Netflix has done it again with The Umbrella Academy. This new show is based on a comic book series [The Book Depository] [Waterstones] written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. It features one of the most dysfunctional families I’ve ever seen on the screen. It made me remember a cross between the X-Men, the Watchmen, and Hogwarts. The original soundtrack is terrific, the cast is brilliant, and the story is surprising. I can’t wait to enjoy the next season.
Before I start reviewing, I’d like to state that the whole cast did an excellent job. However, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five (the Boy) is stunning. I’ve seen actors crush the screen, but this kid undoubtedly owns the show. Then, Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves (Number Four, the Séance) breaks it again with his neutrality and wardrobe. It’s not only a brilliant portrayal, but it also makes you boom and swoon all the time! If you aren’t hyped yet, let me spoil you a little bit.
SPOILERS: this post has mild spoilers from the show. It’s a ride to binge it, so I recommend you to stop right here and come back after you’ve had the heart attack an all. However, I’ll start by introducing the characters first. And then, I’ll talk a little bit about the story.
Number One: Spaceboy aka Luther Hargreeves
Luther is a good boy, he’s the leader, Number One. He’s been groomed by papa Hargreeves to be so. And yet, he couldn’t be more mistaken about his whole existence. He’s a workaholic who has super strength. He always tries to do the right thing, but after suffering an accident and being sent to the Moon, things aren’t that clear anymore. Or, are they?
He comes back to Earth to attend his father’s funeral. But things don’t add up. He’s convinced that someone has murdered his father, and he tries to enlist his siblings to his quest. But, no one really believes it could have been so. Even when Five surprisingly re-appears, he’s still following the rules. He needs a massive slap on his face to stop, and he does so at last but in the wrong way.
Spoiler alert: the good boy goes partying! And Klaus tries to rescue him from a hole he knows all too well. Luther thrives in competition, and so his father let it grow. That’s why Diego and Luther aren’t excellent friends.
Number Two: The Kraken aka Diego Hargreeves
Diego has an issue: he’s super bitter. Being number Two isn’t fun at all. He can land any knife on target, and yet he couldn’t be more messed up than he already is. He’s always been in the shadow of Luther, and that made him bitter. Also because suffered speech troubles when he was a kid. He left the Academy fed up from his father, and decided to try with the police. He failed, and now he’s a vigilante. He’s a mommy’s boy, that’s why he is so protective of his robot mother, Grace. Reginald, the father, created her to groom the children. She’s a perfect mother and an ideal caretaker. However, she ends up malfunctioning. And this breaks Diego further.
Diego is very hostile. He ends up punching before thinking, and that makes him enter into problems quickly. Because of the constant competition with Luther, they cannot be a group, and things get spiced up. But he can dance!
Number Three: The Rumor aka Allison Hargreeves
Allison is super famous. She can create rumors that people will believe. Despite being in love with Luther (and Luther with her), they end up apart because Luther keeps it up with his father. In fact, Luther is the one who leaves his father in the last place. Allison now is an actress and has divorced, and she struggles to see her daughter. The husband has the custody because Allison ended up using her superpowers on her own daughter for things like making her go to sleep without complaining.
Despite her mistakes, she has a great heart. Yes, she can alter reality with lies, but she stills believes in her family, despite all the problems. She tries to help her sister Vanya to incredible lengths. When Vanya attacks her (and almost kills her), she decides to stick to her instead of going all berserk. She might be a lier, but she certainly loves her family very much.
Number Four: The Séance aka Klaus Hargreeves
By now you already know that he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s super high all the time trying to silence the ghosts that haunt him. He can literally see the dead, and that can be frightening. Papa Hargreeves did a poor job in training Klaus, and he went on hiding in the drug world. Like a drug addict, he cannot be trusted since he’ll rob you when you disappear from his side. But, he’s a lovable mess. He ends up redeeming himself trying to get clean, and he does that because of love.
He’s quite powerful, even if no-one knows or believes he can be so. He can do telekinesis, levitate, speak with the dead, and also possess the living. He also has an incredibly sexy fashion sense, and he’s the best unicorn to date. He’s dope.
Number Five: Number Five aka The Boy
And yes, this is my other super favorite character. To begin with, he doesn’t adopt any different name like his siblings. He’s just Five, and he’s super old despite his looks. He can travel through space and time. He goes on a ride to the future and discovers the end of the world. But, until he gets it right to come back, he spends years alone. So, when he finally does before the funeral of his dad, he comes back but time travel makes him a kid again. He’s hilarious: acts like a super grumpy old man, and yet he looks like a kid.
