The Hargreeves in The Umbrella Academy

The next incorporates spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 2.

There’s a lot to take pleasure in in The Umbrella Academy’s second season. The story is compelling, the character work is powerful, and the music cues are extremely on level. Season 2 effortlessly builds on most of the strengths of its predecessor, whereas inserting its characters in new and intriguing conditions. The dynamics between the Hargreeves kids are richer and extra complicated than ever earlier than, and the 1960s-era setting is only a ton of enjoyable.

Season 2’s demonstrated means to course right for the higher is exactly what makes its resolution to double down one of many sequence’ worst character decisions so irritating. Two seasons in, The Umbrella Academy nonetheless has no thought what to do with Vanya, essentially the most highly effective Hargreeves youngster, whose long-simmering rage and ache virtually destroyed the world…twice. A lot of the sequence’ first season was greater than keen to plumb the depths of Vanya’s emotional trauma, displaying us in pretty specific element all of the methods she had been abused, lied to, and usually rejected by these closest to her. However its second appears to have little to no real interest in displaying us how – or even when – the character is able to actually therapeutic.

On the finish of season 1, the Hargreeves siblings return in time to attempt to avert the apocalypse, ostensibly by serving to Vanya heal and confronting the truth that they had been as instrumental in her world-ending psychotic break as their lifeless father was. The present acknowledges the household’s complicity in Vanya’s fall – solely Allison even vaguely objects to locking Vanya in a padded room after discovering out about her powers, and that’s as a result of she remembers getting used to remove her sister’s company herself after they had been younger. The remainder of the siblings react simply as they at all times have, selecting to isolate Vanya relatively than try and cope with her issues head-on.

Due to this fact, the promise of addressing their failure together with her within the sequence second season felt like a pure subsequent step in Vanya’s story. However, as an alternative, The Umbrella Academy itself chooses to disregard her ache in season 2, a lot the identical means her siblings as soon as did.

As a substitute of going through Vanya’s previous and actually coping with her messy relationships with all her siblings, season 2 treats her trauma like an afterthought. The ache and loneliness that outlined her life up thus far are erased by a handy, clunky bout of amnesia – she’s hit by a automobile virtually as quickly as she arrives in 1963 – a twist which largely frees her from the duty of the selections she made final season.

Vanya is rarely requested to look too intently at her earlier decisions – from writing a tell-all novel about her household secrets and techniques or slicing her sister’s throat – or to acknowledge the trend that drove her for thus lengthy. Even when she ultimately learns a number of key information concerning the life she doesn’t bear in mind, together with her assaults on her sister and her earlier – now lifeless, by her hand – boyfriend, the present usually chooses to play the second for laughs relatively than development. Klaus even drunkenly shushes Allison when the topic comes up at one level.

That is particularly irritating since season 2 initially hints that Vanya will trigger one other apocalypse as a result of she doesn’t know who she is or perceive what she’s able to – mainly as a result of as soon as once more the siblings have shirked their obligation of care towards her. This isn’t an issue that may – or ought to – be fastened by Luther’s fast try at an apology early within the season or the ten-minute dialog with the lifeless brother she barely knew at its finish. It’s a problem that deserves to be confronted head-on by the total Umbrella Academy. That’s ostensibly what the phrases of their journey again in time had been within the first place, in any case.

Sure, there’s a sure pleasure to be present in Vanya’s season 2 storyline. Launched from the constraints of who she’s at all times been and unburdened of the various lies her household instructed her all through her life, her character feels freer and extra real than ever earlier than. Although her romantic subplot as soon as once more appears as if it’s taking place on a completely totally different sequence for half the season, at the least her reference to Sissy is predicated on one thing actual. There’s maybe an argument to be made that possibly this do-over is exactly what Vanya wanted, to at the least know that she was able to being a unique individual than the rage-filled monster her father created.

However by erasing her decisions with out ever actually going through them, The Umbrella Academy denies Vanya the possibility to really develop in the identical methods her siblings did this season. All through season 2, we’ve gotten to see Luther, Allison, and even Klaus resolve the type of individuals they need to be, outdoors of the affect of their household historical past. Vanya, to an extent, does that as effectively, constructing new connections of her personal with Sissy and Harlan. However, as a result of she doesn’t actually bear in mind the household she as soon as had, these selections don’t carry fairly the identical weight for her. For Luther, whose life was virtually solely outlined by the Umbrella Academy up till this level, his resolution to be a daily man who pays payments and eats barbecue means one thing. Vanya’s…not a lot.

By the point Vanya’s reminiscences are compelled again into her through electroshock torture the season’s virtually over and the Hargreeves are coping with one other potential catastrophe that has taken priority over therapeutic the primary one. Vanya has her previous reminiscences again alongside a slew of happier new ones, and everybody’s type of forgiven each other, and it’s all nice. This isn’t a dangerous factor, per se. In spite of everything, dysfunctional sibling dynamics are what this present is greatest at.

However viewers deserve the possibility to see Vanya face – and conquer – her demons on her phrases, not simply handwave them away with a handy narrative excuse. Whether or not meaning genuinely apologizing to Allison and the opposite members of the family she’s wronged, expressing regret about Pogo’s dying, or simply spending some high quality time speaking out their homicide pasts with Quantity 5 – the opposite Hargreeves household misfit with a messy historical past of his personal – The Umbrella Academy wants to permit Vanya the house to handle the girl she as soon as was whereas deciding the type of hero she’ll grow to be.

The submit It’s Time for The Umbrella Academy to Actually Reckon with Vanya’s Trauma appeared first on Den of Geek.


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