Tv Shows

TV Review: The Umbrella Academy Season 2 (2020)

Summary: The Hargreeves siblings are back, picking up where they left off in season 1. They have been scattered across the 1960s timeline. It’s up to Five to bring them back together, again in order to stop an impending apocalypse… again.

Check out my review of the first season here.

I will try to keep any major spoilers to a minimum but I might have to mention some little ones to really give my thoughts. I will be sure to put “spoiler” before I actually spoil something. You’ve been warned.

Pros:

Cast and Characters. The Hargreeves siblings are back!

  • Tom Hopper as Luthor Hargreeves. So, in this season, we find Luthor was dropped in 1962 and he manages to spend his year working for Jack Ruby. He’s a fighter and one of his bodyguards. There is a nice change in Luther, he’s less annoying than he was in the first season. He stands up for himself a little more and he feels less of a weight on his shoulders. He seems to have made peace with a few things, or at least he’s working on it. Throughout the season, we see him interact with Five and Diego the most, which was nice considering how negative his relationship with Diego was in S1. His attitude was much better in this season, I liked him a lot more. He still has his moral compass but considering all that’s happened, the things he’s found out about his father, he’s a little jaded but still clearly has daddy issues (as they all do lol). He has a great moment with Vanya, that really was turning point for him, I think. Tom Hopper is likable as Luther, he’s sweet when needed and a bumbling idiot the other times lol.
  • David Castañeda  as Diego Hargreeves. We got a lot of Diego content this season. First, he gets dropped 1963 and being that he can’t help himself, he’s a hero, his first act is to save a lady from a mugger. We then find him in an asylum because he wants to save JFK. Five does find him first but Diego does his thing lol. Also, tagging along with him is Lila and they have an interesting relationship/rapport. I didn’t like him that much in the first season, he had his moments, particularly with Klaus and their mom, but I ended up really liking him this season. He’s basically dealing with the idea that “you were told you were a hero so you will always believe it” thing. Not to mention, all the drama with Lila. David Castañeda does really great here. I liked his look as well.
  • Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves. She is my third favorite, I determined. I liked her in the first season but thought her character wasn’t fully realized yet, but I think she really comes into her own here. Allison gets dropped in 1961 and of course being a black woman (especially an outspoken one) means trouble in the 1960s. I won’t go into too much detail, but I loved her entire story line. One of my favorite scenes with her, was when she finds Klaus and they reunite. I also love the Sit-In/Riot scene. Emmy Raver-Lampman is great in this role! Being that this is her first television role, I think she holds her own well. I like her energy; I like her line delivery and I find her very likable because Allison can easily be unlikable.
  • Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves. So still my second favorite character. I will say, I do think Klaus wasn’t as in the forefront as he was last season, he still gets a lot of good plots, but I think he had a lot of chance to shine in season 1. I mean, it’s an ensemble show, it’s bound to happen. But Klaus got dropped in 1960 (which means he’s technically older than everyone now lol) and he started a cult. A little unintentionally but it happened. He ends up running off from his cult, because he’s tired of them lol, but the way he gives them “words of wisdom” is literally the best. Robert Sheehan is great as Klaus, the emotional moments he has (he’s so good at those), he’s so weird but loveable and I really liked his moments with Vanya and Allison. The other guys still treat him like an afterthought and I really hope we rectify that as we move forward. I mean don’t get me wrong, Klaus says some off the wall stuff… that frog and scorpion story is clear indication of that, but they shouldn’t dismiss him so quickly. I also love his look this season, Robert Sheehan is a beautiful man lol and he has an eccentric style which trickles into Klaus. The outfit he wears in the last two episodes is my favorite.
  • Aidan Gallagher as “Number” Five Hargreeves.My favorite of the siblings. He is still the catalyst of the show and he arrives in November 1963, just before another doomsday event. He watches his siblings be bad ass before having to leave them to go back in time to 10 days before it happens… again. It’s literally been like two weeks and a half since Five came back from the future. I need him to take good sleep break and eat actual food. This man has been living on coffee. I get it though. His power is spatial jumping (not to mention him still trying to figure out time travel) takes a lot of energy and he wants to always be ready. He’s still smart and condescending to everyone, but he loves his family. Everything he does, he does for them, even if they piss him off, which is often. Aidan Gallagher is still amazing in this role. His mannerisms are great and while I thought about it in the first season, it really comes to a head in this one, when you realize the last time he saw his father, he was 13 and it’s been 45 years. So, while parts of him may hate his father for his treatment of them, Five clearly still feels something that looks up to his father. One of my favorite scenes with him was the boardroom scene and the scene later with the Paradox Psychosis lol. He’s so good! I was worried they would replace him or something because Aidan clearly looks older this season. I believe he turned 16 while filming and will be 17 in September 2020 but then I remembered, he did say in season 1 something about going through puberty since what the Temps Commission do to Five in the comics can’t really work for real life lol. So, I hope that if the show is on (which Netflix don’t be jerks and cancel it before it’s ready to end) he remains.
  • Justin H. Min as Ben Hargreeves. So, we saw Ben hanging around Klaus a bit in the first season, but we see a lot more of him now. He is attached to Klaus so everywhere he goes; Ben must follow. I like Ben, I think he’s sweet because he loves his family and misses them. I like him and Klaus’s relationship for the most part. They do have some antagonistic moments that are really mean from both of them, but I guess we can’t expect them to like each other all the time. Ben has a really heartfelt moment towards the end, that was beautiful. I think I might have teared up a little. We got to see more of Justin Min, and I think as Ben, he’s cute and sweet and has great chemistry with Robert Sheehan since he’s really the only he interacts with. With the way season 2 ended, I’m interested in seeing more of him.
  • Ellen Page as Vanya Hargreeves.So, I didn’t really like her that much in the first season. I mean, I get her character and all that, but she annoyed me, but I will say I liked her a lot more this season. Without giving anything away, she goes through some interesting things that require her to basically rethink herself. She is aware of her powers and all of that. She gets dropped in 1963 and is hit by a car and taken in by the woman who hit her. She basically becomes the nanny to the little boy. I liked her story line in this season. Ellen Page is a very good actress, I think she plays all aspects of Vanya very well and I am interested to see her come more into her own as the show goes on.

