DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy episode “Pocket Full of Lightning” has spoilers. Prepare for the apocalypse, and proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, Hargreeves enthusiasts! Episode three of The Umbrella Academy kicks the action and laughs up a notch while experimenting with fun character dynamics. We get more of Diego and Stan, Lila and Five, and even Klaus and Reginald. Plus, that cliffhanger is one hell of a jaw-dropper. 

Ready to delve into “Pocket Full of Lightning”? Let’s get to it. 

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We open with a voiceover explaining “The Grandfather Paradox,” complete with visuals showcasing one boy, Elmer Tatelman, who creates time travel to go back 50 years to kill his grandfather. Of course, murdering his grandpa means his mom doesn’t exist, nor does he. This act catalyzes a pernicious paradox. 

We see it’s a presentation courtesy of the Commission as part of their Paradox Protocols. Don’t kill your granddaddy, kids, lest you fork up the Space-Time Continuum. 

Next, Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez) kicks Luther (Tom Hopper) out after a beautiful night of passionate, gravity-defying lovemaking. Luther is over the moon with glee. There’s a pep in his step. He waltzes to a newsstand in the park and grabs a tin of mints. Then, he eyes a pack of condoms. Let it be known that the vendor reaches for the extra large. Do with that visual what you will, folks. 

Stan sitting on a receptionist desk while wearing a red shirt in The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3 "Pocket Full of Lightning."

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3, “Pocket Full of Lightning.” Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton as Stan. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022

Suddenly, the ball of light, a.k.a. the consequence of the grandfather paradox, sends a shockwave through the city, causing people to vanish without a trace. Even vendor dude disappears! Since Luther’s mints and condoms are now free, he grabs a few more boxes of the latter. I love adorkable Luther Hargreeves. 

Meanwhile, Viktor (Elliot Page), Five (Aidan Gallagher), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Stan (Javon “Wanna” Walton) are playing pool in The Hotel Obsidian. Viktor puts the situation in layman’s terms: Someone killed their mothers; ergo, they shouldn’t exist. However, since they do, the universe can’t handle it. Thus, the paradox. 

Five believes they need to nip this in the bud, especially since folks are disappearing now. Allison doesn’t want Five to drag them into another high-octane apocalyptic situation. Diego wants Stan to stop doing karate because his form is terrible. He’s gunning for that Father of the Year Award. 

Stan reveals that Lila is in the hotel taking a bath, so Five reluctantly collaborates with her to, once again, avert the end of the world. Klaus hones in on figuring out the mystery behind their mothers but is disappointed to discover his siblings aren’t as enthusiastic about unraveling the said mystery. 

Luther wanders in with his Sparrow Academy swag bag, informing the crew that the Sparrows kidnapped him. However, he’s taken a shining to them, not in a Stockholm Syndrome way (he’s smitten with Sloane). 

Meanwhile, Lila (Ritu Arya) enjoys a nice soak in the tub when Five barges in, ready to propose their unexpected tag-teaming. This move culminates in hand-to-hand combat with a soapy Lila. Of course, our gal mimics Five’s abilities, briefly teleporting in and out of the battle. 

After their skirmish, Five notices that Lila has two suitcases — her own and the Umbrella one she stole from the Sparrow Academy. Five tries his briefcase, but it malfunctions. Lila’s also goes kaput. Five notes how rare it is for two briefcases not to work simultaneously. 

Lila agrees to assist Five with jumpstarting the briefcases. Diego waves her down in the hallway, hoping to discuss their son. Stan is a handful. Additionally, he wants to reignite the spark between them. However, Lila’s over Diego. Even though it’s only been a few days for Diego, she waited 12 years for him. 

Allison and Viktor decide to chat with the Sparrows in the hopes they cough up their briefcase. Luther offers to join them, but Allison’s convinced he might legitimately have Stockholm Syndrome. 

Next, Ben (Justin H. Min) and Fei (Britne Oldford) discuss the mass disappearances and whether the Umbrellas have Marcus in their possession. Ben crowns himself Number 1 in Marcus’s absence and makes Fei Number 2. They can rule the city together!

Meanwhile, Lester Pocket (Callum Keith Rennie) checks in to The Hotel Obsidian. He’s one enigmatic dude. 

Ben Hargreeves wears a red suit while standing in an imposing manner in The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3 "Pocket Full of Lightning."

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3, “Pocket Full of Lightning.” Justin H. Min as Ben Hargreeves. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022

Later, Viktor and Allison meet with Ben and Fei. Viktor wishes to take the more truthful, diplomatic route while Allison veers into intimidation territory. She lies and claims they have Marcus, and if the Sparrows don’t hand over the briefcase, Allison will return Marcus to them in pieces. Damn, girl. She’s not here to mess around. Ben vows to track down the briefcase in exchange for Marcus. 

Viktor urges Allison to stick to the script and not improvise so much. They need to work together if they want to leave this timeline. Viktor wants to get back to Sissy, after all. Allison describes him as her “tiny badass brother,” which warms my heart. 

