Better Late Than Never: 10 Random Thoughts On The Umbrella Academy Episode Three

Credit: Netflix

It’s Tuesday again! Welcome to another Better Late than Never. On Thursday, we talked about “Run Boy, Run” and Five’s discontent with his father as well as his search for the mysterious person with the missing glass eye. I touched on how the show could have easily been an eight episode series and I mentioned how episode three, this episode, really kicked things into high gear. 

Let’s see if my memory served me well. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on The Umbrella Academy episode 3, “Extra Ordinary.” As always, spoilers abound.

  1. I could point out the little hints of timelessness all over this show. Like why did Vanya buy a typewriter to write her story? Why couldn’t she have just bought a computer? Do computers simply not exist in this world? I mean, they obviously don’t seeing as Allison always uses a payphone to talk to her daughter. They have a tape system for their security system. But there are cars and Mom is a robot. There are just little things I don’t understand, but I love how it all just makes it that much harder to place both in time and place.
  2. It starts getting more and more obvious in this episode that Vanya, even now, struggles with her place in the world. Hated by her family, ostracized by society, disliked by the people she plays with in the symphony, sarcastically told that she wasn’t missed, she doesn’t belong, period. She makes attempts at entering society but is always met with consternation.
  3. Luther is still the most boring sibling ever. How is that possible? How is it possible that three episodes in, I still loathe and despise that man? Tom Hopper, bless him, he tries, but there is nothing I like about him. He’s stilted and wooden and that’s just how Luther is written and it’s a shame. I mean, put him against any of the other siblings, especially Allison and Vanya and he pales in comparison. 
  4. Leonard will never not be creepy. There, I said it. 
  5. “Did I ever tell you about the time I waxed my ass with chocolate pudding?” How do you even do that? How is that a thing that you can do? I don’t even want to know why Klaus would want to do that. Though, if he was high, then that makes perfect sense. 
  6. Hazel and Agnes are the cutest dang people in this show. It lends even more creedence to my thought that May/December romances need to be in more shows and given more frank and honest portrayals in things. Sure, Hazel is an assassin, but still. I love Hazel and Agnes. 
  7. Out of all the platonic relationships in this show, including Vanya/Allison and Klaus/Five, I think Mom and Diego is the superior platonic relationship. Out of everyone and everything Diego ever “cared” for, his feelings for Mom were genuine and loving. Mom helped him accomplish so much. It’s only fair and right that he would want to defend her and save her.
  8. I want to know what Diego is smoking because after hitting Hazel in the head once you’d think that he’d learn not to do it again because the mask he’s wearing is solid metal. Seriously. He’s so clueless. Easily my second least favorite character. Yes, even though I mention that Diego and Mom are the superior platonic relationship in the show. I said what I said. 
  9. All the fights with Hazel and Cha-Cha are not only choreographed well, they have the best soundtrack music. First it’s Queen and then it’s Nina Simone and “Sinnerman.” I can’t get over how great it is. The producers really went to town with this soundtrack and I’m glad they got the rights to all these songs. 
  10. Poor Klaus. He really gets the short end of the stick a lot. His power is a tough one and we finally get a glance at what it does to him and what he sees when he’s sober. For the audience, it’s a bit of a sobering moment, I think. This is our first glimpse into Klaus that isn’t him drug addled and it’s heartbreaking. 

This episode is so good. It still drags in parts, but this episode is the one that ups the ante. The stakes are raised. Hazel and Cha-Cha have their first run in with the academy and Klaus is kidnapped (not my baby). We see Vanya write her story and we are further led to believe that she is ordinary. That is explored a little bit more after the fight with Cha-Cha and Hazel when Diego tells Allison that Vanya is a liability, and she is. He is speaking the truth. Or is he? 

As much as I dislike Luther, he does have a bit of a moment in this episode. It’s something that’s supposed to make him more sympathetic to the viewers. After the fight with Hazel and Cha-Cha, when a chandelier falls on top of him, we find out that Luther now has a body to match his super strength, only it’s not a body that anyone is expecting. Poor Luther has the body of a gorilla and his siblings had no idea. Even if a person doesn’t like Luther, it’s still a kick in the gut and at this point in the series, it’s kind of obvious that this is the reason that Hargreeves sent Luther away to the moon. Or maybe it was just obvious to me. I don’t know. 

Either way, “Extra Ordinary” layers on the character development. We get to see more of Five’s psychosis. Yes, the poor boy is off his rocker. We all know this, but it’s on full display here as he camps out in front of MeriTech and talks to Dolores, who, by the way, in case anyone has forgotten, is a mannequin head. Vanya and Allison attempt to mend their differences, or at least Allison is the only one, besides Five, who we see care for Vanya in any way. It’s nice to see them both start to step out of their comfort zones. Especially Vanya as she seeks to make human connections. 

There is a lot going on with “Extra Ordinary,” as is normal for an Umbrella Academy episode, but the actors take it in stride and give it their all. I maintain that the first two episodes should have, and could have, been truncated so the series starts on this episode as opposed to the first two, but again, this one really sets the pace for the final seven episodes, I feel. There is action, comedy, hints of a romance (though, really Leonard can jump off a cliff for all I care), and we start getting into the meat of the story. 

There’s still a lot more to come. Thursday, I’ll tackle “Man on the Moon,” which is Luther’s episode, if I remember correctly. I will try not to be too harsh with my review. Or maybe I’ll just vent to my heart’s content. Join me Thursday to find out. 

Shelby Arnold
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