Supporting Characters. I think technically Lila and Sissy are considered “main characters” but I’m putting them here since they’re not the siblings.

  • Kevin Rankin as Elliot. We meet him when Five arrives because he’s been keeping up with the siblings as they arrived because “aliens” lol. But he’s a little weird but he opens his home to Five and the others and is basically adopted into their group. I liked him. The actor was great, he was likable.
  • Ritu Arya as Lila Pitts. She is Diego’s love interest who is in the asylym with him. I can’t go into her without spoiling but I am still iffy on how I feel about her in general. I think the actress did a great job and she had great chemistry with David Castañeda and even Aidan Gallagher the times they interacted. That is all.
  • Yusuf Gatewood as Raymond Chestnut. I don’t want to give away exactly what goes on with him, but he is a Civil Rights Organizer and Allison is part of his group. I’ve seen this actor in The Originals and while I was iffy on his character, I like him, he’s charming. He’s charming here, his character is very likable. He does do something that irritated me and I get it but still, like come on dude. But I liked him a lot.
  • Marin Ireland as Sissy Cooper.  She is the one who hit Vanya when she arrived in the 1960s and they basically took her in. She becomes friends with Vanya. I mostly like Sissy, I like the friendship built with her and Vanya and that story line in general. The actress is likable and her emotional moments she handles really well.
  • Justin Paul Kelly as Harlan Cooper. He is Carl and Sissy’s son who Vanya is the nanny for. I think he’s autistic, obviously Sissy and Carl don’t know what that term means or what he is other than “odd” but he doesn’t talk so this kid gets to act with his face and body. I think he does a good job. I liked him.

Character Dynamics. While I wish some characters got to interact more (Five/Allison, Klaus/Five, Vanya/Allison, Allison/Diego), I do like what we did see. I realize that there are seven, well technically six, if you don’t count Ben, as the others can’t see him, people but it’s an ensemble cast! I want to see them interact and be siblings. It’s usually some of the best moments. There is an entire sequence with Allison, Vanya and Klaus in episode 5 and it was great. Sure, it’s just three of them but I want more of that! Luther and Diego had some great scenes together especially considering how antagonistic they were in the first season. Five and Vanya had some nice (even if some might have been tense) moments, which I would have liked a bit more of since it seemed like they were closest as kids. Diego and Five spent a lot of time together this season as well. There is also a great scene (which you see part of in the trailers) where the siblings meet up with their younger dad and that was a great (tense) scene too. Considering the ending, I want more of the Hargreeves family in general because this cast has great chemistry. Let’s do it.

