DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Umbrella Academy episode “Right Back Where We Started” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome, super weirdos! The Umbrella Academy finally dropped Season 2 and boy, is it glorious! This show still manages to surprise me. While I hope our protagonists aren’t separated for too long, I loved watching their individual journeys unfold in their respective timelines. Additionally, I loved that the apocalypse essentially followed them to the groovy ’60s. It really raises the overall stakes, especially since if said apocalypse comes to fruition then even our heroes won’t exist. This premiere boasted plenty of tongue-in-cheek sass and dark wit in which The Umbrella Academy wholly excels.
Ready to delve into “Right Back Where We Started?” Let’s get to it.
Now, we open right where we left off. Five (Aidan Gallagher) plucks his siblings out of the present and drops them off in the 1960s. We see Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Ben (Justin Min) roaming about an alley in Dallas…in 1960. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) winds up in the same alley, but a year later. Luther (Tom Hopper) the following year in said alley. Diego (David Castañeda) in 1963. Vanya (Ellen Page) in October of 1963. Finally, Five lands in that blasted alleyway in November of 1963 to an apocalyptic hellscape. Yikes.
Apparently, the Soviets attacked the US after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Thus, a brutal war was spawned. We see Klaus, Ben, Diego, Allison, Luther, and Vanya valiantly fighting off the enemy soldiers. Five stands about in confusion. That is, until old Hazel (Cameron Britton) blips in and transports Five to the past — 10 days prior to the impending apocalypse. Then, his confusion increases tenfold. We see the apocalypse wreck havoc on the Hargreeves siblings and the world at large. However, now Five has 10 days to (hopefully) avert it. Side note: old Hazel looks like a knock-off Colonel Sanders. I dig it.
Suddenly, a trio of Scandinavian gents disembark from a bus and shoot the ever-loving shirt out of Hazel. Thankfully, Five teleports to the top of a roof before the gunslingers can get to him. He wanders into an establishment that sells TVs and radios. The proprietor, Elliot (Kevin Rankin), is all tin-foil hats and UFO-obsessed. In fact, it was in his alley in which the Hargreeves siblings appeared. He photographed each and every one of them like a pervy peeping tom. Five feigns to be an extraterrestrial being to arrest Elliot’s attention. Elliot procures a newspaper with Diego’s mugshots plastered on it. Boom!
Later, we see an unkempt Diego is sequestered away in a mental facility. He’s sitting in group therapy with Lila Pitts (Ritu Arya). He pretends to experience a mental breakthrough so as to convince his therapist that he’s ready for release. However, it’s a futile attempt. He still has 90 days before he can undergo an evaluation. Then, Five shows up to pay Diego a visit. Apparently, Diego was initially institutionalized because of harboring an overabundance of knives. Secondly, he claimed Kennedy would be assassinated in a week’s time. Five urges Diego to join him so they can avert the apocalypse. But Diego is stalwart in his desire to save Kennedy because hero complex. After that, he plans on murdering Hitler.
Suddenly, Five calls in the guards and they subdue Diego for rambling on about conspiracies. What a nice brother. Five vows to return for Diego after the world is saved. Meanwhile, Vanya was hit by a car upon her arrival to the ’60s. A sweet family took her in and have been caring for her since. Apparently, Vanya lost her memories when she hit her head. We see her enjoying suppertime with said family and watching misogyny from an antiquated time come into play.
Now, we see Klaus and Ben are driving a snazzy car that goes kaput in the middle of nowhere. Klaus is sporting some heavy duty hippie getup. I’m talking immensely long beard, uncontrollable curls and a pristine, embellished coat sans shirt. The pair bicker over where to go next in their travels. They were initially in San Francisco wherein Klaus started a cult and Ben had unfinished business. Ben wishes to return to San Fran, while Klaus wants to backtrack to Dallas again. Our favorite dynamic duo abandons their car and walks toward the nearest pub.
Next, Klaus learns that the next bus to Dallas isn’t arriving until the following day. A slew of pub dwellers coerce Klaus into a rousing game of poker. Klaus loses miserably, but he swipes the keys to a truck and makes a break for it anyway.
Then, we see Allison is faring well in the ’60s. She married a prominent man in the Civil Rights Movement named Raymond (Yusuf Gatewood). In fact, they’re concocting a sit-in for when Kennedy arrives in Dallas. Allison urges her husband to exercise caution when considering Kennedy because, you know, assassination. However, Raymond feels that change is on the horizon.
Meanwhile, Luther is now a prized fight club warrior. He incessantly wins big cash for his manager. However, Luther looks the least bit happy out of all of his siblings. Allison and Raymond host a late-night meeting at the former’s hair salon. They’re planning the impending sit-in. A nosy middle-aged white man noses his way into their meeting. He claims he likes “quiet” on his street and he also plans to buy the building. Thankfully, Allison gives this nosy middle-aged white man the business. Of course, racism is more blatantly rampant in the ’60s. Here’s hoping nosy middle-aged white man keeps his nose in his own business.
Next, we see Vanya and her friend Sissy (Marin Ireland) having a smoke and a chat in the barn on the latter’s property. Sissy wants to break free. She despises her domesticated housewife life and longs for freedom as a counter girl at Neiman Marcus. Shoots for the stars, girl. It’s quite clear that there’s something brewing between these two. Something innately more than platonic friendship. Give Vanya a girlfriend, please!
Now, Diego is thrown in solitary confinement after his visit with Five. Diego, being Diego, seeks out a method of escape. He purposefully dislocates his shoulder (Ouch!) so he can wiggle out of his straitjacket. We see the Scandinavian gunslingers storm the hallways of the mental facility. They are silent but quite deadly. And they appear to be hellbent on capturing Diego.
Then, we see Lila help fight off the silent gunslingers. Apparently, she learned to fight from her mother. We see Diego and Lila outrun the foes. In addition, they opened the doors for a facility-wide collective patient escape. Run free, my children!
Later, Luther hits up a gentleman’s club, which is a nice way of saying strip club. He spots Five sitting in a front-row seat, enjoying the view. Five reveals that the world will be ending in 10 days and they must track down the rest of the gang. Team work makes the dream work, after all. However, much to Five’s dismay, Luther basically tells him to eff off. So, there’s that. Yay happy family reunion?
I think one of the highlights of “Right Back Where We Started” was the fight sequence after Five arrives in November 1963. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra plays in the background. The song choice was perfection personified. The Umbrella Academy has never been short on excellent music paired with intricate fight choreography. This show somehow evokes a delightfully campy yet darkly macabre vibe. I think if a TV series could encapsulate my energy, this show would be it. A darkly disastrous delight.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
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