Concepts such as time and fate have an interesting way of unraveling the best laid plans until only a core of angst and loss remains. The members of The Umbrella Academy weren’t exempt from those forces. Their tragic kernels are actually more damaging because of the abilities they possess. Luckily, the unique strengths of the Hargreeves children gave them the power to bounce back and continue to fight in the face of such pain. Death and torture both haunted and fueled the lot in their latest plan to save the world. Number 5 has the cunning and Diego has the drive, but a figure from 5’s past (and/or future) threatened to throw another fateful wrench in a machine that finally began working somewhat smoothly.
The midpoint of the season marked the perfect time to delve into Number 5’s history with Hazel and Cha-Cha’s employer. After 40 years of loneliness in the future, 5 is approached by a woman straight out of the 1950s carrying a briefcase. Identified as The Handler, she recruits 5 into an organization called the Commission. She offers him a pension and the chance to retire to any point in time in exchange for five years of service policing the time continuum and maintaining the timeline. The idea sits well with 5 but he still wants to prevent the apocalypse. Handler points out that the world’s end is meant to happen. It doesn’t sit well with 5 but he accepts the job and goes about his business while calculating how to get back to stop what is fated. He finally figures out the equations and deserts his position during the Kennedy assassination, popping out during Reginald’s memorial.
In the present, Number 5’s apocalyptic news doesn’t sit well with Luther. 5 shows him the glass eye and tells him about finding their bodies in the mansion’s rubble. Diego returns and lights up Number 5. He knows about 5’s involvement in the shootings and relays that Patch is dead. 5 fills him in on his connection to Hazel and Cha-Cha, giving Diego a target for his vengeance. Number 5 reassures them that everything he did was for the family. That includes filling his bedroom walls with calculations in an attempt to determine whose death could prevent the future. Luther chastises him for targeting innocent people and uses Dolores to keep 5 from killing anyone. His belief in the goodness residing within Number 5 pays off when Number 5 suggests an alternative, and likely impossible, plan.
Klaus returns from his time travel adventure with dog tags, a new tattoo and a shell shocked psyche. He weeps openly as he destroys the briefcase with his blood-soaked hands. K returns to the mansion only to be prodded by Number 5 about his trip. Klaus doesn’t reveal where he went but does tell him that he was gone almost a year. News of the briefcase’s destruction brings 5’s anger back as it was his way back. Klaus leaves the mansion with Diego to clear his head.
The uncharacteristically quiet car ride is derailed when Klaus asks to be let out at a VFW. He finds a picture of Dave amongst other soldiers during the Vietnam War. Diego follows him inside and comforts his brother as a veteran tells them to leave. He doesn’t believe Klaus’ claim that he is a vet too and things quickly devolve into a bar fight. If anyone took a closer look at the picture they would see Klaus was present in Vietnam, though he hasn’t aged a day. Klaus tells Diego about Dave afterward, marking him as the only person he ever loved more than himself.
Vanya and Leonard are getting serious, but Allison still has her doubts. She warns her sister about the nature of anything that appears “too perfect” but Vanya remains undeterred. Allison continues looking into Leonard’s past at the library but is only able to turn up one photo and an address. She breaks into Leonard’s house and is about to search his attic until Leonard comes home. Allison makes a silent, empty handed exit but remains unconvinced.
Vanya, on the other hand, is smitten with the man that finally made her feel special. Even better, she’s feeling outstanding without her medication. She meets up with Leonard ahead of an audition for first chair violin. Vanya has no idea why Helen just disappeared, but she’s taking advantage of the situation. Leonard offers her support and she kills the audition. Granted that was partly due to the waves of invisible energy emanating from her violin as she played. She returns to Leonard afterward, ecstatic that she got the gig. Leonard talks her up again before they get physical and another wave of energy flows from Vanya. It travels into the attic, revealing Helen’s dead body and Reginald’s journals within.
Hazel and Cha-Cha can’t catch a break. They’re punished for Klaus’ unauthorized trip to 1968, leading them to split up to find Klaus and learn more about the Hargreeves family. Cha-Cha pours through Vanya’s book in the library, not knowing she’s sitting next to Allison. Hazel abandons the search for a lunch date with Agnes, the donut shop waitress. Her dreams to retire to the country upset Hazel as he knows the world is ending in days. They hold hands as Diego notices him at the donut shop. He follows Hazel back to the hotel, plants a tracker on his car and ends up taking a bullet to the arm when he tries to ambush him. Hazel and Cha-Cha slash Diego’s tires before making their way to meet with Number 5 to retrieve the briefcase.
Luther and Number 5 bond over their isolated experiences as Hazel and Cha-Cha approach. 5 offers the briefcase in exchange for an audience with their supervisor. Cha-Cha makes the call as an ice cream truck driven by Diego and Klaus speeds toward them. Diego runs the truck into Hazel and Cha-Cha as they open fire. Time freezes, except for Number 5, just as everything sets off and The Handler appears. 5 demands that she stop the apocalypse but Handler refuses to stop the inevitable and labels his quest to change the timeline a fantasy. She offers Number 5 a management job at the Commission, but 5 stands firm is his desire to save his family. Handler promises to explore all options to save the Hargreeves if he returns to the organization. He agrees, moves bullets and weapons around to prevent harm and leaves with Handler. Time resumes and the Hargreeves brothers escape as Cha-Cha realizes the briefcase is a fake.
Back at the mansion, Pogo repairs Mom and cryptically tells her that the kids can never know what happened.
What do you think about The Umbrella Academy season 1 episode 5? Let us know in the comment section below!