Still Funny. I thought the first season was funny and I think this season is funny. Everyone gets their moments to shine in humor, whether it’s in their separate lives but when they’re together. The scene when they’re all finally together was great and funny. Emmy Raver-Lampman has great facial expressions, sometimes I have rewound a scene just to watch her reactions to things. Five is funny because he’s this old man still in his 13-year-old body (which Aidan Gallagher, still kills by the way) and some of his one liners “I’d rather lick a cheese grater” are everything. Diego and Luther have a funny “Olga Foroga” scene, I cracked up each time I watched it. Klaus is always funny lol. Vanya is mostly “funny” with her siblings. The new character Lila has some laughs and a returning character (I won’t spoil) is still funny in their own right as well. Keep up the wittiness writers!

Separate Character Storylines. While the heart of the show is the siblings together, they also have really great story lines on their own. I won’t get into them because I kind of mentioned them during the “cast and character” sections but I think the writing was also better this season along with a lot of other things that were better. Characters were more fleshed out, they grew up more, the actors really got to sit in these roles and allow these characters to evolve in their own lives so when they come together, we see some growth (there is still a ton to be done lol) but it’s there.

Use of Powers. I’ll touch on this later as well, but when they use their powers, I like it. I mean, it’s a show about people with superpowers and I’m aware that’s not really the core of the show, but I do want to see them use it. I mean, a black woman who can make people do whatever she says in the 1960s, I mean come on! That’s amazing, especially when we see it. I get why she doesn’t use it because it is a power that is costly. While I think Diego’s, power is kind of lame lol, he makes use of it lol. We know Klaus can commune with the dead, so I hope going forward, we see him work with more than just Ben. We see it a couple of times, but it’d be nice to see more. Vanya has her sound waves thing and the times she actively uses it are pretty cool. Luther is strong with an ape body *shrugs* lol. We still don’t really know all what Ben could do when he was alive. As for Five, he can spatial jump which is always cool and he also has the most use of his powers lol, not to mention the time travel thing which he still working on.

Side Note Spoiler: There’s a moment where Vanya and Five are arguing (great moment) and they get into each other’s faces about to light it up with their powers and I need to know what exactly Five was gonna do here… does he have more powers we don’t know about??

Soundtrack. The cover of Billie Ellish’s “Bad Guy” was great as was the Swedish version of “Hello”. Whew! There are so many great songs just like in the first season. I would definitely just listen to the soundtrack on it’s own. “Run Boy Run” from season 1 has still been an iconic song choice for me.

Pretty Great Sequences. The Dinner Scene in episode 6, you see part of this in the trailer, where they all meet up with their dad in the 60’s, and by extension the great dialogue between Five and Reginald. The boardroom scene with Five and the Commission Board, that is all. Well okay a little more, Aidan Gallagher acts this scene so well, his facial expressions are everything because clearly Five doesn’t want any part but just like he does everything, it’s for his family. This scene also contains one of my favorite shots.

Costumes. Outside of Allison’s weird wig, which I think makes Emmy’s head look a little weird, I liked her season 1 hair on her better. I think they could have done a different 1960’s wig on her. Between the bangs and the length, perhaps they should have done curly hair…but this wasn’t meant to be a con. But I think they should let her cut her hair to release everything that’s been emotional to her, so Emmy can wear her natural short cut and maybe even dye it purple like in the comics. It’d be cool. But anyway, the costumes are amazing. I particularly can see it in episode 10, but everyone is pretty much wearing black and they all look great. Allison wears this nice cloak/jacket thing, it’s amazing. Klaus is wearing this long black jacket, I was rewatching a scene before going back to rewatch the season and I was like “oh okay, Klaus, I see you with this coat”. Lila wears this cute white turtleneck, short sleeved shirt and striped (I think) jumper. It was lovely. Luther isn’t as big as he was in the first season. He lost some weight maybe? But they clearly gave Tom Hopper a different body suit. Vanya still wears frumpy clothes and it’s fine, it’s her thing. Five is still wearing his Umbrella Academy uniform which works for him lol, but I need to know if he showers because season 2 is like a week and this dude wears the same outfit every day, like he’s an anime character lol. I get he hasn’t had the time but still lol. Diego has nice casual clothing as well and Klaus’ clothes are so fitting. Just doing his own thing. I read that a lot of Klaus’ clothes were Robert Sheehan’s personal wardrobe in the first season. Fun fact.

Quick Paced. Compared to S1, this season is much faster. I don’t think it’s rushed (I just wish there were more episodes) but I do think they take their time but also don’t take all the time in the world. There were episodes in S1 that were slow but here, I think they’re all pretty quick on their toes. I appreciate that because now we know these characters, we’re in their groove, so let’s save the world.

