Monthly Archives: May 2023

Let Us Count The Ways – an Umbrella Academy Post

First we have to know just what it was that caused the apocalypse that Five found himself in after he time traveled that first time.

Spoilers to follow:










So here we go.

Cause of the apocalypse?

It’s Vanya!

That’s right, sibling #7, the one with no powers. Turns out she does have powers. In fact, she has the most dangerous power of all of them. She can somehow draw on power sources and turn herself into a sort of bomb! We discover that Reggie discovered her power early on, tried to train her to be able to control it, but was unsuccessful. So instead of dealing with it, he first traumatized her by locking her in a cell in the basement, then later having Allison “rumor” her to forget that she has powers. She’s spent her entire life believing she’s useless and being treated like an outcast by Reggie and by her siblings.

See, Five found a clue in the apocalypse. Luther held in his hand an unusual item — someone’s glass eye. So when Five returns, he begins a search for the owner of the eye. It has a serial number on it. It must lead somewhere.

Meanwhile, Vanya has met a guy. He shows up at her place for a violin lesson. She’s expecting a little kid named Leonard Peabody, but Leonard is a grown man. She gives him a lesson, and he’s so nice, so understanding, so self-deprecating. He gives her a little carving he made, and tells her that he has a shop in town where he displays and sells his creations. He’s a bit of a mystery, but he seems really nice. He’s caught by Allison inside Vanya’s apartment, but he has a great explanation. She left her keys at his place (?) and he was dropping them off along with a bouquet of flowers!

We are also shown Klaus trying to steal things from Reggie’s study, anything he can sell to get money for drugs. He’s caught by Luther, who tells him to leave all of it, and so he does — all but one thing, a beautiful ornamental box. Klaus opens the box, tosses its contents into a dumpster, and proceeds to enjoy the spoils of his acquisition. Seems very Klaus-like, in fact. Exactly the kind of thing Klaus would do.
Later, Pogo asks the entire family about the box. It seems that he know that Klaus was the likely thief, but didn’t want to accuse him. He states that the CONTENTS of the box, not the box itself, were priceless. Everyone looks at Klaus, but he professes innocence. Pogo says something about looking past the theft of the box if the contents, which were a notebook and some papers, were returned.

Klaus makes a beeline for the dumpster and begins searching it for the notebook and papers, but to no avail. They are gone. Klaus gives up.

So here we have the first of the events leading up to the apocalypse. If Reggie doesn’t die, Klaus doesn’t return to the mansion. If Klaus doesn’t return, then he never loses the contents of the box. Reggie’s secrets remain safe. What are these secrets? We don’t know. But I believe that this whole thing is a fork in the road to possible futures in the show.


The Day That Wasn’t and The Day That Was are two of my favorite episodes of Season 1. Five leaves in search of answers to what to do about this apocalypse even as a pair of assassins continue to hunt for him and attack the mansion, fighting with the remaining siblings and battling them to a virtual draw. When the Umbrellas realize that there seems to be nothing they can do about the impending destruction of the world, they move on. At some point we learn who has the missing notebook and papers and it turns out that it’s Leonard.

Who the heck is this guy? We find out that as a child, he was a wanna-be Umbrella Academy fanboy who has the same birthday. He grrew up imagining that he has special powers like they do. When Reggie cruelly spurned him, he decided he will get revenge someday. He grew up in an abusive household, and it turns out he killed his father. He’s read Reggie’s notes, and he knows that Vanya has incredibly strong powers, which he works to get her to first release, then control. He takes her to his grandparents’ lake house where they work at this.

Allison decides to return to her daughter in Los Angeles. And Luther, who she’s been in love with since they were kids, is going with her. He has also been in love with her. They have a lovely moment dancing to the song Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader (a great cover of a song by King Harvest). Everyone is moving on with their lives for better or for worse. They’ve accepted that there will be an apocalypse. And they’re letting it happen, because without Five they stand no chance of stopping it.

And then Vanya finds the notebook.

This would seem to be turning point number 2. How will Vanya react to this? Will she realize that Leonard is manipulating her? Or will she focus her anger on the Umbrella Academy? No matter what, it does not seem like the apocalypse will be the same one that Five found himself in the aftermath of. The Umbrellas are dispersing. They aren’t at the Mansion for Vanya to kill.

Will we find out? No, because Five does not stay missing. In fact, he returns at the beginning of the Day That Wasn’t.

So that day never happens. This is event number 3. Five returns and says something about knowing how to stop the apocalypse. This event leads us into “The Day That Was.” The Umbrellas piece together what’s happening with Vanya. They still don’t know about her powers, but they realize that this Leonard guy is bad news.

Allison confronts Vanya and Leonard and gets her throat slashed by Vanya’s violin bow as she attempts to “rumor” her sister. They rush Allison to the Mansion, where Pogo treats her. And all seems to be forgiven with Vanya, when Luther hugs her until she passes out, and then locks her in the chamber where she was locked as a child by Reggie.

Event number 4: If Luther doesn’t do this to Vanya, do any of the rest of the apocalyptic events happen? Vanya’s powers are too strong to be contained, and she goes to the theater where she is now the concertmaster, first chair violin. The White Violin. The instrument helps her focus her powers.

The Umbrellas gather in the theater to try to save the concert’s attendees. Vanya tries to kill them, and they fight against her. Her powers are magnified by sound, and Allison ends up discharging a gun next to her ear. So instead of her explosion (she’s kind of a little nuclear bomb) hitting the theater, it is aimed at the Moon.

