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Season 2 of the Netflix original superhero series The Umbrella Academy plopped the Hargreeves children in Texas — throughout the early 1960s — to, once again, combat an imminent doomsday. While most of the cast members boast familiar faces, a few new characters did enter the soiree. Lila was one of the notable additions, played by Ritu Arya ( Red Notice, Feel Good, Humans).

David Castañeda (Diego) and Aidan Gallagher (Number 5) sat down to talk about season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. During their conversation about the high-octane, darkly comic, and unpredictable show, Castañeda asked Gallagher about Lila. They discussed the character’s purpose in season 2 and possible value to the show’s future. 

[Spoiler warning for season 2 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’]

Aidan Gallagher The Umbrella Academy
Aidan Gallagher ‘The Umbrella Academy’ | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Who is Lila in ‘The Umbrella Academy?’

Lila is The Handler’s daughter in The Umbrella Academy. Yet, as the season progresses, it becomes quite evident that Lila is her mother’s pawn. Lila is not a human with emotions, but a means to an end for The Handler. She is a way for The Handler to ensure that her picture for the future comes to fruition, for Lila is just as gifted as the Hargreeves children (if not moreso). 

By the end of the season, Lila’s powers reveal themselves, as she is able to mimic the capabilities of all the other Hargreeves’ children. In other words, it looks like the other 43 special children born in October of 1989 will come to the forefront as the series progresses. Lila is destined to be one of them. And, considering her fraught relationship with Diego, it’s likely that their romance will be tested as well.

David Castañeda and Aidan Gallagher talk Lila and ‘The Umbrella Academy’ 

During a one-on-one discussion for MTV News, Castañeda asked Gallagher, “What do you think the significance of Lila’s presence in the second season is? Does it raise the question of a bigger picture? Gallagher responded: 

I would say that it’s certainly an expansion on The Umbrella Academy. We seem like a very closed family. I mean, the academy itself is a great metaphor for that: It’s this closed down interior space that most of our lives take place in. But, to the outside world, it’s just every day, they don’t realize that we’re trying to stop this apocalypse. So, it’s a very self-contained story. 

And, Lila represents this other side of possibility, of these other members of what might’ve been The Umbrella Academy. She’s one of the 43 superheroes that were born that day. So, she sort of holds a metaphorical significance. 

MTV News

The Best Klaus Hargreeves Moments From Season 2 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’

Aidan Gallagher explains that Lila represents “the other” — the outside world that has largely been absent in The Umbrella Academy. She serves to shine a light on what could have been, as well as the many other gifted children that were born on that fateful October day. They are roaming, and they also presumably live lives worth witnessing.