'The Umbrella Academy' Season 3: Here's Everything to Remember Before Watching

Before you dive into season 3, here's everything you need to remember from season 2.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
4 min read
The cast of Umbrella Academy

Time to remember what happened in season 2.


Everybody's favorite dysfunctional adopted superhero family is back for a third season on Netflix . The Umbrella Academy, based on Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's comic book series, is the ultimate polished package of time travel shenanigans, snide father figures and multiple end-of-the-world scenarios.

Before you catch the newest season, out on Netflix now, there are some details you should probably go back over from season 2. The season ended on a stunning cliffhanger, plus there's hope for a certain couple to reunite.

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Vanya with eyes closed and a glowing chest

Vanya is at the center of Doomsday.


Vanya causes Doomsday... again

Ever since season 1, the Hargreeves siblings have been tasked with preventing Doomsday, aka the apocalypse. Just like in season 1, Vanya (Elliot Page) is at the center of this world-destroying cataclysm.

In the season 1 finale, Vanya releases energy that dislodges fragments of the moon into the Earth and ends the world. To prevent this from happening, season 2 sees the siblings travel back in time thanks to Five's (Aiden Gallagher) powers. But they end up decades back, in 1963, Dallas, around the time of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Number Five in front of a tank and a burning building

Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) in The Umbrella Academy.


This, again, leads to Doomsday. Diego (David Castañeda) uses the Commission's -- a secretive agency that keeps tabs on the established timeline of the world -- Infinite Switchboard to see into the future, witnessing an FBI building explode just as JFK's car goes by during his parade. This sets off a chain of events in which JFK evades assassination, but the US government believes the Russians are behind the explosion. They retaliate and a nuclear war ensues, aka another Doomsday.

It turns out that the explosion is -- you guessed it -- caused by Vanya. Believed to be a Russian spy, Vanya is tortured by the FBI. This sets off her powers, and she verges on exploding. Just in time, Ben (Justin H. Min) enters her mind and convinces her the siblings love her. She takes control of her powers and prevents the explosion. JFK is assassinated, and history resumes its "correct" timeline. Sadly, ghost Ben is no longer able to return to the living world -- he disintegrates, having fulfilled his final purpose of saving Vanya.

Reginald is an alien?

The Hargreeves' loving old adoptive father never fails to keep a trump card up his sleeve. At a roundtable meeting with a group of conspiracy theorists known as Majestic 12, Sir Reginald (Colm Feore) peels off his face, revealing it's a mask and really he's an interdimensional being. He promptly kills the gentlemen.

The Commission and the Hargreeves go to war

The climax of season 2 sees The Handler (Kate Walsh) -- aka the head of the Commission and Five's former boss -- send just about everyone at the Commission to war with the Hargreeves. This war takes place on Sissy's (Marin Ireland) farm, where she calls Vanya for help. Vanya realizes she accidentally imparted some of her powers to Sissy's son Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly) when she resuscitated him after he almost drowned in a lake.

Harlan is on the verge of exploding, but Vanya calms him and reabsorbs his powers.

Diego, meanwhile, convinces the powerful Lila (Ritu Arya) -- who can mirror the powers of others -- that she's one of the siblings, born on Oct. 1, 1989, the same day they all were. Her adoptive mother, The Handler, doesn't truly love her and was really behind the deaths of her parents, intent on capturing and controlling her. With this information, Sissy steals a briefcase -- a device that transports people through time and space -- and disappears.

The Handler is shot to death

The Handler initially machine guns everyone to death, but Five, having mastered his powers, jumps back seconds in time and prevents this from happening. When The Handler's back is turned, Axel (Kris Holden-Ried), the last standing of the three Swedish assassins, appears in the barn and shoots her to death (well, so it appears).

Herb (Ken Hall), now acting chairperson of the Commission, awards the siblings a briefcase to return home.

Vanya, Sissy and Harlan in a car

Vanya, Sissy and Harlan.


Sissy knows she can't go to the future with Vanya

Sadly, Vanya's love Sissy decides not to join her in the future. "What would that even look like?" Sissy says. Her first priority is Harlan, although she's "scared for" Vanya. She knows she can't have a normal life free from danger with Vanya in the future. But if Vanya finds a safe way back to Sissy, Sissy wants her to take it.

They share a final kiss and embrace, before Vanya heads off. What they don't realize: Harlan still exhibits powers, levitating a carved wooden bird in his hand.

Allison says goodbye

Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampan) is forced to say goodbye to her husband, Ray (Yusuf Gatewood), who needs to stay behind in the '60s to keep working for the civil rights movement. She leaves Ray a letter informing him she and her siblings managed to save the world. She wishes she could be with him, and her time with him has changed her, but she knows she doesn't belong in 1963.

The Sparrow Academy

The siblings finally go home, but it's not as they know it. It's April 2, 2019, the day after the apocalypse, which they succeed in preventing. They celebrate over drinks, when Diego finds a painting of Ben over the mantlepiece. Reginald appears, no longer dead (his funeral takes place in the very first episode of season 1). "This is the Sparrow Academy," he declares, before a group of young superheroes gathers on the gallery.

"Dad, who the hell are these assholes?" says a more edgy-looking Ben, more alive than ever with scruffy hair and a scar on his cheek.

So how the hell did the timeline get that messed up? Is Reginald an alien? Will Vanya and Sissy reunite? And will Harlan be a superhero?

Check out season 3, out on Netflix now, for the answers (or just head to our ending explained).

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