The Editing/Amazing Shots. I didn’t mention this in my review of the first season, but y’all this show has amazing editing and amazing cinematography. One of my favorite shots, is during the boardroom scene with Five, where he is looking down at the camera. Amazing. But anyway, the editing in this show is so tight, plus coupled with choreography and the music… y’all. Amazing. Shout out to the technical dudes on this show!

Season 3. The way S2 ended leaves a lot of interesting ideas for S3 and I can’t wait. That’s all.

Cons:

Klaus and Ben. Not fully a con because I do enjoy their interactions most times but I feel like I need to address some things I did think/feel and have seen online. Might be a little spoilery towards the end but I have to say it. So, overall I like Ben and Klaus and I enjoy their dynamic. We learn a lot about the two of them and why Ben seems to have been around for a long time. But on the other hand, they also have a lot of animosity in this season, at least, to me, they were a little mean to each other. I get that it’s a running thing that no one really takes Klaus that serious (which we need to fix moving forward, more on that later), but I think any time he’s emotional about something, everyone kind of shakes it off, even Ben, who is literally with him at all times. Sure, Klaus never really tells the others Ben is present which frustrates Ben, but Klaus is also upset because Ben keeps questioning every decision he makes. He scolds him like a parent.

*MAJOR SPOILERS HERE: SKIP* There is a scene where Ben tries to attack Klaus (ya know tackle him and stuff) and he accidentally possesses him, then he does it again another time trying to let the others know he was there (this is also a set up for later). It causes Klaus to look like he’s having a seizure. But later Klaus agrees to let him possess him for a time to talk to a girl Ben likes since it seemed like Ben would possess him as soon as Klaus fell asleep. So, Klaus says to Ben “no touchy touchy” on his goods and he might be okay with sexual relations, but he never confirms or denies this. But Ben almost has sex with this girl in Klaus’ body. I found it weird and it is played up for jokes and Robert Sheehan plays Ben so well but it’s a little strange. I don’t think it was intended to come off the way it did but it’s still weird. It was nice that Klaus allowed Ben to possess him but then it’s weirder when Diego comes to find Klaus so they can go back to 2019, he finds out it’s Ben and he tells Ben to stay in Klaus’ body to get them to the meet up point because “they need someone responsible behind the wheel”. Ben manages to get them there all the while Klaus is trying to push/pull him from his body. It’s a funny scene because “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” is playing lol. I definitely see where people were upset because “consent” and then Diego basically telling Ben to remain in his body. I saw a lot of people upset by this. When I rewatched the scene, I didn’t see Klaus give Ben a specific time limit. He did slap himself when Ben was talking to Jill about sex. I don’t know, it was strange and I’m conflicted. I don’t think it’s as dramatic as people were making it out to be, I don’t think Diego was trying to “not care about Klaus” just trying to make sure that he got there. Klaus is flaky. I even saw comments about Klaus not liking being touched, which I don’t quite remember catching, so I’ll watch the first season again to verify. *END SPOILER. *

Character Dynamics. Kind of spoilery here but mostly about technicalities not actual story moments. I like when they’re all together and I want more of that, especially with them getting along. They are dysfunctional, extremely but they seem to have gotten better in this season and I like it BUT I wish they allowed everyone to be together more, or for some characters to interact more. Five barely interacted with Allison and Klaus outside of the group being altogether. Diego and Allison and Diego and Klaus didn’t get much time together either, especially with Klaus and Diego being pretty chummy in the first season. Luther and Klaus. Diego and Vanya didn’t really get any interaction, even after he calmed down, they do have a nice moment in the last episode when everything died down. I just want more of each of them interacting with each other. I even saw in an interview where Tom Hopper expressed wanting to spend more time with other characters, I think he specifically mentioned Klaus. Give me more! Also, I would like it if the siblings started taking Klaus seriously. I get that he’s been a junkie, an alcoholic for a long time, he’s flaky and he does say off the wall things, but I hope they start to pay attention to him like they do each other and just give him the love he needs.

Useless Swede Brothers. *spoilery I guess* I guess I shouldn’t completely say they’re useless but I think if they were removed from the show, it wouldn’t be much of a change if any. They’re part of the Commission so obviously they’re there to go after the siblings but whenever they encounter them, it’s never much of a fight. I feel like they should have been way more of a threat, I feel like they should have been intimidating but the only time I ever felt danger from them was when two of them went after Allison. I was more “intimidated” by Hazel and Cha Cha and they definitely weren’t intimidating lol.

