The Umbrella Academy season 1, episode 9 review: Changes


The mission to stop the apocalypse leads to multiple turning points among various characters in episode 9 of The Umbrella Academy, “Changes.”

The last episode of The Umbrella Academy left off with a near terminal stand-off between the two Hargreeves sisters. With Allison in critical condition, the Hargreeves brothers attempting to stop the apocalypse, and Vanya in the wind alongside Leonard, aka Harold Jenkins, “Changes” offers a new status quo for all of the current characters.

All Cards on the Table

The various secrets surrounding multiple characters has been one aspect of The Umbrella Academy that’s been a little hard to swallow. Mostly because it would send characters on unnecessary avenues that would divert from the ticking time clock of the impending apocalypse.

“Changes” offers a great outlet for this from a writing standpoint, as it uses those multiple avenues to help establish turning points for all the major characters, even down to Hazel and Cha-Cha.

This helps ground the characters by making their character progressions and arcs feel more believable by avoiding traditional story structure, which would have had such turning points around the middle or at the end of the story. Thus making the characters a lot more relatable, which is pretty hard to do close to the end of a story as that’s usually something done in the initial setup.

More from TV

Streamlining the Story

Having the major secrets exposed also helped the ongoing story as well. When there’s too much going on in a story, especially one where there’s a “race against a clock,” it’s very easy for plot points to get left behind or forgotten when the main plot has to rear its head forcing the attention back toward that specific sequence of events.

Because the characters could all have pivotal moments in “Changes” this could be avoided as they each gained a certain catharsis with what was individually going on with them, so when the main plot came back into play it was very easy for our characters to get reinvested and no major personal plot-line was dropped for the sake of the overarching story-line.

Fatal Mistakes

“Changes” sets up the final episode of The Umbrella Academy extremely well, by sharing cathartic moments with multiple characters. However, for both Luther and Hazel those moments come with consequences within this episode. As the choices they specifically made come back to bite them.

For Hazel this manifests from his decision to help stop the apocalypse. Putting him in direct conflict with Cha-Cha who’s ready to take her animosity out on both Hazel and the woman he’s fallen for Agnes.

For Luther this comes in the form of how he decides to deal with Vanya’s developing situation. A decision that he alone makes as the other siblings in the family actively try to go against him.

Both situations lead into the setup for the final episode of the season, where the Hargreeves will have to face what may be their greatest enemy yet.

Next. 100 greatest superhero stories. dark

With the stage set, and everything leading back to the major story, it’s anyone’s guess as to how The Umbrella Academy will conclude.