TV SHOW REVIEW - The Umbrella Academy: Season 3
Okay, so now I’m speeding through reviews and I’ve recently started a number of TV shows and have lots being recommended to me, so I thought I better be up to date with something. Just this morning I was thinking about this show and wondering when it was getting renewed only for the story to break that the fourth and final season had been announced. I am, of course, talking about ‘The Umbrella Academy’, a Netflix series focusing on a family of superpowered individuals!
Season 3 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ sees our titular family, return after saving the world for a second time. Believing themselves to have rectified their mistake, they turn up home only to discover that reality itself has changed and in place of The Umbrella Academy, Reginald Hargreeves, their adoptive father adopted a different set of children and raised them, creating ‘The Sparrow Academy’. Naturally, tensions run high and the two families get into a big fight. One of the biggest twists is that Ben, who has long been dead, is alive and a member of the Sparrows in this reality. Initially Ben and some of the other Sparrows wish to take the Umbrella Academy down, believing them to be a threat to their reputation. Whilst all of this is going on, a new problem brews in the basement of the Sparrow Academy’s home. An anomaly named ‘Kugelblitz’ is beginning to devour the universe and no one knows why. As per usual, Five discovers that a paradox known as the Grandfather paradox has occurred which has created the Kugelblitz. He sets off on a mission with Lila to find the source of this new problem. Meanwhile, Lila has left Diego with a young boy she states is their son and says he must now look after him. Allison is struggling to cope with the loss of her husband Ray, in the past, and the fact that her daughter, Claire, no longer exists here. Klaus goes on his own journey to discover the extent of his powers and in doing so, bonds with the Reginald Hargreeves of this reality. Meanwhile, Luther falls in love with one of the Sparrows, Sloane, and the two attempt to navigate a romance in between the tension that their families have. The greatest personal journey, however, is that of Vanya, who transitions to Viktor, believing that that’s who they have been the entire time. Lots of excitement, and lots of growth, but can these two families work together to stop the end of the world?
I think going into Season 3, I was hoping that the plot would be a little different to previous seasons. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think the team coming together to stop the end of the World is great, but two seasons in a row and I’m starting to think the team are cursed. This season both surprised and disappointed me in certain ways. Overall, the plot was always going to be some end-of-reality-level threat, but the addition of the Sparrow Academy actually made it different. It was interesting to see how Reginald Hargreeves had raised the Sparrows after meeting the Umbrella Academy back in 1963. However, as with everything, they proved that nurture outweighs nature and some of them become quite likeable. I also have to say that everyone’s individual journeys were a lot more fleshed out this season and I really enjoyed it. Seeing Luther fall in love, Klaus face his demons, Diego consider fatherhood etc made this season the best one yet. I also liked the new friendships between certain characters, like Luther and Viktor, Five and Lila and Klaus and Hargreeves.
All the actors return from previous seasons. Tom Hopper who plays Luther has some real character development this season and it was nice to see him become more than just the team’s muscle. Also, the way that he deals with Viktor’s transition was such a wholesome moment. Both Klaus and Diego, played by Robert Sheehan and David Castañeda respectively, also did a great job at showing completely new sides of both their characters. Seeing Diego step up as a father figure was awesome given that when this show started, he was such a lone wolf. His romance with Lila, played by Ritu Arya, was also one of the highlights of the season. Aidan Gallagher, who plays Five, did much of what he’s done previously, and although there was little character development, Five is such a great character, you can’t really hate. I think the character that changed the most in what I felt for them was Allison who became a horrible person. Emmy Raver-Lampman, I felt, had been developing that side of Allison for a while, but this season took it to the next level. I think the show handled Vanya’s transition to Viktor quite well, and given that Elliot Page himself has transitioned, I felt it was kind to the actor to change source material for them. However, for me, the best acting performance this season was done by Justin Min who plays Ben. This version of Ben is so vindictive and malicious, it was incredible to see Justin change it up for this season!
Netflix are always good with their budgets and since this Season was filmed before all of their losses were reported, it was clear that given the success of the show, the showrunners were allowed similar budgets as before. The special effects were once again, on point, especially those towards the end of the season with the Kugelblitz doing what it does. I also felt that the characters individual powers looked a lot more impressive than usual. One of the things that I think the show always does right is the music. It’s always excellent and I find myself often searching the specific covers on YouTube or Spotify. Few shows can pair up the cinematography and the music as well as The Umbrella Academy, and I feel like some of those superhero shoes could learn a thing or two!
Overall, I think that this season was definitely better than previous seasons and they were good in their own right. Having an opposing team made for some quality scenes and the Sparrows were a lot more relatable than the villains we’ve seen the Umbrella Academy fight already. I know that this is the penultimate season, but Season 4 will have a lot of work to do to be as good as this one!
Story Arc: 16/20
Integral vs filler episode: 14/20