TV Talk: Reasons to Watch The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)

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The Umbrella Academy proved to the world that you don’t need Marvel to create compelling superhero dramas. This show took the world by storm with its eccentric family dynamics and bizarre concepts. The second season of the show takes us back to the 1960s where the Hargreeves siblings find themselves scattered through time as they look to stop the apocalypse that decimates their world. It’s a season that vastly builds on the success of the first, producing plenty of hilariously heartfelt moments that further endears you to the characters. It’s not without its faults though as convenient plot tropes are ineffectively utilised, recycled plotlines, and some members of this ensemble still don’t fully connect with viewers. However, the overall execution of the second season proved to be a fun ride through the 1960s, giving our characters plenty of agency as they race to stop the apocalypse and return to their timeline. Here are some of the highlights from the second season of The Umbrella Academy.

A dysfunctional family at their best

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The heart of the show has always been in the chaotic dynamic between the Hargreeves siblings. While the first season saw a fragmented family, the second season succeeds in creating an overlap in their individual and family arcs. As predicted, these plot threads range from the bizarrely wonderful to the emotionally charged, but equally as compelling. All 7 siblings get their chance to shine, but it’s when these siblings come together that they’re really at their best. Season 2 takes its time to explore the ever-changing dynamic between these characters as they adapt to their new circumstances and learn from their past mistakes. We are treated to some heartening moments between siblings, like Luther apologising to Vanya, that strengthens that seemingly fragile bond between them. Sure, they fight, as most siblings do, but even when those personalities clash and punches are thrown, they still actively choose to protect one another. Nothing demonstrates this more than the actions of the final two episodes as Vanya once again finds herself on the brink of losing control, only to have the most unlikely saviour make that heroic stand, paving the way for the siblings to take that final stand as a united team to take on the Handler and the Commission and make the journey home.

Lila Pitts

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As with every season, new faces are introduced to the story that can either enhance or hinder the story. Lila Pitts is a welcome addition to the show and credit must be given to Ritu Arya for giving us a character that perfectly meshes with the already eccentric cast. Lila is the definition of a wildcard. To start, viewers come to know her as Diego’s friend on the psychiatric ward, but nothing is ever that simple. Lila is a woman with many motives and surprising connections, but her relationship with Diego sees her teeter the line of friend and foe. The dynamic between her and Diego was endearing because, underneath her eccentric charm, she’s just another lost soul that found purpose in order. Her part in this tale is not over, but time will tell if she’ll be a friend or foe to the Hargreeve siblings.

Humour and Heart

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The Umbrella Academy has always managed to balance the humour with heart. Neither one dominates the other and they work in tandem to create a relatable atmosphere that connects us to the humanity of these characters despite their superhero abilities. Season 2 ramped up the humour, and because the chemistry between the cast is brilliant it never feels forced. Klaus has always been the most eccentric member of the family, and only he could get transported through time and start a cult giving us some brilliant moments between Klaus and Ben. Some may not agree with this statement, but the humour is also quite subtle, stemming from simple gestures like Luther’s facial expressions, the hilarious family banter, and the pure absurdity of their circumstances. The cast uses the humour to bring out the smiles, but there’s also a level of relatability to it since it’s so often tied to the various sibling dynamics. It’s not just about the humour though as The Umbrella Academy has plenty of heart to go around, further endearing you to these characters and again grounding them in their relatability. This is clearly highlighted in Allison’s newfound love with civil rights activist Raymond Chesnut. The 1960s were fraught with racial tensions and discrimination and, through Allison, we explore the ever-present social and political climate of racism and segregation. However, it’s in this conflict that we get to explore the tender relationship between Allison and Ray and the struggles they face along the way. In many ways, this is where the show truly defines itself because, in the chaos, we get to explore real and relatable issues that torment these characters, and the cast is sincere in the way they convey these struggles.

