‘The Umbrella Academy’ Wasted The Sparrows

The Umbrella Academy’s third season premiered on Netflix in June and ultimately failed to make use of The Sparrow Academy.

When the second season of The Umbrella Academy came to a close, fans were left on the edge of their seats as they’d believe the Hargeeves siblings had escaped the apocalypse that had brought them into the 1960s. Upon their return to what they thought to be their childhood home, the Hargeeves siblings were met with confusion. After all, their father Reginald Hargeeves, whose death brought the family back together in Season 1, was now alive and well. As it turned out, though, this Reginald was not their father. The place they’d thought to be their home was actually none other than the Sparrow Academy. The end of the season gave fans a glimpse at the Ben of their timeline, as well as silhouettes of the Sparrows.

With the tease of the Sparrows, fans were thrilled at what Season 3 might have in store. After all, it was a brand new mystery featuring a new set of mysteriously powered children born on Oct. 1st, 1989. As the Sparrows are the children that Reginald was unable to get in the original timeline, Season 3 seemed full of promise and quickly proved it would be unable to handle this new ground of characters as evident by Marcus being wiped from existence by episode’s end,

The show begins quickly doing away with many of the Sparrows as quick as they can, spacing it out so that it does not seem like they really want them gone. Marcus was the one member that actually showed some development as he was willing to work with the Umbrellas to try and fix what was going on, but the show didn’t seem to have someone else taking up precious screen time from any of the Umbrellas. Sure, his powers weren’t all that interesting, as he had similar abilities to Luther, minus the gorilla DNA that malformed Luther’s body.

Perhaps the biggest issue with many of the characters is how one-note most of them feel. In fact, many of them don’t get much development besides Ben and Sloane, with Ben constantly bumping back and forth like the writers weren’t fully committed to what they wanted to do with this new version of a previously beloved character. Alphonso , Fei, and Jayme are kind of just there to serve as the muscle and never really expanding behind that. We even see that, at one point, Alphonso is not as deformed as he once was, but the show does little to elaborate on that. This is in no way on the actors and actresses, as they all look great and do the best that they can with what they’ve been given.

Christopher was probably the biggest misfire of the season. Of course, he is a living flesh cube, but no one ever cares to ask why and the show doesn’t care to make any explanations. In some ways, it works, as none of them really give it a second thought after all the crazy shit they’ve all seen the past few days. That doesn’t excuse that he is solely used as a plot device here and there in the season. 

Now of course, it is The Umbrella Academy and not The Sparrow Academy, so naturally, the focus would still remain on the main characters. However, it felt like such a major cop out with the Sparrows. The characters were hyped, and we were led to believe they’d be the main antagonists of the next season. Instead, they decided to completely pivot from what could’ve been a unique entry in the series with yet another apocalypse to try and fix. 

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