What Is the Sparrow Academy?
After they acquire another time-traveling briefcase following their battle with the Commission in 1963, the Hargreeves siblings think they’ve successfully returned home to the present day of 2019, and with no moon-based armageddon in sight!
But their celebrations are short lived. Entering what they think is the Umbrella Academy’s dining area, Diego (David Castaneda) notices a portrait of Ben (Justin H. Min) on the wall, in the place of the Five (Aidan Gallagher) portrait that should be there.
Sir Reginald (Colm Feore) rises from his armchair and says he knew they would show up eventually. Surprised to see their father alive, the group is stunned when he informs them that this isn’t their home. And not just that, but this isn’t the Umbrella Academy — it’s the Sparrow Academy!
Cue the reveal of another gifted group of students in the shadows on the landing above (including some kind of glowing, floating box thing), before Ben — alive and sporting an emo-style haircut and scar — asks who “these a*****es are.” Cut to credits.
So who are the Sparrow Academy? Well, the comics can provide some answers. Hotel Oblivion — the third graphic novel in the series — has a similar cliffhanger ending to Season 2. After the Umbrella Academy is rescued by another superpowered group, the latter’s leader introduces himself as Number One, which of course is the same moniker that Luther is known by.
Umbrella Academy Season 2: 30 Images
Unbeknownst to her siblings, Vanya — who is still recovering from the injuries she sustained in Apocalypse Suite, the first graphic novel — has already met this group. Coerced into traveling to Norway by a mysterious woman named Carla, Vanya was introduced to this team, who were sporting red costumes that, lo and behold, are adorned with a sparrow symbol.
The comics also have precedent for how many extraordinary people there are in the world. Apocalypse Suite reveals that 43 babies were born on the same date, and only eight have been introduced in Netflix’s adaptation so far (not including whoever the Sparrow Academy turn out to be in the show). That, along with the Sparrow Academy’s unveiling in the comics and the show, surely means we’ll see more people with super abilities in future installments.
What Happened to Ben and Lila?
Speaking of Ben, the version that we know is no more. After he finds out that he can possess people in Season 2, Ben enters Vanya’s body in Episode 9 in a last-ditch attempt to stop her from causing another doomsday.Ben finds Vanya trapped inside her own mind and struggling to come to terms with ending the world in Season 1. After he convinces her it wasn’t her fault, Ben begins to fade away. His ghost is slowly destroyed by Vanya’s overstimulated powers which had been triggered by her brutal FBI interrogation. Ben “dies” again, but not before he receives a heartbreaking goodbye hug from Vanya.
We know that we’ll see Ben again as the Sparrow Academy’s leader in Season 3, but that iteration won’t be the lovable, wise-cracking version we’re used to. Judging by the finale, we’ll be getting a tougher, more serious Ben instead.
As for Lila Pitts (Ritu Arya), Diego’s girlfriend/not girlfriend, it’s unclear where she’s gone. Season 2’s finale saw her escape in time — despite Diego’s best attempts to recruit her — using one of the Commission’s briefcases after her adopted mother the Handler (Kate Walsh) was killed. With her ability to mimic the group’s superpowers, it’s obvious that she’s one of the 43 gifted individuals, but we don’t yet know if she’ll take up Diego’s offer to join the family or return in another capacity in Season 3.
Who, or What, Is Sir Reginald Hargreeves?
Sir Reginald is The Umbrella Academy’s most mysterious character. His death in Season 1 meant we only got a brief look at his backstory, but with Season 2 taking place in the 1960s we’re able to dive deeper into who he actually is.And as it turns out, he’s apparently not human. Sir Reginald certainly seems to be an extraterrestrial and, judging by the off-screen screams of the Majestic 12 — a supposedly real-life secret committee that investigates extraterrestrial incidents — following this shocking revelation, he’s a deadly one too. (Yep, after taking off his human “face” — revealing the back of his alien head to the viewing audience — it seems ol’ Reg murdered his former colleagues.) Sir Reginald’s alien origins aren’t exclusive to the show either. His real form is revealed in Apocalypse Suite’s first three pages, so it isn’t surprising that Season 2 finally showed us what he is.
Indeed, there were hints that he was otherworldly back in Season 1. That season’s finale shows Sir Reginald with an unnamed woman who seems to be dying. The scene doesn’t appear to be out of the ordinary until we see Sir Reginald release a golden substance from a jar into the air. Space capsules litter the field outside, and rockets can be seen departing the planet. Sir Reginald is seen arriving in America soon after, and then buys the building that becomes the Umbrella Academy. Oh, and we also know he’s really into the moon. He sent Luther to live there prior to Season 1, and he’s also very interested in the Dark Side of the moon in Season 2.
Sir Reginald’s origins haven’t been explored in detail in the comics yet, but it’s safe to assume that these shots are of his homeworld. His involvement in Nasa’s spaceflight tests, and the Majestic 12, offer more proof of his interstellar knowledge and otherworldly origins. Add those to Sir Reginald masquerading as a human and his knowledge of superpowered people, and there’s clearly much more we have yet to learn about him.
What Do the Comics and Season 2 Tease About Season 3?
Season 3 can go in any number of directions, and the graphic novels and show itself can hint at where it could be heading.
The substance released by Sir Reginald mentioned above looks similar to the molecules that Vanya accidentally gives Harlan when she saves his life in Season 2. It could be that Sir Reginald had a role in how the siblings gained their abilities, and it would be interesting to see how Season 3 tackles his potential involvement in their creation. He’s an enigmatic character after all, and it would explain why he was so keen to recruit as many superpowered children as possible in 1989 if he knew their abilities are the result of his intervention.
We may see parallel universes introduced in Season 3 too. In the comics, Luther and Diego explore the Afterspace, a wild region of space that doesn’t adhere to the laws of science. Netflix’s adaptation could potentially retcon this and use the Afterspace as a means of time and interdimensional travel in Season 3. This could explain how the Umbrella Academy arrived at the Sparrow Academy, and could also connect to the Commission’s role in overseeing threats to not just the timeline, but potentially different timelines.
With the Commission under new management after the Handler’s death — if she doesn’t survive the gunshot wounds she sustained in Season 2’s finale, that is — Season 3 will need new antagonists. The apocalypse plot device would get tiresome if it’s used again, so a fresh impetus would be welcome. It would be very cool then to see supervillains introduced in Season 3… and who knows? Maybe that will turn out to be just what the TV version of the Sparrow Academy is.
Supervillains exist in the graphic novels, but we have yet to see any appear in Netflix’s adaptation. There are more gifted people out there, and not all of them will use their powers for good. We know Lila ran instead of joining the Umbrella Academy and, with her mimic powers, she’d be a formidable foe for the Hargreeves family to encounter again in Season 3. But beyond Lila, the show could introduce some classic comics villains such as Dr. Terminal or Mr. Perseus. They could be used as foils to the Sparrow Academy, which might lead to the Umbrella Academy teaming up with them to save the world.
Whatever direction Season 3 goes in, one thing’s for certain: The Umbrella Academy are in for another rough ride as they continue to try and find their way back home.