The Umbrella Academy: Every Time The Commission Interfere With History

Number 5 Hazel and Cha Cha Hinderburg The Umbrella Academy logo

Here's every time the Commission are confirmed to have interfered with history in The Umbrella Academy. Acting as the primary villains in The Umbrella Academy season 1, the Commission are a group of time-travelling assassins whose raison d'etre is to ensure certain events in Earth's history take place as they should.

While this may sound like a noble quest on paper, the Commission aren't averse to killing several dozen innocents who might get in their way and even try to prevent the Academy's heroes from saving the world. The Commission serve an unseen higher authority and their orders are absolute, paying no mind to the collateral death, pain and destruction caused in the process.

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The Umbrella Academy season 1 pulls back the curtain somewhat on the Commission's means, methods and motivations, but plenty remains unknown about this mysterious organization. For example, it's unclear exactly how heavily the Commission have impacted the course of human history. Some of their timeline-meddling takes place in The Umbrella Academy's present-day timeline, but a number of past missions are revealed or hinted at through Easter eggs or lines of dialogue. When pieced together, a clearer picture of the Commission's influence begins to emerge.

Historic Events The Umbrella Academy's Commission Interfere With

Sean Sullivan as Old Number 5 in The Umbrella Academy

The earliest confirmed instance of the Commission "preserving the time continuum" in The Umbrella Academy season 1  can be found way back during the 15th century, with the Handler dropping a line about convincing Johannes Gutenberg to invent the printing press. Unfortunately, the bulk of Commission activity isn't quite as wholesome. The organization's first known violent interference is a job performed by Hazel and Cha-Cha in Manila in the year 1902. Although the details aren't explained, it's highly likely that this correction was related to the Philippine-American war, which ended in that very year.

One historical event the audience can be completely sure the Commission caused occurs in 1914. During a montage scene, it's revealed that Number 5 assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo - a death that is widely accused of triggering the First World War. During that conflict, Commission case manager, Herb, is tasked with the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a British ship destroyed by German U-boats in 1915, and a contributing factor to the U.S. joining the war several years later. The sinking of the Lusitania has been a topic of controversy in WW1 history.

Several decades later, Number 5 was responsible for the Hindenburg disaster, bringing down the infamous zeppelin by ordering the death of a man named Karl Weber. Many other works of fiction that explore the ramifications of time travel, such as Doctor Who, have suggested that zeppelins would have become a common mode of transportation in the following decades if the Hindenburg had docked safely on that fateful day. Moving from WW1 to WW2, it's heavily implied that the Commission had a hand in Adolf Hitler's suicide, as the handler reveals she took the dictator's pistol from as a memento. Also among the Handler's office decorations is a Chinese flamethrower, although no information is revealed regarding the mission this ancient weapon came from.

The aforementioned montage also connects Number 5 to the death of communist dictator, Joseph Stalin. History textbooks officially attribute Stalin's death to a stroke, however some historians have suspected foul play. The Umbrella Academy's resident time and space manipulator was then supposed to assassinate John F. Kennedy in 1963, but instead jumped back to his original timeline, leaving another agent to complete the mission. Three years later, Hazel and Cha-Cha were assigned a job in London, 1966. The exact circumstances surrounding this order are unclear, but could be connected to the theft and subsequent return of the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy.

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Unknown Missions The Umbrella Academy's Commission Executed

During Hazel and Cha-Cha's torture of Klaus, a host of the duo's other victims are revealed. Klaus learns of Zoya Popova, a Russian woman Hazel and Cha-Cha took out, a handless Englishman, an unnamed Mandarin-speaking woman with a cut throat and a Farsi-speaking woman that Cha-Cha smothered to death. The two Commission workers also briefly reference the torture of a man in Trinidad. Klaus goes on to detail how Hazel and Cha-Cha killed Jan Mueller, revealing that Hazel went rogue and let Mueller's wife live. Hazel later admits that he also spared the life of a young boy in Tokyo who had been targeted for removal. Hazel mentions that Number 5 carried out an unspecified mission in Calhoun that has attracted legendary status another other Commission operatives.

Changes The Commission Makes To The Umbrella Academy's Present-Day

The Umbrella Academy Hazel and Cha Cha

Historic ventures aside, the Commission also heavily interferes with the timeline during the main story of The Umbrella Academy season 1. The most obvious instance is their attempt to kill Number 5 and bring about the apocalypse, however they also commit several less prominent acts that could have huge consequences on the future, such as the murder of Syd, the tow truck guy. Number 5 explains that the slightest action can have a huge effect on the future, so Hazel and Cha-Cha killing Syd in their efforts to track down Number 5 must count as an example of changing the timeline. The same goes for the destruction of the prosthetic eyeball lab, Hazel's relationship with Agnes, killing the motel cleaner and the murder of Detective Patch. These unforeseen changes to the timeline were a cause of great concern for the Handler may be explored in The Umbrella Academy season 2.

By kidnapping Klaus, Hazel and Cha-Cha make another huge, unwanted change to the timeline. Klaus steals the pair's time-travelling briefcase device before he escapes and accidentally travels back to the Vietnam war. There, the Clairvoyant meets Dave, his lover, and, with the help of deceased Academy brother Ben, begins a journey towards mastering his abilities that proves vital in the season finale. The presence of M26 grenades among the Handler's keepsakes suggests further Commission influence regarding the Vietnam war.

The most recent time correction the Commission make in the chronology of The Umbrella Academy season 1 occurs during the climactic violin recital sequence. The Commission send a small army of troops to protect Vanya Hargreeves and ensure the apocalypse takes place, forcing the Umbrella Academy's attention away from their sister. Whether or not the Commission's presence in this scene has any bearing on the overall outcome is debatable, but it could be argued that the Academy would've had an easier time saving their sibling (and the world) if the Commission hadn't interfered.


While some examples of the Commission's interference are more significant than others, The Umbrella Academy smartly mixes real-world events with hints towards missions that can't quite be guessed at. Even more fascinating is the fact that The Umbrella Academy has selected historical events that come shrouded in some kind of controversy, playing off of those real-world mysteries by insinuating the Commission's involvement. This brings the fictional world of The Umbrella Academy a little closer to real life and makes the Commission's actions seem even more barbaric.

More: What To Expect From The Umbrella Academy Season 2

The Umbrella Academy season 2 is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.


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