‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 2 Review: Why You Should Tune in to This Time-Travel Dance

When The Umbrella Academy Season 2 returns on July 31, 2020, audiences will see the Hargreeves siblings in the 1960s. The problem? They’ve landed in different years and months. The bigger problem? When the last of them, Five, lands, it’s November 26, 1963 — and another doomsday is upon them. How will the Umbrella Academy save the world… again? (Mild spoilers below for season 2 of The Umbrella Academy).

What have they all been up to?

(L-R) Marin Ireland as Sissy, Justin Paul Kelly as Harlan, and Ellen Page as Vanya in 'The Umbrella Academy'
(L-R) Marin Ireland as Sissy, Justin Paul Kelly as Harlan, and Ellen Page as Vanya in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Starting at the beginning, Klaus and Ben land in 1960. Klaus quickly fails upward to become the leader of the cult Destiny’s Children. But after years of being adored, he beelines it back to Dallas, with Ben at his side. Meanwhile, Allison has spent the last two years working at a beauty parlor and joining the civil rights movement, where she meets her husband, Raymond Chestnut.

Luther has been in Dallas for a year, working as a bare-knuckle boxer in aid of his nightclub owner boss, for whom he also acts as a bodyguard. Luther landed in September 1963 and was committed for saying he wants to stop John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November. Vanya, landing in October, is hit by a car and, with no memory, goes to live with the woman who hit her, Sissy, Sissy’s husband, Carl, and their son, Harlan.

Enter Five. As the nuclear bombs begin to fall, Hazel takes him back 10 days. Now, Five has to gather each of his siblings and bring them together to save the world. This is, naturally, where things get complicated. What’s more, there are three silent Swedish assassins after them. And knowing the Hargreeves’ luck, there’ are bound to be surprises in store.

Who is along for the ride?

(L-R) Jason Bryden as Otto, Kris Holden-Ried as Axel, and Tom Sinclair as Oscar in 'The Umbrella Academy'
(L-R) Jason Bryden as Otto, Kris Holden-Ried as Axel, and Tom Sinclair as Oscar in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

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Though it takes them a few episodes, they do eventually all come together. They even get to spend some quality time with a young Reginald Hargreeves, who suspiciously is in Dallas at the same time. Talk about an awkward family reunion. But then again, there’s no other kind when it comes to The Umbrella Academy.

There are plenty of new characters as well. In addition to the Swedes and their lack of dialogue, Diego’s fellow patient in the mental institution, Lila, is along for the ride. Raymond and Allison’s wedded bliss is interrupted in a big way by the presence of her siblings, specifically Luther. Vanya and Sissy might be a little too close for Carl’s comfort. Then there’s Elliott, the conspiracy theorist who’s been documenting the arrival of each Hargreeves sibling.

How will they save the world?

(L-R) Cameron Britton as Hazel and Aidan Gallagher as Five in 'The Umbrella Academy'
(L-R) Cameron Britton as Hazel and Aidan Gallagher as Five in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ | Netflix

If that’s a lot to keep up with, beware because it’s only the beginning. Get ready for unique pairings, energetic fight scenes, and a surprising amount of fart jokes. Every move the Hargreeves make puts them closer to the seemingly inevitable doomsday. If they can figure out who causes it without altering the timeline, maybe they can fix their present and return unscathed. But that’s a lot of “ifs” and “maybes.”

Season 2 brings back everything fans loved about the first season — and then some — giving the characters a chance to grow in a challenging new setting. At times, it almost feels like there’s too much to explore — Allison as a civil rights activist, in particular, could use more attention, along with its timely message about police brutality.

Other time travel-heavy series have been described as puzzles, with everything needing to fall into place to make sense as a whole. But The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is more like an elaborate musical number — fitting, given how much the fans love when the characters dance. Each captivating movement is excellent on its own, but what makes it so compelling is how it seamlessly fits into the larger performance.