[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 3, Episodes 8-10, “A Wedding at the End of the World,” “Seven Bells,” and “Oblivion.”]
After a season of spinning its wheels with a smattering of scattered storylines, The Umbrella Academy gains some traction and steps on the gas in the last three episodes of its third season.
“A Wedding at the End of the World” is a partial pause in the action as the team—plus Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), Ben (Justin H. Min), and Reginald (Colm Feore)—witness the wedding of Luther (Tom Hopper) and Sloane the day before the world is set to end. There are a few moving moments, like when Luther asks Viktor (Elliot Page) to be his best man, or when Klaus (Robert Sheehan) starts to bond with the new Ben, having realized the guy is lonely and just wants Reginald to love him. There are also some “typical Umbrella Academy” moments, like when Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) fights viciously with Viktor at the afterparty or when Reginald shows up and kind of wrecks the festive air. All in all, it’s visually impressive and while it doesn’t advance the plot much, it gives the characters a chance to breathe before the much faster-paced last two installments.
Aside from the wedding, it’s all about saving the world (again) in “Seven Bells” and “Oblivion.” Or…is it? Turns out, the Academies are split on whether they just want to let the apocalypse happen. Reginald says he has a plan that could restore everything, but not all of the siblings are in. Ben, Klaus, Allison, and Lila (Ritu Arya) want to try, while Viktor, Luther, Sloane, and Diego (David Castenada) are against. The vote comes down to Five (Aidan Gallagher), who, heeding the words of his past self, decides not to save the world. Bummer! Does that stop Reginald?
Of course not! Unbeknownst to all the siblings but Five, who glimpsed it while teetering on the edge of drunken unconsciousness, Allison and Reginald made a deal to stop the apocalypse. That deal only holds if everyone’s participating—as Reg says, “We need seven.” And seven they end up getting in the end, because Reginald kills Luther to motivate the team. He blames it on the monsters from the other side, called “Guardians,” since Luther dies in the White Buffalo Suite. And just like that, the rest of the group is ready to take on the end of the world.
Reginald just can’t resist killing another of his “kids,” though, so Klaus doesn’t make it to Hotel Oblivion, either. After the rest of the team has crossed over via the tunnel behind the picture, Reginald pushes Klaus out into the dissolving universe and slams the passage shut. Klaus dies. But being Klaus, death is far from a permanent state. He meets Luther in the afterlife, and after some convincing from his brother, Klaus decides to return to the world of the living to join the battle even though his father killed him.
Meanwhile, Reginald has been splitting up the groups at Oblivion and tells them to find a symbol that will allow them to reset the universe. Five, Allison, and Viktor are one team; the remaining Sparrows, another; Diego and Lila, another. As they search, Five confronts Allison about working with Reginald. She says she didn’t know he was planning to kill Luther or Klaus—yes, Five has guessed the truth about Klaus’ death—and she’s offended when he doesn’t seem to believe her. As always, Diego and Lila are bickering, as are Ben and Sloane.
Everything goes sideways fast when Reginald rings the bell to summon the Guardians. Suddenly, all the teams are fighting for their lives, and they’re winding up separated from each other as a result of mysterious portals. In the end, Five, Sloane, and Ben manage to kill one; Viktor, another. (At this point, Klaus also comes to the Hotel Oblivion but gets almost immediately either knocked out or killed by Reginald; at any rate, he was hit over the head. Whatever happened, he’s back up and ready to go for the final push.)
The whole team winds up in the hotel lobby to face off against the final monster, which is vanquished with a little help from Luther. Just when it looks like they all might be beaten, Klaus is able to manifest him just like he once manifested Ben. Luther gets to share one final moment with Sloane as he vanishes. Klaus’ manifestation isn’t permanent. Bummer.
After that, Five realizes that the random star pattern on the tiles isn’t so random at all—it’s a sigil, which will trigger something that allows Reginald to restore the universe. All of the siblings plus the Sparrows (and notably, minus Allison) stand on the stars. Instead of instantly fixing everything, they end up locked in glowing columns of light, slowly turning zombielike as their life force and powers are drained. Reginald, meanwhile, types something in a transparent dome that appears over him, kind of like a control panel.
Allison watches in horror. She didn’t know this was Reginald’s plan. “Stop!” she yells, using her powers. That doesn’t work, but the axe she uses to cut his head in two sure does. Everyone else stops getting drained, Reginald dies, and Allison watches them slowly come back to life. Problem solved for the Umbrellas and Sparrows, right? Wrong. Viktor tries to talk her out of it, but Allison’s noticed a huge red button on the panel where Reginald was working and consequences be darned, she’s going to push it. So, she does.
I want to take an aside to point out what seems like a pretty big plot hole here: Reginald rang that bell to summon the Guardians, but he also needed seven superpowered people to make the sigil work. Uh…what was Reg planning to do if any of them had died, like they almost did? Why did he summon the Guardians, anyway? I couldn’t tell if the stars were always there, so if ringing the bell made them appear, then that’s the answer. But even then, he could’ve just rung the bell and had everyone stand in the lobby, then had them all stand on the stars. Just seems like the huge fight didn’t need to happen. Aside over.
In the usual Umbrella Academy fashion, this leads into our Season 4 teaser. Allison winds up with her daughter and Raymond (Yusuf Gatewood), which is her ideal reality. The rest of the siblings and Ben wind up in the hotel’s garden, standing in front of a monument to Reginald. Five, who had lost his arm during the fight, has gotten it back. Diego’s fingers have regrown. Luther’s alive!
But all is not as cheery as it seems: They’ve all lost their powers, and Sloane’s nowhere to be found. Luther resolves to find his wife as the rest of the team, frustrated and frightened, go their separate ways. And as the view widens, we see this isn’t their reality at all. Every building has the Hargreeves name plastered on it. Reginald himself watches from the top of a tall tower, holding hands with a mysterious woman who had previously been seen in a cryogenic chamber on the moon (it’s implied that Luther was sent there to guard her, without ever knowing she was there). And in a postcredits scene, Ben—or maybe a second alternate version of Ben?—rides on a train bound for Yeouido Station in Korea. What does it all mean? We’ll have to wait for Season 4 to find out.
The Umbrella Academy, Season 3, all episodes now streaming, Netflix