The Umbrella Academy’s Apocalypse of Mercy


In some of the most thrilling scenes of Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, the titular team of super-kids turned neurotic adults faces apocalypse. 

That shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the first season of the series, which is based on a comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, did end with the team narrowly escaping the end of the world when time-traveling brother Five (Aidan Gallagher) whisked them back to the early 1960s. 

The most exciting apocalypse this time appears in the middle of the second season. There are no exploding moons or knife-throwing vigilantes involved. Just Vanya Hargreeves (Ellen Page) sitting on a bed and asking her brother Luther (Tom Hooper), “What caused the apocalypse?” 

The question immobilizes Luther, a hulking man with the literal body of a gorilla. Pain creases across his face. He searches for escape from his sister’s stare, but he finds none. A low hum rumbles on the soundtrack. Finally, he answers. 

“You did.” 

The Umbrella Academy may be a show in which superheroes fight time-traveling assassins dispatched by a talking goldfish, but its greatest conflicts are interpersonal. Blasting bad guys comes easily to the Hargreeves siblings; dealing with their emotions does not.

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