DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy episode “The Frankel Footage” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, super weirdos! The Umbrella Academy dropped Season 2 on Friday in all its apocalyptic glory. Vanya apparently did suffer memory loss. Even a close encounter with her brother Luther did zilch in revving up the brain juices. Allison’s husband got arrested for assault and battery on the former’s behalf. Klaus had a devout follower of his cult practically ingest the socks on his feet. Diego and Five discovered disturbing footage that linked their father to the Kennedy assassination. In short: this episode was zany and wacky in all the right places.
Ready to delve into “The Frankel Footage?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with The Handler (Kate Walsh) rising from the dead! After three months of intense recuperation from Hazel’s failed kill shot, she returns to work fresh as a daisy. However, Fish Bowl Head Dude, a.k.a. AJ, has taken over her job. The Handler has been relegated to, essentially, secretarial work. And what’s worse, she’s sitting at Five’s old desk, her arch nemesis. Oh, and those Scandinavian gunslingers? They’re hired hitmen that work at the same place as The Handler. Small world, right? Side note: Walsh’s wardrobe is fabulous.
Later, Five (Aidan Gallagher) is trying his damnedest to coax Luther (Tom Hopper) into joining Team Prevent Apocalypse. However, Luther has a new life as a bodyguard for a mobster. He’s got dental, now! Five leaves in a huff. Luther is called over to squash a beef brewing between his new boss and Carl, the husband of Vanya’s friend. He promptly boots Carl from the premises. But Carl’s wallet remains behind.
Meanwhile, Vanya (Ellen Page) is scanning newspapers for any missing persons ads, in the hopes that someone is looking for her. Sissy (Marin Ireland) is leaving to fetch her drunken husband. Vanya volunteers to go in her stead.
Then, we see Diego (David Castañeda) and Lila (Ritu Arya) seeking shelter from the authorities after escaping that mental facility. They change into clothes they stole so as to disguise their appearances. Diego attempts to rid himself of Lila, insisting that he’s a “lone wolf,” but she refuses to leave. Instead, she breaks into a car and the duo speed off into the night.
Next, Vanya arrives at the gentleman’s club to pick up inebriated Carl. Luther rounds the corner to return Carl’s wallet to him until the sight of Vanya stops him dead in his tracks. That, and she’s driving away. A family reunion that almost was, indeed.
Meanwhile, Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) and Raymond (Yusuf Gatewood) are enjoying a quiet night in when the police come knocking. They aggressively arrest Raymond for assault and battery against the nosy middle-aged white man. We know damn well that Allison brought the pain to nosy middle-aged white man. She attempts to utilize her rumor abilities so they’d let Raymond go free. However, the cops quickly whisk Raymond off to jail.
Then, Five is hanging out with Elliot (Kevin Rankin). You know, talking about otherworldly things. Guy stuff. Five procures an old film roll from his pocket, courtesy of old Hazel. It’s dated November 22, 1963 and entitled “The Frankel Footage.” Five asks Elliot if he can analyze said footage, to which the latter eagerly acquiesces.
Later, we see Diego and Lila waiting outside the workplace of Lee Harvey Oswald. Yes, that guy. Diego hopes he can chop off the man’s “trigger finger” so he’ll be incapable of assassinating Kennedy. Lila mocks Diego for his plan. “You’re an open book written for very dumb children,” she says, which is now my new favorite quote. Also, said quote has solidified my burgeoning love for Lila. Five pops into Diego’s backseat, as he’s wont to do. Five likes popping in unannounced. He urges Diego to join him so they can stop the apocalypse together, after some coercing on the former’s end. The “crazy woman” (Lila) joins them.
Meanwhile, Allison is trying to see her husband, but to no avail. Racism say what? Instead, she continues to wait for hours. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) was arrested for stealing that pub dweller’s truck and is sitting in a cell. He encounters a devout fan, which is common for Klaus. Our boy’s a prophet now, after all. Comes with the territory. “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” Klaus advises his follower. Ah, the indispensable wisdom of TLC. He finds Raymond sitting on the other side and the two strike a dialogue. Of course, neither are aware of the other’s connection to Allison.
Now, Diego, Five, and Lila wind up back at Elliot’s humble abode. Elliot is terrified, especially since he perused the Frankel Footage. Thus, our trio ties up Elliot so he can’t tell the world they’re communists or something. As they’re watching the footage, they realize it’s from the Kennedy assassination. Not only that, but said footage is six days into the future. No wonder Elliot was spooked. And that’s not all — Daddy Hargreeves a.k.a. Reginald (Colm Feore) is also present with his signature black umbrella. Why does he get to witness all the fun stuff?
