The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Ending Explained
The Umbrella Academy may have stopped the end of the world, but where do things stand at the end of season 2 for this dysfunctional family?
This article contains The Umbrella Academy spoilers.
Just like in the first season, the Hargreeves family made a successful retreat from yet another apocalypse in The Umbrella Academy season 2, this time with more of a sense of relief and control as they returned to the present. However, their journey to the past was not without consequences to the timeline and history as they remember it. Let’s enumerate the various questions and hanging threads that remain.
The most obvious change in the finale is the transformation of the academy housed in the Hargreeves mansion. Not only is Sir Reginald very much alive, but he has redirected his attention to an entirely new team of superheroes called The Sparrow Academy. Well, perhaps not entirely new: Ben is back in action in the new timeline, although he doesn’t appear to know his former teammates.
He also seems a bit younger, as do the six shadowy figures behind him, implying that whatever caused the spontaneous births of 43 children with special powers happened later this time around. It’s always been implied that Reginald Hargreeves knew to expect the babies’ appearance, and if he was directly involved in the phenomenon, it’s entirely possible he delayed it while still allowing for individuals like Ben to come into being.
Showrunner Steve Blackman has confirmed that the other Sparrows are new individuals as in the comics arc “Hotel Oblivion,” not younger versions of our heroes, and the mysterious green box floating near the new team might indicate we’re dealing with different powers as well. Unlike in the comics, however, it’s possible that the name “sparrow” is related to the bird toy seen hovering above Harlan’s hand at the end of The Umbrella Academy season 2.
And of course, that’s another hanging thread that could be carried forward. Vanya’s presence in the 1960s clearly changed the young autistic boy, and whatever power she passed along when she resuscitated him was clearly not entirely removed. Harlan himself would be too old to be in The Sparrow Academy, but could the telekinetically-influenced bird and the inherited ability’s presence in the 1960s have inspired Hargreeves in some way?
Sir Reginald himself likely had a massive change of attitude as a result of his adopted children’s presence in the past. The Kennedy assassination was probably already a disappointment for him in the original course of events, but only this time did the double-cross by the Majestic 12 cause Grace to leave since the time travelers were the ones who placed the seed of doubt in her mind as to Reggie’s involvement. It seems likely that her departure heightened Hargreeves’ sense of betrayal, causing him to kill the “man in black” and his peers.
As for Sir Reginald’s alien appearance under his monocled mask, references to his otherworldly origins were seen in the first season of The Umbrella Academy, and comics readers were already privy to Hargreeves not being human. Netflix viewers, however, are now also fully aware that Hargreeves and his powered children are linked by more than a desire to form a superteam, even though his complete motive is still not known.
And there are more of the 43 mysteriously powered miracle babies out there, including Lila who is god-knows-where-or-when with the knowledge of her new family and no Handler to keep her in check. Whether the Commission will still be a factor in The Umbrella Academy season 3 is anyone’s guess since Herb’s now in charge, but Lila could either be friend or foe moving forward. She might even have played a role in Hargreeves’ delayed formation of The Sparrow Academy.
One lesser detail that could become important is the Swede who was left behind after his brothers were killed. The “lead Swede,” as it were, was picked up by a busload of Klaus devotees, which could just be a humorous conclusion to the assassin’s journey that leaves the rest of his story to viewer interpretation, much like the implied happy life of Hazel and Agnes. But the fact that he abandoned his mission even though revenge against Allison would be warranted seems significant enough for some follow-up.
Likewise, we have to wonder if loves left behind will be a factor. Dave still went to Vietnam, but he was seen hesitating when getting on the bus, almost as though her were looking around for Klaus. Sissy and Ray both had some closure with Vanya and Allison, but surely their lives are irrevocably altered. They may be in their 80s in 2019, but they still would remember the ones that got away better than the new Ben remembers his siblings.
Nevertheless, Five now presumably has better control of his powers as does Vanya, who has veered from the comics villainy of the “White Violin.” Family drama will obviously still be a factor since Hargreeves was expecting their return to 2019, but it would appear that The Umbrella Academy is finished for the time being with end-of-the-world scenarios. Fortunately, this will allow for the characters to evolve past avoiding crises for which they are responsible and start worrying about other problems in season 3 — and hopefully beyond.