DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy episode “Kindest Cut” has spoilers. Prepare for the apocalypse, and proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Hargreeves enthusiasts! We’ve reached the halfway point in The Umbrella Academy‘s third season, and, folks, sh*t is hitting the fan. Not only that but “Kindest Cut” rekindles romances and snuffs out the flame of former bonds in equal measure. However, Klaus’s relationship with death is easily the most intriguing aspect of the episode.
Ready to delve into “Kindest Cut”? Let’s get to it.
Content warning: Sexual assault (around the 31:20-33:40 mark)
We open with Klaus (Robert Sheehan) waking on the ground in what appears to be the afterlife. He wanders into a mausoleum to find his father, Reginald (Colm Feore), conducting experiments on young Klaus. Then, Klaus observes while a teenage Klaus leaps off a building, crashing onto a car below. Finally, he watches while Stan (Javon “Wanna” Walton) inadvertently shoots him in the chest. So, there’s that.
Meanwhile, Viktor (Elliot Page) grills Harlan (Callum Keith Rennie) regarding the latter’s involvement in the Umbrella mothers’ simultaneous murders. Harlan, overstimulated, wishes to listen to his tapes, but Viktor impedes him. Harlan powers up all Super Saiyan-like while Viktor does the same. It’s Dragon Ball Z Day on The Umbrella Academy.
The force of Viktor and Harlan’s monumental abilities knocks them both backward. Viktor apologizes for essentially giving Harlan his powers. Harlan wishes to deliver the news to the other Hargreeves; however, Viktor urges him to steer clear of them. They’ll figure out how to tell the siblings together.
Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) dreams about her husband, Ray (Yusuf Gatewood), but wakes in a lonely reality. Ben (Justin H. Min) debates the merits of taking Harlan with Fei (Britne Oldford). They must avenge Jayme and Alphonso! Revenge is the name of the game, folks.
Luther (Tom Hopper) notices the cut on Viktor’s cheek and believes Harlan’s responsible. We learn from Diego (David Castañeda) that he and Allison laid the smackdown in the white supremacy bar the night before. My heroes!
Suddenly, Lila (Ritu Arya) and Five (Aidan Gallagher) tumble into the hotel lobby via a portal. A bewildered Allison finds the briefcase — the only briefcase in the universe — zapped of time-traveling juices. She leaves in a huff. Lila lets Diego off the hook, burying the hatchet; the world’s about to end, after all.
Next, Stan leads Diego to Klaus’s body. While Diego mourns the loss of his brother, he comforts his son, reassuring Stan that it was an accident.
Back in the afterlife, Klaus finally meets his mother, Rachel Herschberger. She spends her time watching Klaus live his life. Rachel urges Klaus not to grieve for her because she’s at peace here.
While the other Umbrellas drink to the Kugelblitz, Diego and Stan wrap Klaus in a rug and lug him onto an elevator. Klaus wakes, rising from the dead, scaring the sh*t out of Diego and Stan. Fun Uncle Klaus is back! We see the once-fatal wound on his chest heal rapidly. He’s immortal like his character Nathan on Misfits!
We learn that what Klaus assumed were mere dalliances with death, near-death experiences, were instances wherein he legitimately died. Oh, and Daddy Hargreeves conducted death experiments on his son. That’s not messed up at all.
Meanwhile, Ben and Fei utilize Grace’s (Jordan Claire Robbins) robot eye to peer inside the Kugelblitz. Another Kugel wave rocks the city to its core, incinerating countless folks in its wake. Ben and Fei learn from Christopher that it’s a black hole absorbing everything in its path.
The group pulls Viktor aside and urges him to give Harlan to the Sparrows. They must work together to destroy the Kugelblitz, break the grandfather paradox and save the world. With the Commission out of commission, the briefcases kaput and the older Five dead, our heroes have scant options.
Viktor refuses, citing that one unnecessary death won’t change a thing. He’s withholding vital info about Harlan killing their mothers for the latter’s safety.
Finally, Viktor agrees to turn Harlan over to the Sparrows, but only if he convinces Harlan to go quietly. He sits with Harlan while listening to a tape recording of the wind. Because of Harlan’s connection with powered people, specifically Viktor, he senses the Hargreeves’ plan to dump him on the Sparrows. However, Viktor insists they’ll find a way to work together.
Diego and Lila, a.k.a. our fave parents, discipline Stan, leading to some sexy, fun times. Lila’s into the DILF thing, and Diego’s always The Daddy™. (If you can’t tell, I’m a Diego gal.)
Meanwhile, Luther comforts Allison, who misinterprets his embrace as a romantic move. Luther used to love Allison romantically, but now he has Sloane. (Sexual assault content warning here) Frustrated that she’s helpless to prevent her loved ones from leaving her, Allison uses her rumor power to force Luther to stay. Ugh, this is gross. They proceed to makeout. Allison quickly pushes him off, fleeing the scene.
She finds Viktor sneaking Harlan out of the hotel. Initially, she chastises him for saving Harlan, but she decides to help Viktor. Allison whisks Harlan away to a safe place. Luther and Five scold Viktor for going back on his word. They don’t have a bargaining chip to get the Sparrows to help them stop the Kugelblitz.
Next, Klaus and Five drink their sorrows away. Five divulges how he watched his older self die. Klaus also talks about his actual death experience. Death! Five shows Klaus the tattoo he removed from older Five’s corpse. Klaus recognizes it as the “Mothers of Agony,” a biker gang.
We see Diego and Lila sleeping post-coitus, with a few ropes strewn about them. Kinky. The light behind the pachinko machine glows blue, while Klaus stares in the mirror at his nearly completely healed chest wound. Luther reunites with Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), his lady love.
Later, Five wanders into the Mothers of Agony bar for Unhappy Hour. He finds none other than Pogo in the backroom giving some lad a tattoo. But does Pogo recognize Five? Also, Pogo the Enforcer is a badass superhero name.
Raver-Lampman continues to deliver powerhouse performances on this show, and “Kindest Cut” is no exception. That said, what Allison did to Luther is not okay. Just very, very gross. Shame on the writers for not releasing a content warning before the episode.
Sheehan churns out solid work while Page infuses Viktor with so much kindness and vulnerability. Besides the usual theme of family, The Umbrella Academy tackles mortality and the Trolley Problem, asking us to ponder whether saving Harlan in place of billions of people amounts to anything.
This outing is profoundly introspective and deep, y’all, with the show’s trademark bitingly dark humor and thrilling character dynamics.
Do you think Pogo will help Five save the world? Will Allison keep Harlan from the Sparrows? Can Klaus now join Wynonna Earp‘s Unkillable Gay Squad (I’d love to watch Klaus party with Wynonna)? Join me while I continue recapping The Umbrella Academy, only on Geek Girl Authority.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.