Where We Left Off: When we last saw the wayward Hargreeve siblings they had just averted another apocalypse and used a Time Commission briefcase to return to the day after the first apocalypse they averted in season one. They arrive back at the mansion where their “father” is waiting and meet their replacements, the Sparrow Academy.
What’s Happening: Everything. Like for real. This episode gave us an epic fight scene, showed off some cool new powers, there was drama, comedy, action and suspense packed into 52 minutes of non stop awesomeness. This episode gave us everything we have grown to love from the Umbrella Academy and then some, even the mellow moments set us up for something bigger and exciting.
The episode starts on a subway in Seoul Korea October 1,1989 where get to watch a cute couple flirting before we witness the birth of Ben. The narrator, the voice of Pogo (who is nowhere to be found in this timeline) , tells us a story about 16 women giving birth on the same day who weren’t pregnant when the day began. 16 is the part that catches your ear because that’s a number that’s a whole lot less than previously mentioned in the intro of season one. We are reminded that Sir Reginald adopted seven of them but this time around besides Ben there are six new team members and they call themselves the Soarrow academy.
The New Guys: Meet the Sparrow Academy, this time lines more put together version of the Umbrella Academy. Ben is back in the corporeal flesh and kind of a jerk as #2 making it hella hard for the Umbrella kids to fight him because, it’s Ben and they’re still reeling from his second death when he saved Vanya in season 2. Marcus aka #1 is strong and a skilled fighter who is all about his reputation. Fei aka #3 can summon birds, Christopher aka #7 is a floaty orb who resembles a large Hellraiser cube, Alphonso aka #4 is for lack of a better phrase a rubber man, Sloan aka #5 has telekinetic powers and maybe a hold on Luther’s heart and Jayme aka #6 can spit on people and induce hallucinations which is both gross and kind of cool if you’re into happy and fun acid trips.
The Bad Guys: Every season so far as introduced a clear villain or at least one of them by the time the end credits roll on the season premiere. This time around, there doesn’t seem to be a clear villain, except the glowing fire ball in the basement that so far seems kind of benign but, off-putting. So, it’s a bit early to call on who the big bad is this time around but, we know that there’s one in there somewhere because Marcus and a dog at the Hotel Oblivion have already disappeared into parts unknown. There’s also a guy on a bus with a bunch of audio tapes headed somewhere and based on his behavior , I think it’s an all grown up Harlan but, he couldn’t hurt a fly… or could he? There’s a red herring of a bad guy in here somewhere and I can’t wait to figure out who it is.
Best Lines: Too many to count. Sir Reginald is a one way zinger machine and Klaus is still the crowned prince of sass so, this episode was full of witty reads and fun asides so, the only way to pick a best line would be to have a multiple way tie and give you the whole script.
Episode MVP: Lila. In her brief and surprising cameo she managed to steal the show in her usual off kilter way. She pops up with a present of sorts for Diego and it isn’t the briefcase she stole. She manages to inject some levity and weight to the episode in a way that only her character could and now that she’s dropped the bomb that she has , I can’t wait to see how it all turns out and fits into this seasons story. She stole the show in that short but sweet drop in just like she stole the briefcase and Diego’s heart.
Best Scene: A tie between Vanya meeting in secret with Marcus to discuss a truce and basically telling him to leave her and her family alone in an ultimatum that was basically the classiest way I’ve ever seen someone simultaneously say “F*** around and find out” AND “You don’t want this smoke” leaving Marcus who is clearly aware of what Vanya can do shook and ready to make a deal and, the epic drug induced dance off to Footloose between the two academies because honestly, we all live for the dancing scenes in this show and it wouldn’t be a proper Umbrella Academy season without one.
Overall: Without giving too much away because seriously, you should watch it , this episode was for me the strongest series premiere of The Umbrella Academy. They introduced a lot of new characters , gave vibe checks for our returning faves (and not so faves) , gave us possible ways of how they’re going to have to save the world this time around and hinted at multiple possible story lines, side quests and new adventures for our favorite academy. The actress who plays Robot Mom deserves some kind of award for her micro facial expressions, demeanor and speech patterns because she is selling TF out of being a robot and it’s a complete 180 from her portrayal in the first season where we were shocked when we realized she was a robot. She is a perfect blend of the real life prototype person we met in season two and the Mom we saw in season one and I’m here for it , even if she’s worshipping an ominous glowing orb in the mansions basement. The new academy on the block have this kind of arrogance and suaveness that makes them seem cool AF , in a d***head kind of way where you can acknowledge that they’re way to cocky but, also you find yourself respecting their swagger. Overall , I thought this was the warm and chaotic welcome back that we have come to love, respect, admire and expect from the Umbrella Academy and I cant wait to see how it all unravels in the next nine episodes.