The Hargreeves family is back in The Umbrella Academy Season 2, with a new killer soundtrack and the same old apocalypse.
Last year, Netflix premiered its first season of the Netflix original, The Umbrella Academy. The series is based on the graphic novels by Gabriel Bá and Gerard Way, better known as the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. Millennials who went through an emo phase back in the day might remember the wacky comics fondly. They surround a family of defunct superheroes coming together one more time to save the world.
The series was a major success for Netflix, with praise from both classic fans and newcomers alike. After more than a year, the second season is finally only two weeks away.
After a long Instagram campaign, Netflix released the trailer for The Umbrella Academy Season 2. If you haven’t already seen it, you can catch it here.
The Umbrella Academy Season 1
The Umbrella Academy can be a tricky show to watch, largely because it involves so much time travel. Season 1 was chock full of flashbacks and flash forwards, and one episode that ended up completely unwritten due to a change in the timeline. So for simplicity’s sake, let’s recap what happened at the end of the finale.
Vanya Hargreeves, aka Number Seven, finally embraced her superpowers and leveled up to a whole new kind of badass. However, because she had little to no control over herself, she also leveled a few buildings and killed a bunch of people. One of whom was her extremely manipulative boyfriend Leonard Peabody, aka Harold Jenkins.
Number Five, aka…Number Five, had travelled to the future prior to the start of the show. Trapped there, he grew obsessed with getting back to his family and preventing the apocalypse. He had been certain that Jenkins would be the one to start it—which isn’t entirely untrue. Leonard’s manipulation of Vanya certainly tipped her over the edge to losing control. But in the end, the Hargreeves siblings realized that the one responsible for destroying the planet was actually their sister.
This led to an ill-executed ambush in which Vanya overpowered all of her siblings. Allison, aka Number Three, was able to stop Vanya by firing a gun next to ear. Vanya’s power was effectively neutralized—yay! But the excess energy shot into space and hit the moon, fracturing it and causing a large chunk to plummet to Earth—not yay.
Number Five finally had to face that he could not stop the Apocalypse. What he could do was save his family. So the Hargreeves siblings all joined hands, and Number Five led them on an uncertain leap into the time stream.
Phew. All caught up? Good.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2
One of the most pressing questions fans were left with at the end of Season 1 was about the casting. The final shot of the finale showed the Hargreeves standing in a circle—and then panned around again to show them as children. This led some to believe that for at least a portion of Season 2, the characters would be played by their younger selves.
The trailer seems to confirm that this is not the case. All of the siblings seem to have slipped through the time stream appearing the appropriate age—except Number Five, who is still and fifty-eight year old man trapped in a thirteen year old body. However, the siblings are scattered off on their own in the 1960’s.
Luther has taken up a promising career in fighting. Allison appears to be working in activism, right in the height of the civil rights movement. Inexplicably, she also seems to have regained her voice. Vanya has made friends with a dejected Southern housewife. Five is still on the run from the Commission, and Ben is still a ghost. Meanwhile, Diego is in a mental ward and Klaus has managed to start his own cult. Naturally.
By traveling back in time to save their family, the Hargreeves inadvertently changed the timeline. Instead of having fifty-six years until the end of the world in 2019, they now have ten days. Will Vanya’s destiny be to end the world no matter what timeline she’s in? Or will her siblings succeed in teaching her how to control her power, and go on to fight a new enemy?
The trailer also features some familiar characters outside of the Hargreeves siblings. The Commission agent Hazel appears briefly to speak with Five—however he is much older than he was in Season 1. Hopefully this means he got his happy ending, as last season ended with Hazel turning his back on the Commission to live a long life with donut-maker Agnes.
A good portion of the trailer also features Reginald Hargreeves, the siblings’ not-so-fondly-remembered father. One scene shows Five giving their father a “recap” of which children have what powers. Of course, they haven’t been born into this timeline yet, so this may give some insight as to where Reginald originally got all his grand ideas about superhero children fighting the Apocalypse.
This also means we could get some insight into who Reginald is as a person. Season 1 had a few tantalizingly vague scenes of him evacuating a doomed Utopia—either from the future or another planet. He had a wife whom he loved very much, who died and left him to go on alone. This may be hugely important in Season 2.
Another shot of Reginald shows him walking off into the shadows hand-in-hand with a chimpanzee. Presumably, this means we’ll get a look at Pogo’s backstory too, and just why he felt so indebted to Reginald in the first place.
Living in Texas in the 1960’s also means there’s plenty of new characters for us to get to know. Lila stands out as a British-Indian character, played by Ritu Arya. It appears she’ll either meet or grow close to Diego while being incarcerated in the mental facility. She also appears next to Diego in formal wear at what looks like a fancy party, so their plot line is sure to be a wild ride. Judging by the sass she gives Diego—telling him he is “an open book written for very dumb children”—I’m looking forward to her being one of my new favorite characters.
Sissy only appears briefly in the trailer, but a Netflix press release described her as “a fearless, no-nonsense mom from Texas who married young for all the wrong reasons.” She’s seen driving in a car with Vanya, at least one child in the backseat. And that’s it. So either her story won’t be especially prevalent in the season, or Netflix is consciously keeping some big twists under wraps…
Raymond is male character who frequently appears with Allison. Like her, he seems to be tied to the civil rights movement, leading the work for change. He appears once in a prison cell, hands through the bars to hold Allison’s. Could this mean he’s a potential love interest? One that’s not at all incestuous? Good for you, Allison!
There are new agents from the Commission as well. The new gunmen appear as three extremely ominous and surly milkmen, or otherwise door-to-door vacuum salesmen. And as for the new boss in charge—a goldfish in a tank on top of a man’s body. Comic fans might recognize Carmichael’s character design from the books, but without any dialogue, it’s tough to say how closely the characters will relate.
The JFK Assassination
Naturally, when you’re living in Texas in November of 1963, one of your main concerns should be the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s featured pretty prominently in science fiction and time travel media, everyone giving their different take on the truth. And The Umbrella Academy is no different.
In fact, the JFK assassination has already been featured in Season 1 of the show. Number Five is shown to be the gunman who intended to take out JFK. Instead, he pulls out his book of calculations and travels back to his family as we see in the pilot. The audio of the scene includes crowds and radio snippets, and confirms that even though Five left his post, the President was still shot.
Presumably, that detail will come to light in Season 2. Of course, the Kennedy assassination also plays a huge role in the comic books. But since Season 1 of the show had a vastly different ending than the plot of the book, it stands to reason that Netflix will handle this plot line differently as well. Nevertheless, the show has done an incredible job of keeping the spirit of the comics alive, and developing a natural arc for each character. Comic fans and show bingers alike should be excited about the twists and turns of the upcoming episodes.
What are you most excited to see in The Umbrella Academy Season 2? Have you read the comics, or are you approaching the show as its own entity? Let us know in the comments, or share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 premieres on Netflix July 31.