‘The Umbrella Academy’ Gives Us Pogo Backstory — And Serious Sibling Bonding (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Umbrella Academy, Season 2, Episode 5, “Valhalla.”]
Did you ever wonder how Pogo got to be Pogo? Probably. A humanoid consciousness in a monkey’s body is pretty darn weird, even for a show about superheroes. Well, surprise! The opening minutes of the episode reveal that Pogo is kind of Grace and Hargreeves (Colm Feore)’ child, but he didn’t start out that way.
First, he was a chimpanzee Hargreeves sent into space; but when the mission goes wrong and he crash-lands back on Earth, Hargreeves has to take drastic measures to save him. He succeeds, but it’s clear the serum he injected him with had some other effects, too, since Hargreeves is quite at home reading him Shakespeare, and Pogo’s drawing pictures of him, Grace and Reginald together. It’s cute. It’s weird. It’s exactly the brand of strange I’ve come to expect from this show.
The rest of the Academy crew reunites this episode to discuss how to handle the end of the world, but of course, tempers flare and tensions run high. A little alcohol goes a long way, though, and the episode ends up being more about love — platonic and romantic — than the end of the world. Here’s how it all goes down.
Luther, Rejected Again
So, it seems Five (Aidan Gallagher) and Diego (David Castenada) weren’t the first to find Hargreeves in the current timeline: that award would go to Luther (Tom Hopper), who took a bus to his old house only to find Hargreeves hosting a party there. Luther crashes it to tell him he’s his son, which goes over a like a ton of bricks. Hargreeves tells him, in no uncertain terms, that he’s never having kids — but if he did, they wouldn’t look or act anything like him. “Now take yourself, and the stench of failure that encircles you, and get out of my house,” Hargreeves says. Yikes.
Lila and the Handler Hatch a Plan
Lila’s none too pleased with her mama after the whole ordeal at the gala (which led to Diego and Five ditching her, now convinced, by her actions at the party and her fighting abilities, that she works for the Commission). The Handler doesn’t deny lying to her, but she reveals the Commission doesn’t know they’re there, and she needs Lila (Ritu Arya)’s help dealing with the Swedes.
On that front, they’re successful. They send a false message to the Swedes telling them Diego’s their new target, and they use one of Diego’s knives to lure them out into the woods. They then rig up a mine to blow when one of the Swedes reaches for the weapon, and, boom! The trio’s down to two.
The Gang’s Back Together Again!
Realizing they need the Academy at full strength to stop the apocalypse, Five, Diego and Luther invite Allison, Vanya and Klaus over to their current living space to talk about the whole apocalypse thing. Except, as usual, they have different approaches to the situation — and to each other. Five wants to talk to Hargreeves. Diego wants to kill him. Luther’s done with the whole “saving the world” thing. Klaus is still drunk.
Luther storms out, and Five tries to stop him but has to teleport outside the building after his brother nearly pushes him over the stairs (“When’d the monkey learn how to fight dirty?” Five wonders aloud). Outside, Five catches a glimpse of Lila — who he’s now certain is on the Commission’s side — and he takes off after her. Diego goes after Luther, and they talk about their problems. They also receive a note from a mysterious person who’d been following them since they left, inviting them to a “light supper” with Hargreeves. Hooray…?
Bad at Love
The rest of the Academy gets tacos and gets drunk: or in Klaus’s case, more drunk than he already was. They talk about love, which ends up being a wild experience for Vanya, who doesn’t remember that she dated Leonard, or that Allison was, and maybe still is, in love with her adoptive sibling. They dance in a fun scene that’ll remind viewers of Season 1’s classic house-wide dance party.
With just six days left before everything ends again, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Vanya decides to tell Sissy how she feels about her (which, despite the fact that they slept together the previous night, goes extremely badly because Sissy won’t leave her husband). Klaus returns to his suffocatingly adoring cult, saying he’ll have to break up with them (“group breakups are why I stopped dating twins!” he tells his siblings). Allison resolves to tell Raymond everything, which might or might not go well: the show doesn’t show us how he reacts or what she says.
Five Meets a Familiar Foe
The old man trapped in a young man’s body follows Lila to an abandoned warehouse, where they fight. He beats her and then yells for someone to come out. Naturally, that someone is the Handler, who asks Five, “Did you miss me, you little s**t?”
The Umbrella Academy, Season 2, Streaming Now, Netflix