short-lived review on Netflix

Apocalypse now…again

True to tradition, the final cliffhanger on which the previous season had dared to end quickly opens these new hostilities: back in their original timeline, the seven brothers and sisters discovered not without displeasure that their little involuntary excursion into the Dallas 60’s gave rise to an alternate reality. There is no longer any question of any Umbrella Academy: put off by their previous meeting, the tender patriarch Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), fresh out of the grave, has thus become attached to adopt a very different panel of children so as not to repeat future mistakes.

So these are the beginnings that had something to promise some engaging prospects. After two seasons spent reusing the apocalyptic plot as the main driving force, it seemed legitimate to wait for this new burst of episodes to finally turn away from this obstacle that has become sadly commonplace in order to probe new narrative segments, and subsequently, to underpin new issues. But nay!

Hello new antagonists

In a starting point far too similar to that of the previous season, it turned out that the spatio-temporal perambulations of the siblings have again put the good universal balance in danger, and triggered yet another cataclysm that it is up to the group to stop before it is too late. The company is as cosmic as forbidding. And if this repetition was not enough to weaken this new season, the series also seems to have fallen back into the lymphatic faults of its beginnings.

Thus, rather than going straight to the point and trying to maintain the dynamism of the previous season, these new episodes suffer from an indigestible sluggishness, and abound with sub-plots each more insipid and frivolous than the other: from parasitic romantic segments to unfounded fraternal brawls, the series lamentably multiplies the filling operationseffectively atrophying its main narrative until the viewer has come to question its existence.

Umbrella Academy: photo, Aidan GallagherTired of running through space-time, Five runs away with the script for season 3

STILL WITHOUT MY FAMILY

Curiously, and despite the indisputable ugliness from which the plot suffers, the narrative development was less ransacked by the screenwriters and executive producer Steve Blackman than that of the main characters.

Certainly, the characters have not all excessively suffered from this third season. On the one hand, the narrative arc that benefits Diego (David Castañeda) deepens wisely his past relationship with Lilawhile Klaus (Robert Sheehan), reduced to the status of vulgar comic devious in the previous season, here recovers his complexity, and finally explores, with the help of none other than Reginald, the full potential of his powers.

Umbrella Academy: photo, Robert SheehanGoodbye sect, hello identity development!

Predictably, Viktor, previously known to the viewer as Vanya, gets the most moving, and most importantly, the most accomplished treatment. The transition of the latter, carried out in mirror of that of Elliot Page, is thus approached by the story with candor, and makes less case of a real narrative frame than of themanifest development of the character and his interpreter. We think in particular of a scene from episode 3 where Diego and Luther (Tom Hooper) ask Viktor if he feels loved as he is. The moment is as brief as it is poetic.

Conversely, Luther, the weak link in the series since its inception, here pushes the silliness to its climax, but nevertheless proves to be less intolerable than the overwhelming histrionics in which Ben (Justin H. Min) and Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) indulge. ), both sadly reduced to the status of vulgar cartoonish antagonists. A most dubious change of personality whose sole purpose is to sow discord between the characters, a way like any other to furnish the plot with more beauty.

As for the Sparrow Academy, an alternative family around which this third season should have been built, it finally revealed itself. somewhat anecdotal. With the exception of Ben and Sloane (Génesis Rodríguez), a dark potiche officiating at new semi-incestuous crush in Luther, the other characters of the Hargreeves 2.0 clan are so insignificant that the series wastes no time relegating one part to the background, and cheerfully offloading the other without having the slightest impact on the narrative.

Umbrella Academy: photo, Justin H. MinHere is one who would have done better to stay dead

wake me up when the world ends

Umbrella Academy has always suffered from uneven quality, but it would seem that this third season will perpetuate its mediocrity once and for all. In addition to the vast operation of narrative recycling attesting to its glaring lack of ambition, the series does not even have the decency to rest on its few achievements, and subsequently offers a discharge of incoherent and washed-out episodes; even the artistic touch that had been able to distinguish the series from the rest of the contemporary serial landscape seems to have been repudiated. The action as for it, does not really start until episode 9 – a shame for a salvo which counts 10 -, and the denouement of this season is simultaneously too weak and overloaded to really arouse interest.

Confined since the start of the season to the Obsidian hotel, a more or less watered down repetition of the Continental hotel in John Wickthe Umbrella and Sparrow teams are now forced to ally with each other in order to neutralize, not the apocalypse (which finally took place, however conveniently sparing our characters), but rather another threat, presented as a pressing danger half a second after being introduced to the viewer.

Umbrella Academy: posterUnfulfilled promises and a disappointing ending…

Barely do the characters have time to worry about it that the story already moves on to something else, sending his conclusion to better hurry yet another improbable cliffhanger. It would therefore seem that the sole motivation of the series is to hold the spectator in suspense by multiplying the most random twists without ever worrying about justifying them.

Of course, the final situation positions the characters in an unprecedented situation, and opens the door to many intriguing perspectives. But these perspectives continue to be vulgarly waved under the beholder’s nose. without ever guaranteeing its use. Thus, true to itself, the series asks many more questions than it offers answers.

How did Ben die? What are the origins of Christopher, the telekinetic cube? Where do the characters’ powers actually come from? Who is Reginald Hargreeves really, and what is his purpose? So many questions that should be addressed in order to not to permanently tire an audience that is already very conciliatory.

Umbrella Academy season 3 is available in full since June 22, 2022 on Netflix. Seasons 1 and 2 are also available on the platform.

Umbrella Academy: Pictures

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