Explained

The Umbrella Academy Season 1 Explained: Who, what, where, why and when

Young Umbrella Academy in The Umbrella Academy season 1

The Umbrella Academy is an action packed story superextraordinaire full of adventure and amazing characters, that it can be hard to keep up who’s who and what’s going on exactly and when even. So let’s explore the alternate superhero world of the dysfunctional Hargreeves family in The Umbrella Academy.


Read the full review of The Umbrella Academy season 1, here.

The Hargreeves family

In 1989 on October 1, at 12 p.m. 43 children were born to women who weren’t even pregnant when they got up that morning. It is still a big mystery how they got pregnant, why the children were born within half a day, where these children came from, and why they have special powers.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves

Sir Reginald Hargreeves is an eccentric billionaire who founded the Umbrella Academy. We don’t know exactly where he came from, but in the final episode we see him leave his ill wife reluctantly, and a strange alien world unbeknownst to us. Through immigration and customs he then arrives in 1928 America where he buys an umbrella factory.

When he finds out about the mysterious births, he tracks down seven of them and adopted them to train them at his Umbrella Academy, for they all have special powers.

Luther, Number 1

Luther possesses an enormous strength and he looks like a big gorilla sized man. He is the leader of the siblings. He was treated harshly by his father to become a leader, but despite of that he is very loyal. He stayed the longest at home before being sent to the moon by his father to do research. Now he has just returned home. 

Diego, Number 2

As a child he had a stutter that he got rid off after the care of their mother Grace. He has a special bond with her, and frequently questions Luther’s leadership. He can throw knives that never miss their goal and he also suffers from a superhero complex and wants to help and save everyone. For a while he was a cop, but due to his extreme methods he was fired and now mops the floor of a boxing school. He has a complicated relationship with his ex and detective Eudora Patch. 

Allison, Number 3

She had a special bond with Luther that went further then just brother and sister which was frowned upon by their father. She can control people’s actions with her words. When she starts a sentence with ‘I heard a rumor…’ she can make them do everything she wants. She now has a daughter Claire, but used her powers on her which her husband Patrick found out about and they got divorced because of that, with Allison losing custody over Claire. 

Klaus, Number 4

Klaus can see and talk to the dead. To repress his powers he abuses alcohol and drugs. He is the only one who can see Ben and who can talk to him, making Ben still a member of the group always by Klaus’ side. Klaus has trouble to control his powers, which he can’t switch off. 

Number Five

Five can time travel and against the will of Reginald he once jumped too often and too far. He has been missing for 16 years. All that time he tried to get back but was stuck in the future before he was approached by The Handler, sent by the Commission. When he finally gets back he has been aged on the inside but not on the outside. 

Ben, Number 6

Ben has the power to conjure up monstrous beings with tentacles who come out of his body. He has been killed during a mission, but it’s unclear when and how. Still Ben looks the same age his other sibling are now. He can only communicate with Klaus which is very frustrating for him at times. 

Vanya, Number 7

Vanya is the only one without powers. She can play the violin beautifully, but always stood at the sideline with Reginald watching her siblings being heroes and being admired. She never felt she belonged. 

Grace

Grace is a robot designed to raise the kids. She has multiple functions and abilities but is also a very loving caring mother especially to Diego. 

Pogo

Pogo is a chimpanzee who can talk and think like a human and is Reginald’s friend and butler. He cares deeply for the children but his loyalties lie with Reginald. How he became this way isn’t explained yet. 


Sir Reginald’s funeral 

The siblings haven’t seen each other in 12 years, but reunite at the Umbrella mansion after their father has died. They think he has been murdered and have to solve his murder, but they finally find out that he killed himself to reunite the siblings for a far more important cause. 

Everyone is present except for Five. He’s still missing. But when they are at the courtyard, suddenly a time vortex opens and spits out Five. Five who still looks like a thirteen-year-old boy. This sets a new adventure in motion. 


Five and the Apocalypse

After he had jumped too far and too often, he got stuck in the future. A future where in 8 days from now an Apocalypse destroyed the world and killed all of them. A future in which he got trapped for over 45 years. He is a man of 58 years old trapped in a body of a teenager. They have to find out what causes the Apocalypse and stop it.


What is The Commission and who is The Handler

The Commission, the Temps Commission, is an agency that looks after times nd is based in 1955. They monitor events and make sure everything happens just as it all is supposed to happen and intervene, with extreme measures, when the timeline is in danger. They use briefcases as time travel devices they can set up to transport them to a certain time. All the briefcases are controlled by the Commission. 

After Five has spent a very long time alone in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, he is approached by the Handler who offers him a job at the Commission. The Handler has a high ranking position at the Commission, but stays a very elusive figure herself. 

He becomes the greatest hitman, but still is looking for the right equation to find his way back home, to his own time. When they ask him to assassinate John F. Kennedy he quits and takes the leap into the time vortex, and ends up at the funeral, but with a  small miscalculation that turned his body into a thirteen-year-old boy. 


