The boys’ lives are only slightly less complicated, allowing for more humor even if things sometimes get dark, but The Umbrella Academy leans heavily into Luther’s leadership woes and Diego’s need to be a true hero, just as it should. Luther is much more likable this season, mildly content to eke out a living in an underground fighting ring and more concerned about Allison’s new circumstances than he is about the end of the world. Diego’s superhero complex, on the other hand, lands him in a mental institution, but a new friend named Lila, played by Ritu Arya of Humans, softens his hard edges and displays her own hidden complexities that multiply throughout the season.
Klaus and Ben, already fan favorites, enjoy some of the most cathartic moments of the season, especially once a previously unrealized aspect of Ben’s status as a ghost comes to light. The Umbrella Academy was wise to bring Ben out of the shadows, and his most triumphant moment — completely separate from Klaus — will likely inspire paradoxical tears of joy and sadness. Klaus himself also has both lighthearted and intensely emotional encounters since there’s both his new status as a guru in charge of a cult to deal with and a heartfelt story that carries over from his journey in season one.
Only Five, who besides gaining some surprising insight into his own abilities, appears mostly unchanged between seasons of The Umbrella Academy, but his knowledge of the approaching end times and his brusque inability to unite his siblings provides a welcome consistency for his character; Aidan Gallagher continues to be eerily skillful at portraying an old man trapped in a young man’s body. Five is also responsible for bringing in a new character, conspiracy theorist Elliot Gussman, whose understated cooperation provides moments of levity while he hosts the team in a kick-ass set piece in the form of a dentist’s office atop a television showroom.
There are plenty of revelations to be had surrounding the younger Reginald Hargreeves, whom astute viewers no doubt spotted in The Umbrella Academy season 2 trailer, and comics readers will be pleased to see that these include more than just backstory for him and other caretakers in the family. Likewise, fans of the comic who noticed the fishtank head of the original graphic novel’s Handler will appreciate the changed role the Commission plays in this new storyline. In particular, the assassins known only as The Swedes, while not necessarily as dynamic as Hazel and Cha-Cha, pleasantly evoke the appeal of other silent but deadly hitmen in shows like Breaking Bad and Fargo.