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The Umbrella Academy season 3 timeline explained

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy season 3 is now on Netflix – and the time-hopping series does not let up. Unlike season 2, which saw the Hargreeves accidentally transported back to the '60s, the bulk of the action in season 3 takes place in the present day, but the past is still a big player in their latest storylines. 

However, there are several flashbacks to decades past, and several years in the past have a great significance to the new season's plot. We've identified every year that makes an appearance and put them in chronological order, breaking down the key events – this should hopefully make things a little clearer if the new season left you with some questions.

As you might expect, there are major spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 3 ahead, so click away now if you haven't watched all 10 new episodes yet.

The Umbrella Academy season 3 timeline, explained


(Image credit: Netflix)

We discover that family patriarch Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) built the Hotel Obsidian, where the Umbrella Academy are hiding out in season 3, back in 1918. In a flashback at the start of episode 8, we see him assessing the land on which the hotel was eventually built, seeking out the portal to alternate dimension Oblivion with a telescope-type contraption. Once the hotel has been opened, he sends a group of armed soldiers through the tunnel to Oblivion, but none of them make it back alive.


(Image credit: Netflix)

The Commission's headquarters are situated in the '50s, and 1953 is the year in which Lila (Ritu Arya) briefly visits them at the start of episode 7. At a loss at what to do after the death of her adopted mother, the Handler (Kate Walsh), at the end of season 2, she ends up traveling back to West Berlin in 1989.


(Image credit: Netflix)

After the Hargreeves are transported back to Dallas at different points of the early '60s in season 2, 1963 is the year in which they all manage to reconvene. This is the year in which the world is meant to end, which the siblings manage to stop before traveling back to the present day.


(Image credit: Netflix)

This is the year the Hargreeves – and all the other superpowered children – were born. On October 1, 1989, 43 women across the world gave birth, despite not being pregnant when they woke up that morning. Each of the 43 children born on that day has superpowers. We know the identities of 14 of these children – the Umbrellas, the Sparrows, and Lila – but the remaining 29 remain a mystery. For now, at least. 

1989 is also the year that Lila travels back to when she arrives in West Berlin at the beginning of episode 7


(Image credit: Netflix)

A flashback at the start of episode 6 takes us back to 2014. Pogo (voiced by Adam Godley) is facilitating a training session for the Sparrows, which sees them fight each other in pairs. When a showdown between Ben (Justin H. Min) and Jayme (Cazzie David) goes slightly too far, Pogo insists that they stop. Reginald, however, orders them to continue. When Pogo challenges him on this afterward, Reginald orders him to leave the Sparrow Academy. This is why, five years later in 2019, Five (Aidan Gallagher) finds Pogo working as a tattoo artist instead. 


(Image credit: Netflix)

Luther (Tom Hopper) arrives on the moon in 2015 after being sent there on a mission by Reginald, which we see a flashback to at the start of episode 9. The specific year is never specified on the show, but we know he spent four years there before returning for Reginald's funeral in 2019. As to why Luther went to the moon, he discovers in season 1 that his father never read any of the reports he sent back and the mission was merely to keep him out of the way.


(Image credit: Netflix)

2019 is the present day, when the bulk of season 3's action takes place. Flashbacks aside, Five and Lila are the only characters who do any time traveling this season, to an unspecified post-apocalyptic future where they encounter an elderly version of Five at the Commission. 

For more on the Hargreeves, check out our guides to the Umbrella Academy season 3 ending explained, The Umbrella Academy season 3 post-credits scene, and who is Harlan Cooper in The Umbrella Academy, as well as everything we know about a potential The Umbrella Academy season 4.

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.