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Diego gives Stan eight dollars to spend for the day. He’s got this parenting thing down! Every scene this season with Castañeda is gold. Diego cracks me up. 

Klaus swims in the sewers and sneaks into Reginald’s (Colm Feore) room in the Sparrow Academy. Methinks Klaus probably snuck out a lot as a teen and knew how to do it undetected. Klaus immediately asks Daddy Hargreeves about his mom and why Reginald killed all of their mothers. DH claims he doesn’t care about Klaus, so he’ll be frank — he didn’t murder anyone. 

Next, Alphonso (Jake Epstein) and Jayme (Cazzie David) enter the room, so Klaus hides. The sibling duo gives Reginald some pills and porridge while ordering him to sign documents without telling him what he’s signing. Alphonso almost sniffs out Klaus, but he and Jayme depart. 

Then, Ben and Fei wander into the basement to find the paradoxical ball of light. Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) reveals Marcus vanished when he touched the light, which she believes is God. 

Meanwhile, Lila and Five jumpstart the briefcases, but the act shocks Five, much to his irritation. Five and Lila work through a fraction of their deep-seated loathing for one another, stemming for Lila from Five killing her parents and the Handler. Five tells Lila that Diego genuinely loves her, and we see her eyes well with tears. She’s hurt, and there’s a lot of love masked by that pain too. I want my babies to be happy!

So, Lila proposes that Five use his powers while she mimics them, and perhaps their combined efforts will jumpstart the briefcases. 

Luther makes a mixtape for Sloane while Diego pokes fun at his brother for being in love. They also dish on gravity sex because why not? Please protect Luther at all costs

Sloane and Jayme donning red suits while standing next to each other in a room lit by natural light on The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3 "Pocket Full of Lightning."

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3, “Pocket Full of Lightning.” (L to R) Genesis Rodriguez as Sloane, Cazzie David as Jayme. Cr. Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix © 2022

Klaus spends time with Daddy Hargreeves watching TV and sees just how frail his father is. He also shows Reginald how to avoid taking his “requisite” pills. What a good son!

Then, Luther asks Diego if they should throw a party for Viktor to celebrate him. Diego feels Luther should act normal, but Luther wants to welcome Viktor with open arms. Diego tells Viktor about Luther’s plans point-blank and asks Viktor if he feels the love. It’s such a sweet, tender scene between our fave Hargreeves brothers (minus Klaus, Five and Ben, of course). 

While Daddy Hargreeves slumbers, Klaus overhears him say, “Oblivion.” Is this a reference to Hotel Oblivion, the prison Reginald constructed on a distant planet that houses the Umbrella Academy’s most notorious foes? 

Klaus wanders into the basement after hearing Grace singing. He sees her kneeling in subservience before the paradoxical ball of light as it hums with energy. Then, Grace starts speaking in tongues. Meanwhile, Lila and Five try combining their abilities to fix his briefcase. 

Suddenly, the duo winds up in a blustery, desolate tundra, with the Commission headquarters looming behind them. 

Next, Viktor, Allison, Luther and Diego come face-to-face with Ben, Sloane, Jayme, Christopher, Fei and Alphonso. Sloane mouths the word “Run” to Luther while Ben talks smack to the others. He knows they lied about holding Marcus captive. Stan barrels toward them with a Molotov cocktail, failing to damage the Sparrows. Christopher attacks the Umbrellas, but someone swoops in to save the day. 

Members of the Sparrow Academy standing side-by-side in a room lit by natural light on The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3 "Pocket Full of Lightning."

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Episode 3, “Pocket Full of Lightning.” (L to R) Genesis Rodriguez as Sloane, Cazzie David as Jayme, Justin H. Min as Ben Hargreeves, Christopher, Jake Epstein as Alphonso, Britne Oldford as Fei. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

We see Lester Pocket unleash a massive ball of fiery power upon the Sparrows. Luther shields Sloane from the blast; however, Jayme and Alphonso suffer a fatal blow. While they’re burned to a crisp and very much dead, Ben orders Fei and Christopher to flee. Luther notices Sloane is also unconscious from the blast. 

Viktor turns toward Lester Pocket, and a look of recognition passes over his face. “Harlan?” Viktor asks. 

It’s Harlan Cooper — Sissy’s son. 

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“Pocket Full of Lightning” holds fast to The Umbrella Academy‘s predominant “family” theme as bonds deepen and relationships are tested. I love how accepting and supportive the Hargreeves are of Viktor’s coming out. We’re all about loving families in this house. 

The humor is in top form this season, and the show seems introspective in how it thoughtfully dives into these multifaceted, nuanced characters. I’m excited to see more of Lila and Five together — that’s a pairing I never knew I needed until now. 

Do you think Lila and Five’s trip to the Commission will yield fruit? What does Harlan want with Viktor? How much more adorkable can Luther get? 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. 

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