[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 spinning its wheels with a handful of scattered storylines, The Umbrella Academy gains ground and steps on the gas in the final three episodes of its third season.
“A Wedding at World’s End” is a partial break from the action as the crew – plus Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), Ben (Justin H. Min) and Reginald (Colm Feore) – attend Luther’s (Tom Hopper) and Sloane the day before the end of the world. There are a few touching moments, like when Luther asks Viktor (Elliot Page) to be his best man, or when Klaus (Robert Sheehan) begins to bond with the new Ben, after realizing the guy is lonely and just wants that Reginald loves her. . There are also “typical Umbrella Academy” moments, like when Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) fights fiercely with Viktor at the afterparty or when Reginald shows up and somehow destroys the festive air. Overall, it’s visually impressive and while it doesn’t advance the plot much, it does give the characters a chance to breathe before the much quicker final two episodes.
Marriage aside, it’s about saving the world (again) in “Seven Bells” and “Oblivion.” Where is it? 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 there. Ben, Klaus, Allison and Lila (Ritu Arya) want to try, while Viktor, Luther, Sloane and Diego (David Castenada) are against. The vote goes to Five (Aidan Gallagher), who, heeding the words of his past, decides not to save the world. Shame! Does that stop Reginald?
Of course not! Unbeknownst to all of the siblings except Five, who spotted him as he teetered to the brink of drunken unconsciousness, Allison and Reginald struck a deal to stop the apocalypse. This deal only holds if everyone participates – as Reg says, “We need seven”. And seven which they end up getting in the end, as Reginald kills Luther to motivate the team. He blames the monsters on 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 face the end of the world.
Reginald just can’t help but kill another one of his “kids”, so Klaus doesn’t go to Hotel Oblivion either. After the rest of the team has passed through the tunnel behind the image, Reginald pushes Klaus into the dissolving universe and closes the passage. Klaus dies. But being Klaus, death is far from a permanent state. He meets Luther in the afterlife, and after being convinced by 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 divided the groups in Oblivion and tells them to find a symbol that will allow them to reset the universe. Five, Allison and Viktor form a team; the remaining sparrows, another; Diego and Lila, another one. As they search, Five confronts Allison about her work with Reginald. She says she didn’t know he was planning to kill Luther or Klaus—yes, Five guessed the truth about Klaus’ death—and she’s offended when he doesn’t seem to believe her. As always, Diego and Lila bicker, as do Ben and Sloane.
Everything goes sideways when Reginald rings the bell to summon the Guardians. Suddenly, all the teams are fighting for their lives and find themselves separated from each other by mysterious portals. In the end, Five, Sloane, and Ben manage to kill one; Victor, another. (At this point, Klaus also comes to Hotel Oblivion but is almost immediately knocked out or killed by Reginald; either way, he’s been punched in the head. No matter what, he’s back and ready to go for the final thrust.)
The entire team meets in the hotel lobby to confront the final monster, who is defeated with a little help from Luther. Just when it seems like they could all be beaten, Klaus is able to manifest it like he once did for Ben. Luther shares one last moment with Sloane as he disappears. Klaus’ manifestation is not permanent. Shame.
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 will allow Reginald to restore the universe. All the siblings plus the sparrows (and notably, minus Allison) stand on the stars. Instead of fixing everything instantly, they find themselves encased in glowing columns of light, slowly becoming zombies as their life force and powers are depleted. Reginald, meanwhile, taps something into a transparent dome that appears above him, much like a control panel.
Allison watches in horror. She didn’t know that was Reginald’s plan. “Stop!” she cries using her powers. It doesn’t work, but the ax she uses to cut her head in half does work. Everyone stops draining, Reginald dies and Allison watches them slowly come back to life. Problem solved for umbrellas and sparrows, right? Bad. Viktor tries to talk her out of it, but Allison has noticed a huge red button on the panel where Reginald was working and, to hell with the consequences, she’s going to press 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 seal work. Uh… what was Reg planning to do if one of them died, like they nearly did? Why did he summon the Guardians, anyway? I couldn’t tell if the stars were still there, so if ringing the bell made them appear, then that’s the answer. But even then, he could have just rung the bell and asked everyone to stand in the hall, then had them all stand on the stars. It just seems like the huge fight didn’t need to happen. Next to.
In the usual Umbrella Academy fashion, this leads into our Season 4 teaser. Allison reunites with her daughter and Raymond (Yusuf Gatewood), who is her ideal reality. The rest of the siblings and Ben meet in the hotel garden, in front of a monument to Reginald. Five, who had lost his arm during the fight, got it back. Diego’s fingers grew back. Luther is alive!
But all is not as happy as it seems: they have all lost their powers, and Sloane is nowhere to be found. Luther decides to find his wife while the rest of the team, frustrated and scared, separates. And as the view widens, we see that this is not their reality at all. Each building is named after Hargreeves. Reginald himself watches from atop a tall tower, holding the hand of a mysterious woman who had previously been seen in a cryogenic chamber on the moon (it is implied that Luther was sent there to guard her , never knowing she was there). And in a post-credits scene, Ben – or maybe a second alternate version of Ben? – boards a train bound for Yeouido Station in Korea. What does all this mean? We will have to wait for season 4 to find out.
The Umbrella Academy, Season 3, all episodes now streaming, Netflix