[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. Read at your own risk!]
The Umbrella Academy may have avoided the apocalypse for the second time at the end of Season 2, but the adopted siblings face a potentially more menacing threat in Season 3. After causing havoc in early 1960s Dallas over the course of the season, the siblings returned to 2019 and what they hoped would be their normal lives, but instead discovered their adopted father still alive and now running a rival group of heroes known as The Sparrow Academy.
TV Guide already broke down everything we know about the mysterious group, but even with The Sparrow Academy aside, we still had a lot of questions about Season 2 and how fit our heroes are to take on what’s ahead in Season 3. From mysterious cubes that you might not have noticed in your initial watch to how the group functions without their version of Ben (Justin H. Min) around to be Klaus’ (Robert Sheehan) conscience, we probed showrunner and executive producer Steve Blackman about what went down in Dallas and what it means for the future.
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Along with The Sparrow Academy, there is a mysterious floating cube in the final scene of the season. Can you tell us anything about that cube?
Steve Blackman: A lot of people may not see that cube at first… I think [the cube’s purpose] will be revealed in Season 3, if we’re lucky enough to be picked up.
Hargreaves is still alive in this new 2019. Is there any hope of The Umbrella Academy working out some of their daddy issues with this new version?
Blackman: I hope so, because they all look pretty stunned when he’s standing there. If you look carefully, he’s our Hargreeves, but he looks a little different. It would be a good guess if we get another season that they have a chance to try to work out their issues. They did try in Season 2 to some extent, but obviously that Hargreeves knew nothing about them. And you know, this Hargreeves is an older man, but they have a chance to sort of talk to him again, and hopefully they do better than they did in Season 2.
In the graphic novels, Hargreeves has a pretty insane story. He’s an alien, and there’s some stuff that’s too crazy to bring into the TV show, but could we potentially be seeing a little bit more of where he truly comes from and what his motives are?
Blackman: My Season 3 goal for Hargreeves, played by Colm Feore who is just amazing, is to learn much more about his backstory. Who really is Hargreeves? What is his agenda? What is the purpose of these kids? In knowing Hargreeves, we will know more about the origin story of these kids, hopefully.
We met Lila this season, who was a really interesting addition. She runs off at the end of Season 2 once her mother is exposed and killed. What is she in search of?
Blackman: What she knows is [that] her mother isn’t who she thought she was, and these people are her family. So the family she thought she knew wasn’t a real family, and these people who she’s basically, extensively fighting against for 10 episodes — and [she has] sort of maybe fallen in love with one of them, Diego — is her real family.
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Speaking of Diego, he had a lot more fun with the Commission than expected. What makes him such a good fit for that organization?
Blackman: The funny thing about Diego is that he’s just such a pure character. What you see is what you get, but the amazing thing about him is that he does have more levels of depth, and people don’t really see how deep this character can go. He’s always excited by new things. This year it was about proving himself. But he got into a really magical place — The Commission — that most people never get to see. So whether he has any desire to go back there, we’ll have to see, but I think he enjoyed being in sort of a place of power for a little bit and understanding the inner workings of the place. Plus, he met the boss, he met his girlfriend’s mom.
Allison left her new husband Ray behind in the past. Does that mean she and Luther will finally figure out what’s going on between them?
Blackman: They’re both growing up and maybe seeing their relationship as more puppy love. Remember, they’ve never actually even kissed. That little kiss we saw in Season 1 was the day that never actually happened. It’s very much a puppy love thing. Allison has really grown up in her relationship with Ray Chestnut. Luther is coming around to [the idea] that he has to grow up a little bit, too. In some ways, he’s sort of the least mature of all of them having never lived by himself after always living with his dad, never paying rent, things like that. So I think you know, Luther had some growing up to do, but Allison definitely had some growth and found her voice this year, and a lot of meaning in the movement.
Is any member of The Umbrella Academy ready for a functional relationship?
Blackman: I believe that if Vanya didn’t have to go back to 2019, that her and Sissy would have had a wonderful long life together. I think that was a successful love story. I know it was played beautifully by Ellen Page and Marin Ireland, two just phenomenal actors. So I think if they didn’t have to break apart the way they did, because of time travel and circumstance, they would have been a love story for the ages, truly. [The Umbrella Academy] is maturing. Every time we see them, they’re getting a little bit better at understanding themselves more and their family. They’re all sort of crushed by the same very abusive dad and a rejecting dad. They’re all sort of trying to come to terms with that, but they’re loving each other and loving themselves a little bit better every time you see them.
At the start of the series, the siblings could not be farther apart. How united do you feel they are heading into a potential Season 3?
Blackman: I think one of the sweetest scenes in the whole show is when Vanya goes outside and Diego is sitting on the stoop, and she just leans her head on the shoulder. It’s just a beautiful, sweet moment. I think they’re much closer now… They’re starting to understand each other. It’s far from perfect, as it is in any family. At the core of the show, this is a dysfunctional family show. They’re trying and they’re a little bit better every time. They’re getting there, a little bit.
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The group lost Ben in the course of stopping this second apocalypse, but he was the closest with Klaus. How do you see Klaus functioning without this person who was basically his conscience?
Blackman: I think that’s going to be a very challenging loss next year. I think. As much as [Klaus] complains about Ben, Ben is the closest person in his life. He’s the one constant in Klaus’ universe and Klaus is an epic f–k up in so many ways. But Ben is this wonderful, insightful man, who all the siblings loved. He was the one that got along with everybody. [Ben] is [Klaus]’ conscience, he is his voice of goodness who says to him, “That’s a bad decision,” or “You could do better.” Having that gone and out of his mind will be a huge loss for Klaus going forward.
What are you hoping to explore thematically in Season 3?
Blackman: Trying to understand their origin is one of the themes we are going to address next year. The first season was meet the family. Season 2 was get to know the family. Season 3 is, who are we and where did we come from? What are we as superheroes? [That] is really a story I’d love to think about more in Season 3.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.