‘The Umbrella Academy’ Gets Trippy and Tragic in ‘The Seven Stages’ (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Episode 8, “The Seven Stages.”]
If Five (Aidan Gallagher) is your favorite character on the show, you’re in for a treat, because there’s not just one Five this episode: there’s two of them!
Five figures out how to get back to 2019, but it involves talking himself into a rather complicated plan. Meanwhile, Vanya (Ellen Page) is tortured for information under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs and electric shocks. If you’re thinking that’s a bad idea given her powers… well, it is.
Diego Breaks Free
Lila makes a deal with The Handler to keep Diego (David Castenada) around as long as she keeps him on task (“he’s your responsibility,” The Handler (Kate Walsh) says, as though Diego’s a dog). Thus, Diego winds up in an orientation for new Commission recruits, but as soon as he sees there’s an infinite switchboard that allows them to monitor any and all points in space-time, he decides that’s where he’d rather be.
Once he’s there, he talks his way into getting Herb, a mousy man who’s starstruck by him, to show him what happens on that fateful date in 1963. Of course, it’s not right. But it’s wrong on a ton of different levels — namely, that Vanya’s the one to jump-start the end of the world, because her powers explode the FBI building. Determined to keep this from happening, Diego (and Herb) head back to the timeline and recruits Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Allison (Emmy Raver) to his cause (who had both been dealing with the dead Swede in her living room. Thankfully, The Commission can help with that).
Five, Meet Five
The most entertaining plot of the episode involves Five’s attempt to talk his past, older self into helping with the plan to stop the apocalypse. He drags Luther (Tom Hopper) into it as the buffer of sorts, and they meet Five in a bar and have a nice-ish conversation. Of course, it’s Five, so he’s highly suspicious of himself. But it seems they’ve worked something out: Old Five will carry everything out how he’s supposed to and head back to 2019 like he’s supposed to, which will right that timeline. Using his briefcase, the Academy siblings in the ‘60s will return home. Sounds good, right?
Wrong. Old Five reveals to Luther, in private, that he has a better plan. He wants to kill the younger Five and have them all return to the future together. Luther’s tempted, and it does seem like Five’s suffering the adverse effects of meeting himself; namely paranoia, itchiness and flatulence. But that could turn into murderous rage, and Luther’s not excited about that.
In the FBI building, the agents are convinced Vanya’s a Russian spy — and it does kind of seem that way, given that her name is Russian and she knows how to speak Russian. Not believing her that she’s suffering from amnesia, they dose her up with LSD and hook her up to an electric shock device, then demand she talks. There’s a huge problem with that, though. She’s having some pretty intense hallucinations (think eyes for clocks, eyes under her feet, and, eventually, a dinner with her family back at the Academy).
At that Academy-dinner, Hargreeves (Colm Feore) demands she talk as supper is served. Supper is pieces of a brain, and Vanya’s forced to choke it down to remember anything about her past self, which she eventually does. But back in the real world, the agents are getting tired of her silence, so they crank up the electricity on her. Bad idea. Her powers explode, they’re smashed by a wall of pure energy, and the beginning of the end of the world begins. Surprisingly, Harlan also suffers when Vanya suffers, and his eyes turn white, too.
The Umbrella Academy, Season 2, Streaming Now, Netflix