The Umbrella Academy season 3 picks up exactly where The Umbrella Academy season 2 left off, and fans are sure to be thrilled to be back with the Hargreeves. The only problem is, there are a whole lot more Hargreeves than we might remember.
If you recall, at the end of season 2 the siblings thought they arrived back home, at the academy. And while they did, this was not The Umbrella Academy at all, but The Sparrow Academy. After meeting their father in the past, the interactions with him convinced him to adopt a different group of children on that fateful day.
As if things couldn’t get any weirder, one of those siblings remained the same. And that sibling is Ben. In this timeline, he is The Sparrow Academy’s Number Two, and he is very much alive. Ben might be back, but this version is vastly different from the one that the Umbrella Hargreeves know and love (and miss). He is a total jerk, and very self-absorbed, which adds a whole lot of fun and drama to the story of season 3.
In fact, the addition of all these new siblings, each and every one of them with a new set of superpowers, is what makes this season so refreshing and unique. This is a brilliant way to switch things up a bit, without having to get rid of fan-favorite characters. Yes, the story mostly focuses on the Umbrella siblings, but the Sparrow ones are still important – some more than others.
The two families go head-to-head quite a bit, which makes for several massive action sequences that include some epic visuals and a lot of great stunt choreography. Not to mention several jaw-dropping moments.
Speaking of the visuals, for the most part, they are outstanding in The Umbrella Academy season 3. However, the last couple of episodes includes some that are a bit wonky. Not necessarily bad, but they don’t feel completely polished. There are a few key moments where the green screen is painfully obvious. While this won’t take the viewers out of the story, it is noticeable and a tad bit irritating.
That being said, there are often times when the VFX are not final in screeners, and these were released to the press early, so it is possible they will be fixed when the season is released on Netflix to the public.
Whenever you are dealing with time, things can get a little confusing. Time travel isn’t new to The Umbrella Academy at all, however, and the previous seasons have set a great precedent. Because of this anything that feels a little weird, or off, about the timeline, is quickly explained via the plot and all comes together in the end, which – in true The Umbrella Academy fashion – means a massive cliffhanger leaving fans with more questions than answers as we wait with bated breath for season four to arrive.
All ten episodes of The Umbrella Academy fall around the one-hour mark, with the shortest one being 39 minutes. This is a very bingeable season, as each of them ends on a cliffhanger that will have you eager to start the next one.
The pacing throughout the season is done really well, with just one or two minor times that things slow down just a little bit too much. It still moves along at a good pace, and these are mostly when the siblings are all separated and individual stories are explored.
Don’t get us wrong, we love to see character development and exploration of individuals, the story is just best in season 3 when they are in a larger group or at least pairings.
Sum of Its Parts
Speaking of pairings, there are some unlikely ones this season – the most shocking of which is Klaus and Reginald Hargreeves. Their time together provides some of the most heartwarming, heartbreaking, and emotional scenes in the entire season.
The Hotel Obsidian, where The Umbrella Academy must live this season, is the perfect backdrop for mischief and mayhem. It has a don’t ask, don’t tell policy, which the Hargreeves certainly take advantage of. The hotel itself has its secrets and is more important to the plot than you might know.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 has its shocking moments, but it is also filled with some pretty heartwarming ones as well. Watching the family get to reunite with Ben, even if he is a different Ben than they grew up with, will knock something loose inside even the coldest of hearts. There are a few tear-worthy moments this season – nearly every Hargreeve gets one.
Allison’s individual storyline this season is one of the best. She has been through a lot in the previous seasons, but she just is not over the trauma she experienced in season 2. This causes her character to go down a dark path. One that might be justified, but may be hard to connect with.
The transition from Vanya Hargreeves to Viktor Hargreeves is addressed this season in a way that feels right. With Elliot Page coming out as transgender, it makes sense that so would Vanya. The series could have easily tried to use a ripple-in-time excuse to change the gender of this character, but instead, it is done in a way that stays true to Elliot.
Due to the different locations of the siblings throughout the season, it is something that is discussed more than once, and each time it is meaningful. Even though this needs to be explained a few times, it doesn’t get repetitive or feel like it is pandering. It makes sense for the story, and fans couldn’t ask for anything more.
The Umbrella Academy has always been one of Netflix’s best shows. Even with the competition of seasons 1 and 2, 3 is the best one yet. The addition of the Sparrows really helps to switch things up a little bit, bringing with it a fresh feel. That, plus having fan favorites return (and not just the Hargreeves) makes for an unpredictable, action-packed, season.
We already know season 4 is coming, here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.