The Umbrella Academy has been one of the shining jewels of the ever-deepening Netflix catalog. The first two seasons of the show were some of the best superhero shenanigans on TV. It has been the perfect median between Marvel fare, and the more obscure properties such as Doom Patrol. With the release of season three, The Umbrella Academy remains one of the best superhero shows on TV. However, while the third season is good, it’s lacking compared to the first two seasons.

In season three of The Umbrella Academy, the team returns from 1960s Dallas to find that their home has been taken over by The Sparrow Academy. This wasn’t just a hostile attempt at taking down the top superhero team. Something they did in the past changed things and created an alternate timeline where most of the Umbrellas never existed. Of course, this results in yet another apocalypse that threatens to destroy the entire universe if the Umbrellas can’t figure a way out of the impending doom.

The first two seasons of The Umbrella Academy gave audiences a number of compelling characters (friends and enemies), high stakes, and fulfilling character arcs. In season three, the characters remain compelling, and the stakes are certainly high, but the character arcs have almost completely fallen by the wayside. Perhaps this was all a setup for what is sure to be a fourth and final season, but something was lacking.

Netflix advertised season three as a battle between the Umbrellas and the Sparrows. While there is some of that, it’s not the main focus of the season, and really has nothing to do with how the season ends. Umbrella Academy is one of the few Netflix Originals that offers 10-episode seasons instead of the more traditional eight episodes. The first two seasons made great use of the extra two episodes, but season three could lose half of the episodes without changing the outcome.

Almost everything that happens in the first six or seven episodes has little to no bearing on the events of the last few episodes. The Sparrows are mostly just lost potential, as many of them are wasted throughout the season, and don’t have the big presence most fans are expecting. In addition, some of the characters just aren’t themselves. Granted, characters changing over time can make them more compelling, but in this case, the motivations simply don’t line up with the drastic actions some of these characters take throughout the season.

Despite some of these issues, the show continues to be one of the better offerings on Netflix. The acting is still top notch, especially Aidan Gallagher’s portrayal of Five being an older man stuck in a teenager’s body, and Robert Sheehan’s continually captivating performance as Klaus. The silliness of the series remains, while the seriousness is punched up in this season, as the stakes grow higher and higher.

If the consistency of the last two seasons had been applied to season three, this could’ve been the best season yet. Instead, the season plays out almost as if there were two or three general plans for the season all battling against each other, instead of one plan that encompasses all three plots together. Hopefully the writers are able to bring the quality back with the inevitable fourth and final season, and end the show on the high note it deserves.

About The Umbrella Academy Season 3

Synopsis: The third season of The Umbrella Academy pits our favorite superhero siblings against members of the Sparrow Academy. Much like the Umbrellas, the Sparrows were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves after 43 super-powered babies were born on October 1, 1989 all over the world.

Showrunner: Steve Blackman

Stars: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, Colm Feore

Episodes: 10

Average Runtime: 60 Minutes

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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