Review by Tatiana Miranda
In its past two seasons, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy has proven itself to be more than just a superhero series with its core centered around wacky family dynamics and intriguing fight scenes. More compelling than its plot and characters is the show’s use of music, which is understandable considering the comic book’s co-creator is Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. Since the premiere of the first season and its continuation in season two, The Umbrella Academy has stayed true to its dynamic humor and crazy adventures, and while season three has remnants of these, it is ultimately lackluster in comparison to the show’s previous installments.
The crux of The Umbrella Academy’s conflict is the recurring apocalypse that the family and superhero team the Umbrella Academy must get rid of. This is the villain of all three seasons, even though it takes the form in different ways each time. In season three, after traveling back to the present day after exploring the sixties in season two, the group returns to discover that there is no longer an Umbrella Academy, but instead, an alternate Sparrow Academy filled with a new cast of superhuman characters. While trying to fix the reality-bending and apocalypse-causing problems they’ve caused, the Umbrella Academy also confronts their seemingly more cohesive counterparts the Sparrow Academy.
Season three’s premise is intriguing, with its main appeal centered around the Sparrow Academy and the unique, never-before-seen powers they exhibit. While the dynamic between the two groups is entertaining to watch, it’s abundantly clear that the Sparrow Academy’s presence is for plot purposes as its members are quickly cast aside. The alternate dimensional aspect of the season also provides the question of what life would look like for the Umbrella Academy if they hadn’t been the Umbrella Academy. Klaus, or Number Four, takes initiative in finding this out, but the exploration of this possibility falls short when it is revealed that the consequences of their past actions disallow them from meeting the alternate versions of themselves.
Besides the half-baked plotlines, season three is also underwhelming in a technical sense. Whereas the previous two seasons included intricately choreographed and cleverly edited fight scenes, the very few fight scenes that are in season three are lazy and filled with poor CGI. Perhaps the most disappointing part of the new season is its badly done CGI, which, while it never was the show’s strong suit, it wasn’t as jarring and uncreative as it is here. With season three taking an even darker and zanier approach in terms of plot than the previous seasons, its lack of creative editing and realistic CGI rids the season of any real potential.
Overall, while The Umbrella Academy’s season three has some poignant and fun concepts, its flaws outweigh any real positives the season might have had. It is a disappointing turn in what was one of Netflix’s most interesting series and poses the question of what can be expected for season four — if it even makes it to that point.
The Umbrella Academy season three releases on Netflix on June 22.