Honestly, I had dragged through the first season. Looking at Ellen Page throughout 10 episodes in that entire season got me as depressed as Bella Swan in New Moon – but wait – is that the vibe Page was going for?
Anywho, the second season dropped about a week ago and here I am, a few days late, writing a review nonetheless like I promised myself I would. So what if noone’s reading, atleast I get to verbal vomit and divert my unchanneled rage on paper – like Vanya did on her violin? I guess?
Okay, sorry! No more Vanya references (only). So… here goes nothing!
It is grandiose, obscure and really, really weird but boy, oh boy! It’s worth the ride!
I liked the second season. It was a lot more action packed and the characters seemed to have come out of their daddy issues a little. Ironically, Five, who is trapped in the body of a teenager, is more mature than the Five who has his own body. Because Time Travel in this universe is said to be complicated, I will make it simple.
Five escapes doomsday with his superpowered siblings – but with a glitch. They all get dropped in an alleyway in Dallas, Texas throughout 1960-1963. And the doomsday follows them in 1963 too. It is upto Five and the gang to save the day.
While I got anxious about the whole ‘how does a 2019 person adjust in 1963’ plot, the siblings seemed to have adapted pretty well – except for ofcourse, Diego. I seemed to have stalked the heck out of David Castaneda through the season.
So, the siblings adapt to their lives, and Five arrives about a week before the assasination of JFK smack in the middle of Dallas and gathers is siblings together to save the world. Save from what, you may ask? Doomsday. Guess who causes it? A very old, skinny and paler looking than Edward Cullen even in mo*f*kn TEXAS – Vanya!
The plot is less complicated than other time travel shows, but the time travel itself is. Hazel comes to the rescue of Five, gives him some evidence that will stop doomsday. It seems that Handler is out of the way, but she is not. Handler takes a bullet in the head for the job, gets demoted, and is put under supervision of an ordinary-yet-smart Commission employee – Herb. Herb is also the hero here, beeteedubs. But we do not realise it yet – nor does he.
At first, I sympathized with the Handler for being a victim of sexism. But turns out, the Commission was not evil – she was. Enter Lila – planted by the Handler to manipulate Diego and kinda save Five so Handler can kill him herself later. Kate Walsh is menacing. Who knew McDreamy’s former wife had THIS in her? Mer, are you seeing this? Also, totally love Kate Walsh’s OTT avatars here – especially the shoes.
Now, Allison is married to Raymond Chestnut, a black man leading a BLM movement circa 1963 (LOVE that). Klaus is a cult leader (LOVE Ed Sheehan BTW, he’s totes my new style guru), Luther is a bouncer for someone connected with JFK’s assassination, Diego is in a mental asylum, Ben can possess Klaus, Vanya has lost her memory and lives on a farm with Sissy, a married woman with a child with special needs, and Vanya’s love later in the series.
The series begins like this, and takes a wild ride throughout. It’s next level of crazy and I felt like I was on a substance that Klaus may have been on at some point in the show. The performances though were on point. I cannot point any flaws there. But I love how the writers made these bold statements through the show. It was a brush up on a history lesson along with the knowledge that racism is a fight the world has been fighting for the longest time now. The Black Lives Matter movement resonated within the episodes of the show – and it is so much more than anyone expects in a series that in the first season was plain frivolous with its time travel business and bizarreness of a talking monkey. This season threw in a lot of sense. Kudos to the writers for writing not one but two LGBTQ+ love stories in here – Klaus and Vanya’s.
We do not realise this, but normalising any queer romances through the medium of movies and series – especially those that are this mainstream and deeply ingrained in pop culture. The Umbrella Academy may not be there yet like a Money Heist is, but what seemed like a deus ex machina from all aspects built a crescendo so high that it was difficult to look away for even a second.
Not every character is as assertive as they should be, but Allison and Five ooze it. Despite its cocky dialogues and needles bickering of siblings that aim to entertain but mostly do not, The Umbrella Academy Season Two packs puch with its subtexts. And not everything is hidden here – the sycophancy of the Handler and the eccentricities of every character speaks volumes of their hidden emotions. Be it simply hunger for power, the instinct to protect their families – new and old, the writing remains unfaltered throughout the season, very much unlike the first season.
Every character gets their closure – sort of. Diego’s obssession comes to an end, and learns how to love. Allison has to say goodbye to Raymond – a great, epic love story IMO, but meets Luther again. Vanya learns to control her powers and says bye to her love (and does not lose it.. WOW! clearly I have issues with Vanya ugh sorry) Klaus too, says goodbye, but grieves healthily without drowning in his sorrows and starting another cult (with the best fashion sense ever). Lila disappears, but loves Diego (obvi), and Handler… well… I won’t tell ya!
All in all, there are several fun elements here, along with a brush of history. Watch for yourself if this time the siblings escape doomsday AGAIN, but the journey itself is a little heartbreaking TBH. Also watch out for Reginald Hargreeves. He is not who he is. He is not one of us, for sure. Nor is he one of them. Perhaps that is a mystery for The Umbrella Academy Season 3 to solve, along with the ‘sparrow’ academy.