The Heroic Dead

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The second season created an even playfield for the siblings as they all get enough screen time to tie us to their characters. However, we can’t just talk about the living members of the family when the dead had just as much an impact. Justin Min was a highlight in season one, despite his limited screen time, and the second season made sure we got to see more of Ben, the deceased sibling that is given more agency this time around. Once again, Ben is tied to Klaus’s arc, acting as his moral compass when he slips off the rails. However, this season we also get to see Ben’s longing to be seen. He is the constant unseen force that longs to actively be more than just Klaus’s companion. Min wonderfully conveys this longing as he emotionally displays how much he misses his family. When the time comes, Ben refuses to be sidelined, especially when the lives of the siblings he holds dear is at stake. His heroic actions prove how vital he is to the family.

More questions that need answers

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We’re still only two seasons into the show, so we have plenty of time to unravel the secrets behind some of the more mysterious elements of this show. Reginald Hargreeves is at the centre of most of these unanswered questions. You would think his impact on the season would be minute at best. However, as the siblings once again set to stop the apocalypse, Hargreeves presence is a constant source of tension and mystery on the show. While it’s clear that Hargreeves is not from this world, viewers are still in the dark about his motives. The fallout of his interactions with the siblings in this 1960s timeline clearly shapes the trajectory of the third season, with plenty of questions that demand answers.

What did you think of the second season of Umbrella Academy?
Who’s your favourite character?

19 thoughts on “TV Talk: Reasons to Watch The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)

    1. The family really are at the heart of the show. They’re a dysfunctional mess, but still better together. Ben is the most precious soul on the show. He’s always my number 1 haha. I hope you enjoy the rest of the season. πŸ˜€

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  1. I never know what to comment on these posts, because you summarized basically all my thoughts in perfect detail! I do prefer when the siblings are together, because I am living for their dynamic. Whenever they interact, it’s truly some of the most memorable scenes from the season. You know that I love Lila and Ben and well, questions are definitely still unanswered. I have wondered about picking up the comic, but I know it’s not the same haha

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    1. I feel like we should accept the fact that one brain can share two bodies haha. The family are definitely stronger together in every sense of the way and I still want to know how Ben actually died. I’ve thought about picking up the comic, but I’m also apprehensive for some reason.

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  2. Fantastic review and thoughts on this one, Lois! I’ve been curious about seeing how the show would adopt the comics ever since the series was announced and it’s nice to hear that the second season continues to explore the bond between them! It was such a crucial part of the comics. I still think that some of the story-telling elements from the comics would be tough to bring to the screen but here’s to a satisfying third season to come! πŸ˜€

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    1. To me, the whole show is, at its heart, about family, and the chemistry between the cast is off the chain. I feel like the second season definitely built on the success of the first one and added more depth to some of the characters.

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  3. This is a great review! I’m only left with a few episodes of season 2 and I absolutely adore the show. you’re right, Luther’s facial expressions are definitely hilrarious. And Lila is one of my favourite characters on the show. I also love the sibling dynamics so much (special mention to that bit with Klaus, Vanya, and Allison). There are scenes that will break your heart (like Klaus’s interactions with Dave) and the show manages to be lighthearted and fun. I would also like to give a special mention to the “oga for oga” confusion. I’ll stop rambling and fangirling now and just say that I love this show and your review of it

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    1. I feel like people are too harsh on Luther sometimes, he’s really just a little puppy haha. Lila was such a brilliant addition to the show and I’m really curious to see what she does in the next season. The oga for oga scene was one of my favourites. I love the dynamic between Luther and Diego and that moment was comedy gold. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.

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  4. I loved this season. I’ve thought about how I can share my love for this show but I haven’t found a way yet. Definitely hard to summarise two great seasons. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new additions, I thought the swedes were a bit… filler type characters and definitely not as compelling as Hazel and Cha-Cha and The Handler become a bit one note by the end. Still love it though but I’m picky when it comes to villains. πŸ˜€

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    1. No one can compete with Hazel and Cha-Cha and the Swedes definitely felt like the filler type to keep the family on their toes. I’ll be glad to see the end of the Handler tbh. Not much more she can do. It’ll be interesting to see how the new timeline shifts things around, but mostly I’m just glad I get to see more of Ben haha.

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