Right Back Where We Started
The Umbrella Academy is back and episode 1 wastes little time propelling us head-first through the portal into the 1960’s. With numerous characters scattered across Dallas, this twisty-turny drama gets off to a great start.
With all of our characters separated and in different timelines, to de-tangle this knot the events in this recap occur in a slightly different order to that of the show for ease of reading.
Five – November 25th 1963 (The End Of The World)
Five stumbles out the alleyway and finds himself in an alternate history where Soviets have attacked US soil. As a tank roars past, Vanya suddenly shows along with the rest of the Academy. While they fight, nukes drop down and consume the family. Thankfully, an older Hazel arrives and takes him back through time.
Five – 10 Days Earlier
Hazel drops Five back to a much calmer Texas and fulfills a promise to Agnes, who happens to have died from cancer. With Hazel no longer part of The Commission, three assassins (whom we later come to know as The Swedes) arrive and spray bullets at the duo.
Five manages to grab the briefcase and hide behind a car. Hazel however, is not so lucky and receives a chest full of bullets for his trouble.
Hiding from the goons, Five stumbles upon Elliot’s house. As we soon find out from him, a weird anomaly occurred 3 years prior and he’s been photographing all of this over the years. Five realizes his family are alive and is handed a newspaper article confirming as much. A mugshot of Diego on the front of a newspaper looks back at him grimly.
Klaus – February 11th 1960
Klaus and Ben find themselves alone and stuck in Dallas, Texas 1960 – certainly not the 80’s. Klaus fully embraces this lifestyle, complete with a beard and a car. Only, that car breaks down and subsequently results in him and Ben fighting by the side of the road. Only, given Ben is an apparition it looks like Klaus is fighting with himself.
Klaus eventually stumbles upon a bar, looking for a trip back to Dallas but learns he’s got a full day to wait before getting there. Instead, he’s invited across to play a game of poker with a bunch of men. Ben tells Klaus his rival is bluffing but unfortunately when the hands are revealed the guy has a full house.
As Klaus rushes away, he’s eventually captured on the road by the police who take him to the station.
Allison – 1961
In 1961 Allison drops down and immediately finds herself stuck in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. When she walks into a diner, she’s forced out due to a “White’s Only” sign.
When we catch up with her again later in the episode, we learn that she’s settled down and married. When her husband Ray returns, excitedly talking about the news, she tells him not to get his hopes up regarding Kennedy.
That evening they head to Allison’s place of work after-hours where they hold a meeting. Only, they’re interrupted by a man named Mason who arrives and antagonizes them.
Luther – 1962-1963
In 1962 Luther is alone and screaming for Allison. Hilariously, a homeless man screams too until Luther realizes he’s all alone. Instead, he decides to use that loneliness to make a profit and he begins fighting. When his opponent brandishes a knife, Luther grabs him and snaps the man’s arm.
As we soon find out, he’s fighting for “Mr Ruby” and he hands the winnings over to him. In the aftermath of this, he heads to the strip club, watching his boss from afar.
Five happens to be sitting down by the front and Luther reluctantly joins him. It’s here we learn Luther’s been at this for a year. Bitter and alone, Luther rejects his sibling and tells him to leave.
Vanya – October 12th 1963
Vanya drops down and stumbles into the road where she’s immediately hit by a car. It turns out the pair that hit her, husband Carl and wife Sissy, have taken her in on a probationary period. With Vanya’s memory gone and no knowledge of who she is, she seems to be living with them for now.
That evening Vanya speaks to Sissy who’s been saving up money; a “just incase” fund for the future.
Diego -September 1st 1963
Diego drops down and, much like the others, finds a man snapping photos. That man – as we found out in Five’s point of view scenes – is Elliot and he’s got shots of every Umbrella Academy member.
As Diego heads out, he uses his knife to thwart an attacker. The next we see of him he’s stuck in a mental institution, partly thanks to telling everyone Kennedy is going to get assassinated. He was arrested outside Oswald’s house with a number of knives on him.
This sees him in therapy discussing his Father issues with Dr Moncton. Diego’s got 90 days until the next board meeting but Kennedy’s death is a mere 10 days away. Ironically, this is the same amount of time until the apocalypse.
Five comes to visit Diego and learns that his brother has been there for 75 days. These 75 days have not helped Diego’s frame of mind. As he mentions killing Hitler, Five encourages the nurses to sedate Diego. As he leaves, Five promises to return later on.
That later on never comes though and instead, Diego uses his initiative to sneak out. As he stumbles through the hallway, a milkman arrives at the psychiatric ward. This milkman (and the two subsequent goons) also happen to be the same men who killed Hazel earlier in the episode.
Diego bumps into Lila, a fellow inmate, and they narrowly avoid the wrath of the Swedes.
As they hurry away, the assassins watch as all the inmates from the insane asylum escape.
The Review Write-Up
After a dizzying montage of timeline jumps, The Umbrella Academy looks as if everything is converging in 1963. There’s a lot of great work done to establish each of the characters in their new timelines and the production design is fantastic.
The expository text showing the dates is a nice touch and it’s good to see Ben given more screen time too.
There’s a lot to like about Umbrella Academy’s new season and so far it’s shaping up to be a really promising follow-up. Quite what will happen next though, remains to be seen.