After two long years, Netflix's irreverent superhero show The Umbrella Academy returned to Netflix in June 2022 with a new apocalypse and double the amount of heroes. Season 3 saw the superpowered siblings returning to 2019 to find that Reginald Hargreeves has built a new family called the Sparrow Academy, who are all super hostile to the Umbrellas. As our original heroes took shelter in the mysterious Hotel Oblivion, they also discovered that their time-traveling has set off a black hole of a paradox that's sucking up the universe.
The 10-episode run, which kept the no. 1 slot on Netflix for a full month, ended in one of the show's famous cliffhangers and left fans wondering where the inventive series could go next. Here's what we know about season 4 so far.
What happened at the end of 'Umbrella Academy' season 3?
Season 3 picks up right where the season 2 finale ended in 2020: After meeting the Umbrellas in 1963—and being immediately disappointed in them—Hargreeves decided to choose a different set of superpowered kids to form the Sparrow Academy, six new additions plus an asshole version of Ben, who he hadn't met. It turns out the Sparrows aren't the biggest change in the timeline; it's Harlan, who kept his powers after the Umbrellas went back to the future. He grew up bullied and isolated, and when he sensed the Umbrellas about to be born in 1989, he unintentionally killed all their mothers so they were never born. When the group travelled back to 2019, it created the Grandfather paradox that created the Kugelblitz that wipes out the universe.
While the season 3 apocalypse is happening in the finale, Hargreeves manipulates the Umbrellas (plus Sloane, Sparrow Ben, and Lila) into entering the mirror of the Hotel Oblivion, and kills Luther and Klause in the process. There we finally learn the magnate's reason for creating the Umbrellas and the Sparrows: the hotel is actually a machine that the alien can use to create a new universe. He always needed seven warriors to defeat the machine's guardian (a multi-formed spinoff of the minotaur guarding the maze in Greek mythology) and act as keys to power the machine, killing them in the process. He always saw his adopted kids as tools to be sacrificed, confirming that he's the ultimate villain of the series and the absolute worst.
As the machine is sucking the life out of the Sparbrellas (Umbrows?), Allison realizes she's been tricked by Hargreeves once again and kills him to save everyone. But she still wants to press the button to reset the universe, and Victor lets her as a show of trust. The next thing we see is Allison arriving to her LA home to find Claire and Ray, who's her husband again and the father of her daughter. The rest of the Umbrellas (now plus Lila and Sparrow Ben) emerge from the hotel's elevator into a courtyard, and find all their wounds are healed. Luther's even no longer half-ape, but his celebration ends when he realizes Sloane's missing, and that all their powers are gone. The final shot shows a new timeline of New York, where Hargreeves rules over everything with his revived wife at his side. (There's also a final-final post-credits scene where a version of Ben is alive in South Korea.)
Has 'The Umbrella Academy' been renewed for season 4?
Netflix made the official announcement two months after season 3's premiere: The Umbrella Academy will return for a fourth and final season.
"I’m so excited that the incredibly loyal fans of The Umbrella Academy will be able to experience the fitting end to the Hargreeves siblings' journey we began five years ago," showrunner Steve Blackman said in a statement to Variety. "But before we get to that conclusion, we’ve got an amazing story ahead for season four, one that will have fans on the edge of their seats until the final minutes."
Family meeting, Brellies: We're going on a fourth and final adventure. ☂️🖤 pic.twitter.com/0zOYDb6JwmAugust 25, 2022
Immediately after season 3's premiere, Blackman told The Hollywood Reporter that he already had a plan for a fourth season.
"We haven’t been picked up—I have my fingers crossed," Blackman said at the time. "But I know what season four is in my head. I’ve already sort of worked out the beginning, middle and end of it. When I started this thing, I sort of knew four seasons of the show. I have nothing passed that in my brain, but I’ve sort of kept to a trajectory. So, I have a really good sense of what season four would be, and it should be just as bonkers as the other seasons—what a challenge these superheroes, this family has being powerless."
On November 9, 2023, the series' cast teased the new season in a clip from Netflix's Geeked Week, where they shared their spoiler-free thoughts on the show's highly-anticipated return, which is set for 2024.
"There are some unbelievable new characters and new villains that are super exciting," said Emmy Raver-Lampman, with Elliot Page adding that the final episodes include "excitement, surprises, humor." Raver-Lampan also said the season will be "really, really packed with the classic Umbrella Academy family nonsense and shenanigans that you look forward to."
Which of the cast will return for season 4?
Based on the season 3 ending (plus the anatomy of the show as a whole), the core eight cast members—Elliot Page (Viktor), Tom Hopper (Luther), David Castañeda (Diego), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison), Robert Sheehan (Klaus), Aidan Gallagher (Five), Ritu Arya (Lila), and Justin H. Min (Ben)—are all set to return. Netflix confirmed as much with the season 4 announcement that all these actors have signed on, including Colm Feore (Reginald Hargreeves) as the Big Bad. Others who are highly expected to appear in season 4 are Yusuf Gatewood (Ray), Coco Assad (Claire), as well as Lisa Repo-Martell as Hargreeves' partner Abigail.
Other fan-favorite cast members who could return are Genesis Rodriguez as Sloane and Jordan Claire Robbins as Grace, since there's always the possibility of people who died in previous timelines coming back. If Sloane does reappear, then there's a chance for the rest of the Sparrow Academy—Justin Cornwell (Marcus), Britne Oldford (Fei), Jake Epstein (Alphonso), and Cazzie David (Jayme)—to show up too. Also, this is a stretch, but it would be great to have Javon "Wanna" Walton back in some capacity.
