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UMBRELLA ACADEMY Season 3 is a Bloody Disappointment With Major Worldview Problems

Photo from IMDb – “Elliot Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, and Emmy Raver-Lampman in The Umbrella Academy (2019)”

UMBRELLA ACADEMY Season 3 is a Bloody Disappointment With Major Worldview Problems

By Trevor Jones, Movieguide® Contributor

UMBRELLA ACADEMY is a Netflix Original action-drama series that premiered in 2019. It follows a family of seven dysfunctional superheroes and their belligerent attempts to save the world. The TV-MA series dropped its third season in June 2022. Previously, MOVIEGUIDE® warned mature audiences to avoid its problematic second season. It had great acting yet terrible morals. Can UMBRELLA ACADEMY atone for its past mistakes?

Season Three of UMBRELLA ACADEMY is decent but is still too violent for its own good. The acting, special effects and minor subplots are as strong as ever. However, it suffers from a bloated runtime and questionable writing choices. The show doubles down on intense gore and selfish pursuits. Furthermore, the few positive elements that made season two enjoyable barely evolve in season three. MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution for teenagers and young adults.

Following the events of season two, the Hargreaves siblings return to their present-day headquarters. However, a new set of problems greets them. Their reckless altercations with the timeline have created an all-consuming black hole. Moreover, they have been replaced by “The Sparrow Academy,” a more powerful group of dysfunctional super-siblings. Team Umbrella battles Team Sparrow while also saving the world from total annihilation.

Across ten episodes, each sibling goes on a side quest, battles their inner demons and teams up to stop the black hole. The first and second seasons did a good job developing each member’s backstory. There was ample room for internal reflection and absurdist comedy. The show had a healthy balance between drama and moments of superhero levity. However, it retains its darker sense of humor.

The third season doubles down on a decadent worldview. Over-the-top gore, violence and swearing are all present. Characters are beheaded, amputated, and murdered in gruesome ways. Whether Team Umbrella or their enemies, the characters still act like immature teenagers. After two seasons of causing world-ending scenarios, Team Umbrella barely admits their shortcomings. Instead, they give into self-gratification and distrust one another.

However, each sibling goes through positive character growth. Luther, the muscle of the Academy, falls in love with Sloane from Team Sparrow. Both heroes defy their team rivalry and fall in love. Luther has sex with Sloane, but no explicit nudity is shown. Luther marries Sloane and learns to be a more humble person. He hosts his wedding and invites both teams to attend. Even with the world collapsing before his eyes, Luther values the fruits of traditional marriage.

Number Five, the brains of the family, does his best to keep his family together. At some point, he witnesses his own disturbing death in the future. Five loses faith in saving the world, but his adopted father encourages him to keep going. Diego, the assassin of the Team, reconnects with his wife and agrees to care for his adolescent son. When their family is in jeopardy, Team Umbrella sticks together in self-defense. They may despise each other, but they still care deeply for one another.

Vanya, an anxious woman with intense energy powers, goes on a journey of self-discovery. Elliot Page, the real-life actor of Vanya Hargreeves, “transitioned” from a biological female to male before season three began filming. In the show, Vanya gets a haircut and comes out as “Viktor.” The members of Team Umbrella quickly accept Viktor’s “new look.” Rather than squeezing “Viktor’s transition” for cheap drama, the writers organically weave it into the plot. Viktor then apologizes for constantly backstabbing a sister.

Season three exhibits quality production. The set design, visual effects and cinematography are all top-notch, and nothing in the show feels cheap. The most laudable aspect is the “world-ending” effects. Buildings rupture and crack in the most detailed ways, and this eye to detail also applies to the action scenes. The gore is still excessive, but it is impressively rendered.

Outside of pretty visuals and problematic morals, can season three redeem itself? In a few ways, yes. The actors deliver their A-games and share believable chemistry. The show embraces its wackier side too. The “Footloose” dance competition at the beginning is glorious, even if it is a mere vision of Klaus Hargreeves.

Klaus, an alcoholic who can communicate with the dead, has the most entertaining subplot. He discovers his ability to come back to life, no matter how many times he gets killed. Klaus goes through a montage of how many ways he loses his life. He gets run over by a car, shot in the head and, fifty attempts later, respawns without a hitch. Klaus’ actor brings an infectious energy to an otherwise bleak series.

The biggest letdown of season three is its slow pacing. The first half explores the inner demons of both teams. It lets each character learn from their mistakes and strive to become better people. By the second half, the pacing crawls to a standstill, despite the looming threat of the ever-expanding black hole. It lingers on Luther’s marriage arc for two episodes and then rushes to a world-shattering conclusion. It could have been an eight-episode season rather than a ten-episode season.

In summary, the third season of UMBRELLA ACADEMY repeats the mistakes of the past. It features intense gore, inconsistent pacing and over-the-top violence. The acting, visual effects and deep bits of character growth are still as strong as ever. However, its decadent worldview dilutes the positive Christian elements. MOVIEGUIDE® urges extreme caution for teenagers and young adults.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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