Rain on Me with ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 2 Review

Spoilers coming like that vanilla almond milk I just saw in my fridge

We are back folks. The rain clouds rolled in, and there was a downpour. Check out our previous thoughts on season 1 here and here. Now, get your umbrellas ready for my recap of the second season of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.

So right off top, we see our sibling heroes individually being dropped through Five’s time portal in between the years of 1960-1963 in Dallas, Texas. I immediately felt a rush go over me when I realized this meant that Allison, a Black woman who currently couldn’t talk, was now in the South and the early 60s (and yes, it was exactly what you think, but more on that later.) However, what kicks everything off is where Five finds himself.

When Five pops out of his portal, it is during a war. He sees his siblings all fighting; Vanya’s stopping missiles, Klaus is summoning the dead to fight for him, while Ben uses his power from beyond the grave as well. Luther is being a human shield, Allison is blowing mines with her rumors, and Diego is curving bullets at soldiers.

Hazel appears and gives Five a warning that the apocalypse they tried to escape in 2019 has followed them. Hazel gives him a briefcase and a tape before three white hair Legolas looking dudes kill Hazel. The last thing Five sees before he time jumps again is a nuclear bomb exploding and killing his family.

via Giphy

And that’s the opening…

Rainy Day, Dreamy Away, and a Alleyway

A quick recap of where each sibling has landed. Luther is a muscle man/bodyguard for Jack Ruby. (Yes, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald.) Luther is living alone in a sort of halfway house and feels completely resigned to his new life. One of the things that continues to plague Luther is his daddy issues and needing to have someone to tell him what to do. So, I guess him being a hired hand for a somewhat powerful underground criminal makes sense.

Klaus, using Ben, has convinced a following of people that he is some enlightened guru who is so in-touch with the universe that he can float and such. He has been traveling the world spreading his “message” until he is now the leader of a full-blown cult. Klaus finds his way back to Dallas to try and save his (former) lover Dave (who is only 18 now) from joining the army and dying.

via Giphy

Diego is in a psychiatric hospital trying to escape so that he can save President John F. Kennedy. He is helped by a woman named Lila, who we later find out has a special connection to The Handler. (The lady who runs/ran The Commission that Five previously worked/killed for.) Diego spends the entire season trying to keep JFK from being assassinated, especially after the tape Hazel gave Five seems to contain a video of the shooting of JFK and in it there appears to be their “father,” Sir Reginald.

Vanya has completely lost her memories of the events that happened and her family. She was hit by a car and the lady, Sissy, who hit her brings her to live with her family until Vanya can get her memory back. Vanya becomes the nanny for Sissy and her husband Carl’s, autistic son, Harlan. During their time together, Vanya and Sissy grow closer and fall in love. There is a deeper conflict there that I will discuss in a bit.

Allison punches a white man who is speaking to her disrespectfully, but she quickly realizes that she, a Black woman, just hit a white man in the South in the 60s. She runs and finds her way to a Black hair salon. The Black women inside, no questions asked, come to her aid. They brandish switchblades, scissors, and hot combs as they form a wall between Allison and the three white men chasing her. The men leave, and Allison pretty much collapses into a chair. From there, we see time pass as she begins working at the salon. She also meets Raymond Chestnut, a Civil Rights organizer, and a relationship blooms into marriage. Allison has not used her powers since Vanya slit her throat, and she’s happy that she has earned everything in her new life.

Lastly, Five is searching high and low to find a way for them to get back home and for a way to stop this new apocalypse. His issues are pretty much not allowed to be (growth) personal, because he is busy trying to save his family and the world.

via Giphy

Under My Umbrella, ella, ella

Going a little deeper into the plot, Luther and Diego, for me, were just here for the ride. So you’ll hear little about them from me other than: their daddy and hero issues really need to be resolved. Also, as I said earlier with Five, he spends the season trying to figure out how to get them back to their time and avoid the apocalypse. The one big moment with him is that, in a misguided deal with the stylishly evil Handler, he murders the entire Commission Board for her in exchange for a way home that doesn’t include the end of the world following them.

