This month boasts the return of some fan-favorite shows on Netflix, whether it be due to a new season dropping on the streaming platform or a new reiteration of a global hit show. One of the first to drop this past week was The Umbrella Academy which has returned for season 3, and we at TIH took the time to watch and review the show in its entirety.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Review: Where Were We?
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the second season yet, we have to already warn you as early as now to proceed with caution with our review. In the previous season, we followed the Umbrella Academy as they went back in time to the early 1960s. Throughout the entire second season, each sibling finds themselves living their own lives in this new decade with some starting their own families, jobs, and identities apart from the Academy. Despite having the opportunity to live separately, the siblings must come together as they must come face-to-face to stop yet another apocalyptic event from occurring — which the siblings brought along with them. They also have to deal with individual storylines that come crashing together in the show’s epic season 2 finale.
Season 3 now kicks off exactly where the last season left us with the Umbrella Academy seemingly saving the universe once again from their own undoing and landing back in their home and proper timeline. Or so they thought that is. They inadvertently arrive in an alternate timeline with a new set of inhabitants — The Sparrow Academy. The Sparrow Academy is a set of seven new heroes — except for Ben who is still alive in this timeline — who are now in charge of not just the former home of the Umbrellas but of this seemingly very different world as well. The Sparrow Academy was formed by Sir Reginald Hargreaves as a means to redeem himself from the “so-called” mistakes with the Umbrellas. Throughout the third season, however, we discover that the shifts and collisions of timelines have a dire effect on the universe causing what the series refers to as a kugelblitz which will lead once again to the universe’s ultimate doom. The Umbrellas and Sparrows must put all their hatred and egos aside to team up and put a stop to yet another world-ending catastrophe.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Spoiler Warnings
We will keep this review of The Umbrella Academy Season 3, for the most part, spoiler-free. There may be some aspects in the story’s flow and pacing that will be discussed that may feel a bit spoiler-y but we will also avoid any mention of crucial plot points that will tamper with your overall viewing experience. We will for the most part discuss two crucial aspects of this show — the familiar and the fresh aspects that both have their fair share of pros and cons.
Right off the gate, The Umbrella Academy Season 3 shows us as viewers that its showrunners have the thematic continuity of the show in mind. Season 3 gives us a dose of the familiar in many aspects of the show and again this comes in both the good, the bad, and the cringy. There is a nostalgic feeling that the opening sequence gives us that dates back to the show’s first season. It feels almost like a play-by-play of the introductory scenes seen in Season 1 with the only difference being that this time around the focus is set on the Sparrow Academy. This is a scene that brings a lot of excitement for fans of the show as it almost brings everything around in a full circle kind of way.
We are also treated to the spectacularly chosen musical soundtrack that I honestly love about this show. There is just a flash of brilliance in how music appears almost as another character in itself in this show which perfectly balances and sets the mood in the right direction. We get a balance from a multitude of tracks in a variety of genres and time periods that just add flavor to the scenes that they are featured in. We have witnessed this from the previous seasons of the shows such as the amazing battle scene between Number Five and Lila in season 2 with a version of Bad Guy in the background. We of course couldn’t forget about the iconic “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany scene back in the first season with all members of the family dancing carefree in different parts of their huge mansion. This time around, in the show’s third season we are treated to a Footloose dance-off routine between the Umbrellas and Sparrows. I was honestly thrown back and forth into a plethora of emotions —from being perplexed to amuse at the same time. It was iconic to witness as the scene was a culmination of weird and quirky while being cool and awesome at the very same time. It was something I felt that only Umbrella Academy could truly pull off.
The Umbrella Academy as a show has also been a fun and quirky offering — one that has a very unique and specific demographic. It admittedly isn’t for everyone. The dark humor and action scenes provide at times a wacky and corny atmosphere which admittedly works. Take that dance sequence as a great example of how the show integrates these qualities into the overall mood and direction of The Umbrella Academy. One of the qualities that make Umbrella Academy quite difficult to digest at times however which is done once again in this season is the overall jam-packed quality of its storylines. There are just so many events and elements that occur all at once. Don’t get me wrong they aren’t all that hard to follow — although some of the concepts such as time travel, alternate timelines, black holes, and time paradoxes may need some additional time to process afterward. They still do make a lot of sense. The story however has the tendency to drag along as it squeezes in too many subplots. It’s all essential however to the character development but it just occurs at a sluggish pace due to the sheer amount of events that take place.
The sense of continuity that The Umbrella Academy takes on is also worth praising. It does provide a small disadvantage for those who don’t follow the show’s story religiously as you may get lost from time to time with the plot’s flow as everything is really tied neatly together. Fans get to be treated to references from past seasons and therefore we are able to witness a very neatly tied up story from day the first episode of the show down to the last one in this particular season.
I honestly went into this season not expecting much. In all honesty, I enjoyed the second season a lot and therefore felt that this third season would sadly just disappoint. While I felt such sentiments at some points in the show, I also found it to be very intriguing from the first episode alone. There was a new level of excitement that this season brings that was poured out immediately from the first episode. The showrunners I believe have a great grasp of gathering the attention of their fans and viewers and holding on to it as much as they possibly can. The twists and turns in this new season are just fantastic and they truly take things up a notch in terms of grandeur. The cliff-hanger scenes are all the more powerful this time around and therefore enable viewers to stick out for the amazing ride that the Umbrella Academy delivers.
One of the aspects that also makes this season all the more vibrant and seemingly new in terms of the story is the introduction of the Sparrows. They add great contrast and energy to the whole story which I found to be necessary for the story to continue. When new characters are introduced it does admittedly take more time and effort to build on their development and growth which at times the show lacked during this season. The standing of the Sparrows as foil characters enables our titular family to shine and grow all the more right before our very eyes. These additions to the story made it all the more interesting and fresh to witness despite the repetitive quality that the show exercises. It had the tendency to be a bit formulaic at times but with a few tweaks here and there, The Umbrella Academy Season 3 still managed to keep our attention.
One of the elements that make this story seemly new compared to what we have seen in the show’s previous chapters is the growing complexity of its plot. The concepts grow all the deeper and at times difficult to immediately follow but at the same time The Umbrella Academy has a great handle on explaining the concepts and ideas that are unique to the show’s world. Therefore world-building is truly the name of the game for this show. The Umbrella Academy knows how to build the parameters and conditions of the concepts discussed which makes it all the more unique to witness.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Review: Final Verdict
I must admit that The Umbrella Academy Season 3, as seen in our review, has a lot of things going for it that still make it exciting. It’s evident in the world-building, continuity, soundtrack, and character development that the show knows how to keep its fans hooked. Ay, there’s the rub! The show has a specific demographic that may make it difficult for others to truly follow. You don’t need to be an all-out fan but there must be keen attention to detail on the part of the viewer from the first season down to its current offering. There is also a different mood and tonality to it that admittedly isn’t for everyone.
The show also tends to drag along in sluggish pacing which is again attributed to the attention given to character development. I must be honest to say that I still prefer the second season amongst all three so far. The third season however does without a doubt take the second spot. I still recommend that you check the show out as it definitely provides a lot of excitement and thrill that is expected from the show. The ending also opens the door for more in the future which we are definitely excited to witness.
Hype Meter: 7/10
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