The Umbrella Academy season 3: What is a Kugelblitz?

The Umbrella Academy. Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves in episode 303 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Umbrella Academy. Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves in episode 303 of The Umbrella Academy. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Another season of The Umbrella Academy down, another chance for the Hargreeves siblings to save the world. The highly-anticipated third season just dropped in the early hours this morning, and fans are no doubt already starting to binge the 10 new episodes. This time around, the Umbrellas are faced with a threat they never imagined possible — another set of siblings.

As you probably remember, the season 2 finale ended on a major cliffhanger with the Umbrellas defeating the Commission and time traveling back to their present-day world. But it’s not completely successful. When they show up, they realize they did something wrong along the way because now in the timeline, the Sparrow Academy exists, not the Umbrella Academy.

The Umbrella Academy season 3 puts a new spin on sibling rivalry as the Umbrellas and Sparrows fight, bond, and eventually find a reason to come together.

Spoilers ahead for The Umbrella Academy season 3.

When Marcus Hargreeves (Justin Cornwell) goes missing, the Sparrows think the Umbrellas had something to do with it. But as it turns out, Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) actually sacrificed him to a monster we’ve never seen on this show before — the Kugelblitz, a.k.a. a big, red source of energy that’s actually a black hole that can suck up timelines.

Before the group understands what the Kugelblitz is or that it even exists, Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) and Lila (Ritu Arya) jet off to get answers as to why people are starting to disappear in the timeline. They say whatever it is is like the opposite of the Big Bang, with the universe somehow collapsing in on itself.

At the start of episode 3, “Pocket Full of Lightning,” we learn about the Commission’s paradox protocols, where it’s explained what the Grandfather Paradox is. We hear a fictional antidote where a kid named Elmer decides to go back in time to kill his grandfather, only he went back way too far and changed the timeline so that he no longer existed.

What does Kugelblitz mean in The Umbrella Academy?

By the time Number Five and Lila get ahold of one of the Commission handbooks and read about the Grandfather Paradox, it’s kind of too late. The Kugelblitz has already started taking out the Commission with its “Kugel waves” as Five later dubs them.

Eventually, Five and Lila find an older version of Five, who tells them that there must be a Kugelblitz. Lila doesn’t know what that means, but Five is there to explain that it’s German for “ball of lightning,” adding, “it’s an extra kinky kind of black hole.” So that red, fiery ball in the basement of the Sparrow Academy is the Kugelblitz.

When present-day Five asks how they can stop the Kugelblitz, his older version has a disappointing answer. He advises them not to try and save the world again, though he does reference something called Oblivion, which we learn about later in the season. But we won’t spoil everything for you here!

Just like with previous seasons of The Umbrella Academy, we learn so much more about time travel and its rules in these new episodes. Be sure to pay attention or you might miss something!

You can stream all 10 episodes of The Umbrella Academy season 3 right now on Netflix. Keep up with us at Netflix Life for all of our coverage.

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