The Umbrella Academy season 1, episode 5 review: Number Five


Episode five of The Umbrella Academy is one of the very best of the show thus far, and it will entice viewers to keep watching. Spoilers ahead.

The Umbrella Academy’s fifth episode (with an appropriate numeric title of “Number Five”) reveals plenty about two of the more mysterious characters in the series: Number Five and Number Seven/Vanya. If you aren’t caught up, here are some excellent reviews for episode one, two, three, and four.

Five’s story revealed

During the future apocalypse, Five is offered a job by a mysterious woman called the Handler, who works for an organization called the Commission. The job of the Commission is to preserve the time continuum through manipulations and removals. Basically, this group polices time from any kind of threat.

But the Commission has no intention of trying to stop the apocalypse. That event, in their opinion, is something that was supposed to happen. And, to take it a step further, they will do whatever they can to make sure that event still transpires.

This is what makes The Umbrella Academy series interesting. The Commission plays a role as the villain in this series because they are seeking to let the world end. The reason why isn’t clear. The Commission may not be the direct cause of the apocalypse, but they will not let Number Five or his siblings stop that event from happening.

It is also revealed that Hazel and Cha-Cha work for the Commission as enforcers for their various corrections and manipulations. This is the exact same job that Number Five accepted in the future, as he traveled through time and delivered on various assassinations.

Five’s character revealed

This job for the Commission adds another layer to Number Five’s character. Number One/Luther does not like that Five was willing to carry out the murder of various people throughout time (because some of them may be innocent). For Five, the job was just a means for him to eventually get back home.

There is also a better understanding of Luther, who sees the world more in terms of heroes/villains or good guys/bad guys. But for Five, this isn’t realistic. Remember, despite only looking 13 years old, Five has the experiences of a man of 58 years. His view of good and evil isn’t as naïve as his siblings. This is due, in part, to the fact that he has experienced so much loneliness and heartache, since he first time traveled.

Five wants to stop the apocalypse, but killing an innocent person is fine with him because of the billions of lives that will be saved. For Luther, that choice isn’t permissible. Luther wants to find a way to save the world without hurting innocent people.

In the end, Five agrees to do things Luther’s way by setting up another meeting with the Handler. But that meeting ends with Five accepting a new position with their group – in exchange for sparing the lives of his siblings during the apocalypse.

This leaves a question in the mind of the audience: Is Five’s agreement part of a larger plan of The Umbrella Academy to defeat the Commission? Or is he simply going against Luther’s wishes because he sees the futility of trying to stop the apocalypse?

Vanya’s power revealed

The opening episode of The Umbrella Academy was quite good, considering all the introductions it had to work through. But this fifth episode was particularly special because it finally revealed Vanya’s power.

Number Three/Allison works to convince Vanya that her new friend, Leonard, isn’t all that he seems. In the previous episode, Leonard is seen dumping Vanya’s pills, which he stole from her apartment.

These pills, which Vanya has been taking since childhood, are masking her powers. What those powers entail is a bit unclear, but there is an emanation that floats from her. This power was even able to convince the people at her violin audition to give her the first chair in the orchestra.

Vanya’s power seems to have an emotional component to it. At the end of this episode, when Vanya is happy and kissing Leonard, the power shows itself once again.

Leonard seems like he might be a bad guy in all of this. In his attic, the dead body of the first chair violinist – Vanya’s former competition for the spot – is seen along with the discarded journal of The Umbrella Academy’s father (Reginald).

Leonard could have good intentions in helping Vanya to discover her powers, but more likely is doing something devious. It isn’t clear, but it is another thing that makes this episode interesting in of itself, while motivating the audience to keep watching.

The last moments of the episode reveal that Pogo and the now re-awaken robot mom (Grace) are also hiding something, as stated: “the children can never know.” Whatever this is – it will be probably be another fun plot point for this first season.

In general, I liked all the episodes leading up to this one, each of them scoring a solid 8/10. But this fifth episode was a bit more special:

Final score – 9/10

Next. Who or what are the Umbrella Academy?. dark

This episode of The Umbrella Academy was so good that my binge of the entire season was done by Sunday. I’m not really into binging shows, but Netflix delivered on a great story, great cast, and plenty of visual magic when it came to the special effects.

If you can work your way through to episode 5 of The Umbrella Academy, it should propel you through the rest of the season.