The Umbrella Academy season 3 has arrived on Netflix, and the finale will have left many of us with more questions than answers. The new season picks up exactly where season 2 left off – the Hargreeves have made it back to the present day from 1963, but they find they've changed the timeline and been replaced by the Sparrow Academy.
After confronting their father, Reginald Hargreeves, back in the '60s, he decides to adopt another set of superpowered children in 1989, so the siblings find they've got competition as they arrive back in 2019. Add yet another impending apocalypse and a bit of time-hopping into the mix, and things are looking anything but simple for the Hargreeves – and the audience, if you're not watching closely.
There are major spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 3 ahead, as you might expect, so turn back now if you haven't finished watching the new season and don't want to know anything in advance.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 ending recap
The finale of The Umbrella Academy season 3 sees the Hargreeves (both Umbrellas and Sparrows) venture through the portal in the White Buffalo Suite in the Hotel Obsidian to the Hotel Oblivion.
Prior to this, at the end of episode 9, Reginald kills Luther (Tom Hopper) in an attempt to bring the family together. Later, Reginald then stops Klaus (Robert Sheehan) from entering the tunnel to Oblivion with the others, and he's engulfed in the Kugelblitz. The now-dead siblings reconvene in the afterlife, and Luther reveals the cause of his death to Klaus, who is unaware that it was Reginald's doing.
Everyone is unsure of themselves and distrustful of each other in the wake of Luther and Klaus' deaths. Reginald reveals that the bells are a metaphor for a sigil, and they need to find the sigil in order to reach the next step in resetting the universe. They split into teams to try and find it: Diego (David Castañeda) and Lila (Ritu Arya) pair up, Five (Aidan Gallagher), Viktor (Elliot Page), and Alison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) form a group, and Ben (Justin H. Min) and Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez) also pair up. Reginald lingers behind in the hotel lobby.
Each group encounters a slightly different samurai – this alternate version of the hotel is not as it seems and the group becomes splintered as some of them end up in a separate but identical version of the same hallway.
Five discovers that symbols on the floor of the lobby form the sigil, just as the final samurai crashes through the lobby ceiling and slices off his arm. Seven of them must stand on seven stars, but Reginald stops Alison when she attempts to join them. Five, Klaus, Viktor, Sloane, Ben, Diego, and Lila take their positions, and they're joined by a powerful beam of light that kills the last remaining samurai.
The hotel facade peels away, revealing that they are actually in a machine in another dimension. The particles in the seven's bodies are fuelling the machine that will reset the universe, but the process is also killing them. This is a sacrifice that Reginald is willing to make, but not Alison. She attacks him and presses a big red button on the machine's control pad.
The screen goes dark, and then we see Alison getting out of a taxi. She lets herself into a house and goes upstairs to find her daughter Claire asleep in bed. As she goes over to check on her daughter, Ray (Yusuf Gatewood), the man she was married to in 1963, appears in the doorway, dressed in present-day clothing.
The others step out of an elevator into the outdoors – a plaque says they are in the Obsidian Memorial Plaza, which was donated by Reginald Hargreeves on October 1, 1989 – the birth dates of the Umbrella and Sparrow Academies. There is a bust of Reginald in the middle of a six-sided star in the center of the plaza.
Luther is alive and has lost his muscular, ape-like physique. Five's arm and Diego's fingers are back, and all of them have lost their powers. Sloane is not with them. They all disperse, with Luther intent on finding Sloane. The finale ends with Reginald standing at the top of a skyscraper, the headquarters of a company named Hargreeves Financial, with his late wife Abigail – who is now alive.
What is the Kugelblitz?
The Kugelblitz is a black hole that appears in the Sparrows' basement after the Umbrella Academy arrives back in the present day. A mysterious ball of light and energy, it has the ability to suck people inside of it, killing them, and later sends out waves of power that kill anyone in their path.
What is the Hotel Oblivion?
The Hotel Oblivion is an alternate version of the Hotel Obsidian that is accessed via a hidden tunnel in the White Buffalo Suite. However, the hotel is just a facade and Oblivion is actually another dimension.
Who is Lester Pocket?
Lester Pocket is actually Harlan Cooper, the non-verbal child Viktor helped care for in Dallas in 1963. Now, 46 years later, he senses that Viktor is close by again and sets out to find him. His powers and his lack of control over them, particularly in his younger years, mean he's had to move around and start over many times, hence the name change. Harlan has similar telekinetic powers to Viktor, which were transferred to him when Viktor saved his life in season 2. It's revealed in season 3 episode 4 that Harlan is the cause of the Grandfather Paradox, and he's no longer non-verbal as an adult.
What is the Grandfather Paradox?