He’s a little bit insane. Think it this way: more than fifty years alone, talking to a manikin, and then back to the world of the living after being enlisted into a time-traveling secret society that wants the world to end. And yeah, he’s the only one to try to defeat them at the beginning. Who is going to believe a kid that tells you the end of the world is just around the corner?
Number Six: The Horror aka Ben Hargreeves
Ben died in a mission time ago, and the only one who can talk to him is Klaus. The others think that Klaus is a little bit crazy because he “talks alone.” But he’s always with Ben. He could summon demons from other dimensions from beneath his skin, making some tentacles go out from his torso. We can see that when Klaus ends up learning how to use his powers and let his brother create a blood bath and kills some baddies. But for the most time, poor Ben is trying to be Klaus’ conscience. He’s all the time trying to cheer him up, or telling him what to do next. The only problem is that Klaus never listens and ends up super high.
But Ben appears again for our delight. He’s still dead, and he can only go around with his siblings as long as he sticks to Klaus. As a duo, they’re fun. You cannot see Ben in the poster because the only one who can see him is Klaus, or is he the only one?
Number Seven: The White Violin aka Vanya Hargreeves
Vanya was an X-men. Kidding. No. She was. Now, she’s super ordinary. She had a tough childhood because papa Hargreeves didn’t let her help her siblings when they went to take the bad guys down. She was always reminded of how ordinary she was, and everybody thought she had no superpowers. But, she takes the violin, and after meeting Leonard, things change. Leonard believes in her, and he becomes her boyfriend in speed light. She listens to him, and so she stops taking her medicine. And that’s when she unleashes her power. She’s very dangerous because she has a hard time to control it, and things can go very wrong very quickly. In fact, it goes so wrong she almost kills her sister Allison.
She’s in the center of the story since she can create destructive waves using sound. And since she plays the violin, you can imagine how bad that can go, and what troubles she can produce. Despite being super ordinary, it turns out she is the most powerful of all the siblings.
Cha-Cha, Hazel, Agnes, Pogo, and Grace.
Hazel and Cha-Cha are super evil. They’re assassins working for Temps Aeternalis, the organization that keeps the timeline as it should. And if that means that the end of the world must happen, then they’ll do anything to make it happen. So, Hazel and Cha-Cha are sent back in pursue of Five who is trying to save the world. However, Hazel is more and more unhappy with his life and work. When he goes to a donut shop and meets Agnes, he falls in love with her. Agnes offers him another view on life that it’s way more straightforward and easier. And yes, Hazel and Agnes are the cutest couple ever!
On the other hand, Cha-Cha is ruthless and loves her job. She likes having Hazel as a partner, but when she feels betrayed (he falls in love with Agnes), she has no problem in attacking him. She doesn’t want to change; instead, she’s the perfect assassin.
Pogo is an experiment since Papa Hargreeves created him. This chimp is old but highly intelligent. Pogo and Grace, the robot mother, are the ones to receive the siblings him and guide them to the sorrow of their father’s death. However, these two have secrets, and we can see the surprise in the siblings’ faces when they discover all there is in the family.
The siblings get together again when their father dies. They’re all strangers to each other, and problems arise quickly. Ben died time ago, and Five is missing. The remaining siblings are but a mess. But, Five appears suddenly, and he seems to change the game. He’s a kid, and yet he acts like a grumpy old man. He tells them that the world will end in eight days and that he has to stop it.
At first Five doesn’t want their help. All the siblings take him as a lunatic and a snob. But reality bites: Five saw their corpses when he arrived in the future, so the last thing he wants is his family dead. To make matters worse, Hazel and Cha-Cha are in pursuit. In the meanwhile, Klaus steals stuff from his father’s office for selling it so that he can get high. And he gets rid of a critical diary which happens to be one of the things that will cause the end of the world, just because the wrong person will find it.
While each sibling ends up having their own drama, Hazel and Cha-Cha end up capturing Klaus. They thought they know how to torture, but they soon discover that with Klaus things are way different. The assassins have a case they use to travel in time. Klaus ends up escaping thanks to a cop (Diego’s ex-girlfriend) and steals the case. And so he ends up traveling in space and time to Vietnam. So yeah, the drug addict ends up tough and different after that experience when he appears back.
Things get funky and complicated until we discover that Vanya has a devastating gift, and that everything is connected to them, and that they could stop the end of the world if the Temps Aeternalis stop messing things up. And in the meanwhile, you have the sweetest love story ever with Hazel and Agnes.
This is a show to enjoy binging several times. I just hope the second season is as breathtaking as this one. I could continue writing but, I highly recommend you to start watching The Umbrella Academy.
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