The Umbrella Academy‘s first season ended with bang—to recap, Vanya caused the apocalypse, the siblings had to time travel to escape, and they turned back into teenagers for some reason—and the Netflix series’ second season definitely didn’t disappoint either.
Season two of The Umbrella Academy saw the siblings live separate lives in the early 1960s while Five tried to bring them back together, and new characters like the Swedish triplets and Diego’s friend, then foe, then ally Lila, were introduced. And, of course, The Handler made a miraculous (or, more accurately, villainous) return.
The finale of the 10-episode season saw the siblings try to return to the present-day, but there were a ton of obstacles along the way—here’s a full breakdown of the finale and the surprise twist ending.
What happened in The Umbrella Academy season two finale?
The episode starts with a flashback to Ben’s funeral in 2006, and Reginald gives a particularly rude eulogy, even for him. The kids disperse, but Klaus lags behind, and we learn that the reason Ben has been accompanying him for the past 13 years is because Klaus convinced him, literally, not to rest in peace.
Back in 1963, the siblings learn that they are now wanted for their supposed involvement in the JFK assassination, but Vanya wants to head to the farm to help Harlan and Sissy, who have become something of her new surrogate family. The rest of the siblings later agree to go with her, and when they get there, they see Harlan wrapped in a power vortex that’s similar to the one Vanya emits when she uses her powers.
But before they could help the young boy, The Handler and Lila show up, and it turns out The Handler wants to arrest Five for killing the board, even though she had previously promised he wouldn’t face repercussions for doing as she asked. But when Diego and Five rightly point out that the seven of them would easily beat the mother-daughter duo, The Handler conjures hundreds of The Commission’s assassins to fight the siblings.
The siblings are losing the fight until Vanya steps in, but it’s when Lila starts to fight them one-on-one that things start to get interesting. She reflects her own power surge like Vanya, she rumors Allison, causing her to stop breathing, and when Five and Lila start to fight, and she travels through space and time like he does.
But when Lila brings up Five killing her parents, things come to a screeching halt—he reveals that The Handler was the one that signed the assassination order, and she came with him on that job, something that she had never done before. The siblings then realize the reason why Lila has powers is because she was also among the 43 children who were simultaneously born on October 1, 1989, and The Handler had her parents killed so she could raise Lila as her own and harness her powers for her own gain.
But before Lila can confirm the revelation with The Handler, she comes in and kills all of the siblings. And before Lila can react to that, the last Swedish assassin comes in and kills The Handler. However, Five is still alive, and he conjures some strength to time travel back a few seconds (using a young Reginald’s advice from only a few episodes earlier). He’s then able to intercept The Handler’s gun and prevent her from killing him or his siblings. The Swede then comes in and once again kills The Handler.
Vanya then saves Harlan, and Herb appears and announces that he’s now heading The Commission. He also gives the siblings a briefcase so they can head home, and they tie up their loose ends before heading back to 2019. Sissy and Vanya decide to go their separate ways and she heads to California with Harlan, the lone Swede triplet ends up joining Klaus’ cult, and we see Ray sadly read the letter that Allison left for him.
At long last, the siblings arrive in 2019, and when they get back to the academy they realize that it’s April 2, a.k.a the day after the apocalypse. They start to congratulate themselves for a job well done, until they notice their father sitting in a chair across the room.
Interestingly, he doesn’t seem surprised to see them, but when they question how he’s back at their home, he states that this isn’t their house. In fact, in this timeline, The Umbrella Academy doesn’t even exist, and it’s now called The Sparrow Academy. But the real kicker is the fact that Ben is alive…and he doesn’t remember any of his siblings.
What is The Sparrow Academy? How is Ben Alive?
Do you even time travel, bro? As frequently occurring in movies and shows of the time-traveling persuasion, our heroes managed to thwart the problem at immediate hand at the end of season 2. They didn’t prevent the Kennedy assassination, no, but they did manage to avoid the apocalypse, seemingly putting that problem behind them for now. But in the meantime, their meddling in the early ’60s, particularly in 1963, seemed to mess with a whole lot of different timelines for the “present” that they thought they knew.
As a result, The Umbrella Academy is now called “The Sparrow Academy.” It’s likely that Reginald, as a result of the Season 2 events, now never got into the Umbrella business, instead doing…something with Sparrows. The birds? Who knows. But that’s probably the explanation for the name.
As for Ben, it’s likely that the meddling of events—and his lack of physical presence during the rest of the gang’s adventures, outside of Klaus’ head—resulted in him not only never dying, but never even being in the group in the first place. “The Sparrow Academy,” we can assume, is an entirely different group of the 43 unexplained 1989 births that the series is centered around. Lila is one of the others, and this new group, seen behind Ben entirely in silhouette in the end, are more.
If and when Season 3 returns, it’s safe to say we’ll be picking up right here. We’ve got lots to learn!
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