‘The Umbrella Academy’ recap: Ep. 1×01, “We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals”

What a family reunion...

“It’s just like old times.”

Our introduction

On October 1st, 1989, 43 women around the world gave birth, without having been pregnant at the beginning of the day. A strange billionaire, Reginald Hargreeves, adopts seven of the children. Somehow he knew they’d develop superpowers, save one, and formed The Umbrella Academy to train them.

Image: Netflix

In 2019, we find out that Hargreeves has just died. As everyone learns of the news, we are introduced to five of the kids, all grown up. Luther, Number One, has been working on the moon for his father. Diego, Number Two, is a sort of vigilante, using his ability with knives to save people when the police can’t.

Allison, Number Three, is a famous movie star, who quickly heads home when she hears the news. Number Four, Klaus, has just gotten out of rehab and quickly finds some drugs. He goes home after he hears about Hargreeves. Five and Six are unaccounted for, but Number Seven, Vanya, lives by herself and plays violin.

Family reunion

The reunion of all the siblings is a mixed bag. Some are happy to see each other, like Allison and Vanya, while others, like Luther and Diego, have a lot of resent for one another. Diego is also mad at Vanya, as a few years back she wrote a memoir of her life at the Umbrella Academy.

Image: Netflix

Left behind by Hargreeves are Mother, and Sir Pogo, a highly intelligent and kind talking chimpanzee. Now that his father’s dead, Klaus takes advantage of the opportunity to raid his study. He manages to sneak out a gold-inlaid box, throwing out a notebook and paper that was inside. Hmm…Wonder if that was important? He quickly pawns it to buy drugs.

With all his siblings home, Luther launches into his theory that their father was murdered, citing his missing monocle, but no one seems to care much. In a flashback, we see the younger Umbrella Academy in action, stopping a bank robbery with their abilities.

Allison has the ability to make anything she says real, Luther’s super strong, and one of the missing siblings, Ben, or Number Six, has some ability to turn into a monster. This scene also introduces Number Five, the last sibling, who can teleport. We still have no hints of what happened to Five and Six.

Image: Netflix – The Dancing Scene

Back in the present, all the siblings are in separate rooms in the house. Luther puts on a record playing “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and in the best scene of the episode, they all dance along in unique styles. They’re interrupted by a strange and abrupt commotion. There’s thunder, lighting, and a magnetic field that leads them outside.

The return of Number Five

In the air above them is what appears to be a portal, and out of it, to everyone’s surprise, comes Number Five, appearing exactly as he did when he went missing years ago. He doesn’t really have much to say, and neither does the family when they take a moment to spread their father’s ashes. Diego goes a little too far and gets in a fight with Luther.

Image: Netflix

After, a flashback reveals how Hargreeves trained them, treating them more like experiments than his children. Vanya, who doesn’t seem to have an ability, helps him run the tests. Then he makes them get tattoos of the Umbrella Academy symbol, as Vanya looks on in envy.

Diner destruction

In 2019, Vanya is seen off by Pogo, while Klaus hitches a ride with Diego. Luthor, who got cut by Diego in their fight, is in his room, hiding what he really looks like under those sweaters and jackets. Meanwhile, Number Five is on the search for a good cup of coffee.

He drives over to a local diner where the woman working mistakes him for the son of another customer. After that man leaves and the waitress goes in the back, a bunch of men come in, guns trained on Five, who doesn’t seem nervous in the slightest.

Image: Netflix

Instead of waiting for them to start shooting, Five jumps the gun (literally) and starts teleporting and quickly dispatches the men, all to the tune of “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants. Someone’s tracking Five and trying to kill him, and he’s well aware of who it is. He cuts a tracker out of his arm and heads on his merry way.


Image: Netflix

Klaus, who we’ve seen consistently on drugs, starts talking to someone in the back of Diego’s car. When Diego looks, no one’s there, but through Klaus’ eyes we meet Ben (Number Six), who died terribly somehow in the past. Can Klaus actually see him, or is he crazy? Maybe both?

The end of the world in eight days

Image: Netflix

When Vanya arrives home, Five is already in her living room. He tells her what he found when he went to the future. Nothing. He saw the end of the world, and if they can’t stop it, it’ll happening in eight days.

Watch The Umbrella Academy on Netflix now!

(Featured image: Netflix)


Devon Forward

Devon is an artist, writer, and current student of film/television development. She loves anything science fiction or fantasy, and her favorite show is Charmed, which kick-started her obsession with powerful yet imperfect female characters. You can usually find her somewhere analyzing a tv show or reading a good book. On Twitter @dev4wrd

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