You’d be forgiven for not knowing about The Umbrella Academy comics that came from the mind of Gerald Way and produced by Dark Horse. Or why the fan-favorite comic got an adaptation by Netflix. But after season 1, MANY fan were all too happy to see what the Numbers 1-7 were going to do with Season 2, even if it was going to be a bit like Game of Thrones in how its last seasons were 100% accurate to the source material. But here we are, and as you’ll see in this Umbrella Academy Season 2 review, there’s a lot to enjoy, even if it’s a bit inconsistent at times.
To recap, Season 1 featured Number 5 (who for the record is the perfect Damian Wayne type and should be cast in a Batman film as Damian ASAP…I’m not alone in thinking this…) coming back from an apocalyptic future and having just days to figure out what destroyed the world. All the while his fellow superpowered siblings of the Umbrella Academy trying to help, hinder, or avoid what was happening. Turns out, it was their “non-powered” sister Vanya who was the reason for the destruction in the first place. They fail to stop the end of the world, but travel back in time to try and stop it from happening in the first place…again.
Which is where season 2 begins, because their travel experiment worked…and failed. Because on one hand, they did go back into the past. The problem though was it landed them in the 1960’s (specifically 1961-1963) and not all at the same junction point. In fact, some were there for years while some had only been there for months, and in the case of 5, minutes.
Oh, and they somehow brought the apocalypse with them, fun!
The opening to the season is not only epic, it is a perfect gateway into understanding how everything was set up, and how everything is going to go down. Including finding out that the world is nuked and somehow the Academy kids are once again at the center of it. Now, 5 has to not just find his family scattered in Dallas, Texas, but once again figure out the cause of the apocalypse and deal with new assassins, a ticked off Time Commission, and the fact that his siblings…aren’t as helpful as they once were.
I honestly feel that the first episode of the season was the best because not just how it was directed and shot, but how it perfectly explains a simple truth, the family has been in Dallas for awhile now and either have new lives and new goals.
Klaus has a cult (that he hates, but whatever), Allison is married, Vanya was hit by a car and basically adopted into a new family with no memories of who she is, Luther is a fighter for a very important mob boss, and Diego is on a crusade to save John F. Kennedy no matter what…which lead him to a mental institution. But let’s not sweat the small stuff, ok?
Last season, many of the cast really didn’t get their time to shine for one reason or another because the story wouldn’t allow it, but here? It’s handled much better most of the time. And best of all, while in Season 1, a lot of the family was arguing with each other and wanting to be apart, there are many funny, emotional, and just plain fun moments where the family is together and finally acting like a true family. In fact, many of the best parts of the season was where the family was together. Including a dance scene that many will enjoy no doubt featuring Allison, Klaus and Vanya.
Speaking of Vanya, she definitely got the lion’s share of the focus of the story in Season 1 in the bad way in that it was clear she had powers and that her boyfriend was evil. But here? They play her in a much better way. Stripped of her memories, she connects with a new family, and finds new feelings and love that she never had before. This is the best form of Vanya, and by the end of the season, she has a connection with her family that she never had before and it makes me excited to see what they’ll all do now that she’s “one of them” now.
That’s not to say that the others didn’t get stories at times too. Diego’s “daddy issues” may seem like a joke, but many key scenes show the pain that one Reginald Hargeeves caused him, and when he’s called out on it by the man himself, his reaction is actually rather heartbreaking. Allison being part of the Civil Rights Movement was perfect for her character, and her reason for not just being a part of it, but getting married was perfectly told, as well as the return of her power and the “curse” that comes with it.
But most shockingly of all, Ben is not just there this time, he plays a major part in the story in more ways than one. We get to see more of his personality and how he is more than just a “ghost of the past.” And one particular scene will make you wish he never died at all…which may be a wish that comes true in a way…
Ironically, and sadly, the character that came off the worst this season was Luther. While confident and loyal in season 1, in Season 2 he basically is a goof. He’s the butt of many jokes, his love for Allison gets taken into many weird directions, and by the end, he’s basically a punching bag and a one-liner machine that literally makes a villain gag, to which he says, “Well I tried.” They need to do better by him next season.
But fear not—if you’re looking for something fresh, there are many new character to satiate new stories. Including a certain “girlfriend” for Diego, Vanya’s new family, Allison’s husband, and more. Add that to a trio of new assassins from the Commission and the return of a certain villain, and you got a full cast of greatness.
But what might be the greatest thing that I have to note in this Umbrella Academy Season 2 review is the soundtrack! Seriously, they go for so many great songs that it honestly feels like they pulled a Guardians of the Galaxy, and pulled it off well! Seriously, it’s that good, and unlike GOTG, it’s not decade-focused. They do everything from classics of the era, to Backstreet Boys, to a Swedish version of Adele! No lie.
Speaking of lies, I’d be lying if I said that this season was perfect, it wasn’t. The “apocalypse is coming” storyline felt very repetitive, even with the new setting. Thankfully, they didn’t go fully beat-for-beat on things, and ended it a completely different way than season 1, that I promise. Also, certain storylines were handled well throughout, and others kind of ebbed and flowed in their importance and some were just plain abandoned. It led to a lull in the middle of the season, and though it did bounce back, some scenes and overacting kind of ruin certain impactful moments.
But, even with that, there were PLENTY of twists to make you surprised at what happened, a cliffhanger that many are going to be talking about for awhile, and lots of scenes that you’ll want to watch over and over again.
The Umbrella Academy is back, and it was worth the wait.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Review
While not perfect, The Umbrella Academy Season 2 delivers more times than it fails. With great takes on most of the cast, plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, and an aesthetic that just feels fun.
- The second season of Umbrella Academy is here! And it brings a lovely time traveling apocalypse to boot. Fun times everyone!