Not Cool: The Umbrella Academy Skipped Over Its Biggest Season 3 Twist

Not Cool: The Umbrella Academy Skipped Over Its Biggest Season 3 Twist

The Umbrella Academy season 3 has a reveal about Aidan Gallagher’s Five that falls flat and feels more hollow the longer you look at it.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy

One of the biggest twists of The Umbrella Academy season 3 was revealed, then promptly skipped over and made irrelevant. Umbrella Academy season 3 has more Easter eggs, references, and reveals than ever, finally giving answers to many lingering questions left over from seasons 1 and 2. Despite this, the Netflix series’ highly anticipated return still wasted the huge time travel reveal that Five is the founder of The Commission.

In Umbrella Academy season 3 episode 3, “Pocketful of Lightning”, it’s found that both the known briefcases in the new timeline aren’t working, leading five (Aiden Gallagher) and Lila (Ritu Arya) to come to the conclusion that something is deeply wrong with The Commission. They find the compound surrounded by a terrible winter and abandoned by everyone they used to know there. Something awful has indeed happened: a Grandfather Paradox is causing the universe to eat itself. Following the instructions in a manual they find, the two end up at a paradox-proof bunker and find the founder of The Commission inside; an old, one-armed Five who warns young Five to not save the world before promptly dying.


Related: What Happens To The Umbrella Academy’s Powers At The End Season 3?

This reveal comes in Umbrella Academy season 3 episode 4, “Kugelblitz.” It largely shapes the way Five interacts with the world for the rest of the season—particularly with Reginald, whom he doesn’t trust—and it leads him to Pogo, from whom he gains some important insights. It is an otherwise empty reveal. Five having founded The Commission answers a lingering mystery about the organization from seasons 1 and 2, but doesn’t land as heavily as it should given The Commission’s heretofore villainous role. By the end of Umbrella Academy Season 3, the timeline has even changed in such a way that it’s likely this reveal will never be fully paid off.

Why Five Created The Commission In Umbrella Academy

Ritu Arya as Lila and Aidan Gallagher as Five in Umbrella Academy

After traveling to The Commission in Umbrella Academy season 3, Lila psychoanalyzes Five and says that he’s not one to retire because he needs a project to keep himself busy. The Commission’s origin and link to Five are shortly thereafter revealed, suggesting that Five ultimately agreed with her and started The Commission to keep himself busy. He was always his best assassin, so it makes sense that he’d have a feel for the place and an idea of ​​how to best create and run it. With Five’s own personal link to and fascination with time travel, it only makes sense that he’d feel called to experiment more with it.

Does The Commission Twist Even Matter In Umbrella Academy Now?

With Reginald’s reset of the universe and the loss of his children’s powers at the end of The Umbrella Academy season 3, the question of The Commission’s future remains to be seen. Can Five start The Commission without his powers? Old Five was certainly a different version of the character than the one seen in Umbrella Academy season 4’s new timeline.

It’s still not totally clear how much Reginald has changed in his new universe, but given his near-total monopoly of power on Earth, it’s not outlandish to suggest he wouldn’t want an organization as powerful as The Commission to keep on existing. It would be in line with his character to remove them as a potential obstacle to his accumulation of power. If The Commission doesn’t exist in the new timeline, the revelation that Five founded it amounts to very little.

Related: Has Reginald Tried To Create A Paradox Since Umbrella Academy Season 1?

The Five/Commission Twist Was An Unnecessary Payoff

Umbrella Academy Five And Old Five

After Umbrella Academy season 2’s near-destruction of The Commission by Viktor, their role in the series stopped mattering much. There wasn’t a sense that they’d be returning as villains, as they’d largely been defeated and finished with. If there were more apocalypses to deal with, the Umbrella Academy is more likely to blame Viktor than The Commission, and Viktor has shown himself to be more powerful than an army of Commission goons.

Revealing that Five is their founder seems like something that should be weighty and significant, but it came at the wrong time to really land. Five is the creator and founder of a defeated former enemy. He isn’t a present threat or ally, just an old man in a bunker giving out cryptic advice and dying too early. Showing Five as the founder answered a question that didn’t need an answer and it muddied the waters surrounding the character.

Five’s existence as the future founder of The Commission suggests a version of events where Reginald was stopped after Five lost his arm. His tattoo also comes from having been inside Hotel Oblivion and having understood the nature of the sigil. Clearly, the new timeline created in the Umbrella Academy season 3 ending shows a different chain of events happening. This loose thread, along with other headscratchers, makes Five’s reveal in The Umbrella Academy season 3 feel hollow and ill-conceived.

Next: Will The Sparrows Return In The Umbrella Academy Season 4?

The Umbrella Academy season 3 is streaming now on Netflix.

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