Episode 4 of Umbrella Academy Season 3 starts with a little montage through time, seeing Harlan’s journey up to the events in the main atrium. Thanks to his powers, Harlan moves around a lot and along the way, knocks out (or kills) numerous people. When his mother ends up with cancer, she passes away in 1989. Since then, it appears he’s kept quiet and used this ASMR as a way of controlling his emotions.
Fast forward to the present, and in the middle of this carnage, Klaus comes bumbling in through the front door, shocked at what’s happened. When Sloane wakes up, she sees both Alphonso and Jayme’s dead bodies and immediately bolts.
Luther chases but it’s Diego and Allison that turn the tables here. The big man is forced to watch on as Allison uses her powers, screaming at Sloane. When blood oozes from her nose, Luther finally jumps in and stops them from torturing the scared woman. Sloane admits that the Sparrows don’t actually know about the briefcase, so her whole endeavour is for nothing.
Luther does speak openly to Sloane about how he feels, admitting he doesn’t really have many friends but their romance is something he’s very much invested in. The pair share a really nice moment together
Meanwhile, Viktor catches u with Harlan and admits that it feels like a tuning fork in his head every time the Umbrellas get closer. The blast down in the hallway was a result of getting too close to them and unleashing his powers. Since that time back on the farm, they’re connected. Viktor promises to try and make this right.
Back at the Academy, Fei and Ben come to blows over who the new leader of the Sparrow Academy should be. With half their family dead, it’s causing one heck of a rift among them.
While this is going on, over in the frozen wastes we catch up with Lila and Five. It turns out the Grandfather Paradox is not just in one reality but somehow affecting the entire universe. It would seem that – according to the protocol booklet anyway – the Founder may have the answers.
With no clear directives about crisis management, Five is not happy… until they stumble upon an Operations bunker in the basement. Five gains access but he’s clearly suffering, given he keeps farting and is sweating profusely.
Inside, they find a glass tank holding… Five. But a much older version of himself. This explains why Five is acting this way as he’s experiencing side effects being so close to his future-self. It also turns out that he’s the one who actually founded this place, serving this Bunker as a panic room.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to this Kugelblitz situation, with older Five admitting that all that’s left is Oblivion. “This is what you have coming,” older Five warns, “Whatever you do, don’t save the world.” And with that, older Five passes away. On his chest happens to be some sort of tattoo. Five believes this could be a clue and decides to cut it off him.
At the Hotel Obsidian, Luther and Sloane work together to try and resolve this Sparrow conflict. Namely that of returning Alphonso and Jayme to the Academy, with Sloane convincing them that Harlan wasn’t part of their plan and a wildcard.
While they head out, Stan and Klaus break into the White Buffalo room, and marvel at what’s inside. Stan messes about with a harpoon gun though and accidentally shoots Klaus through the chest. As he tumbles over, Stan is shocked and calls out for help.
Harlan hears a commotion but is unsure of its origin, so he winds up breaking into Viktor’s room, where he sees the papers firsthand about the different mothers killed. It turns out all of them died as a result of Harlan losing control after Sissy’s death in the hospital. This reframes the earlier flashbacks at the start of this episode, and explains why they all passed away.
Elsewhere, the trade goes ahead but Ben improvises. He decides that they should hand over Harlan to sweeten the deal. If they do this, the whole conflict will be over. If not? Well, it means war.
The Episode Review
The Umbrella Academy is just starting to get interesting now, with an intriguing dilemma thrown at us in the form of this Grandfather Paradox. It would appear that Five is destined to make it into this glass tank for his younger self to show, like a perfect time loop, but we’ll have to wait and see if that actually holds any weight or whether the timeline will diverge. And why does his older-self not want him to save the world?
Meanwhile, there are some nice moments involving the Umbrella Academy, especially that involving Harlan and the big reveals about how he’s the catalyst for what’s happened to their mothers and, presumably, the root cause of this paradox occurring too. How are they going to stop him? Will they turn over Harlan to the Sparrows?