It’s Thursday and we are slowly winding down on the first season of The Umbrella Academy. I’ve been having a lot of fun revisiting this show and I can’t wait until the new season starts on the 31st. It’s sure to be a whirlwind, just like this season has been.
Speaking of a whirlwind, “The Day that Wasn’t” is a crazy episode that I forgot existed, and I’m kind of glad I did. I love everything about this episode. I love how it’s structured. I love the character interactions. I love every single about everything. I’m glad I forgot about this episode so I could experience it again because this has been great.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts for “The Day That Wasn’t.” They’re kind of short this time around because I was focused on not missing anything because there was so much in this episode.
- And we’re in Vietnam with Klaus. Excuse me while I cry. Dave is so sweet to Klaus and for a year you know that Klaus really lived his best life. He was in love, in his element, surrounded by booze and a carefree lifestyle with no one who cared or judged him. It’s such a shame it ended the way it did.
- Mary J Blige as Cha-Cha is still everything I never knew I needed and more. Let’s just put Mary J. Blige in a suit and make her kick-ass all the time. It would make everything she’s in ten times better.
- I like how we get an overview of the Commission just thrown in by way of Five’s new job in management there. The writers could’ve done a whole slew of things to explain what the Commission did and they could’ve done it in the least interesting ways. This way, the audience gets an overview of the Commission, and Five gets his pecking orders. Clever, kind of mundane, but clever.
- No one mentions Klaus’s tattoo. Diego kind of looks at it, but then doesn’t say anything about it. Why is that?
- Seriously, Walsh and Gallagher play so well off of each other and I love it. The Handler is just a bit off her rocker and so is Five and that makes them two peas in a crazy pants pod.
- Okay, who else finds the whole Allison and Luther relationship to be creepy? Not just a little bit creepy, but super creepy. They were raised together. They were siblings. I know they aren’t actually related by blood but it’s really gross. I don’t like it. Not one bit. Plus Emmy Raver-Lampman and Tom Hopper have no chemistry. If anything, Lampman and Ellen Page have more chemistry together. And I fully expected Hargreeves to say something about how creepy it is and how it’s not allowed, but instead, he’s more concerned about perceiving it as “fun.” Yuck
- So, Older!Five and the Handler definitely had something going on. No one can tell me otherwise. I mean, yes, it’s creepy with Five as a kid, and the whole flirty weirdness is gross, obviously, but you can’t tell me that Five in his older body didn’t take advantage of that. As I said, they’re two peas in a crazy pants pod. Perfect for each other, if you ask me.
- I love Allison’s dress in the dance scene but this dance scene is completely out of place here. It makes no sense. You know, at least in Legion when they had dance scenes it made sense in the context of the story, but this is totally random. I can believe Allison can dance like this, she is an actress, but Luther? No. Also, why is Luther without his monkey chest for this? And why do they have to kiss? Seriously. This relationship is creepy. I can’t get behind it. Just stop it.
- Oh man, I love the climax of this episode. I love how Five rewrites time and goes back to the beginning and effectively erases every single thing that happened that day including the weird dance number and Klaus’s ridiculous solution to getting sober. I love Klaus but he’s also super hair-brained and off his rocker. It’s hilarious.
- The last thing that I didn’t touch on in order here because things went a bit weird anyway is the whole thing with Hazel and Cha-Cha trying to kill each other. I love how it’s presented in the frame of the narrative. Cha-Cha doesn’t want to kill Hazel. She’s grown a little bit fond of him despite the fact he complains a lot and doesn’t like his job. Hazel, in the meantime, has no qualms in going after Cha-Cha, but if I remember correctly, none of those sequences were exactly as they appeared even with the time correction.
This is easily one of the best episodes of the season. The absolute best. I love this episode. Why? Because it brings back so many things I loved about the first episode. The narrative structure is tight. The writers managed to pack a whole lot in an hour and then managed to completely retcon it thanks to Five’s powers. In a show that’s put the family’s powers on the backburner while developing Vanya and relationships among the family, it’s nice to see Five use his again and use his to get back at the Handler and escape, once again, from The Commission. It was also nice to see Vanya exert some power of her own. We keep getting glances of her powers and it’s obvious she’s far more powerful than the rest of the family. It’s a great development that Page handles perfectly.
I also love the inclusion of the Commission here. As I mentioned in the above list I really liked how the writers introduced the Commission and how everything was explained in a way that made sense in the narrative. Getting preached at is never any fun and introducing a new organization this late in the game is a bit of a risk but, seeing as The Commission is an important part of Five’s past and an important part of what’s going on in the story, the writers handled it well. They also handled the slow reveal of Harold Jenkins well too. We don’t know Five’s motivations for going back and we’re left to wonder what the whole point of it was until the ending reveal and I think that’s a masterful bit of writing, some of the best in the show so far.
I also liked seeing bits of Five’s humanity here. He could’ve killed that woman in charge of sending orders out to the temporal assassins but he didn’t and I think that’s telling. He’s also willing to leave the Commission even though they’re making him a new body to match his age. As someone who’s complained about that since he returned in the pilot, it’s such a turn of events. It’s great character development and character growth. The audience gets to see a lot of that growth with Vanya, Klaus, and, in some ways, Allison as well this episode, which is part of the reason why it’s so good. Now if only the rest of the characters could get growth.
Episodes that are structured like this are sometimes difficult to pull off, but I think in this context, it was a great idea to show all these different strands quickly coming together and then getting rented apart by Five and his time travel and his realization about who causes the apocalypse. It’s a great set up for the next episode, cleverly named “The Day That Was,” and the rest of season one.
Join me Tuesday as we hurdle toward the end of this twisty season and dive into episode 7 with full force.
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