Season three of Netflix’s hit show “The Umbrella Academy” saw the Hargreeves siblings facing off against their biggest disaster yet. Considering each season has dealt with an apocalypse, that’s saying quite a lot. A lot goes down in season three, so read on to get a bird’s-eye view of everything that happened in the finale and what it all means.
What Is the Kugelblitz?
This season played with the grandfather paradox, a concept where a time traveler alters the past in a way that threatens their existence in the future. Season three sees the elimination of all the Umbrella Academy‘s individual mothers hours before each was born. This grandfather paradox creates a Kugelblitz, which is essentially a black hole. “Instead of the universe expanding, it’s now collapsing in on itself,” Five explains.
The Kugelblitz spits the Sparrows out in an alternate timeline where the Umbrella Academy don’t exist. Instead, the Sparrow Academy, run by a different group of superpowered kids, take their place in this timeline. Ben, who was originally an Umbrella who died, rejoins the cast as the Sparrow Academy’s Number Two. While this Ben has a wildly different personality from the Ben we’ve seen attached to Klaus as a spirit in past seasons, it obviously throws the siblings for a loop seeing him alive.
The end of season three sees the Umbrellas and what’s left of the Sparrows (Ben and Sloane, Luther’s new wife) facing off against yet another apocalypse caused by the Kugelblitz. This one, however, doesn’t just threaten Earth, but all of reality, which is collapsing in on itself and tearing apart the entire universe as it does.
Allison makes a deal with the alternate version of her father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, to ensure the safety of the world, but half of her siblings turn their backs on the idea. Believing their efforts only ever seem to make things worse, many of them don’t see the point in continuing to fight the inevitable. Outraged, Reginald takes matters into his own hands and secretly kills the Umbrellas’ Number One, Luther. In doing so, he forces the remaining kids to come together in their grief to seek revenge.
Hotel Oblivion, the sanctuary that the Umbrellas have called their home all season, houses a doorway in the White Buffalo Suite that transports anyone who walks through it to a roach-infested (but otherwise charming) version of the same hotel in an alternate universe. Empty and ominous, the hotel houses guardians protecting a device that Reginald believes can stop the apocalypse. He’s not wrong. He does, however, also attempt to kill Klaus by locking him in the universe that’s collapsing around them (though it doesn’t work thanks to Klaus’s newly refined abilities to come back to life after death).
After facing off against several seemingly unstoppable guardians, Five manages to find the special symbol that’s appeared multiple times throughout the season (like the image on the door that led to the alternate dimension and the tattoo Five’s older self had on his chest) on the floor of the hotel’s main lobby. Reginald instructs the remaining Umbrellas and Sparrows (except for Allison) to step on one of the star-shaped patterns. As they do, a nearby console that will allegedly save the universe powers up.
How Do the Umbrellas Save the Universe in “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3?
The machine begins to siphon energy from the superpowered crew, but they quickly realize it’s not just draining their energy, but their lives. As the one who made a deal with Reginald, Allison was spared from this, but when she sees her siblings dying, she begs her father to stop. Eventually, she forces him aside before the machine can kill her siblings. But, miraculously, the machine has enough power to work.
Allison activates the machine, and then we’re transported to her home, which she enters to see her daughter, Claire, and her husband. Allison’s main motivation for everything she’s done the entire season — good and bad — has been to reunite with the family she lost in the alternate timeline. To rectify that loss, she made the deal with her father, though she didn’t know what it would cost her family.
The rest of the Umbrellas and Ben are also zapped to this “corrected” timeline. Even Luther, who had been killed off earlier in the episode, reappears, though he no longer appears abnormally huge. As the group reconvenes and, of course, fight amongst themselves, they realize that they have no powers. Viktor attempts to keep the group together, but Luther breaks off to find his wife, Sloane. In this new timeline, however, it seems that she may not have survived after all, or if she did, she’s not the person Luther married.
What Universe Are the Umbrellas in at the End of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3?
As the group break apart one by one, we get glimpses of the new world that they’ve found themselves in. For a moment, we’re led to believe it might be the original timeline the show started with, but we soon see that it’s completely different — a world ruled by Sir Reginald Hargreeves.
What Does “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3 Postcredits Scene Mean?
Season three ends with a postcredits scene where Ben is on a train heading to Yeouido Station in South Korea. This scene is peculiar in that it’s difficult to understand what the showrunners are trying to indicate with it. The scene replicates a previous one at the beginning of the season where one of the mothers — likely Ben’s mother — gets pregnant and goes into labor on a train. Could Ben be searching for his mother? Is this yet another time paradox where Ben is there to witness his own birth? The scene is brief and doesn’t show us more than Ben sitting on a train reading, but it’s left fans questioning its significance.