After a one-year hiatus, the seven Hargreeves siblings were brought back to the Netflix big screen in a striking season two of The Umbrella Academy.
The series picks up right where it left off in season one. Five’s attempt to save them from the apocalypse backfires as his siblings are separated throughout the 1960s.
At first, this change of pace was a little jarring. Season one really relied on dramatics and intense action scenes as there was no domesticity or real mention of normal people. Now, it is the focus of the setting and plot. This adds depth to characters like Diego who goes to great lengths to save President Kennedy or Alison, who becomes involved in the Civil Rights movement. Even Vonya, whose character arc played a major role in the previous season, was given a lot of space to develop and grow this season.
The change in scenery and dynamics made the storytelling even stronger. Season one gave us a glimpse into their relationships as a family, but when it came to their individual strengths and weaknesses – it all felt like flat archetypes.
Now though, we get to see how these characters survive in a new environment without their family by their side.
This was further strengthened by some outstanding performances from minor characters. Sissy, played by Marin Ireland, ended up being one of the most important characters in the show. The final battle scene takes place right in her backyard. The relationship between Sissy, Vonya, and her son is a captivating yet heartbreaking dynamic.
Another really strong plotline followed Alison and her new husband Raymond, played by Yusuf Gatewood. Their love for each other and the strength they provided for their community kept me on the edge of my seat. We were rooting for these characters even though they were just introduced. We wanted the siblings to be reunited as one big happy family, but we also wanted Raymond and Alison to have their happy ending.
This storytelling achieves its purpose. It develops the siblings as characters, but it doesn’t overpower the ongoing plot. Sissy and her son still have dreams of their own. Vonya doesn’t consume their storyline and vice versa. The same can be said for Klaus and his cult or Diego and his psychotic girlfriend. I was invested in these side plots and I was attached to the minor characters.
When the siblings are finally reunited, this makes their dynamic even more interesting to watch. Now they have grown as people, the audience was taken alongside them on their personal journeys, but now they reunite to finish their fight.This perfect balance is what made me really appreciate the new direction in season two.
This season definitely felt like an improvement, but it wasn’t perfect either. The siblings character development happened rather quickly. The show has always tackled a fast pace, but even this felt a little quick.
I also found myself missing those action-packed scenes where the siblings would show off their powers. That aspect of the show definitely disappeared a little in season two. This wasn’t necessarily a disadvantage for me, because I was watching the show for the characters and not the action. However, I can see how this change of pace may have the opposite effect on other viewers.
The Umbrella Academy has not been renewed for a third season. Although, Netflix is known to wait to renew their television series. Considering the reviews of season two, I would say it is very likely that we will get a third season. That being said, the pandemic may prevent production. Until then, the audience is left to wonder about the cliffhanger and the fate of the fearless Hargreeves siblings.