‘The Umbrella Academy’: Why Didn’t Anyone Ask Klaus to Communicate With Ben Hargreeves?

Many fans of The Umbrella Academy are curious about one thing from season 1 — why didn’t anyone try talking with Ben (Justin H. Min) through Klaus (Robert Sheehan)? After the rest of the family discover that Klaus spoke with Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) to clear up the matter of his death, why don’t they ask Klaus to spark up a conversation with Ben? There are a few possible reasons. 

'The Umbrella Academy'
Ellen Page, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Aidan Gallagher, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Mary J. Blige and Cameron Britton | Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Klaus dislikes his ability to communicate with the dead

During season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, we learn of Klaus’ ability to speak with the dead. He spends much of his time trying to snuff this ability with drug use. This decision ultimately drives a wedge between Klaus and his siblings — especially when they realize his powers would be useful in figuring out their father’s mysterious death. Eventually, Klaus does so, but not before continuously numbing himself with drugs and alcohol.

Klaus thought no one would believe he could communicate with the dead

At the conclusion of season 1, the Hargreeves children learn that their brother Ben is “alive” and can connect with them through Klaus. But some fans are wondering why Klaus didn’t tell them Ben was around all along. Did the other Hargreeves siblings simply have more significant problems to deal with, or were they genuinely unaware of the idea that Ben could be around? 

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In the first season, Klaus’ siblings demonstrate that they have very little respect for him. That’s largely because he uses drugs as an escape. This is especially true when the Hargreeves children have to band together to figure out the mystery of their father’s death. Klaus likely decided to keep his siblings in the dark regarding Ben because he found it unlikely that they would have believed him in the first place. 

His sibling’s inability to understand Klaus’ powers date back to their childhood. Reginald struggled to get Klaus to harness his abilities and later, Klaus turned to drugs to quiet the dead. The rest of the Hargreeves children had yet to see Klaus use his powers, making them easier to disbelieve. After suffering years of abuse from the insensitive Reginald, Klaus likely lacked the confidence to demonstrate what he was capable of to his siblings and offer to let the others use his abilities to communicate with Ben.

Reconnecting with Ben might have been too painful for the others

Sometimes, it’s easier to leave the past in the past. Though Ben’s death remains unknown, it was a tragic moment for the Hargreeves family. Ben’s death was the reason the Umbrella Academy disbanded in the first place, and it’s likely no one ever suggested the idea of communicating with Ben because it would have been too difficult to handle, as Looper suggests. When Diego loses his former partner Detective Eudora Patch, he tells Klaus he’s “luckier than most” because “when [he loses] someone [he] still get[s] to see them.”

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Because of the group’s shocked reaction when Ben appears in the finale of season 1, it is clear that they never considered the idea of Klaus connecting them with their deceased brother. The Netflix series clarifies why that is, but at this point, that clarity may not be necessary. What is important are Ben’s abilities. They play a significant role in getting all of the Hargreeves transported safely somewhere in history — just in time for season 2.