Vanya destroys the moon. So as the apocalypse rages, Five gathers his siblings and teleports, and time travels, out of there.

And an apocalypse occurs. It’s not the same as the one Five visited. The Umbrellas aren’t killed in it defending the Mansion. But all the same, it’s an apocalypse.

If Allison doesn’t act with the gun, does Vanya’s blast just destroy the theater, instead of hitting the moon? Maybe. This is, in my view, event number 5.

Everything the Umbrellas do leads to an apocalypse. Everything that happens in season one has to happen in the way it does for the apocalypse to occur and the Umbrellas to survive it, including Reggie’s death, which is finally revealed to be a suicide designed to get all the Umbrellas back in the Mansion and in contact with each other. Reggie’s death is event number 6, but in a way, it’s event number 1 — the precursor necessary event for everything that happens to happen. If they don’t get together, does the apocalypse happen?

I’d say it doesn’t. If any one of these events doesn’t go the way that it does go, there is no apocalypse.

Makes you wonder just who’s manipulating events here. And why.

The Academy and Alternate Timelines – SPOILERS

The Umbrella Academy is not a show about multiverses like the current MCU or even something like EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (which was great; if you haven’t seen it, treat yourself!). Yet it is forced to address certain alternate futures when the siblings act in unison, and we see the consequences of their actions.

This post will be full of spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happens in the series or are currently watching, you probably should stop here.





Proceed at your own risk!

Season One starts with a funeral — Sir Reginald Hargreeves’s funeral, to be precise. Because of their adoptive father’s death, the five remaining siblings — Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus and Vanya — all return. They aren’t all thrilled to see each other. Diego seems especially angry with Vanya. Luther is a little miffed with Klaus, who is obviously drunk and/or high when he turns up looting the study for things he might be able to sell in order to buy drugs.

It turns out that the siblings all have powers except Vanya. It also turns out that two of the seven siblings are missing, numbers Five and Six. Five has no name beyond his number, and Six is Ben. There’s a portrait of Five hanging in the house, and there is a statue of Ben in the courtyard. As the season progresses, we learn that Vanya has written a tell-all book about the family from the perspective of the sibling who didn’t fit in, who didn’t have powers. And no one was happy about it. We also learn that Five has this cool ability to teleport. He uses it to great effect when fighting. You throw a punch at Five, you miss and he’s already behind you, punching or hitting you. He’s fast and tough and, as we learn later, very smart.

Then he returns. And while all the rest of the siblings are young-ish adults, Five is still around 13 years old.

As we learn through the episodes, Five wanted to jump through time as well as jump through space. He knows he can do it, but Reginald tells him that he’s not ready. So he goes out to practice, and he starts to practice jumping through time.

Finally, a jump lands him in —

The Apocalypse.

He’s still in whatever city they are based in. But he’s surrounded by devastation. No one is alive. He makes his way back to the mansion, and finds all of his siblings dead. They’ve all been killed. Luther, Allison, Klaus, Diego…all deceased. And Five has no way to get back to his present. So he lives his life in this desolate future, getting older, traveling with a mannequin to help him keep his sanity, and finally he meets…

The Handler.

The Handler runs the Commission. The Commission seems to me to be TUA’s version of Marvel’s TVA. They “correct” errors in the timeline. He goes to work for the Commission as one of their “correctors,” basically a temporal traveler who assassinates people. Why he can’t simply use one of their briefcases, which is how the Commission agents travel through time, to get back to his family, I don’t know. But what we do know is that when he returns, he opens a portal in the courtyard of the mansion, and Klaus throws a fire extinguisher through it (you have to see it for Klaus’s actions to make any sense at all), then Five squeezes through and he’s an old man, and then suddenly, he’s a little kid.

He miscalculated. One of his time travel equations was wrong. He comes through with all of his knowledge, all of his experience gained over the years, all of his memories intact, but he’s put it all in the body of his younger self. (“Don’t tell me. You turned Scott into a baby…you ended up pushing time through Scott instead of Scott through time…” You either know the reference or you don’t.)

Well, he’s back, and they’re together to try to stop this coming apocalypse, which happens in…a very short time. Four days? Nine days? Something like that.

But apparently the apocalypse is SUPPOSED to happen, because the Commission sends agents to kill Five. Or protect someone else. Or…

In any case, I didn’t get to the alternate timeline stuff in this post, but all this background is necessary, and I think you can start to see where they’re going with this. Are the Umbrellas going to be able to change the timeline? And how did Reggie die? And just who the everloving f*** IS Reggie?

Next post will discuss the results of their actions in Season One. More spoilers ahead so close your eyes if you don’t want to know, because this is where we get into the alternate timeline stuff. Is it a multiverse? I don’t think so. It’s just a single timeline. The commission is outside of that timeline, but tries to make sure that events line up with the “already happened for them” events of the timeline. But is THAT even the correct set of events? Who says that they are? Has the timeline been screwed around with so much that it really doesn’t matter anymore?

Or is Reggie somehow still manipulating things?

These are cool questions, and if you watch the show, or have watched it, I think you’ll really have a blast. It was part of the reason that my second viewing of the entire series was more fun than the first viewing! And why I couldn’t even get into the first show the first time I tried to watch it. Knowing this stuff is coming is half the fun for me!

Stay tuned…