Fight Sequences. Don’t get me wrong, they’re overall great, but you mean to tell me that Five, in his little 13-year-old body gets pummeled by a giant Swedish assassin and all he comes back with is a bloody nose? Not to mention, he gets hit in the head with a cast iron skillet later and he pretty much shakes that off lol. Now, if the Commission did something to his adult body like they did in the comics, then okay, but that’s never been referenced sooo I need answers. People literally go through stuff in this season and pretty much come out unscathed. Klaus, Allison and Diego go through an ordeal and end up pretty fine. It’s not that big of a deal I guess, and they are our heroes but if they get their asses kicked then show the consequences. As far as I know, the only one with heightened durability is Luther.

Character Powers. So I just noticed that Vanya keeps being able to do all of these amazing things. Her power is sound waves right? Or are we still figuring this out? I’m no expert on that or anything, but there’s one thing in particular she does in episode 4, it becomes a pretty big plot device towards the latter half of the season, but how could she be able to do that? I understand as people get older, their powers might evolve and what not, but I don’t know about all that. She’s powerful clearly, but sheesh. All I know is that Klaus better be able to start levitating and have telekinesis like he does in the comics if they keep making Vanya God. Allison better be able to Rumor an entire crowd at once. Diego does a little more than curve knives lol and Five learns a little more about his powers. Luther has super strength… not much you can do with that other than being able to lift heavier things and a super punch and what not. Side Note: It would be really cool in future seasons, if Allison needs to rumor a city or something and Vanya amplifies her voice or something so the entire town could hear it. That’d be dope.

Dubbing Issues. I noticed this in season 1 as well, but there are a few times where words are being said and the actor’s mouth is either not saying that word or they’re not saying anything at all lol. I noticed it particularly in episode 7 when Five says “Quid Pro Quo” and he says “here’s your pro” but I swear his mouth didn’t say it, instead he was kind of smiling lol. In the same episode, another character says something but her mouth is still giggling. I might catch more the more I watch but these are the ones I caught the first time and just made sure of the second time.

Stupid Mistakes/Decisions. I wasn’t going to include this separately but I changed my mind. Characters make pretty stupid mistakes/decisions. Don’t even get me started on what Sissy does in episode 8, stupid, like I want to fight her. What happens afterwards is her fault. Or Diego, why would you drink from that flask when it’s been clear to not trust this person? Or Luther why would you do that during that fight? Like, I get it but dummy. Diego and Luther are often teased as being simple anyway and trust me, they have those moments but I don’t think they’re necessarily dumb ya know, except that “Olga Foroga” thing, hilarious but boy they’re stupid hahaha.

Overall, I know there are a lot of cons lol, but I still think the season was great. I thought it was better than the first season, it improved on the things that were good in the first. The cast is great, they work so well together and have great chemistry. They work well together, and they are amazing in their prospective characters. I think Emmy Raver-Lampman, Aidan Gallagher and David Castañeda were stand outs this season and really had some meaty character moments. They all did but those three specifically, personally. The music is great as always. The show has great editing, costuming and while I think the story isn’t necessarily the forefront (the characters are), they do a good job at keeping you focused on the goal lol, thanks Five. The use of powers we see are handled well and it’s still just a fun and entertaining show. It has emotional moments and I think they’re handled well. On the other hand, characters do make really stupid choices, there are some dubbing issues and I can see the problems with the Ben/Klaus dynamic that I hope gets brought up in season 3, along with making sure each sibling gets the chance to spend with each sibling. Equal opportunity here. I also hope that everyone continues to learn and get upgrades to their powers because yes, Vanya is powerful, but I don’t expect her to get all the power ya know? I also hope that as we get more opposition or “villains” that they are intimidating. Not that it’s always been easy because our main villain has been smart but if there are like minor obstacles, I expect them to give the Hargreeves siblings runs for their money… like actual runs lol. But with that said, great season. I can’t wait for season 3. Don’t make me wait another two years! Which I guess we might have too with Covid lol. Also, Netflix don’t cancel this show. It’s been #1 since it came out!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Have you seen The Umbrella Academy? What are your thoughts on season 2? Who is your favorite/least favorite character? If you could have any of the Hargreeves’ siblings power, what would you like?

Thanks for reading and be sure to like, comment and follow this blog for more television reviews!

Another Spoiler but it’s a con to me but not that big: So since they’re in the 60s, Five runs into his PastSelf, the actual 58-year-old version of himself before he goes back to his siblings in 2019. Sean Sullivan plays 58-year-old Five aaaannnd I don’t like him. Aidan’s energy is so good as Five, especially during this Paradox Psychosis stuff and Sean isn’t matching the same kind of characterization. I get he’s an old man and is trying to hide it but Aidan just was so much better. If we ever see him again, I hope he does a better job at watching Aidan play Five. Just had to say that lol.

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