To round out the boys, Klaus and Ben have an interesting but small plot. First, they are at odds as normal, but it’s starting to get a bit more tense. We find out that Klaus is trying to save his now 18yo past lover Dave from joining the army and dying during war. However, Dave comes from a military family that expects him to follow the family tradition, has a homophobic uncle, and is not ready to accept his own sexuality. In the end, he enlists, but we see a moment where, as he gets on the bus, he stops and looks as though he is looking for someone. No doubt he is wanting to have Klaus (or someone) stop him, but that doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, Ben spends the season just wanting to be heard, but Klaus tells everyone he’s not there. However, Ben plays an important role at the end.

via Giphy

Vanya and Allison have probably the biggest storylines of the season. First, Vanya has complete amnesia of the past and only remembers her name. She lives on a farm with a family of three; Sissy and Carl and their autistic son, Harlen. The big things that happen here are that Vanya and Sissy fall in love, but Carl finds out and threatens Vanya. Being that it is the 60s, he believes she is part of some Communist propaganda to break up American families. Vanya tries so hard to get Sissy to leave and when she finally convinces her, Carl’s brother, a state trooper, stops them. Vanya also saves Harlan’s life after he runs away and falls into a pond. She used her powers to move the water Moses style, got his body to the shore, and performed CPR. During this, we see little circles of light exit Vanya’s mouth and go into Harlan’s and he starts breathing again. (As someone who loves witches, I gotta say that was very Vitalum Vitalis like from American Horror Story: Coven.) Later, we see that this has formed an ET/Elliot-like bond between the two of them. It is something that Harlan, unlike Vanya, who learns to control it with the help of Ben, can’t control it.

Now, I have things to say. After the first episode’s opening banger, the second episode had me about to throw my shoe at the TV… and not in a good way.

Power Dynamics

Episode 2, which I’m calling “We Could End Racism,” has a storyline in which “Rumor has it Allison’s” husband gets in trouble now that they are in the racist South, and he is arrested. While the officers are arresting her husband, Allison begins to use her powers to stop it, but she stops. Later in the episode, Allison finds Klaus and tells him that she hasn’t used her powers in over a year (since her voice/throat was slit by Vanya).

Allison and her husband are civil rights leaders and planning a lunch counter sit-in to bring attention to the racist treatment of Black people in the South. They are doing this mere days before the arrival of JFK. Now, if you haven’t seen it, then I won’t tell you what happens. If you have, then I don’t need to tell you. I just want to tell you my feelings.

I was binging the season with my best friend, and we had conversation after each episode if needed or stopped at parts where things needed to be said right then. So, of course, an episode that involves a race riot where a character can use her voice to end racism is going to have us talking, and that’s where I have things to say.

Why would you not use your literal voice to change things for the better? You better rumor your way onto Aretha Franklin’s (RIP) album and sing “I heard a rumor yt people were racist,” and we can move forward. Quite literally changing the course of the world. Could you imagine how different things could be? And maybe that’s why we don’t use broad strokes to change the world, because you never know how you could change to future.

HOWEVER…that ain’t me. Five is going to be time traveling me all over the past to change things, and I just wanted that from Allison. Not just to save her husband, but to save countless other Black lives. Never forget #ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER

Set Fire to the Rain

Now, to the final things. When I said that Diego wasn’t important, he personally isn’t, but his character is the connection to Lila. She likes him and gets him into the Commission, where he finds out that Vanya once again is the catalyst to the end of the world. Vanya is taken into FBI custody, because she uses her power and the FBI thinks she is a Russian spy. While there, they torture her, and I’m sure after seeing the first season you know what happened. The White Violin blows up the FBI building just as JFK is rounding the corner where he would have been shot. While avoiding the assassination, it makes JFK believe the Russians are bombing the US, and he declares war. All of this leads to the nuclear world end bombing that Five saw. Thus, they try to get to Vanya before she turns into the violin. However, they are too late.

