DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy season premiere episode, “Meet the Family,” has spoilers. Prepare for the apocalypse (again), and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Hargreeves enthusiasts! The Umbrella Academy is finally back in our lives, and I couldn’t be happier. Our favorite chaotic siblings are wreaking havoc as usual in an alternate timeline, only this time they come face-to-face with seven more dickheads. Like meets like, and all that.
The chemistry between the two groups is off the charts, and their initial fight sequence showcases everyone’s extraordinary abilities with the show’s signature panache.
The Umbrella Academy‘s biting dark humor is back in full force, and the dynamic between the Hargreeves is hilarious and heartwarming. You can see just how much they’ve endured together. “Meet the Family” is a solid reintroduction to the series, artfully laying the groundwork for what’s sure to be an explosive third installment.
Ready to delve into “Meet the Family”? Let’s get to it.
We open on October 1, 1989, in Seoul, South Korea. An adorable couple gets their PDA on in a subway train. We see “marigold,” those pesky particles of energy, soar through the air before entering the female half of said adorable couple.
Suddenly, the woman’s stomach swells rapidly, alarming her partner and the passengers around them. She gives birth. We hear narration from Pogo (Adam Godley) explaining what’s happening. I’m getting an intense feeling of déjà vu, folks.
It’s nothing we haven’t heard before — eccentric billionaire and adventurer Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) swoops in to adopt the 43 children born simultaneously on October 1, 1989, from women who weren’t pregnant earlier in the day.
However, he can only lay claim to seven kids, otherwise known as the Sparrow Academy.
What transpires next is a montage introducing us to the Sparrows. There’s Marcus, a.k.a. Number 1 (Justin Cornwell). Fei, a.k.a. Number 3 (Britne Oldford), soars into view, followed by a familiar face: Ben, a.k.a. Number 2 (Justin H. Min). Then, we meet Christopher, a.k.a. Number 7, with Jayme, a.k.a. Number 6 (Cazzie David), and Alphonso, a.k.a. Number 4 (Jake Epstein), hot on his heels.
The episode introduces us to Sloane, a.k.a. Number 5 (Genesis Rodriguez). Sloane overhears the Umbrella Academy crashing their pad, so she joins her siblings to confront them.
Ben stands before Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), Five (Aidan Gallagher) and Vanya (Elliot Page) while on high alert. Reginald admits to meeting them in Dallas in 1963, but other than that, he has no clue why they’re here.
Meanwhile, an inexplicable ball of light resembling the marigold wafts through the vents, landing in the basement of the building. Uh oh. Another apocalypse for our heroes to avert? Somebody pour Five a cup of joe!
Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) wanders into the heated confrontation; however, it’s abundantly clear she wishes she hadn’t. Diego calls out to his “mom,” much to the Sparrows’ disgust.
Suddenly, Jayme spits a black viscous liquid onto Diego’s cheek, which absorbs into his skin quickly. Luther and Marcus, growing ever hostile, decide to resolve this situation in the only way they know how — through the art of dance. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins plays, and the Umbrellas dance with the Sparrows in a euphoric, delightful display of unexpected camaraderie. This moment made me realize I would love Season 3.
However, the cathartic dance sequence is a figment of Diego’s imagination, putting Jayme’s unique powers on display.
Meanwhile, a brutal battle between the two groups breaks out. Mind you, our Hargreeves took on the Commission and saved the world twice, so this should be easy and breezy, right? Wrong!
The Sparrows lay waste to our protagonists in an epic showdown. It’s lovely to see everyone’s abilities in action again after two years.
Jayme sets her sights on another victim for her dreamscapes: Five. Five sees Delores, his beloved wife, and kisses her passionately. Well, Five thinks he is. Diego finds Klaus confronting Reginald regarding the Sparrows. According to Daddy Hargreeves, once he met the Umbrellas, Reginald realized he needed to rectify his mistakes, so he traveled back in time to adopt seven new superpowered kids.
Ben takes on Klaus, while Allison attempts to duke it out with Fei and Alphonso. Marcus lays the smackdown on Luther, but Vanya steps in to save the day. Vanya stays behind while the others flee the scene. Our fave Number 7 unleashes a monumental blast of power, knocking the Sparrows backward.
Later, the Hargreeves regroup outside the Sparrow Academy to absorb what happened mentally. Vanya rejoins the crew while Five explains he lost the briefcase, meaning they can’t travel in time to remedy this alternative timeline.
Meanwhile, we see Grace carrying the briefcase while descending into the basement. She spots the thrumming, glowing ball of light, instantly entranced by it.
