace the small-screens this February, and though new viewers may be confused as to the story's premise, 'The Umbrella Academy' writers have done excellent work in keeping the story and characters canonical to the graphic novel series from which it originated.
Binge-watching the series is the way to go, as the storyline is a little bit more complex than your usual superhero story, and the story may overwhelm some of our viewers, by the sheer amount of crazy antics that happen quite frequently in the series, and there is never a good explanation as to why these occurrences happen. Gerard Way, who created this zany world our superheroes live in, doesn't really have to explain anything to fans, who accept all the series shortcomings for what they really are, a fantasy.
In the last episode of 'The Umbrella Academy', the family discovers the truth about their sister, Vanya Hargreeves', powers and realize that their authoritative father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, had actually kept her powers from the family members a secret for good reason. Vanya had been told all her life that she was anything but special, and her father, who discovered her powers early on, realized their destructive potential and decided to sedate the young girl with pills, along with her sister, Allison Hargreeves, using her powers of persuasion to make the little girl think she was super ordinary.
Vanya, with the help of the soft-spoken (but ill-intentioned) Leonard Peabody, was able to open up her mind to the possibility that she did have powers, and after discovering Peabody's plan, went on to make him a human pin-cushion of knives and skewers. We see Vanya move from ordinary to extraordinary in a matter of minutes and embrace her dark side as the White Violin.
See the now superpowered Vanya taking her place as the First Chair for the Icarus theatre orchestra, and Vanya brings out all her years of angst and loneliness upon the unexpecting crowd of people, only to be stopped by her family. During the skirmish, Vanya lets out a bolt of energy that hits the moon, causing it to explode and rain down large chunks of moon rock on Earth, ensuring that the apocalypse is still underway.
The only means of escape is when Number 5 volunteers to take them back in time, and try to re-do the series of events that brought forth the apocalypse, and we see the members of The Academy turning back into their 13-year-old selves again, before being swallowed by a time warp.
The important aspect of this scene is that we see one of the deceased family members, Ben Hargreeves, also de-aging, meaning that his death will most likely be reversed, and we'll see The Horror, taking up his mantle again in The Academy. This also means that Sir Reginald Hargreeves will be brought back, and with The Academy members now having full knowledge of his lies and deceptions, he'll have a lot to answer for. So we're definitely going to see a reunion of the whole Academy in season 2.
While it would be wonderful for the family members to return to eight days prior to the apocalypse, their de-aging clearly shows them going back to an early period in time, maybe even to the days when Sir Reginald Hargreeves was just a young man. They may even learn the origins of their father, and the last episode even teased that Sir Reginald knew a little too much about the apocalypse and the children themselves. In the graphic novels, Sir Reginald is a space alien, and kids time-traveling to an earlier time may show the Hargreeves-alien story arc that fans thought they'd see in the first season.
The first season left fans with questions than answers, but one of the burning questions is, why did Number 5 view the mannequin Dolores as his long-time girlfriend?
The first season of 'The Umbrella Academy' has been released in full, only on Netflix.