The Umbrella Academy Season 2: Everything We Know About That Sparrow Academy Twist

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. Read at your own risk!!]

The Hargreeves siblings cannot catch a break on The Umbrella Academy. At the end of Season 2, the reluctant heroes successfully evaded another apocalypse and made it back to 2019 in hopes of returning to their normal lives. While they did return to the dusty mansion they grew up in, they discovered that due to their meddling in the past, Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) was not only alive, but he had raised a new group of heroes — The Sparrow Academy — in anticipation of reuniting with the Umbrella Academy after their meeting in the ’60s earlier in the season. 

The reveal earned a collective “Sh–” from the six siblings as they encountered their new foes, led by a new version of their deceased brother Ben (Justin H. Min). Of course, TV Guide was extremely curious about what this new group means for our heroes and went to showrunner and executive producer Steve Blackman to ask how this twist will impact a potential Season 3. 

“I can’t tell you anything about it,” he said. “As much as I’d like to, I can’t.” That was disappointing, especially when consulting the Umbrella Academy graphic novels, only to find out that The Sparrow Academy is also the cliffhanger of Hotel Oblivion, Book 3 in the series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá upon which the Netflix series is based. Blackman was a bit more forthcoming about the trajectory of Season 3 in relation to the graphic novels and revealed that even if Way and Bá publish Book 4 before the next season, there’s no guarantee that The Sparrow Academy in the comics will be the same as The Sparrow Academy the Hargreeves will have to contend with in the series. 

In the graphic novels, it’s an alternate version of Luther (Tom Hopper) that heads up this new group of never-before-seen heroes. It remains to be seen, both in the comics and the show, if the new heroes are other children who were also born on Oct. 1, 1989, or if the shadow figures at the end of Season 2 are also alternate versions of the Umbrella Academy.

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“We accepted early on that this show can’t be a carbon copy. [The source material] is a springboard. And whenever I can respect the fans and bring in new storylines that are so magnificently done in the graphic novel, I will. There are times I just simply can’t. There are certain things that are just so big we couldn’t do on a TV show,” Blackman explained. “I don’t ever want to get ahead of Gerard, and what I love about him is that we’re always talking, he’s letting me know what he’s doing. So, as much as I can, I want — I love to pull things out of the graphic novel and the storytelling. We find our own path at times, but again, always sort of within the sight of embracing that graphic novel as much as we can.” 

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? The cast did not have a more optimistic take on the situation when it comes to the thread The Sparrow Academy could pose to them next season. 

“I think we are all sh–ting our pants, to be completely honest,” Emmy Raver-Lampman said of the twist. “We are all competitive by nature. I don’t think it’s going to be good, whatever happens in that scenario. I don’t think we’ll be sharing margaritas and war stories any time soon.” 

imageThe Umbrella Academy” width=”2070″ height=”1380″ title=”Justin H. Min, The Umbrella Academy” data-amp-src=””>Justin H. Min, The Umbrella Academy

That even includes Ben, who is thankfully alive but is not the beloved sibling the original Hargreeves children grew up with. He’s a very different character, and considering that original Ben was the best of the Hargreeves children, that sets up an intimidating portrait of this new version of the character.

“He’s completely different from the Ben that the audience will know. When we constructed him from the ground up, we wanted him to feel completely different — from his clothes to his hair, to this scar on his face, a lot of thought went into, ‘How do we make this version of Ben feel as different as possible?'” Min revealed. “He even has a little bit of a mustache in the way that I can grow one. It’s going to be really interesting because he’s a badass.” 

He also has the ability to summon pan-dimensional squid creatures, Robert Sheehan pointed out to us. While Ben was able to use his squid powers when possessing Klaus in the first two seasons, it remains a mystery how his powers manifest themselves in this new version. 

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“Just like how everyone else’s powers evolved, I’m curious to see if and how Ben’s powers will evolve as well,” Min teased. 

So, to recap, Hargreeves trained a new group of super-powered assassins specifically in reaction to meeting the Umbrella Academy decades before and while we are unsure of who else makes up the group, we know that our crew will at the very least have to take on a foe with their dearly departed brother’s face. That’s a lot to process, and still not everything they have to worry about. As the group traveled back to 2019, the audience saw Sissy (Marin Ireland) driving away from Dallas with Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly) manipulating a little wooden sparrow with the remnants of Vanya’s (Ellen Page) powers that clearly weren’t absorbed from him. 

Blackman was once again vague about what the scene could mean for Season 3, but what he did tell us was not comforting. 

“Vanya failed to take out whatever powers she put into him. She didn’t succeed, and this kid has a future, whether we see it or not, that’s not going to be his predetermined future,” he said. “It is now being changed somehow by Vanya and that could have repercussions.” 

It definitely looks like these siblings won’t be taking a vacation any time soon

The Umbrella Academy Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. 

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