the umbrella academy

Wedding at the End of the World

Season 3

episode 8

Publisher Rating

4 stars


There’s a hypothetical question some people like to throw out after enough glasses of wine: If you only had one day to live, how would you spend it?

At this late point in season three, this question isn’t hypothetical to the Umbrellas, the two surviving Sparrows, or the few lucky souls wandering the Obsidian Hotel. It may not be exactly 24 hours, but the world it is ending. No one knows how to stop him (or, in Five’s case, if should be stopped). Assuming we’re at the end of the line: what’s the best way to spend the time you have left?

The episode is structured around an event that promises a kind of defiant joy: the wedding of Luther and Sloane, who want to formally join as they watch the apocalypse. Conveniently, their wedding also functions as a truce between the Umbrellas and the Sparrows, who failed to stop the kugelblitz but at least recognized that their petty differences were pointless in the face of a much more serious threat.

Or in other words: this is a reunion episode, designed primarily to give us a big dose of these characters before the plot inevitably overwhelms them in the one-two punch of the last two episodes. it is like umbrella academy-and how umbrella academy gets, seriously, is this show trying to break the Guinness World Record for “dance montages squeezed into 50 minutes”? — but it’s also a winning showcase for the work of this strong cast.

The first major hit is Luther’s bachelor party. Although almost everyone in the world is dead, both Reginald Hargreeves and Sparrow Ben are excluded. It’s not entirely clear to me why the latter is so upset about being left out as he’s literally always been a jerk to all of Umbrella, but I’m guessing he needs some sort of arc to bring him a little closer to the Ben we know and love.

But the real event is the wedding itself, which is lovely, in a kind of fan service. Klaus officiates, sobbing the whole way. Five is hammered. Diego agrees that he will stop trying to cancel the apocalypse to spend his last days with Lila, who finally tells him that she loves him. Ben sulks during the ceremony, but at least he shows up. Even Reginald Hargreeves shows up, albeit uninvited, and offers a charming toast to everybody her children: The ones she raised on this timeline and the ones she has accepted she raised on another.

That leaves the great conflict of the umbrella academyThird season of Viktor and Allison. Shortly before the ceremony, Luther begs Viktor to make it up to Allison. After all, how much time do any of them have left? Do they really want to waste it on rage instead of love?

This strikes me as a major concession for Viktor. He may have been the “villain” of previous episodes, but he never felt like he was fully responsible for the apocalyptic event of the first season, which grew out of (1) uncontrollable powers, (2) a life of abuse and neglect, and (3) manipulation and betrayal by Leonard Peabody, a liar who betrayed his trust. Allison had every reason to be angry that Viktor lied to her, but in the end, she made the active and calculated decision to murder Harlan.

So I was very much on Viktor’s side when he decided to be the bigger person and apologize for his role in everything that went wrong. And my heart breaks for him when Allison is so casually cruel in his response, not only rejecting her apology but refusing to acknowledge that she had done anything that require your forgiveness

This is tragic, but especially for Allison. She has spent the entire season desperately searching for love in Claire and Ray’s absence, even going so far as to manipulate and assault Luther. Now Viktor is literally standing in front of her, telling her that he cares about her more than anything in the world, and she still rejects him.

It’s the kind of thing that could ruin a relationship so completely it can’t be repaired, so I guess it’s good news for Allison that none of this will matter when the whole universe comes crashing down in a few days.

Or at least that’s what you would do to think — because at the end of this adorably furry episode, the plot kicks into high gear again. As Five stumbles back to his hotel room, impossibly drunk, he sees Reginald talking to a mysterious person in the White Buffalo suite. The implication is clear: this alternate Reginald has been every bit as bad as the Reginald he held up the Umbrellas, feigning friendliness as he manipulated everyone into… well, whatever he originally intended from Project Oblivion. It may not be the honeymoon that Luther and Sloane chose, but there is a hotel on the other side of that suite that might require everybody of Reginald’s children to plan a trip.

• So: Who is Reginald’s mystery partner? good? allison? Pogo? Someone else? Leave your best guesses in the comments below (unless the suspense was too much and you already skipped to the next episode).

• Chet the Desk Clerk’s full name is Chet Rodo, which is weird enough that I spent way too much time trying to figure out if it was an anagram of something. (For the record, my best guess was “Tech Door.”)

• Klaus compares Reginald to a turtle: “Tough on the outside, but cute and wrinkly and sometimes delicious on the inside.”

• Music in this episode (mainly karaoke): “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, performed by Luther; “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, performed by Five and Klaus and the rest of the Umbrellas; a version of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry by The Rescues, during the wedding celebration; and Jerry Dyke’s “Come In, Mr. Lonely,” performed by a very drunk Five.

• That said, Luther’s performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” owes more to Old School that Bonnie Tyler.

• ME absolutely he cried when Luther asked Viktor to be his best man.

• Hello to the Large Collider “Hard-On”.

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