There’s never a dull moment in the life of The Umbrella Academy.
After narrowly averting (or more accurately: running away from) an apocalypse in season 1, Reginald Hargreeves’ mismatched family of crimefighters went back to the 1960s in season 2…where they averted another apocalypse. In season 3, set to arrive on June 22, the Umbrellas have made it back to what they think is the correct timeline, only to discover the place they thought was their home is now the headquarters of The Sparrow Academy. And oh yeah, all those temporal shenanigans have created a time paradox that will lead to yet another apocalypse in four days.
Or at least that’s what we can glean from the first official trailer for The Umbrella Academy season 3, released today by Netflix. While previous looks into the third season of the show have teased out The Sparrow Academy, this one fully articulates that the Umbrella Academy arriving into the Sparrow’s world isn’t just a minor annoyance, it’s a matter of world-ending consequence. Watch below to see what we mean.
Five, ever the time traveler of the team, knows what he and his siblings arriving in the wrong timeline means for the world. They’ve accidentally created a time paradox. Presumably when Reginald Hargreeves met his adopted children in the ‘60s during the events of season 2, he decided to have no part of those losers in the future and therefore adopted seven different children of extraordinary abilities (remember: a total of 43 of them were born on Oct. 1, 1989). Now, not only did the Sparrow Academy take over for the Umbrella Academy, but other versions of Luther, Diego, Allison, and their siblings exist in the same timeline alongside the “usual” ones. Whoopsies.
It’s all quite confusing and no doubt the Umbrella Academy rectifying their temporal sins will play a major role in season 3. But there’s something else in the trailer, something less obvious, that caught our attention. And that just might be The Umbrella Academy’s version of Arkham Asylum, the Raft, or any other comic book prison that houses supervillainous threats.
At the 1:12-minute mark of the trailer, viewers are entreated to an overhead look at a hotel with a glowing marquee that reads “The Hotel Obsidian.” The moment is brief but its mere inclusion in the first full trailer suggests it has some level of significance. Compounding that sense of significance is the first official cast photo for season 3, released by Netflix alongside the trailer.
Here we see Ben, Lila, Five, Allison, Diego, Luther, Viktor, and Klaus all gathered around a luggage cart commonly used in hotels. First a gratuitous shot of Hotel Obsidian and now this? What’s with all the hotel imagery?
It may help to know that the third volume of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá is titled “Hotel Oblivion”. In the context of the comic, Hotel Oblivion is the name of the hotel-themed prison that Reginald Hargreeves uses to house all of the various supervillains The Umbrella Academy has defeated. The hotel exists out on the edge of “Zero Space” and is impossible to get to (or escape from) without use of Reggie’s sophisticated alien technology.
The Umbrella Academy TV show has shied away from some of the more aggressively sci-fi aspects from Way and Bá’s comic and it at first seemed like season 3 would forego adapting any of the Hotel Oblivion arc at all (save for the introduction of The Sparrow Academy, which occurs at the very end of the arc, as opposed to the end of the second arc as in the show). The inclusion of a Hotel with an “O” name, albeit a more sensible, less comic book-y “O” name suggests that the show is prepared to dip its toe into some Arkham Asylum-style madness as well.
Through two seasons of The Umbrella Academy, we haven’t seen much of the Hargreeves’ kids rogues gallery. And why would we when they’re well-passed their crime fighting days and already their own worst enemies? It’s possible in season 3 though, that The Sparrow Academy won’t be the only villains the team has to deal with.
You know what they say about Hotel Obsidian/Hotel Oblivion: once you check in, you can never check out.