Saturday, August 1, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Umbrella Academy' - The Siblings Seek Approval From the Man Who Created Them in 'A Light Supper'

Netflix's The Umbrella Academy - Episode 2.06 "A Light Supper"

Allison gives Ray a peek at her powers, Dave visits Klaus' compound, the Handler offers Five a deal, and the siblings meet their father for dinner.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy.

"A Light Supper" was written by Aeryn Michelle Williams and directed by Ellen Kuras

Is Five the most sensible of the Hargreeves siblings? Reginald certainly walks away with that assumption during the fateful light supper between father and his children. He may have that understanding because Five is the only way who plays to his father's ego. The other siblings are too caught up in what they need from their father even though this isn't the man who raised them. His sensibilities have been steadfast throughout time. He doesn't foresee having any children. And yet, he understands the way he would want to raise them lines up with the tales that these strangers are telling. He admires Five's determination to stay on point. He needs clarity about the coming apocalypse. But it's mostly just asking for help in mastering his powers. Reginald offers the advice that Five needs to take smaller jumps when it comes to time traveling. He is pushing himself too hard. That only leads to chaos and destruction. His siblings have had to deal with those consequences. Their relationship with their father is so much more complicated than that. This is their first and possibly only opportunity to confront him after his death. They are given that opportunity. They each sought something out of this bond. He was never able to satisfy them. Some crave that attention and acknowledgement more than others. And yet, Reginald only views Diego as a delusional man haunted by a hero complex he can never fully achieve. He holds firm to the belief that this all connects back to the Kennedy assassination somehow. That is set to occur before the apocalypse. Reginald seems involved with it. However, Diego only operates under that assumption based on a picture from the future. It's a message that Hazel made sure Five received despite the Commission agents sent to kill them. That was important. Diego could have possibly taken the wrong message from it. At this point, it's unclear whether or not the Kennedy assassination is important to the overall story. It is certainly part of the backdrop of this season. It's something happening in this time and place. Diego's constant messaging of it could hint that the talk of politics and changing the future is what everything revolves around. And yet, it's also reasonable to assume that these siblings are more political because they are a part of history now. They engage with this life knowing what the future likely holds. Interacting with it could change that. Some want that to happen. Others don't really care. It's a visceral experience for them because they are fighting on their own behalves. Allison wants to bring societal change for everyone who looks like her and her husband. Meanwhile, Diego wants to be a hero because he takes this as a personal mission to find some meaning in going back to this particular point in time. Reginald dismisses that notion. It's not the clear priority. Five doesn't care about it either. He certainly believes that some things in the timeline have to happen and be protected no matter what. He just doesn't want the world to end. He remains haunted by seeing his siblings die. He wants to avoid that at all costs. He will make a deal with the Handler because it could accomplish that goal. She may not be able to follow through on her promises. She certainly hasn't always done so in the past. She is looking to grab power for herself. She demands that the organization she works for gives her the respect and command that she believes she has earned. This is her way of getting it. Five will be the scapegoat because he is the assassin on this dangerous mission. Five is desperate enough to take it because he views a disaster looming on the horizon. That's all he cares about. That's a pattern for him. It leaves him without much personal agency. And yet, he still prevails. He gets clarity that is necessary for him and a direction to pursue. The future is uncertain. He hopes to change it. It may not be for the better. He too may fail because of his oversized ego. That is the central failing of man as Reginald points out. These siblings may be different because they have powers. That may also mean their problems are much more extreme and destructive. That is especially true when they don't have complete control over their abilities. Reginald helps Five because he is seemingly sensible. The others need help too. That's an exploration they have to manage on their own. They won't have anyone to blame but themselves for the fallout. Five may still hold onto the idea that others are to blame for his failings. That may prop up his sense of self-importance. That too may doom all of this. And yet, the show is really kicking into high motion with drama that the audience can actually invest in. Sure, some distractions are still apparent like the Swedes hunting down Diego and Klaus continue to mismanage a cult. Those will likely tie into everything with more meaning eventually. Their inclusion doesn't hinder the overall pacing of the hour though which is a significant improvement for the show.