THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Season 2 Review: A Triumphant Return For Netflix's Dysfunctional Superhero Family

The world's most dysfunctional superhero family will return for more time-displacement adventures on July 31, and you can find out what we thought of the second season of The Umbrella Academy right here.

Reviews Opinion

The Umbrella Academy turned out to be something of a surprise hit for Netflix (watched by 45 million global viewers within the first four weeks... reportedly), and was very well received by fans of the Dark Horse comic series. There were concerns that the show's creators would be unable to capitalize by following up with a worthy second season, but rest assured, Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater have delivered - and then some.

In the Season 1 finale, our heroes joined forces to prevent the end of the world, and while they did succeed, they now find themselves trapped in the '60s - and facing another apocalypse. When we catch up with Luther he's working as muscle for notorious gangster Jack Ruby, while Allison has settled down with a husband. Klaus (along with Ben) is now a cult leader, Diego has been committed to a mental institute, and Vanya is living on a farm with no memory of her near catastrophic meltdown as The White Violin.

Five arrives and attempts to gather the others together to stop doomsday (again), but finds that they're all still being hunted by the Commission, who's leader - a talking goldfish in a helmet - has sent a trio of Swedish assassins to track them down.

Umbrella Academy Season 2: Netflix Reveals First Look Images

Other Netflix shows have been guilty of stretching 7 or 8 hours worth of story into 12 or 13 episodes, but Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy begins at full throttle and rarely lets up, leaving very little room for filler. In fact, you might argue that it could have actually benefited from pumping the breaks on occasion and allowing the more dramatic moments room to breath, but that seems like a minor gripe when reconnecting with The Hargreeves family proves to be such a blast.

Season 1 focused on this dysfunctional family attempting to forgive each other and put the past behind them, and while there is still some healing to be done (you'll be pleased to hear the highly entertaining bickering is still on show), they are (mostly) ready and willing to move forward and work together as a team. This makes for a welcome and intriguing dynamic shift - especially when they learn that (minor spoiler alert) a younger version of their father may be tied to the impending apocalypse.

As they were in Season 1, Klaus and Five are the clear standouts, but Diego and Allison also have very compelling arcs. Ben is given much more screen time, and actually winds up doing a lot of the emotional heavy lifting. Unfortunately, Luther takes a bit of a backseat (he literally winds up in the trunk at one point), and while Vanya herself is a welcome presence, a romantic subplot doesn't carry as much weight as the show seems to think it does.

There are other issues. The decision to bring the Civil Rights movement into the story is timely, but proves to be a little heavy handed, and the assassination of JFK is once again used as a plot device. Also, while the season finale is very exciting from an action/FX standpoint, it doesn't quite manage to bring all the threads together in a satisfying way.

Like its predecessor, Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is a rousing success, boasting an abundance of offbeat humor, exciting set pieces and a killer soundtrack. A few minor nitpicks aside, a triumphant return for Netflix's flawed family of superheroes.

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