Which new cast members are joining season 4?
In February 2023, Netflix revealed that three new faces had signed on to join the final season. Per Entertainment Weekly, married actors Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally will play Drs. Gene & Jean Thibedeau, a married pair of community college professors from New Mexico who "wear sensible footwear and suffer from the most extreme case of deja vu this timeline has ever seen." Offerman's best known for his starring role on the beloved sitcom Parks and Recreation (as well as his stunning dramatic turn in an episode of The Last of Us earlier this year), while Mullaly won two Emmys for playing Karen Walker on Will & Grace.
Meanwhile, Arrested Development actor David Cross will play Sy Grossman, an "upstanding, shy business owner and family man who will stop at nothing to reconnect with his estranged daughter and get her back."
What will season 4 be about?
The Umbrella Academy is known for its cliffhanger season finales, so there's a wealth of possibilities for where the next season could go. The biggest setup in the season 3 finale is a showdown between the Umbrellas and Hargreeves, who now owns what looks like every skyscraper in New York and probably has the political power to match. It would be super interesting to see what'll happen with the group going directly against their father now that he's at his most powerful, with his dead love alive by his side. (Plus, hopefully Luther tells everyone else that dude's an alien.)
There are a ton of little details that can be spun off into other theories. Allison and Hargreeves were the only ones who were involved in powering the machine, and it looks like they both have their hearts' desire in this new universe. While the rest of the Umbrellas are uninjured but their powers are gone, Allison still has the bloody wrap around her arm, so she may still have her powers. There's also a big question of whose side she'll be on in Umbrellas v. Hargreeves; if taking their father down means losing Ray and Claire again, she may stay on the side of the villain.
In an interview with Tudum, Blackman teased that the Umbrellas will be up for dealing with all this change. "The siblings are always up for a challenge," he told the outlet. "This new timeline has been dictated by Hargreeves, who reprogrammed the Universe at the end of the Season 3 finale. But because of Allison’s actions, he didn’t get to finish what he started before Allison pressed the reset button."
He continued, "So, the siblings losing their powers isn’t going to be the only oddity in this timeline. There are new enemies who want to see them wiped out of existence, but how do they manage without their powers? Is there even a way to get them back? The stakes have never been greater."
There's also the big question of how post-credits Ben factors in. Showrunner Steve Blackman confirmed to Men's Health that this is Sparrow Ben, and that season 4 will answer questions including "why he's there, or what the glasses are all about." There's also the question of what happened to Sloane, who helped power the machine but didn't emerge with the rest of the group. Other loose ends include Diego and Lila's bun in the oven, Five founding the Commission at some point in his life, and whether taking down Hargreeves means just defeating him or restoring/creating another timeline. (Or just the destruction of this one. After all, what's the show without an apocalypse to stop?)
What have the cast and crew said about season 4?
As fans of the comic series know, the show Umbrella Academy has officially outpaced the comics with the end of season 3. While some may fear a Game of Thrones situation for the upcoming seasons, showrunner Steve Blackman told Newsweek that he has a plan for upcoming seasons, and that he's already consulted with writers Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá about his plans.
"We've deviated from the graphic novel to some degree, probably more this year than other years. You know, I love what Gerard and Gabriel do with "Hotel Oblivion." Some of it was hard to sort of translate financially, as well as sort of how we would turn it into storylines, but I do have a very, very good idea of what I want to do next season."
The creator also told TheWrap that he's already pitched his storyline for the fourth season to Netflix, and that he always had ideas for a four-season run.
"I think inevitably if we got a Season 4, it’s going towards an endgame," he told the outlet. "I think at a certain point, I’m not sure where we’d go after Season 4. We have to be careful. My plan for next year is not to continually tread on the same ground we have before. It’s a challenge to come up with a new way to subvert this storyline, and I think we have an idea how to do that. But I think if we got to Season 4, it would be a great ending for the run of the show. I’m not saying I couldn’t do more, but you know, I think that would be very satisfying for the audience, four seasons."
He added that he wants to explore how the Umbrellas would react to the loss of their powers, since their feelings about them have ranged from acceptance to avoidance to resentment over the three seasons.
"I want to pose to the viewer and the fan, 'Would they be happier without their powers?' I mean, all they do is complain about being who they are," the showrunner said. "So will Victor, will Diego be happy without it or will they feel like they’re missing an appendage? Will the world not be right for them anymore without powers? Can they be 'normal'?"
In an interview with People, Diego Castañeda said that he's also excited to explore some new dynamics in season 4, including the Umbrellas losing their powers.
"I honestly really do like the fact that we don't have powers because The Umbrella Academy was never really about the powers," he told the outlet. "The power was just a little seasoning to [the show], [this season] has de-escalated and it's become much more about, 'Let's just watch these people that we really love bantering with each other.'"
When asked her thoughts on the end cliffhanger and where Allison ends up, Emmy Raver-Lampman said that she expects for her character to have to deal with some consequences, and possibly lose her own powers as well.
I think, for the first time maybe, we don’t know where this show could go, and that’s exciting," she told Collider. "Yes, Allison got her happy ending, but as per most stories where people sacrifice anything and everything to get their happy ending, it usually will catch up with them in some way – the butterfly effect of messing with time and space and the universe. I think there’s gonna be some sort of repercussion for Allison. I also don’t think she’s realized that she doesn’t have power yet. Once she realizes that, she’s probably gonna assume that everybody else also doesn’t have powers and that guilt is gonna catch up to her in a really fun way that could be cool to play around with. Hopefully, we get another season to figure that out."
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