Written By: Eleanor Pratt
Audiences were first introduced to the Umbrella Academy in February of 2019. The strange and whimsical show was based on a series of comics by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, and quickly became a hit for Netflix. The second season made its debut on the streaming platform on July 31, 2020, and the question on everyone’s minds was how it would compare to its first, highly successful season.
As of Sept. 17, 2020, the second season has a 90% rating from critics and an 89% score from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes. Some critics even went so far as to say that the second season was better than the first, and the majority noted that, although the stakes were higher, the show never lost its emotional core. Critic Brad Newsome of the Sydney Morning Herald praised the season saying that “the series’ wry sense of humor shines through striking a fine balance with the spectacle and the emotional oomph. Great stuff,” and Scott Bryan, a critic from the BBC, joked that “The less you think about the plot, the more you enjoy the ride, and the funnier and more interesting it is too.”
This season is certainly a strange ride, and the stakes higher than ever before, with the Hargreeves siblings having to find each other after being flung back to various points in time thanks to Number Five’s quick thinking at the end of season one. Eventually, they manage to reunite in Dallas, Texas in 1963 where they must stop yet another apocalypse from happening. Like the last season, Number Five must convince his family to work together to stop the apocalypse, but this proves difficult when none of them take him particularly seriously. The added stress of three hitmen from the evil Commission coming to kill the Hargreeves siblings does not help matters either.
The show introduces several new characters this season, which adds to the feeling of the stakes being even higher than before. We meet Ray, Allison’s civil rights activist husband, who is not sure what to make of his wife’s incredibly strange family. Sissy, a housewife whom Vanya eventually becomes romantically involved with as the season goes on. Sissy’s son Harlan is introduced as well and becomes a very important piece of the apocalypse later on. One of the most important new characters is Lila, who Diego first meets during his stay at the mental asylum in the beginning of the season. Lila seems like any normal girl at first, but her true nature is one of the bigger and more shocking plot twists of the series.
Overall, the second season of the Umbrella Academy was just as fun and odd as the first season. We learn more about each character and come to care about them even more. These characters add heart and humor to a show that often has incredibly dark and depressing storylines. There is a surprise around every corner, and it is almost impossible to be bored when watching. Fans of the show will not be disappointed, and now the only thing to do is to hope for a confirmation of season three from Netflix.