The Grandfather Paradox is what causes the Kugelblitz. It gets its name from a case study in the Commission handbook, which describes a scenario involving a boy who hates his grandfather. Blaming his grandfather for all the wrongs in his life, the boy goes back in time to kill him. The only problem is, he goes too far back in time and kills him before his grandfather's daughter (AKA his mother) was born, and therefore, in this new version of the timeline, the boy never existed. But if the boy doesn't exist, how could he kill his grandfather? Thus, a paradox is created.
Harlan's mother Sissy died on October 1, 1989, AKA the birth date of the Umbrella Academy. Overcome by grief, Harlan loses control of his powers to catastrophic consequences. As Harlan can sense others with powers, he was able to connect to the Umbrella Academy's birth mothers. As a result, all of them were killed by the surge in his powers (with the exception of Ben's, as he exists as a Sparrow in this timeline).
But what does this have to do with the Grandfather Paradox? Well, if the Hargreeves' mothers are dead, then they shouldn't exist in this timeline. And yet they do, and the paradox – and the Kugelblitz – is created.
Why did Reginald kill Luther and Klaus?
Reginald stabs Luther at the end of episode 9 because he thinks his death will unite the two families – earlier in the episode, the group votes on whether they should venture into the dangerous unknown of Oblivion in an attempt to stop the impending apocalypse or stay in the Hotel Obsidian and try to work out a plan there, and the vote is split. Reginald wants everyone to go into Oblivion, so he needs the vote to be unanimous.
Later on, when the Kugelblitz is set to engulf the Hotel Obsidian, he stops Klaus from entering the tunnel to Oblivion. Reginald reveals that he was just using Klaus as a way to get back into their family's favor – by spending more time with Klaus, he had convinced him that he'd changed, which Klaus fed back to the rest of the family. Now that he'd succeeded, however, Reginald said that keeping Klaus around was more trouble than he was worth.
What happens to the Umbrella Academy at the end of season 3?
When the universe resets and Luther, Klaus, Diego, Viktor, Five, and Sparrow Ben leave the hotel, Luther is alive again, Five has two arms, and Diego has all his fingers. According to the mid-credits scene, it also seems that Umbrella Ben is alive again, too. However, all of them have lost their powers and Luther has lost his muscular physique.
How did Luther and Klaus come back to life?
The universe resetting brought Luther back to life. As for Klaus, he discovered earlier in season 3 that, as well as being able to communicate with the dead, his powers also enable him to come back from the dead. In short, he's immortal. Ironically, it was Reginald's experiments on Klaus in episode 7 that made him prepared to beat death at the hands of his father.
What happens to the Sparrow Academy at the end of season 3?
Marcus is killed by the Kugelblitz in episode 1 and Harlan kills Jayme and Alphonso at the Hotel Obsidian during the standoff in episode 3. Fei and Christopher are also killed by the Kugelblitz in episode 7 after attempts to contain it fail. Sloane is missing after the universe resets, so, for now, only Ben remains of the Sparrow Academy.
Where is Sloane?
Sloane's whereabouts are currently unknown – she doesn't come out of the elevator with the others when the universe resets. Luther sets off to look for her at the end of episode 10.
Who is Abigail Hargreeves?
In episode 9's flashback to Luther's time on the moon, we see that a woman is encased in a cryogenic chamber near his base – according to the label on the chamber, this is "Abigail Hargreeves (deceased)".
This is the first we've seen of Abigail since the season 1 finale – the first season wrapped with a seemingly out-of-place flashback that involved a much younger version of Reginald speaking to a sickly-looking woman lying in bed. They have a brief conversation, and it appears Reginald is having to reluctantly leave her behind. The woman wasn't named in the scene, but the credits identified her as Abigail Hargreeves, Reginald's late wife (played by Liisa Repo-Martell).
We see Abigail again at the end of episode 10 – she's standing next to Reginald, alive again, looking out over the skyline from the top of the Hargreeves Financial headquarters.
What was the deal Alison made with Reginald?
We still don't know what kind of deal Alison made with Reginald, which Five overheard at the end of episode 8. However, we can guess it has something to do with her managing to reunite with both her present-day daughter Claire and her 1963 husband Ray at the end of episode 10 – in episode 6, Alison reveals that she found out Ray died in 2010.
How did Ben die?
We still don't know exactly how Umbrella Ben died. We already knew it was on an Umbrella Academy mission, and in season 3 it was revealed that it was due to something his siblings refer to as the "Jennifer incident". But who is Jennifer? Sparrow Ben's bedroom is full of drawings of a woman called Jennifer, but her identity remains unknown.
How is Ben alive in the post-credits scene?
Ah, yes, there's more to this season than meets the eye. Check out our guide to the Umbrella Academy season 3 post-credits scene for more on the final moment of the series. And for more on the Hargreeves, see our piece on The Umbrella Academy season 3 timeline explained and everything we know so far about a potential The Umbrella Academy season 4.