During the season finale of “The Umbrella Academy”, we saw Vanya Hargreeves turned evil and was about to unleash an apocalypse on earth. But when Five and the siblings stopped her just in time, they were transported back in time.
Season 2 takes place in 1960s Dallas and our superhero family learns that another apocalypse is happening in 10 days. Although superpowers may play an essential part in “The Umbrella Academy”, the core of the story are the character dynamics. The cast and showrunner Steve Blackman explain why.
1. Why the 60s timeline?
Steve Blackman: It was a very tumultuous time around the Kennedy assassination. I wanted that to be the focal point. I mean United States and the USSR (Soviet Union) were very much almost at war that entire time. So I thought it was a very good time period to throw the family into this situation and see how they would exist and how different it was from the time period they were leaving and contrasting those two time periods.
We did a lot of research about that time period especially around the Kennedy of it all. We looked at every conspiracy theory we could find , so there’s a ton of easter eggs in the show that people are going to find as they watch it.
2. Ben Hargreeves/ Number Six is a big part of season 2
Justin H. Min: Ben is a huge part of season 2. He’s sort of been the tag along to Klaus but now he can finally stand up for himself. I think Ben has more patience than me in real life. So I don’t know if I would have stuck around as long as Ben did, but we see that sort of evolve and change as a season progresses.
3. The characters reacting to the fact that Ben and their father are still alive
sir reginald hargreeves. pic.twitter.com/oHJi3uLmAI
— Umbrella Academy (@UmbrellaAcad) July 19, 2020
Emmy Raver-Lampman: When Ben shows up, Allison’s first though is, “Where is her daughter Claire? And what does that mean for Claire?” When Luther comes to her at the Chestnut House, she hesitates because she can’t risk losing everybody again. She’s trying to wrap her head around Claire’s non-existence and it horrifies her.
4. The new characters
From left to right:
Ritu Arya as Lila
- a ‘chameleon’ with a twisted sense of humour who can be as brilliant or insane as the mission requires.
Yusuf Gatewood as Raymond
- a born leader and devoted husband who possesses the smarts, gravitas, and the confidence to never have to prove it to anyone.
Marin Ireland as Sissy
- a fearless, no-nonsense mum from Texas who got married “for all the wrong reasons”.
5. Vanya’s new love interest
When asked about what scared her about this latest project, Ellen replied:
“Vanya falling in love for the first time (with Sissy) and being in the 60s where LGBTQ was illegal and considered a mental illness. I was fortunate to work with the incredibly talented Marin Ireland and I hope we managed to show the beauty that they experienced.”
6. Diego also finds new love
damn she rlly read him like an open book written for very dumb children, didn't she? pic.twitter.com/IDnmCaX9oG
— Umbrella Academy (@UmbrellaAcad) July 14, 2020
David Castañeda: They have a very immediate connection by just how they were raised by their fathers. You know with Lila being raised by the Handler and Diego being raised by Reginald Hargreeves, you’ll see them playing a big role in each other’s storyline.
7. The parallel to Black Lives Matter
Emmy Raver-Lampman: I think it’s really surreal walking into a second season knowing that Allison was going to take on the Civil Rights Movement kind of head on and be a part of it. I was humbled, honoured, a little nervous and anxious. As a black woman and victim of racism and micro aggression, I wanted to get it right and make sure that it was depicted correctly and properly researched and understood by everybody involved.
There’s not much difference from what’s happening in the world, specifically America, between as now and the Civil Rights. I know that the fight is still very much alive. Systemic racism is something that’s still very rooted in the foundation of our country and it’s something that black people have been fighting against for 400 years.
In the wake of George Floyd, hopefully this season will shine a brighter light on the globalisation of the Black Lives Matter movement since a lot of people may think that the Civil Rights Movement was a long time ago and has been resolved. The riot in episode 3, for example, is similar to real life events that’s being broadcast on our television and on the Internet.
I was really nervous about the riot scene. Stephen Surjik, who directed that episode, was just so respectful and so careful and so diligent about making sure that everybody felt comfortable.
8. Being an Asian in the 60s
Justin H. Min: I was also curious like how does an Asian man fit into that time period and that society. It’s nothing compared to the black experience, but I have to assume that being an Asian man was still odd.
9. Klaus becoming a cult leader
In season 1, no one wanted to listen to Klaus. This time around, people can’t seem to get enough of him. “With thousands of people now hanging on his every word, he realises that he doesn’t have that many words of guidance or wisdom for other people,” said Robert Sheehan.
10. Allison abuses her superpower
Emmy Raver-Lampman: When she confronts Ray about her powers and he asks her to prove it, we get to see the competitive side of her that resembles so much of the young Allison. I think that competitive nature comes out and it’s like something that she just can’t help. It’s all fun and games but then it manifests into something darker.
We do get a glimpse of what would happen if Alison misuses her powers (like in the movement). She realises that maybe it’s better to use her actual voice and not take advantage of her powers to promote change. That is a little window into how she can’t be trusted with her powers yet because she doesn’t respect them enough.
But if there’s a 3rd season, I want to get to know that Allison and explore that side of her. It’s like really dark and there’s so much more to uncover.
11. Backstreet Boys cameo?
When asked about the impact of music on the show, Justin revealed:
“This is truly one of the first times where I realise how much music really does for a show. After watching our show, I was like wow, the music really did add this huge other element to it – it added humour and drama. So I just love the music and I think we got a bigger budget for the music in the second season, which is why you know, we got Backstreet Boys.”
12. Season 2 is better than season 1?
Justin H. Min: I think it’s better than the first season because the first season of any show where you’re building a new world with new characters, a lot of that first season is going to be explained. What’s happening and who these people are and their backstories and in a way it has to be at a bit slower pace even because you’re explaining so much. Season 2 obviously doesn’t have to do that. You know, you know these characters, you know this family, and you know this world. So we’re getting to the action really quickly and it was a lot of fun to watch.
If you enjoyed the first season, I think you’ll enjoy the second season. At the end of the day, the heart of our show has always been about our family dynamic and that continues to evolve.
13. What would the showrunner like to see in season 3?
Steve: I’d like to see more of the dynamic between the sisters Vanya and Allison. I love to see Diego spend more time with Allison. Maybe even see all of them interacting with Hargreeves more in season 3. All of them have dad issues so it’ll be great to explore that.
14. How many season can fans expect from “The Umbrella Academy”?
Steve: I would like to do as many seasons as Netflix wants to do. I know that Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, who created the graphic novels, have lots of volumes in them. But I’d love to do 4 seasons – I think that’s a great number for television show.
“The Umbrella Academy” season 2 premieres on Netflix 31st July 2020.