DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy episode “The Swedish Job” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, super weirdos! Episode three of The Umbrella Academy‘s second season took a rather dark and surprisingly timely turn. The series tackled wholly relevant themes as seen through an antiquated lens. Of course, we know misogyny, racism, and homophobia ran unchecked in the 1960s. Allison and Raymond’s sit-in mirrored the Black Lives Matter protests happening right now in our country to a shockingly eerie degree. Police brutality was depicted for the grotesquery that it is. Perhaps these themes are so painful because discrimination continues to happen to this day.
This show is so adept at shining a light on imperative themes while still retaining its zany, darkly comedic spirit.
Ready to delve into “The Swedish Job?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Ben (Justin Min) arriving in Dallas in 1960. Klaus is promptly booted from a restaurant when he fails to foot his own bill. However, a rich elderly white lady appears and takes him under her wing. That’s when the Cult of Klaus truly spread its wings and took flight.
Next, we see a montage of Klaus and his followers hitting up India and San Francisco. Each gathering brings about more “believers” in Klaus the Prophet. Inevitably, Klaus escapes the insanity San Francisco by hijacking someone’s car. Man, cults, am I right?
Then, Lila (Ritu Arya) is tending to Diego’s (David Castañeda) stab wound courtesy of Daddy Hargreeves. Yay, he’s not dead! Later that night, Vanya (Ellen Page) is taking a darkened drive to clear her head. However, she’s impeded from traveling further by our Scandinavian gunslinger buddies. They chase her into a cornfield. Thankfully, before they can harm her, Vanya summons her powers and literally clears out a circle of crops. A crop circle, if you will. The Swedes flee the scene. Go Vanya!
Now, we see Luther (Tom Hopper) going for his morning muscle jog. He eagerly calls out for Allison when he thinks he spots her. But it’s just her doppelganger. He proceeds to face plant in front of a trio of kids. How embarrassing! Later that morning, Five (Aidan Gallagher) finds Vanya hiding among the corn with a little help from Elliot (Kevin Rankin). He introduces himself as her brother, since her memories have yet to return. She decides to follow him on a whim.
Meanwhile, Luther asks his mobster boss if the latter can help him track someone down. A girl — our Allison. Since he’s a mobster boss, he’s got a guy for it. And that guy’s got a guy for that other thing. You know the one.
Speaking of, we see Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) show up at Klaus’ opulent cult mansion. They have a wonderfully tenderhearted reunion. It’s all rainbows and unicorns. It does the heart good to see at least two of the Hargreeves back together again.
Later, Allison attends a meeting at the hair salon regarding the impending sit-in. Raymond is still in jail. A few members of the group voice their concerns over Raymond’s absence. He was the leader, after all. Perhaps they should postpone the sit-in. Allison puts her foot down and urges the group to press on without delay. If not now, then when?
Meanwhile, Klaus uses Ben to manipulate a police officer at the station where Raymond is being held. Ben utilizes his Ghost Mojo and scares the snot out of said officer. Raymond (Yusuf Gatewood) goes free! Klaus greets Allison’s husband and reminds the latter that he has friends in high places. Oh, and Klaus refers to himself as Raymond’s brother-in-law. Family barbecues are about to get groovy.
Then, we see Vanya and Five having coffee at a nearby shop. Five gives her the lowdown — who she is, her relationship to him and her siblings. The upcoming apocalypse. However, he leaves out that bit about Vanya being the perpetrator of the 2019 apocalypse. Just a small detail, anyway.
Diego and Lila get it on. Frankly, I’m shocked it took them three episodes to do the horizontal tango. Elliot stares at his abominable tuna Jell-o concoction.
Now, Luther has Allison’s address. He’s armed with chocolates, probably hugs, and a crippling sense of existential dread. But, before he can ring the doorbell, Raymond is on his heels. He introduces himself as Allison’s husband, which upsets Luther. The pair have a chitchat inside while Luther eats his feelings by way of chocolates. Raymond is bewildered by the fact that both Klaus and Luther are Allison’s brothers. Welcome to the super weirdo family, dude.
Later, Allison and a handful of her friends commence the sit-in. They calmly wander into a restaurant that only serves white folks. Naturally, the blatantly racist people around them start demanding Allison and her friends leave the premises. But this is America — the land of the free. A land wherein everyone should be equal.
Next, Raymond joins the sit-in. He’s none too pleased to see Allison and is quite cold to her. The crowd gets increasingly violent toward the peaceful sitters. The authorities are called in and that’s when the beating starts. We see the proprietor of the restaurant “accidentally” spill hot coffee on Allison. Raymond jumps to defend her, but he’s soon aggressively carted away by a police officer. Allison witnesses the officer brutally beat Raymond for no reason other than the color of the latter’s skin. Allison utilizes her rumor gift to get the officer to stop.
However, Raymond saw her use her power and is now more perplexed regarding his wife than ever.
Later, Luther is engrossed in a fight in which his boss has loads of money invested. Vanya and Five are watching from the sidelines, cheering him on. Luther purposefully throws the fight and urges his opponent to beat the snot out of him. Ultimately, Luther loses, much to his boss’ chagrin.
Then, we see Lila slink off into the night while Diego is asleep. She swipes a room key that she finds in a small plastic treasure chest in a fish aquarium. Lila waltzes into Room 217 at an undisclosed complex to find none other than The Handler (Kate Walsh)…who she refers to as “mom.” Plot twist for the ages!
As far as I’m concerned, every episode this season just gets better and better. Everyone is in top form. Additionally, Lila being a double agent was not something I predicted. I ignorantly assumed she was merely a mental patient in 1963 along for the ride. However, this new twist makes her more cunning than I thought possible. Also: my poor baby Klaus. I just want him and his luscious locks to be happy!
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.