The Umbrella Academy Season ended on a cliffhanger that turned the Hargreeves siblings’ world upside down — again. The effects of time traveling back to the 1960s may have changed quite a few integral aspects of their lives in the present day in ways we still don't understand. But now, a Season 2 Easter egg could reveal a surprising member of the mysterious Sparrow Academy.
Major spoilers ahead for The Umbrella Academy Season 2, and possible season 3.
Following the Umbrella Academy’s fight with the Handler, the Hargreeves said their goodbyes to loved ones in the 1960s and headed back to 2019. But when they arrived in their childhood home, they were shocked to find that Sir Reginald Hargreeves and Ben were very much alive and that the Umbrella Academy had been replaced with the Sparrow Academy.
Presumably, Reginald was so put off after meeting the Umbrella Academy in the ‘60s that he made sure to recruit an entirely new group of superpowered children to groom. But, who are these new members of the Sparrow Academy? It’s possible that we’ve already met one of them. (And we don't mean Ben.)
If you recall, Vanya unintentionally transferred her powers to Harlan after giving him CPR. Later, she attempted to stop Harlan when his powers were out of control, presumably absorbing them back. However, it was later revealed that he still harbored abilities despite the exchange. A Season 2 finale Easter egg reveals Harlan playing with a floating wooden bird. Is this a subtle clue about the origins of the Sparrow Academy's name?
It’s possible Reginald managed to find Harlan shortly after the Umbrella Academy left the ‘60s. After all, the mysterious alien has a penchant for finding and training unique kids. However, Harlan is three or so decades older than the 43 children born on October 1, 1989 and that changes everything with regards to the timeline. Perhaps Reginald groomed him first before partnering to found the Sparrow Academy together.
What’s more, reddit user a_foolish_heart surmises that the Sparrow Academy are antiheroes because they didn’t grow up with Grace as their “mother.” The theorist believes that the floating green cube seen alongside the Sparrow Academy kids actually served as their much stricter replacement for Grace and Pogo growing up.
It’s possible that the cube itself is an advanced form of tech that Reginald created or found. The theorist points out that “having a strict A.I. cube be an authority figure in the new kids’ lives seems like a Reginald solution to what he perceived as a failed timeline counterpart.” There’s also the fact that Grace was clearly distrustful of Reginald by the end of Season 2. So it’s possible she left him after finding out about his shady dealings.
The Inverse Analysis — In the Umbrella Academy comics, the Sparrow Academy emerged from an obscure cube where they’d presumably been hiding out in another dimension. So it makes sense that the cube would play an important role in their lives now.
What’s more, Reginald is a very strict authority figure and perhaps even used the cube as a form of punishment for the new kids. It’s possible that if they stepped out of line, he would trap them inside the cube for a time (much like he trapped Vanya in a room in Season 1).
On the other hand, Harlan doesn’t appear in the comics, but that makes it even more likely that he played a role in the forming of the Sparrow Academy. His carving a wooden bird can’t be a coincidence. We won’t know for sure until The Umbrella Academy Season 3, but the seeds have definitely been planted for both of these outcomes to come to fruition.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.