Here we are, everyone. “The White Violin.” Season one episode 10. We are at the season finale and one day away from season two. Who’s excited? I know I’m excited. Be on the lookout for my review coming out on Sunday so you can see how I like this new season in comparison to the first season. Even though season two is also ten episodes long, hopefully, the writers have learned how to balance a bit more and how to marry plot with character.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my final thoughts on the first season of The Umbrella Academy.
- “I will die here, but you won’t.” Learning that Reginald was as old as he was and learning that he possibly wouldn’t die any normal way is a revelation into why he was the way he was, but it doesn’t explain everything. What were the rockets being shot into space? What were those creepy vehicles? Was he from another planet? Was he from a different universe? A different timeline? There is so much we don’t understand about Reginald and I hope we get more in season 2.
- “Did you know?” Yes, he knew. He kept you in the dark, but he did it for your own good. I love Vanya but she does do some not so great things. Like killing Pogo. Pogo kept a lot of secrets but he did not deserve to go out like he did. Not at all. Neither did Mom.
- Also, the lighting on Vanya when she’s the White Violin is so eerie and cool. I’ve never seen anything like that done before. I really haven’t and I think it’s such a good aesthetic choice.
- “Barracuda” by Heart blaring in the background as Vanya in a suit and tie walks in slow motion to her orchestra performance is the level of extra I aspire to be in my life.
- And the penny drops, not that anyone believes him which is disappointing but Robert Sheehan performs the part so well.
- Can we please just acknowledge that the Handler and Five totally had a thing going on? I really don’t think there’s a way to ignore that. I know she’s manipulative but he’s not the best either. Not really. They’d be perfect for each other. We’re not talking about this enough.
- Okay, as much as I don’t like Luther and Allison, the scene in the phone booth with them calling Claire is so heartbreaking. Emmy Raver-Lampman deserves all the awards and I know that one day, she’s going to be an EGOT winner and it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait for that day.
- That gunfight between the Umbrella Academy and the Handler’s henchmen in the bowling alley is beautifully shot and soundtracked. We don’t give Neville Kidd, resident cinematographer for this episode, enough credit for his work. Everyone is so hung up on the plot (or lack thereof) and the acting, but this show is beautiful in a lot of different ways.
- Okay, but now that the Handler is dead, who is going to take control of the Commission? What is the Commission going to be like in season two? Is it even going to exist? Are they going to think that Five killed the Handler? I have so many questions. Is the Handler even dead? That’s a good question too.
- Klaus conjuring Ben and then Ben killing all the guys shooting at them is one of the greatest sequences I’ve ever seen. Also, what is this show’s preoccupation with blue? There has to be some symbolic meaning behind it.
- BONUS: for one brief moment I really thought that Allison was going to kill Vanya, but the fact she didn’t just makes me love Allison that much more. It was the love of a sister that saved their lives. Had it been up to Luther or anyone else, Vanya would’ve been dead.
This is a season finale. It’s not the best season finale I’ve ever seen, but it comes pretty close. It ties up all the loose and dangling plot threads and introduces new plot threads to keep us going into the second season. For example, what happens when the whole crew time jumps with Five’s powers? We know a little bit from the trailers, which shows us that the time jump didn’t revert the Academy to children, as it suggested in the final scene we see them together. In fact, they’re all adults again and all in different places in the early 60s. One of the biggest questions I have going into season two can be seen in the first thought I list above. What is going on with Reginald? There is a very big possibility that we might run into Colm Feore as Hargreeves again in this timeline because the dude’s been around since at least the early 1900s. Also, with time travel, how will Five handle the Commission? Will the Commission be in season two? See thought number nine above. I love it when season finales give me more questions. It makes me excited for what I’m about to experience in the next seasons.
Also, this episode is beautiful. As I said above, Neville Kidd does a fantastic job with lighting this episode. There are a lot of blues and deep, subtle contrast that really illuminates both Ben and Vanya as they both come into their own and become more than what they have been through the entire series. There’s something important about the color blue in this show and it isn’t obvious until this episode and I hope that we get more information about that in the next season, especially since many of the promotional pics I’ve seen emphasize blue. (And also Vanya exclusively wears blue through most of the season. What’s up with that?) Kidd brings that to the forefront and I don’t know if it’s just an aesthetic choice or if it means something and it’ll be exciting to see if it’s important or just me reading too far into things.
I’d like to talk about Kate Walsh for a minute. I know the Handler is shot in the head in this episode, but it would be a crying shame if she doesn’t show up in season two. Why? Because I still maintain that she and older!Five had something going on between them and since older!Five is present in the 60s, that means the Handler should be too. The team is going back in time, they’re not going to another universe, that we know of, and the Handler and the Commission are important staples of the show, it feels like. Without the Commission, Five wouldn’t become an assassin and get in the middle of this mess. Paradoxes and the like are going to happen and I’m here for it. So long as we get more banter between the Handler and Five. (And for the record, no, I don’t ship Five in his 13-year-old body with the Handler. Just, no. In case anyone was freaking out or something.) I would love to see Five and older!Five interact, though I’m not sure how that would work.
Anyway, that’s it for the first ten episodes of The Umbrella Academy. Next week, I will be taking a breather to get geared up for my next batch of random thoughts. Starting August 11th I’ll be taking on NBC’s single-season comedy-drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. So be on the lookout.