[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 3.]
At the close of Season 3, the Umbrellas are once again in for a major shock — and they don’t even know all of it!
After dealing with the kugelblitz and facing off with the Sparrows (the kids Colm Feore’s Reginald adopted in a new timeline instead of them), The Umbrella Academy reset the universe (courtesy of Reginald and an intervening Allison, played by Emmy Raver-Lampman). Post-reset, Allison has her husband, Ray (Yusuf Gatewood), from the ’60s back, as well as her daughter. Meanwhile, the rest of the Umbrellas find themselves without their powers and part ways. Luther’s (Tom Hopper) wife, Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), is MIA. Diego (David Castañeda) has his fingers back and is off to make a life with Lila (Ritu Arya), who’s pregnant. Five (Aidan Gallagher) has his arm back.
TV Insider turned to executive producer Steve Blackman to find out what could come next if there is a Season 4.
What did you want to do with the Umbrella Academy, in terms of their powers and as a unit, in opposition to the Sparrows?
Steve Blackman: I wanted to show a what if story about the difference between the families. The Umbrellas broke apart when they were teenagers and came back together as adults. The Sparrows managed to stay together for the entire time and became perfected superheroes. One [family] fell apart and one stayed together. But clearly the Sparrows aren’t much happier than our Umbrellas. In fact, I’d say our Umbrellas are much more put together than the Sparrows, but the simplest way of thinking about it in my mind is: The Umbrella Academy is a family that doesn’t know how to be superheroes. The Sparrows are superheroes that don’t know how to be a family… as much as they’d hate to admit it, they both suffered the same upbringing and it’s affected them in different ways.
Everyone’s without their powers and going their separate ways. What’s it going to take to keep everyone together?
Where I want to leave the audience at the end of Season 3 is, is Hargreeves really the villain of the season? Did Hargreeves give them back what he thinks is what they always wanted when he mostly reset the universe — he clearly didn’t get to finish before Allison pressed the button. He gave them back what is normalcy. Is that a curse or is that a beautiful thing he gave them? Is he in his mind, saying, “Look, you guys are finally free of the curse of the family. You are normal again.” But having something like fame and losing it is a very hard thing. Some of the places I think we’re gonna go in Season 4 is, are they gonna be happy the way they are? I think we can be confident in saying they will get back their powers in a very interesting way, but what does it mean to be “normal” and will that satisfy them in their lives?
And how do they come back together after living normal lives?
Right. They all have their own place they’re in. Diego and Lila are having a baby. She really is pregnant. Luther wants to find Sloane. Ben [Justin H. Min] is still Sparrow Ben who doesn’t want anything to do with any of them. He hates them. Allison is in the same timeline, but what she got out of her trade-off with that is she has Claire and Ray together in the same timeline, which is where they’re all in now. Now she has the two people she loves back together again, who don’t belong in the same timeline. That’s what she needed out of this season, because she was a dark, very sad, broken Allison this year. This is what she ultimately wanted.
I was wondering where she is because she isn’t healed. Is that because she intervened?
I can’t answer that. All I can say is very observant that she looks in a different condition than they do, which may affect what comes out of the end of the season and her powers or not having powers. We are leaving her in a slightly different place than everybody else.
Viktor (Elliot Page) came into his own not just in terms of who he is but also in terms of being a leader and making key decisions, like with Harlan.
They definitely played into each other. Season 3 was finished, and then I got the call from Elliot that he was making his transition — I was very happy for him, but there was a moment of panic: What do I do? Elliot put no burden on me to write it into the season or not. It was left up to me. He said, “I trust you, do whatever you want to do.” Ultimately I wanted to do it. I phoned GLAAD, Nick Adams, I got in touch with a wonderful trans writer, Thomas McBee, and along with Elliot, they helped me understand what it is to be transgender and I was able to craft a story — I didn’t want it to be a story that took away from everything else. At the same time, I wanted to be very sensitive and authentic. That was the challenge. I didn’t know a lot about being transgender. I learned a lot, I’m still learning, but I was proud that we could tell a story that was about acceptance and love and not rejection or hate.
