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…