Umbrella Academy showrunner explains that wild Season 2 finale twist
What does it mean for Season 3? Who are those new characters? Let's get into it.
Netflix hasn't confirmed plans for The Umbrella Academy Season 3 yet, but showrunner Steve Blackman has big plans for where the show might go next. That much is obvious based on the earth-shattering Season 2 ending.
“I knew before I started the season how I wanted to end it,” Blackman tells Inverse. “So I got to write towards that goal.”
That goal is a monumental one that erases the timeline as we know it and introduces some huge repercussions for everything the siblings did throughout Umbrella Academy Season 2 in 1960s Dallas, Texas.
Major spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 2 finale follow.
Umbrella Academy Season 2 ending, explained
The Umbrella Academy siblings spend most of Season 2 in 1960s Dallas trying to avert a nuclear apocalypse, but shortly after a final confrontation against The Handler and their newfound "sister" Lila, they successfully travel back to 2019 with a briefcase from the Commission. Except, when they arrive at their father’s mansion, they’re shocked to find Sir Reginald Hargreeves and Ben (aka, Number 6) both alive — and there's a shadowy group of six potential rivals lurking in the background.
Because of everything the siblings did in the past, they unintentionally altered the course of history enough that Hargreeves founded “The Sparrow Academy” instead of the Umbrella Academy. We see five people … and some kind of floating green box (WTF?).
Are these alt-reality versions of these characters? Or several more of the 43 total children born with special powers? Steve Blackman has the answer, and he's not afraid to reveal it.
“I will only say this given the fact that some of this is in the graphic novel,” the showrunner says. “But they are new people. They're not our characters. They are different people, and that's all I can really say.”
Who are the Sparrows in Umbrella Academy?
Based on the Umbrella Academy Season 2 finale, we're led to assume that because all of the living Umbrella Academy members met Hargreeves in the '60s and told him everything about his future, he attempted to create an even better team that wouldn't muck things up so badly. We saw Hargreeves murder his political allies in the '60s shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. At some point later in the new timeline, he probably went on to found a very different academy — perhaps one that would be less dysfunctional.
The six human members, including Ben, all appear to be much younger in 2019 when compared to the 30-year-old Umbrella Academy siblings. This alone is a huge departure from how things look in the comics, where the group is referred to as "The Sparrows" in their debut at the very end of The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion. There, they appear identical in age.
“The graphic novels introduced the Sparrows a little bit in Volume III [Hotel Oblivion], and I know there are plans to do more with them in the future,” Blackman says. Based on the final issue's cliffhanger ending, where the Umbrella Academy comes face-to-face with the Sparrows, it feels like a pretty safe bet that they'll be a major part of Volume 4.
In the comics, this group of superpowered pseudo-siblings has some kind of connection to Mom, but it's possible that they were recruited by Hargreeves at some point after he founds the Umbrella Academy. Either that, or Mom founded her own team with a base in Norway.
We meet some members of the Sparrows earlier, but their big debut as a group happens at the very end of Hotel Oblivion, a story arc that reveals Reginald Hargreeves imprisoned a number of supervillains in a pocket dimension. When another villain releases the prisoners, they wreak havoc upon the world. There's little the Umbrella Academy can do to stop them all, so it's a good thing that the Sparrows eventually show up to help.
Their leader calls Luther "brother," and earlier in Volume 3, another member also calls the Sparrows "family" when speaking to Vanya. So it's safe to assume the seven Sparrows might each be one of the 43 children born under curious circumstances on October 1, 1989. Things might be different in the new Netflix timeline where the Sparrows appear much younger than the original Academy, but it's also possible that Reginald created them a decade later, accounting for their younger ages.
We don't know all that much about the Sparrows in the comics because they aren't properly introduced until the volume's final pages. Comics creator Gerard Way only began writing Volume 4 in September 2019, and there's still no news about when it might be published. But we do know there are seven of them.
Their leader, who also goes by Number One, has super-strength and looks just like Luther. A heavily scarred blob-looking member can self-mutilate and transmit the damage to any targets. The only member in a grey shirt instead of a red uniform can fire some kind of energy blast from their face. A woman in a red winter coat can transform into a murder of crows to attack people. There are two others, and then the creepy floating cube.
Assuming Umbrella Academy Season 3 happens, Blackman promises even more mayhem the next time around, and the show might ditch the "apocalypse of the season" format.
“It’s gonna be very complicated for the Umbrella Academy siblings,” he says. “They don’t have their home anymore, their father is alive and well — which he shouldn’t be — so needless to say there will be more destructive family madness.” Whereas the first two seasons followed parallel narratives where the siblings must reunite and try to avert the apocalypse, Blackman says the potential Season 3 would mix things up in a big way.
The Umbrella Academy members always manage to “screw things up,” but rather than confront the apocalypse, there’ll be new repercussions for their actions. And that will seemingly have everything to do with the Sparrows.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now available on Netflix.