Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Umbrella Academy: Episode 21



21. Meet the Family
October 1, 1989. 16 women around the world who hadn’t been pregnant that morning give birth. Eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves vows to find all 16 and gets to adopt seven of them. He raises them as an elite group of superheroes called the Sparrow Academy: Number 1 – super strong Marcus (Justin Cornwell); Number 2 – supernaturally tentacled Ben (Justin H. Min); Number 3 – blind raven master Fei (Britne Oldford); Number 4 – power deflector Alphonso (Jake Epstein); Number 5 – gravity manipulator Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez); Number 6 – illusion spit master Jayme (Cazzie David); and Number 7 – a floating cube named Christopher. As the Umbrella Academy land in this alternate reality, they battle it out with their Sparrow counterparts. The Umbrellas retreat to The Obsidian Hotel as suggested by Klaus while the Sparrows acknowledge the new threats to their world of superhero fandom. Lila drops by to introduce Diego to their son Stan (Javon “Wanna” Walton). Marcus is consumed alive by an emerging fireball at the academy's basement.


A couple of complaints: 1) some of the CGI are wonky, considering they had enough time to polish those after being forced to a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic; 2) Vanya’s wig is awful, it has a life of its own; 3) continuity errors are obvious like the retcon of emo Ben’s hairdo which is a good decision, but Aidan Gallagher’s growth spurt is just so noticeable even more so if you binged the first two seasons right before watching this one. In any case we can be forgiving. The episode establishes a branched timeline brought about by what the Umbrellas did in 60’s Texas. The 43 have been reduced to 16. Count the seven original Umbrellas plus the six new Sparrows and you have 13. Add Lila to get 14, which leaves us with just two, should this retcon become canon. I suppose the glowing fireball is the Kugelblitz referred to in the trailer. In short, grandfather paradox. RIP to Marcus, Cornwell is a one-episode wonder. I suppose they will just retain one or two Sparrows should there be a season 4. Ben and Sloane, perhaps?

“Dad was so repulsed by us back in Texas that he adopted an entirely different group of children just so he didn't have to raise us.” –Klaus

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