In terms of what it does to Viktor the story — both the actor himself and also the character — he seems to finally be comfortable in his own skin this season. He’s taking much more of a leadership role. He holds himself physically a little different and he’s trying desperately to hold his family together, except for what happens with Harlan and this terrible thing, that guilt that Victor feels he’s responsible for destroying Harlan’s life.
Why have Luther be the one to fall for one of the Sparrows?
Luther is just the kindest and the softest of all them. Even though he’s Number 1, he has a certain vulnerability that Sloane has. They’re kind. They’re not power focused. They’re just really true, good human beings. They just find each other. It’s sort of a Romeo and Juliet. It’s love at first sight for both of them. Luther gets to have a really grownup relationship. He wasn’t ever with Allison, but when he came back to see Allison years later, he was still stuck in puppy love stage with her. She had moved on, she had married, had had her own child. He still pined after her. But this is a real relationship with a woman he truly loves.
Is Diego ready now to be a father?
He’s got a really, really good heart, but he’s a bit of a man-child in the way he sees the world, in terms of his being a vigilante. He’s gonna have to grow up a lot to be a dad. … Diego definitely has potential to be a good dad. Now, whether he can be and does, that’s a different story.
Will Five have the most trouble adapting to normalcy?
Absolutely, because Five, unfortunately, is still stuck in the body of a 12-year-old boy and he’s a 58-year-old man. He’s sullen and he’s grumpy and he is addicted to the apocalypse, to the catastrophes that he’s been dealing with. I don’t think he can just fall back to a normal life. What does he do? Go to school? Get a job at a pizza place? It’s gonna be a hard journey for Five to move on because problems find him and he’s been able to survive a very long time using his abilities and now he has none.
Talk about having Klaus (Robert Sheehan) come to terms with his inability to die through that sequence with Reginald.
We’re obviously a twisted demented group as we did the most crazy father-son game of [catch]. But I think in Hargreeves’ mind, he was actually doing a kind thing for Klaus, to teach him how to understand his powers. Now, of course, I connected it with the most beautiful song of a father and son, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” but Klaus, like any kid, is still looking for the validation of a parent. Where we leave him is he’s finally comfortable in the void, in this weird afterlife place, and he doesn’t want to come back to the real world. Now for the first time, as he’s finally come into his own, he suddenly realizes he’s mortal. I don’t think Klaus is very happy with that.
The mid-credits scene — can you confirm that was Sparrow Ben?
I won’t say where it’s going, but that is Sparrow Ben and that is not from another timeline. It’s definitely Ben in Korea, in a Korean subway car.
What’s Reginald up to with businesses all over the city and his wife?
His entire emotional journey really, since the moment she died, was to bring her back to life. He’s got something back he also wanted, just like Allison, but you have to be careful what you wish for in the world. Is having her back the right thing? Bringing back someone back from the dead, how does that work out? And why is the world shifted the way it has … with his name on every building?
Could she be more of a formidable threat than he is?
Perhaps? I don’t want to give away that — that’s a bit of a spoiler — but I’d say that she is going to be an interesting character and a force to be reckoned with.
What else can you say about a potential fourth season?
Obviously we want one. I know the story for the fourth season. It’s going to be very different than where we’ve been before. It’s gonna be a challenge in a very different way to how our wonderful Umbrellas make their way in the world. There will be obviously challenges ahead, foes and things they have to overcome, but it’s gonna have a slightly different flavor, still absurdist and still crazy fun in the way we do the show, but it will have a slightly different feel next year. We’ll still have stakes.
Can you share the theme?
I can’t without giving it away. All I can say is it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
The Umbrella Academy, Seasons 1-3, Streaming now, Netflix