Airing on Netflix in February, The Umbrella Academy became a huge success with only one season. It stood out among rows and rows of bland TV series with recycled plots and one-dimensional characters. The Umbrella Academy has a unique concept and a diverse cast of dysfunctional, relatable, lovable characters, so its success makes complete sense.
Series don't normally receive so much praise for their first seasons, but TUA was an exception, and for good reason. The ten episodes its premiere season contained were captivating, breathtaking, beautiful, and often hilarious. None of the episodes would even really qualify as bad, but of course, there were just some that were better than others.
Let's take a look through The Umbrella Academy's first season and its best and worst episodes.
10 THE DAY THAT WAS (EPISODE 7)
This episode delves into the story of Harold Jenkins (aka Leonard Peabody) and his troubling past. This is definitely an interesting storyline, but The Day That Was puts a heavy focus on it, more than anything else in this episode.
Since Harold Jenkins is the antagonist, and everyone really just wanted to see the Hargreeves siblings, the focus on Harold's arc was not very well-received. The rest of the episode is fairly decent though, with Luther discovering that his father never looked at any of the information that Luther had sent to him from the moon, and as a result of discovering this, Klaus goes through some satisfying character development in comforting Luther.
9 WE ONLY SEE EACH OTHER AT WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS (EPISODE 1)
The first episode of the series was definitely not The Umbrella Academy's strongest, but nonetheless, it was an awesome premiere that presented complex, likable characters and a deeply interesting plot. We Only See Each Other At Weddings And Funerals shows each one of the Hargreeves siblings estranged from each other, only brought together by the news of their father's death.
This episode has a lot of good material, bringing the Hargreeves siblings together after they had been apart for years, and making the audience fall in love with them for the first time.
8 MAN ON THE MOON (EPISODE 4)
Man On The Moon explores Luther's life after all his siblings have left the Academy and he is the only one left to fulfill his father's orders. Luther is Number One, and this is a title he takes very seriously - so much so that he gets himself into a pretty dangerous situation that nearly kills him.
Luther's life is saved by a blood transfusion from Pogo, and it's revealed that this is how Luther became the hulking beast that he is in the present. After Luther's life is altered in this way, Reginald sends him to the moon, where Luther stays for seven years.
7 CHANGES (EPISODE 9)
Being the penultimate episode of the first season, Changes is an intense one. The episode opens with a morbidly humorous sequence that presents a four-year-old Vanya, stubbornly refusing to eat her oatmeal. Reginald hires several nannies who attempt and fail to get her to obey, and it's revealed that this is how Grace - the Hargreeves' siblings robo-mother - comes to be created.
In the present, after Vanya and Allison's fight that led to Vanya cutting Allison's throat, Leonard/Harold drags Vanya away from her sister's supposedly dead body. Ultimately, Luther and the others arrive in time to save Allison's life, and the end of the episode presents Vanya's turning point as a character.
6 RUN BOY RUN (EPISODE 2)
This was only the second episode in The Umbrella Academy's first season, but it was definitely a powerful one. It opens with a flashback scene that shows the Hargreeves family sitting down to dinner, while listening to a recorded lecture. Five pipes up, telling Reginald that he is ready to use his time traveling abilities to visit the future. Reginald shoots down the idea, but rebellious Five is determined, and runs away from the Academy, time traveling through many centuries before he ultimately arrives in the war-torn, post-apocalyptic future. The audience learns that this is where Five was stuck for the past sixteen years.
5 I HEARD A RUMOR (EPISODE 8)
I Heard A Rumor puts the spotlight on Allison as she channels her inner detective to uncover more about the mysterious Harold Jenkins. This episode reveals a lot about Allison's powers, and her history with her daughter and ex-husband. Meanwhile, Harold Jenkins/Leonard Peabody is in the hospital after his encounter the previous night, with the men who we later find out he hired to attack him, in attempt to manipulate Vanya into using her powers. Later on in the episode, Harold/Leonard uses Reginald's diary to train Vanya, and much more about her powers and past is revealed.
4 EXTRA ORDINARY (EPISODE 3)
Extra Ordinary delves into Vanya's backstory and reveals a lot about her character. The opening sequence shows Vanya buying a typewriter and starting her controversial autobiography regarding her childhood. The episode then shows a sequence of Vanya's siblings all reading the book.
Later on, Klaus is digging through a garbage bin in search of some of his father's valuables that he previously threw out, and the deceased Ben watches his brother in distaste. The end of the episode presents one of the most exciting, action-packed sequences the show has to offer, in which Hazel and Cha-Cha infiltrate the Academy in search of Five and ultimately capture Klaus.
3 NUMBER FIVE (EPISODE 5)
A great aspect of The Umbrella Academy is that every episode is rich with well-written storylines and character development. This is especially true for Number Five, the fifth episode of the season, which presents our favorite characters in some unique circumstances.
It's revealed that Klaus had accidentally time-traveled back to the 1960s, and served in the Vietnam war. Klaus returns to modern times wearing different clothes, and understandably very traumatized. This episode also shows a middle-aged, delusional Five in the post-apocalyptic days, having a conversation with his mannequin girlfriend, Delores.
2 THE DAY THAT WASN'T (EPISODE 6)
In this episode, Five is offered a promotion by The Handler. His occupation at the Commission is changed from assassin to a desk job in which he is supposed to make sure that historical tragedies and disasters happen without any interference.
Meanwhile, Hazel and Cha-Cha have been turned against each other, and Klaus has Diego tie him to a chair so that he can be sober enough to talk to his dead lover, Dave, one last time. This episode also presents a dreamlike, very aesthetically pleasing sequence in which Luther and Allison share a romantic dance together. But true to this episode's title, the day the characters had and everything that happened to them in it, ceased to exist by the end of the episode, after Five resets the timeline.
1 THE WHITE VIOLIN (EPISODE 10)
Being the season finale, this episode was bound to be more intense than the others, but that's not all it was. The White Violin not only delivered in the action and excitement department, it also came through with a good amount of character development, and it answered many of our questions.
The title, The White Violin, is a reference to the show's graphic novel inspiration, in which that title was Vanya's nickname. This episode reveals more about Reginald's past, and shows how he came to buy his mansion and start the Umbrella Academy. In The White Violin, many major events take place. The Hargreeves siblings band together in an attempt to save the world from the impending apocalypse, but in a twist of events, have no other choice but to utilize Five's time-traveling abilities in order to save themselves.