the umbrella academy he’s so big on the show — wild superpowers, apocalyptic events, fight and/or dance scenes set to catchy pop hits — that it can be easy to forget how compelling he can be when he slams on the brakes and lets his characters do the talking.

Don’t get me wrong: “Auf Weidersehen,” a standout episode in this generally solid season, still gives us some important set pieces. At first, the Umbrellas and Sparrows team up to take on the kugelblitz and win what turns out to be a Pyrrhic victory. There’s the big bang that ends the episode, when the kugelblitz sends out its most devastating blast yet, killing Fei and Christopher and most of the rest of the world. And in the middle, there’s Luther’s gloriously cheesy proposal to Sloane, complete with a moon rock ring! -which she accepts as she literally floats on air. Those crazy kids.

But despite all that explosiveness, the real the fireworks in this episode come in the most human-sized scenes, as the Umbrellas and the Sparrows ping-pong with each other, venting all the feelings that have been building up throughout the season.

The episode begins with a flashback of Lila, who reveals that when the Commission offered to send her anywhere, anytime, she chose West Berlin in 1989. There, she acquired a time travel briefcase planted by the Controller. Not long after, she acquired Stan, the neglected son of a punk rocker whose band she briefly joined. But while it’s nice to have umbrella academy Filling in these gaps in the plot, the scene that will stick with me is a silent one: a long shot of Lila playing the drums, unleashing all her pent-up emotion after the events of the second season.

And that’s just her only scene. By the time the episode ends, we’ve seen Lila clarify that she’s pregnant, admit that she wants to start a real family with Diego, Y give Allison some really helpful tips on how a time traveler can stand her ground when reality changes around her.

And that’s the advice that Allison needed because, at this point, he’s the closest thing we have to a main villain in the umbrella academyThe third season of. If mugging Luther and murdering Harlan in the earlier episodes somehow wasn’t proof enough, there’s his incredibly nasty fight with Viktor, which only ends when Allison uses her powers to shut his mouth for so long it looks like Viktor might suffocate. Even then, Allison can’t resist a nasty parting shot: “We should have left you in the basement,” she taunts her.

This very painful breakup between Viktor and Allison, probably the Hargreeves siblings with the healthiest relationship, despite everything that’s happened, is the kind of thing you can only win after several seasons of character development, when it’s clear to the audience how high the stake is. There’s an equally poignant launch in the tragicomic training sequence between Reginald and Klaus, who has spent the season pining for a warm father figure, and finally has one.

I like it field of dreams, this healing bond takes the form of a game of catch. Unlike field of dreams, this game ends when one of the participants is hit by a car and dies, over and over again. It may not be good parenting in the conventional sense, but Klaus does it he learns how to come back from the dead faster and faster, and Reginald seems genuinely delighted with his son’s progress. There are reasons to doubt Reginald’s motives – more on that in the “Raindrops” section below – but for now, this is a nice counterpoint to the schism between Viktor and Allison, serving as a reminder that this family, under the right circumstances, it can heal as well as it can break.

It’s the third season of umbrella academy about the Umbrellas healing or breaking? It’s the best scene in the episode that walks the line between those two points. When Five walks up to Viktor, it’s easy to assume he’s there for support. Wasn’t Allison guilty of, you know, murdering Viktor’s surrogate son?

Instead, Five offers a warning, filtered through the jaundiced eye of one who has twice saved the world at terrible cost to his own soul. “We will never save enough lives to make up for the ones we take,” she says. “This is the price of being powerful. Sometimes we step on ants.”

Five closes his speech with a reminder that the source of the Umbrella Academy’s greatest strength and weakness is that they are a family, able to step in if any of their siblings cross the line. A solo superhero, he warns Viktor, is a supervillain, and by now, we know Viktor well enough to know that supervillainy isn’t just a hypothetical possibility. “Lie to us again… Viktor, I’ll kill you myself,” concludes Five. And it’s obvious that he means it.

• More evidence for the “Reginald is the bad guy” conspiracy theory: Just before Fei is kugelblitzed, Ben tells him that he and his father struck some kind of deal.

• In her religious fervor for the kugelblitz, Grace maniacally recites Isaiah 63:4: “The day of revenge was in my heart and the year of my redemption has come.”

• While in Ben’s room, Viktor sees a drawing labeled Jennifer, yet another reference to Jennifer’s mysterious incident leading to Ben’s death in the original timeline. A little later, Klaus also makes an offhand reference to the Jennifer incident. (If he was betting that season four is based on the breadcrumbs that season three has been dropping, this would be a good guess at what umbrella academy could explore below.)

• Some interesting beats suggest that several of the Umbrellas have barely scratched the surface of their true powers. In addition to the huge improvement in the interval between Klaus’s death and resurrection, Allison no longer needs to say “I heard a rumour” to influence people with her voice. And I still suspect that we will learn that Viktor is more powerful now that he has reabsorbed the energy that he passed on to Harlan in 1963.

• We see once again that Reginald’s car has the HERMES vanity plate, a strange and inexplicable detail that Fans have different theories about.

• One of the shots of Klaus being thrown by cars is almost identical to the clip of Brad Pitt being thrown by cars in 1998 you know black joethat goes viral again every few years or so.

• Music in this episode (deep breath): “Little Girl” by Andrea Litkei and Ervin Litkei as Lila plays with the infinite switchboard; Geier Sturzflug’s “Bruttosozialprodukt” at the fall of the Berlin Wall; Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me” as Reginald drives with Klaus in his trunk; a cover of “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Ugly Kid Joe as Klaus and Reginald play catch; “Onward Christian Soldiers,” a traditional hymn sung by Grace as she died; Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” during the obligatory (and prematurely celebratory) dance scene; and “What Makes a Man” by Ninth Wave during the climax of the episode.

• Lila, writing her Yelp review of Hotel Oblivion: “It’s just sushi and death.”

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