The biggest mistake The Umbrella Academy made during season 1 was blatantly telegraphing the story’s biggest twists, which is something the show needs to avoid on season 2 if it hopes to garner the same attention from critics and casual fans.
Maybe audiences are too savvy for their own good after a decade’s worth of superhero flicks hitting theaters, networks, and streaming platforms. Or perhaps it’s a matter of The Umbrella Academy‘s writers taking a flawed narrative approach. Whatever the case, most viewers could see the story’s biggest twist coming from a mile away. And while knowing that twist didn’t exactly dampen the fun of watching the madness unfold, many of the show’s fans are hoping The Umbrella Academy‘s creative team will do a better job keeping the Hargreeves’ secrets in the already green-lit season 2.
A big part of the problem is that The Umbrella Academy is indeed based on a popular series released by comic powerhouse Dark Horse. As such, many secrets were already out in the world prior to the television series bowing on Netflix. Still, the comic book series was certainly not big enough that said secrets would’ve been known by the entirety of The Umbrella Academy‘s target audience. It seems more likely that most people hadn’t even heard of The Umbrella Academy prior to the release of the show, let alone had read the books that inspired it.
That’s a big part of what made watching the inaugural such a frustrating experience. Even if you had no idea what was ahead for the adult Hargreeves when they found themselves once again under the same roof, you knew by the second episode of The Umbrella Academy how certain narrative threads would play out. Specifically, the series so fervently hammered home the apparent fact that Ellen Page’s Vanya has no special abilities that it became blatantly obvious she actually does. More so, the show made such a spectacle of Vanya ingesting her meds during scenes of emotional turmoil that it was clear her ability is tied to her emotional state, those meds are were designed to keep her emotions in check, and that Vanya’s powers are far more unstable than anyone can imagine. It was also evident by the second episode that Vanya’s isolation from her super-powered siblings left an irreparable rift between them, and that said rift would contribute to her eventual loss of control — not to mention her breaking bad, and, you know, inadvertently ending the world.
Similarly, Vanya’s brother Number 5’s (Aidan Gallagher) ability to travel through space and time was also introduced by episode 2. It was clear at that point that Number 5’s power would play a key role in whatever battle with Vanya was impending.
That all left roughly eight episodes of The Umbrella Academy‘s inaugural season to build up towards a painfully telegraphed “shocking twist” of a showdown. And even if we don’t know how said showdown will ultimately shake out, we already know full well it’s going to happen — which means there’s nothing really shocking about it. Thus, the show’s intrinsic predictability spoiled what might’ve been one of the better twists in superhero history.
Still, given where the showdown left audiences, we can be certain there are many more twists to come on the second season of The Umbrella Academy. Let’s just hope the series’ showrunners do a better job of hiding them the second time around.