Television

The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Episode 9 Review: 743

In The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Episode 9, all hell breaks loose. 

The penultimate episode gave us a long overdue therapy session, a couple of revelations, and FINALLY the events of President Kennedy’s assassination unfold.

Back at The Commission, AJ The Fish manages to get a message to Herb: 743. 

Lila runs into Herb when he leaves the restricted area, roughing him up for details on Diego’s whereabouts. She then confirmed what we all knew.

Herb: Are you really going to kill him?
Lila: Of course not, I love him.

Duh, Lila loves Diego. It’s exactly why she tried to bully him into joining The Commission in the first place. 

Lila assumedly hasn’t had many relationships in her life. One could go so far as to assume Diego might be the first person she’s had a real relationship with or fallen for, given her upbringing. The Handler is clearly an obstacle in her relationships. 

Mommy Dearest was also very clearly waiting on Diego to jump ship.

Darling, blood is thicker than water. But you can drown in either.

Handler

She doesn’t even have to try too hard to convince Lila to get off the Diego train and kill him. Not now that the truth about Kill Order 743 is out there. 

Well, part of the truth. 

Like the devious evil queen she is, The Handler ordered Five to kill Lila’s parents and she took a trophy home in the form of Kid Lila, who has always been under the impression her parents died in a robbery. She wouldn’t be the woman in charge, though, if she didn’t know how to cover her tracks.

The Handler used AJ’s stamp of approval on the order, so Lila’s anger is directed elsewhere. 

She has managed to manipulate Lila into thinking Diego was snooping around The Commission on Five’s orders for that file. Lila even starts believing it, despite the fact she kidnapped him and brought him to The Commission — a place he didn’t know much about before — without his consent or knowledge.

Once again, The Handler is able to wiggle her way out of a sticky situation. Lila is sure to be out for blood now, and against the wrong people. Five will have to watch his back.

For now, OurFive needs to just watch out for OldFive.

Luther is just not doing a very good job of keeping the paradox psychosis under control, with either Five. What a terrible spotter.

The gullible guy with daddy issues he is, Luther initially seems he is leaning towards following OldFive’s plans.

Okay, Luther, listen. I know your feeble mind only listens to age and authority, so listen very closely. Yet again, you are experiencing daddy issues, this time with your own brother, which honestly is making me a bit crazy.

OurFive

I’m with OurFive. You just wanna smack some sense into his thick head. All the siblings have daddy issues in some way, but Luther’s are much more visible. He has always looked to an older authority figure to follow. Without one, he flounders.

Luckily, they are able to send OldFive through the portal and back to 2019. They screwed the pooch, though, because the briefcase is damaged by the portal. Yet another failed attempt to get home.

The rest of the family is dealing with more serious matters (which is saying a lot).

Klaus, Allison, and Diego arrived at the FBI building to save Vanya and stop her from blowing up the place, which could subsequently start a nuclear war.

Allison tries first, but is thrown back and knocked out by the force field. Diego’s next, who gets a nice “If I don’t see you again” message from Klaus. He, too, fails at getting to her. Even Klaus tries his hand at heroism, but he doesn’t make, it either.

Klaus: If you don’t make it back, there’s one thing that I need to tell you.
Diego: What?
Klaus: You look like Antonio Banderas with the long hair. I just thought you should know.
Diego: Thanks, man.

It seems all hope is lost to stopping her, as no one is strong enough to make it through that force field.

That is, until, Ben shows up.

He is the only one who doesn’t have a physical presence, so he approaches Vanya. Thanks to his test run with Klaus, he now knows how to possess people. Which is how we get the next heartrending scenes.

In her mind, Ben finds Vanya inside a White Violin (her comic name).

With her memories back, Vanya is distraught. She remembers what she’s done and is aware of what she’s currently doing. She doesn’t understand why she can’t control her powers like everyone else and, in her despair, is suicidal.

I don’t deserve to live. I killed Pogo. I almost killed Allison. I destroyed the world. I’m a monster.

Vanya

Ben approaches her and does and says what Vanya has needed to hear all along. None of this is her fault.

All her life, Vanya was brainwashed into thinking she wasn’t good enough. She was drugged, manipulated, and set aside. Child abuse can take forms other than physical, and Vanya definitely experienced abuse at Reginald’s hands.

After her siblings found out the truth about her, they treated her like a problem to be solved and tried locking her away. They barely treated her like a person, let alone like family.

Even now, in their 1963 timeline, they make continuous jokes about how she’ll cause the next apocalypse and don’t want her using her powers because they don’t think she can handle it. Nobody tried helping her and understanding her. Not until Ben.