Next, a man named Lester Pocket (Callum Keith Rennie) quickly packs his belongings with numerically labeled sandwiches to flee a small cabin in the woods. His hands shake, humming with energy, and he claps to calm them.
Klaus takes his siblings to The Hotel Obsidian to lay low while they hatch a new game plan. Diego believes the Sparrows might retaliate. After all, the Hargreeves technically crashed their home. Klaus provides a rapturous introduction for the hotel, claiming that many a famous person settled here for a spell. Allison tries to call Patrick to chat with her daughter Claire, but she reaches his voicemail.
After Luther gives up his watch as payment for staying in the hotel, our siblings retreat to their respective rooms to recuperate.
Then, the Sparrows jog on treadmills simultaneously, recounting the battle with the Umbrellas. Marcus reminds them that Vanya almost destroyed them in mere seconds, and if the footage gets out, the Sparrows are kaput. Reginald visits his children and provides insight into the Umbrellas, noting they’re weak. However, they saved the world in Dallas, so he might have underestimated them.
Diego, Luther, Five and Klaus enjoy sharing bunkbeds while Allison and Vanya lament the loves they left behind in 1963. Vanya reveals that Sissy made an impression, and Allison wonders why she didn’t stay with Ray. Vanya encourages Allison to follow her dreams. Time to hop on a plane to California and reunite with Claire! After the pair hug it out, Allison bolts.
Meanwhile, Lester rides the bus and procures a cassette tape marked “Bees” to listen to, drowning out the noise of the crowded vehicle.
Marcus spots Vanya standing among the throng of Sparrow Academy fans. The duo meets in a restaurant to discuss the prospect of peace. Marcus assumes Vanya is the Number 1 of the group, but that title falls on Luther. He reminds Vanya that the Hargreeves barged in on their territory. The Sparrows hold this city, and the Umbrellas can’t dethrone them. Hey, Vanya ended the world twice, so I’d back off if I were you, pal. Marcus can’t promise peace, nor can Vanya vow the Hargreeves won’t fight back.
So, Marcus agrees to hand over the briefcase to Vanya and the Umbrellas.
Fei informs Ben that Marcus was negotiating with Vanya and didn’t consult with the other Sparrows. It appears we’ll see some lingering tension between Marcus and Ben.
Next, Five emerges from a relaxing few hours to fill Diego, Luther and Klaus in on a theory he has. If Reginald didn’t rescue the Umbrellas in this timeline, they’re still out in the world, untouched by Daddy Hargreeves’ chaos. Five cautions the trio regarding seeing their doppelgängers. Any exposure to them can result in psychosis. Klaus wants to fork himself while Diego goes the usual route of “kill, kill, kill.” Luther contemplates climbing Mount Luther, as we all have.
Suddenly, Lila (Ritu Arya) tosses one of Diego’s knives. He follows her down a corridor until he finally reunites with his lady love. Oh, and baby mama. That’s right, Diego is officially a daddy. Remember when Diego was battling Christopher and screaming, “Who’s your daddy?” Well, we can now interpret that literally.
We meet Stan (Javon “Wanna” Walton), Diego and Lila’s son, who Lila’s been raising for 12 years. She deposits their child and departs, claiming that Stan should spend time with his father.
Later, Marcus finds Grace in the basement while looking for the briefcase, scrawling symbols on the dirty floor and marveling at the ball of light. She believes it’s holy. Unfortunately, said ball of light expands, sending luminous beams across the city. Marcus tries to touch it, but the light disintegrates him immediately.
Chet Rodo (Julian Richings), the hotel receptionist who helped the Hargreeves check in, searches for his dog, which was also disintegrated by the expansive, volatile light. Meanwhile, Five praises our team for saving the world from the apocalypse once again, stating they’ve won.
Considering what just happened, I beg to differ, bro.
I can’t wait to watch Diego grapple with fatherhood this season. He’s already a daddy in my eyes, but now he’s a Daddy™.
In addition, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see romance blossom between Luther and Sloane based on their interaction. I’m excited for a more in-depth explanation of the apocalyptic ball of light and what our heroes must do to avert the end of the world again, especially since Grace has the briefcase.
I’m here for all the darkly hysterical, action-packed, off-kilter chaos.
Do you think we’ll find out more about the light? Where did Lila go? Will Ben try to usurp Marcus? What happened to Marcus, y’all? Join me while I continue to recap The Umbrella Academy, only on Geek Girl Authority.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.