Next, Luther shows up at Vanya’s new home. He’s all ready to attack. However, he quickly learns that Vanya is bereft of her memories. She has no idea who he is. Instead of persuading her to join him, Luther sincerely apologizes. He apologizes for everything he’s put her through. Sissy shows up guns blazing, but Luther merely hands her Carl’s wallet and departs. Vanya is now struggling to figure out how she knows Luther. He’s your big werewolf brother!
Meanwhile, our trio of silent Scandinavian hitmen are quietly enjoying the domesticated life. One is cooking in his skivvies while the other two are throwing knives at each other. The game ends when one of them tosses a blade and it lands in the other’s thigh. I love it when I inadvertently stab my friend in the thigh!
Later, Diego and Five decide that it’s high-time they reunite with Daddy Hargreeves. They open up a good ol’ fashioned telephone book (it is 1963, after all). But they only discover the name of Daddy Hargreeves’ business, but not an individual address. Lila is having a bit of a mental breakdown. Diego reassures her that she’s not crazy. My favorite moment is when Lila asks when milk decides to be yogurt. Diego continues to use that analogy while explaining that sometimes certain aspects of life cannot be explained. I love seeing the softer side of Diego. Almost as much as I love seeing the softer side of Sears.
Then, Allison finally gets to visit Raymond. He assuages her nerves, and reminds Allison that everything will work out. Raymond asks Allison why she said “I heard a rumor…” the night before. However, a guard informs Allison that her time is up, so she skedaddles. But not before noticing that Klaus’ detained follower is sporting his signature “Hello” Goodbye” hand markings. That’s when Allison learns that her brother is in the same timeline as her. Speaking of which…
Klaus is squatting in an opulent mansion. The furniture within is masked by white sheets, giving off the appearance that the owner has been away for quite some time. Klaus collapses out of fatigue. Ben (Justin Min) seizes the moment to mock Klaus for not wanting to face the massive painting of himself on the wall. Methinks this place actually belongs to Klaus.
Meanwhile, Sissy and Vanya have a drink together. Vanya is still wracking her brain, trying to decipher how Luther factors into her life pre-accident. Sissy urges her to steer clear of him. He profusely apologized for whatever he did, but something tells her that it was awful. She examines Vanya’s hands and takes note of the callouses on her fingertips. She’s a violinist, after all. Later that night, Vanya wakes up from a nightmare involving her big orchestral performance from last season. You know, when she caused the apocalypse in the present. There’s even a shot of Luther in her dream. So, she swipes the car keys and drives out into the night.
Next, we see Diego and Five breaking into Daddy Hargreeves’ umbrella business. The place is empty. Diego discovers a file on his desk that’s covered in dust, meaning the building has been desolate for some time. Five stumbles upon a setup wherein there are mannequins situated in a living room setting. There’s even a camera. Perhaps Daddy Hargreeves was writing and shooting the next big American sitcom to sweep the nation? Maybe Five can find Delores 2.0! Additionally, Five finds a document from the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, so he pockets it for later use. Diego spots a man in a fedora fleeing the scene and decides to follow him.
Then, Five encounters a young Pogo. Aw, he’s so cute! That is, until he lashes out at Five and leaves through a window. Bad Pogo! Diego and Fedora Man duke it out in the shadows. Our boy is throwing knives like the pro he is. There’s lots of punching and kicking and such. That is, until Fedora Man stabs Diego in the stomach. We see it’s a young Daddy Hargreeves…who just stabbed his own kid. Daddy Hargreeves leaves Diego to die. Pogo leaps out of seemingly thin air and joins hands with Daddy Hargreeves as they disappear in a cloud of fog. Diego goes limp. No, don’t die! You’re too attractive to die!
And, there you have it. Episode two of The Umbrella Academy found our siblings slowly but surely reuniting. I love that the Powers That Be are intent on bringing everyone together sooner rather than later. It helps continuously drive the plot forward, in my opinion. Additionally, it keeps plot lines from getting too convoluted. The Diego bit is…ah! I’m sure he’ll survive, but at what cost? My only gripe — the people need more Klaus. As his devout follower, I will dedicate my life to not chasing waterfalls. Only the rivers and lakes that I’m used to.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
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