The Commission has played a critical role throughout the first two seasons of The Umbrella Academy. Tasked with maintaining the timeline, the bureaucratic agency deploys assassins (like Five) to take out anyone who isn’t supposed to be there. At least that’s how the Handler, the Commission’s scheming boss, explains it anyway.
In Season 1, Cha-Cha and Hazel struggled to find the Hargreeves siblings and their efforts were thwarted at every turn. Season 2 employed three brothers — known only as the Swedes — to get rid of the Umbrella Academy. Their mission seemed pretty cut and dry. However, an intriguing new theory suggests the Swedes may not be who they seem at all.
Spoilers ahead for The Umbrella Academy Season 2.
Unlike Cha-Cha and Hazel, the Swedes were a bit more straight-laced in their mission approach. They received ever-changing instructions by way of Commission-approved canisters, presumably at the behest of newly-appointed (and short-lived) boss AJ Carmichael. The assassins then quietly and methodically staked out and attempted to kill a handful of the Umbrella Academy, though they ultimately failed.
By the end of Season 2, two of the three brothers had met their own demise, bested by the very people they were supposed to defeat. Naturally, the assumption is that the Swedes were sent by the Commission. Who else would want the Umbrella Academy out of the picture so badly, right?
Reddit user Ms_Anxiety theorizes the Swedes aren’t Commission assassins at all, backing up the theory with evidence that no one at the time agency actually mentions them by name. Carmichael confirms that a team has been sent, so the Handler deduces that the assassins must be working with the Commission.
There are marked differences when comparing them to other agency employees. For one, they’re not wearing suits and ties like the rest of their colleagues, nor are they ever shown carrying a briefcase around. The latter is especially strange since we know the Commission’s number one rule is to never leave a briefcase unprotected lest they risk utter catastrophe. Klaus stole a briefcase in Season 1 and things didn’t end well.
What’s more, the theorist notes the Swedes go after Vanya, which doesn't seem to make sense since the Commission wants the apocalypse to happen. Taking Vanya out of the picture would effectively stop the apocalypse from happening at any point in time, be it in 2019 or 1963. It’s why Cha-Cha and Hazel were only tasked with stopping Five and not the rest of his siblings in Season 1. His arrival in the present and day, and subsequent attempts to stop the apocalypse, would have put a dent in the Commission’s own plans.
The Hargreeves time traveling to the 1960s may have changed everything we know about the Commission. The Umbrella Academy Season 2 finale all but confirms that the siblings’ past actions created an alternate timeline. Something may have also changed at the Commission during that time to explain why the Swedes do things differently.
It’s possible the Swedes are working with another time agency that is intent on messing with the Commission’s plans. After all, the Commission itself is still a bit of a mystery. We don’t know much about how they came to be, how their assassins are recruited, or how it ran things prior to the Handler’s rise to power.
The Inverse Analysis — There’s only one assassin left after the events of Season 2. There’s a chance we could see him show up again in Season 3. If he was never working with the Commission anyway, there’s no stopping him from landing in 2019 to complete his original task, or else seek revenge for the Umbrella Academy’s hand in killing both of his brothers. For now, the idea that another time agency might exist already has us hyped for Season 3.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.