Who are Hazel and Cha-Cha

Hazel and Cha-Cha are two of the many assassins working for the Commission, ordered to kill those who mess with the actual timeline. Now they are sent to kill Five because he wants to stop the Apocalypse, what is supposed to be happening. Meanwhile Hazel falls in love with Agnes Rofa who works at Griddy’s Doughnuts.


Everybody has issues

Meanwhile Luther and Allison rekindle their relationship. We also find out that Luther hides a disfigured posterior underneath his clothes, that looks like a man mixed with a gorilla. When years back, everybody already left the mansion, he stayed and had to go on missions all by himself. When he was sent to stop a biochemical threat he was severely injured and Reginald injected him with a serum which probably contained ape DNA. And now he finds out that his father had sent him on a fake mission to the moon to get rid off him.

In the present Klaus and Five go on a mission to find out whom the prosthetic eye belongs to, which Five found in the rubble of what was left of the mansion in the Apocalyptic future. While Five also has to outrun Hazel and Cha-Cha.

Diego struggles with his relationship with his mother Grace whom the others want to disable now that she is alone. 

Klaus goes on an adventure of his own, after he was kidnapped by Hazel and Cha-Cha, but escaped with a briefcase and traveled accidentally back in time and ended up fighting in Vietnam in 1968 where he met a man named Dave whom he fell in love with. 10 months later Klaus suddenly appears in the present again, burdened with a big trauma. 

Vanya has troubles and a trauma of her own, not being acknowledged by their father and seen as a failure. She meets Leonard and falls in love with him, separating her even further apart from her siblings. 


Who is Leonard Peabody

Vanya meets Leonard when he takes violin lessons with her. But this meeting wasn’t a coincidence. Leonard was also born on October 1, 1989 but as an ordinary child. His mother died at childbirth turning his father into an abusive alcoholic. His real name is Harold Jenkins. But Leonard also dreamt of being a member of the Umbrella Academy, which became an obsession.

When one day he was roughly set aside by Reginald his admiration turned into hatred. He killed his father and was sent to prison for 12 years, and recently got out. When Klaus throws away Reginald’s diary, Leonard found it and read all about Vanya and her special powers. So he got close to her, and wanted to use her and her powers to destroy the other siblings. 


What starts the Apocalypse

Leonard is the first to discover that Vanya do has powers. And that she is too powerful. Reginald knew about her powers and thought she couldn’t control her powers, so he drugged her to repress them and told her she only could play the violin. As a child Vanya attacked several nanny’s, so Reginald built Grace who couldn’t be destroyed by Vanya. 

He used Allison who used her powers on Vanya to forget about her powers. He even built a special room where he locked her up in a soundproof cell where she couldn’t use her powers. Thinking she was mentally ill she had to take pills ever since, pills that repressed her powers.

But when Leonard convinces her not to take them, that there’s nothing wrong with her, she gets her powers back. But never learned to control them, she is too powerful. Her emotions are linked to her powers and she can harness sound and converge it into very powerful energy. It feels a  bit like telekinesis. 

When she learned that her life was a lie, that her father abused her, that her family even used her, or forgot about her powers was especially traumatizing. And because her powers are linked to her emotions, she is becoming a big energy bomb.

Allison tries to stop her, confessing to what she did to her. Vanya slices her throat and she almost bleeds to death but is rescued by her brothers, but unable to speak. She shows them Vanya has powers. 

Meanwhile Vanya finds out Leonard has been manipulating her and she kills him. When Five finds out that the glass eye belongs to Leonard, they think he was the the one who started the Apocalypse and that it is now diverted. 

Hazel shows up wanting to help them, because he has fallen in love with Agnes and wants to live a normal life with her. In exchange for a briefcase he hands over Cha-Cha’s gun exonerating Diego from shooting Patch. But Cha-Cha has taken Agnes hostage. An enraged Hazel kills Cha-Cha and when the Handler also shows up her shoots her through the head. 

Vanya has returned to the mansion, is incapacitated by Luther and put in the sound proof cell. But now so emotionally damaged she’s too powerful, blows up the cell, and the mansion, kills Pogo and Grace dies due to fallen rubble. They then realize that Leonard wasn’t the one who causes the Apocalypse, maybe only indirectly, but that it is Vanya who’s the bomb that can go off any moment.

They regroup at the bowling ally only to be attacked by a special unit of the Commission, but they manage to escape and go to the concert Vanya was supposed to play at. Klaus materializes Ben with his monstrous powers. Allison wants to get through to her sister, Diego fires a gun, distorting sound waves, while the special unit also has followed them. Despite all their efforts Vanya bundles her powers into a giant energy beam that destroys the moon causing the Apocalypse. 

Seconds before they are wiped away, Five has an idea to take his six siblings back in time. While they disappear in the nick of time, Hazel uses his briefcase and vanishes with Agnes to a bright past. 

So it was Vanya all along. A self fulfilling prophecy that was bound to happen. By repressing her powers, Reginald has created a bomb. And by ignoring her, her siblings only put fuel to the fire that already was burning. Vanya being the victim and the villain at the same time, without her even knowing about it. 


What’s next?

They haven’t prevented the Apocalypse from happening, but they are transported back in time. Five has never taken so many people with him, and with a very short time to calculate his time travel, it’s tricky. The question is when are they now?


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