The Umbrella Academy is, debatably, Netflix’s most successful superhero-themed series to date. Starring Robert Sheehan, Ellen Page, and Mary J. Blige, the show follows a set of superhero siblings, all equally dysfunctional and harboring suppressed childhood traumas, as they try to prevent an imminent apocalypse.
In The Umbrella Academy, Kate Walsh plays The Handler. As a high ranking official in the Temps Commission – an organization managing the time and space continuum – she is one of the many who tries to prevent Number Five from preventing the apocalypse. The Handler believes that it’s the future we’re destined to see.
The Handler, with an air of unfounded righteousness, a spectacularly condescending gait, and a strong degree of conviction makes for the perfect villain. However, u
While Kate Walsh may be the perfect Handler, she was not who the creator – Steve Blackman – originally had in mind. Kate Walsh sat down with Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa and revealed Blackman’s initial choice.
The Hander in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ was initially aimed at Jon Hamm
Kate Walsh, when explaining how she landed the part in the Netflix original, stated on Live with Kelly and Ryan:
“Steve Blackman was one of the adaptors. He’s the showrunner… He and I worked together on Private Practice. He ran the writer’s room for a couple of seasons. He wrote on Fargo as well. And so, he called me up and said, ‘we have this crazy fun role. We had a Jon Hamm type in mind, but then we thought we’re not going to get him, so what about you?”
Kate Walsh goes on to joke that she’s often in line for Jon Hamm’s “hand-me-downs,” and the rest is history.
Kate Walsh explains that her role was “written for a man” and she’s “sort of this boss lady,” but she told those behind the show “don’t change a thing” because of the phenomenal writing. She explains that she’s happy they didn’t “soften” the role, and she enjoys getting to play this fun and darkly comic character.
While Steve Blackman went with his back-up for The Hander, after watching season one, there’s no denying that Walsh embodies the character Gerard Way envisioned for his comics.
Will The Handler be in season 2 of ‘The Umbrella Academy?’
While The Handler was shot at the end of season one, this means nothing for a show that messes with the time and space continuum. While it hasn’t been confirmed whether Walsh will return for season two, her character does play a pivotal role in the show, and would likely serve as an additional blockade to the Hargreeves family plans.
The Handler, to put it simply, gets in the way. She steps in, and just as everything seems to be coming together, stops time and executes her plans. Without The Handler, there would be one less character to make things difficult for Number Five. Thus, it would be surprising to see her go, as she is a significant source of confrontation.
Here’s to hoping The Handler returns for season two, and Kate Walsh gets a bit more screen time. While the show has yet to officially be renewed, the series opened to high viewership and critical acclaim, so cancellation seems very unlikely for the cast of Netflix’s new superhero soiree.