As he said, she was treated like a bomb before she ever was one. I’ve been saying all along Vanya’s case is one of nature vs. nurture. If Reginald tried working more with her and helping her hone her powers instead of deciding she was a time bomb, things might have been different.

You aren’t a monster. You’re my sister. And right now, our siblings are risking everything out there trying to save you. You aren’t alone at the table anymore Vanya. You can do this.

Ben

After she recovered from her dissociative amnesia, Vanya’s memories returned, overwhelming her with grief. Many sufferers of depression need to hear exactly what Ben said: I understand you and your pain. You are more than your mistakes. You are loved. You are not alone.

This was such a big and important scene. All season, they’ve glossed over her trauma. With the impending assassination and doomsday, no one thought to have a therapy session. But bottles under pressure usually blow. This was the healing moment Vanya needed all along.

Ben gives Vanya the will to live and it seems we are out of the woods. The heartache doesn’t end there, though.

It turns out Vanya’s energy surge actually does damage Ben and he’s experiencing a final death. This just makes his sacrifice in possessing Vanya that much more emotional.

Ben: I’ve been holding on as long as I can in here, but…
Vanya: You shouldn’t have come for me.
Ben: Vanya, I died 17 years ago. All the rest of this, these years with Klaus. It’s all been gravy. At least this time I get to say goodbye.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

No, seriously. Ben getting this time with Vanya and bringing her out of this was such a fitting swan song. It will be so strange to see Klaus without Ben in the background disapproving of his actions. Klaus’s grief will be different from the others. The others haven’t seen Ben in 17 years, but he’s been with Klaus all this time. It won’t be the same.

Hopefully, the message Ben gives Vanya for Klaus will help Klaus through this. 

When Vanya starts to calm and wake, so does Harlan.

The first thing his parents hear him say is Vanya’s name. This obviously sends Crazy Carl into a jealous rage. He thinks he can just grab Harlan and send him off to a place where he can “get him the help he needs.”

Carl, please spare us. He doesn’t care about Harlan. He just views his son as something that needs to be fixed, desperate to make him “normal.” His real breaking point is realizing how connected Harlan is to Vanya. He’s jealous.

Carl: We were just fine till that Russian she-devil showed up.
Sissy: We weren’t fine, Carl. Jesus! Saying a lie over and over doesn’t make it true.

Carl is furious at being second to Vanya with both his wife and son. He thinks because he’s done the bare minimum as a husband, then Sissy should be grateful and stay with him. 

In a way, you can find an ounce of sympathy for Carl. He provides for and has been faithful to his wife (allegedly). He did everything right in his eyes, but his wife is still trying to leave him, and for a woman no less. He is the “they” who would not abide a lesbian couple that Sissy warned Vanya about. He especially will not abide it with his own wife.

Any sympathy you feel for this desperate man goes out of the window, though, when he shoots Harlan.

After Carl grabs the gun from Sissy, it goes off and shoots at Harlan. It looks like an accident, but his intentions were not clear. What did Carl plan on doing with the gun? Did he mean to shoot Harlan? Or was it Sissy? Or did he simply want to disarm her?

Either way, we will never know, because it backfired. Harlan’s got some White Violin powers in him and the bullet bounced back and took out Carl instead. But what does this mean?

This whole ordeal set off some mysterious alarms at The Commission and whatever happened, The Handler is keeping it under wraps, but plans for war.

Now that Harlan and Vanya have settled, JFK’s motorcade goes through the grassy knoll and Diego thinks this is his chance to stop the assassination. Reginald, though, is a step ahead.

He actually had nothing to do with the assassination, as he has tried to tell them all along. He didn’t even know it was going to happen. The rest of the Majestic 12, however, are not as innocent.

Man: Our little Kennedy problem is solved.
Reginald: He was not to be touched. That was the deal.
Man: Well, he had to go, one way or the other. Pissed off too many people.

Things get weird when Reginald confronts the rest of the Majestic. Disgusted with their actions, he tries to deflect, but things get messy when they threaten him. 

REGINALD HARGREEVES IS AN ALIEN. 

Alien Dad takes out the lot of them and they are sure to have regretted their actions, but much too late. Jack Ruby may have taken out the wrong guy, but Reginald Hargreeves managed to avenge Kennedy.

Over to you, Fanatics! What do you make of this revelation? 

Are the rest of the Hargreeves family aliens too? Do you think they are truly safe from Doomsday now that JFK is out of the picture? What do you think is happening with Harlan?

Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think!

Berea Orange is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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