Allison, Diego, and Klaus are knocked out, leaving Ben’s spirit to stop things. He possesses Vanya’s body and goes into her mind to help bring her back into control of herself. While he is able to help her, Ben cannot go back. He finally crosses over with a hug from Vanya and a final message for Klaus. Vanya takes control and stops the White Violin portion of herself. Once that’s over, Diego hightails it down to the Grassy Knoll to stop who he believes is their father from assassinating JFK, only to find out it wasn’t him, and JFK is still shot.

via Giphy

Lila also has another secret that is important to the plot. She is he “daughter” of the Handler. The Handler ordered Five to kill Lila’s parents when she was four, and the Handler took Lila as her own and pretended that she had nothing to do with it. However, what we learn at the end, is that the reason the Handler did this was because Lila is one of the children born on October 1, 1989, and therefore has powers. From what I could figure, she can mimic, hijack other’s abilities. Example: in what could have been the end of Allison, Allison begins to rumor Lila as they are fighting, but Lila finishes the sentence and says, “you stopped breathing.” Allison then begins to suffocate. In a final showdown with them, Diego reveals the truth to Lila, and the Handler tells her the whole truth. The Handler is then killed by the remaining Legolas looking guy who she set up to take the fall for her.

Lastly, remember when I said Vanya put some of herself into Harlan? Well, the boy has gone White Violin and is basically Storm. Vanya is able to calm him down and take the power out of him. After things are back to a version of normal, Vanya tries to convince Sissy to bring Harlan and come to the future where they can live together. However, Sissy doesn’t want to put her son through anymore, but she does take Harlen to California.

It’s a Rainy Night in Georgia…I Mean the Future

via Giphy

The season ends on another cliffhanger. The siblings were able to talk to Sir Reginald in the past and he saw their powers at work. This probably explains the ending.

When the siblings are able to return to their home in the future, it is the day after the apocalypse. They run into the living room, and Klaus is the first one to notice something is wrong. Ben’s portrait is hanging above the fireplace. Sir Reginald reveals himself and says that he’s been waiting for them to arrive. However, this is no longer The Umbrella Academy. It is now The Sparrow Academy. They turn to see figures appear silhouetted by the sun, each wearing a red jacket. Finally, Ben steps into frame alive and emo.

So, that’s the end. Sir Reginald got him a new superhero team with Ben as the new Number 1.

Overall, I enjoyed the season. I don’t know if I like the first season better, but I think it felt like a more cohesive story in the first season.

via Giphy

I also have a bit of a problem with the use of the Civil Rights part in the show, because it was clearly just used for a moment, but never really meant to carry throughout the season. It was more like, we’re in the 60s, we have to address/show this aspect, but once it wasn’t necessary…it faded out.

I’m really hoping that in the next season we can get Diego and Luther some real counseling for their daddy and hero issues, because that’s beginning to wear thin on me.

One thing that I am sad about is that this means that Allison probably never had her daughter, because the events that would have led up to it might not have happened. Seeing her daughter was the biggest reason Allison wanted to get back to the future. And this goes back to my idea of her changing the past by rumoring racism away. Because a certain event didn’t happen, she may not have been in a place to have found the man she had her daughter with. Thus, the daughter is never born. Saying that makes me wonder what other things might have changed, especially what this Sparrow Academy is like, what new powers they could have, what this new Ben is going to be like, and what the hell happened to Lila.

Let me know what your feelings are in the comments or on our social media accounts.

Until then, don’t forget your umbrellas…it just might rain.

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  • Kenneth Broome

    College Professor/Editor/Writer

    Kenneth Broome, Jr. is originally from Mississippi, but he lives and works near Atlanta, GA. He hold degrees in English and creative writing. He's a college professor, editor, and writer as well. He loves sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, but witches are his favorite. Overall, he's just a big nerd at heart.

  • Show Comments

  • Kimbo

    I didn’t see you mention when papa Hargreeves went full Men in Black Edgar and pulled his human face off and wiped out that entire room of old white men lol. When he put the monocle down I knew it was all bad

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