Netflix binges: The Umbrella Academy season 1 recap

The Umbrella Academy - Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix
The Umbrella Academy - Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix /
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The Umbrella Academy - New on Netflix
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY – Credit: Netflix /

The Umbrella Academy has arrived on Netflix and we’re breaking down the show episode-by-episode.

Thankfully, I was able to make my way through The Umbrella Academy comics just before the show dropped. They had been on my list for a while and I was impressed with the story that Gerard Way came up with. It’s fun and sad at the same time. Now that the show is out, we’ll just have to see how the adaptation compares.

The Umbrella Academy season 1, episode 1 recap

Much like the comic books, The Umbrella Academy doesn’t waste any time giving us a quick look at how the main characters came to be and what each of them is like. Vanya plays the violin, Allison is a star and Klaus is a trouble making drug addict. Luther is the spaceman and Diego likes to get his hands dirty.

When Sir Reginald Hargreeves dies (of natural causes), the adopted siblings are brought together, but Number Five is still missing. We learn this from Pogo, who has been with the family for decades. When Luther tries to bring everyone together to look further into their father’s death, everyone walks out on him.

We go back to when the siblings were teens and thwart a group of bank robbers in order to save the hostages inside. However, Number Seven is left behind because there’s nothing “special” about her. If you’ve read the comics, you already know where that storyline is heading, but we aren’t there just yet in the show.

With Allison recently going through a divorce, we get hints of her and Luther’s feelings for each other. There’s tension in their father’s office and afterward, Allison finds a necklace with A+L engraved on it. Luther puts on “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany and they all start dancing in the rooms that they’re in.

The dance party is interrupted when Number Five pops back in through some sort of temporal portal. He looks like he’s 13 still, even though in his mind, he’s 58. When he comes back, we learn that Ben was a sibling who died. Everyone then heads outside to scatter Reginald’s ashes and Pogo gives a speech about him.

In addition to Number Five not looking like he’s aged, their mother looks the same as she did. She also never seems like she’s entirely present and we later see that she literally needs to be charged because she’s not human. Diego and Luther get into it, ruining the moment for everyone as they break Ben’s statue and Luther gets a gash on his arm.

Vanya, Diego and Klaus leave while Number Five heads out on his own to a donut shop. Number Five is being tracked and this moment is slightly different from the comics. The people who show up don’t look quite like they do in the comics, but serve the same purpose. Number Five handles them with swiftness and gets rid of the tracker in this arm.

Luther made a big deal about Reginald’s monocle and we see Diego with it. He drops it into the river and hears about gunfire on the police radio. Klaus keeps seeing Ben and has some connection with the afterlife, but we haven’t really had a good look at his powers yet.

Vanya returns home to find Number Five in her apartment because she’s the only one that he can trust. In the comics, Vanya is the one who turns on everyone, but so far the show isn’t giving off any indication it’ll follow that part of the story. This is when Number Five reveals that the world is going to end in eight days and he doesn’t know how to stop it.

Overall, the show is off to a decent start. It isn’t exactly like the comics, but most comic book adaptations don’t always follow the comics word for word or translate every panel directly into a scene. I think this one will be an interesting take on the comics, with the wackiness in costumes toned down to make it a little darker, like we saw with the people sent to kill Number Five.