To the surprise of very few, The Umbrella Academy is once again resetting itself in season 3.
In its two seasons so far, the time-traveling tale of misfit superhero siblings has jumped around quite a bit: The first season was in 2019, when the siblings came together following the death of their father (and to stop the apocalypse). In season 2, they were transported back in time (where they also had to stop the apocalypse).
If that’s about the limit of your memory of Umbrella Academy season 2, give or take a musical number, we’re here to remind you of the big stuff that happened to each character — including things that might be useful to remember for certain season 3 plot points.
If season 1 was the introduction to the Hargreeves siblings — their trauma, and the secrets that kept them from really bonding with each other — then season 2 seemed more straightforward: the Dallas 1963 season!
After stopping the accidental apocalypse caused by Viktor’s powers, the siblings used Five’s powers to jump through time. The result left them all in 1960s Texas, but arriving at various points. Once they got there, in true Umbrella Academy fashion, things got complicated.
The journeys of season 2:
Five almost immediately sets out to prevent the next doomsday scenario, because he arrives in 1963 right in the middle of it — “it” being nuclear missiles in the sky, which Five surmises are a result of JFK not being killed.
Slowly he rallies his siblings to the cause, and tries to work with the 1963 version of their dad, Reginald, and the Handler, who enlists him to kill the Commission’s board in exchange for sending the Academy back to 2019. Though Five does the hit, he and his family miss the proverbial boat. Classic Hargreeves.
Allison, having lost her voice at the end of season 1, lands in 1961 fairly defenseless — and among the most vulnerable, as a Black woman in 1960s Texas. Her voice eventually heals, and she joins the Civil Rights movement and marries an activist named Ray. Once she uses her powers to stop a cop from beating Ray, she reveals her whole story to him.
Although the two briefly flirt with the idea that he could come with her to 2019, ultimately he stays in the past, and she writes him a letter stating that she’ll always love him. And though that’s certainly a bittersweet note to end on, she’s excited to return to her own time, if only to see her daughter.
Luther Hargreeves was the third to materialize in the past, landing in 1962. By the time Five finds him, he’s already been through a lot, including mourning his inability to find Allison (who, in case you forgot, he’s in love with) and getting turned away by 1960s Reginald. He’s further disappointed when he finds out Allison is married. But he does get to stand up to his dad, when Reginald refuses to help their mission. Not for nothing, but the best thing The Umbrella Academy did for Luther in season 2 was recognize his main contribution to the team: being the dumb muscle.
Klaus and Ben (who’s a ghost only Klaus can see) arrive first in the past, all the way back in 1960. With his head start, Klaus has started a cult called “Destiny’s Children” on a farm outside the city. He makes the attempt to stop Dave — the man he met, served with, fell in love with, and lost when he briefly time-traveled to Vietnam during season 1 — from enlisting. Once he fails to prevent that, Klaus starts drinking and returns to his cult.
But during the season, Ben realizes that Klaus can do more than just see dead people; he can also be possessed by them, and possibly more. Ben is also the only sibling to get through to Viktor as he’s about to go nuclear again, ultimately helping him calm down and avert the apocalyptic scenario Five saw. The action costs Ben his afterlife, and his spirit finally passes on.
Diego lands just a few months before the Kennedy assassination and promptly gets institutionalized. In the asylum, he meets Lila, whom he eventually escapes with. She continues to hang around and rescue him after he has a scuffle with Reginald, and eventually their relationship becomes romantic. Unfortunately, Lila also happens to work for the Commission and is the adopted daughter of the Handler, all of which eventually comes out and sees Lila excommunicated from the group.
Eventually, the Handler manipulates Lila into thinking that Diego was involved in her parents’ death. (The hit was actually organized by the Handler because Lila is — surprise! — one of the 43 superpowered children, just like the rest of the Academy. It was carried out by old-Five during his Commission years, but only because he didn’t know the Handler wanted the parents dead so she could have Lila for herself.)
Viktor Hargreeves arrives in October 1963, still looking cool in his white suit, and gets hit by a car. Though the accident leaves Viktor with amnesia, the driver was a housewife named Sissy, who takes him in and lets him stay with her family as he recovers. Viktor also nannies Sissy’s son Harlan, who bonds with him very closely; at one point Harlan almost drowns, and Viktor uses his powers to rescue him, accidentally imprinting some of his powers onto Harlan.
Viktor also finds a profound romantic bond with Sissy, which ultimately gets both of them in trouble with her husband, Carl. When they try to take Harlan and leave, Carl turns Viktor in to the authorities, who torture him and start to trigger his powers. Though Ben talks him down, Viktor’s link with Harlan leads the kid to experience his distress and unleash his own powers.
The conclusion of Umbrella Academy season 2
The Handler leads the Commission in an attack against Five, who she left to take the fall for taking out the Board. This is, of course, all happening as the Academy has convened on Sissy’s farm in an attempt to save Harlan and prevent him from hurting anyone.
Thanks to Five’s ability to hop through time (within reason), the Hargreeves ultimately come out on top, with the Handler being shot by an assassin. Though Lila does confront her mom in the original timeline, she never gets the chance to once Five jumps them back in time; she grabs the Handler’s briefcase and hops through time, still pretty hurt from the betrayal of her mother (and the fact that she kidnapped Diego and he didn’t want to join the Commission with her). Viktor is able to take back the bit of power he shared with Harlan, thus helping him not self-destruct. Sissy opts to stay in the ’60s and give Harlan a normal life, thus leaving Viktor to join his siblings in the future.
Luckily, the siblings have managed to get a spare case to time travel back to the future with. But upon arrival at Haus Hargreeves, they find things look different — not only is their dad alive, but there are seven new kids in their place, all aligned under the name the “Sparrow Academy.” Then Ben comes out and says, “Dad, who are these assholes?”
Oh, and when JFK gets killed, Reginald goes to his shadowy group and denounces their part in the assassination. The group tells him to calm down and remember his “interests on the dark side of the moon,” and then threaten to reveal who he “really is” to the world. Reginald then calmly pulls off his mask and reveals himself to be an alien, before slaughtering all of them.