The Umbrella Academy S3 Review: Elliot Page’s Transitioning Is Nicely Handled But A Rather Small Part Of Show


In the most newsworthy aspect of the third season of “The Umbrella Academy”, Netflix The series includes Elliott Page’s transition into the story, a moment touched upon with sensitivity and relatively early on.

Beyond that, the show descends from Season 2’s cliffhanger into a more complex realm of shifting schedules, battling superhero teams and existential dangers, with plenty of goofy humor and disrespect but accumulating weird new elements, increasingly aimed at what looks like a powerful gang of loyalists. Who are patient to keep up.

The page was reintroduced as Vanya before taking the name Viktor, and backlash from the siblings is woven into that subplot. It handled well but is understood to be a fairly small part of the show given all the moving and elaborate parts that have to be reconciled, especially with the addition of the Sparrow Academy, another group of very special kids also assembled by the “father” gang Umbrella, Reginald Hargreaves (Colm Feuer), after their adventures in Season Two in the 1960s.

Confused members of the original cast essentially engage in a long dance with their brothers and sisters in the alternate timeline on a variety of fronts, including actual dance sequences that emphasize the show’s playful tone. Interactions range from feud and fights to a relationship between Luther (Tom Hooper) and Sparrow (Genesis Rodriguez), whom one of his brothers derisively referred to as “Gravity Barbie.”

However, once the last scheme is established, the diverse subplots lead to diminishing returns, indulging in strange inflections while building toward the inevitable confrontation with the amorphous threat. Adding a whole new cast of characters is a challenge, and the show grapples with the dangers so much associated with jumping in time and juggling these outcomes and possibilities.

Like almost any kind of show, “Umbrella Academy” will continue to attract its passionate fans, which is a strong feature of streaming. However, by comparison, this set of episodes dwarfs next to the final third season of Amazon’s “The Boys,” showing that it’s possible to adapt exciting graphic novel material and maintain narrative momentum in a more focused way.

Without spoiling anything, the season three finale leaves plenty of room for a fourth, reinforcing the sense that it’s time to start planning a proper conclusion. Because when an ambitious show like “Umbrella Academy” starts looking like its best days are over, well, when it rains, it rains.

Season 3 of “The Umbrella Academy” premieres June 22 on Netflix.

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