Netflix’s dark comedy superhero romp, The Umbrella Academy, dropped its second season on Friday and fans are already in a spin about the series’ Sixties-set, time-jumping, twist-filled ending.
Naturally, Yahoo Movies UK went to the source, showrunner of the series Steve Blackman, to get the behind-the-scenes breakdown of the series’ biggest WHAT-JUST-HAPPENED? points of discussion.
And there are a few.
If you haven’t seen the full season yet, this is your warning: apocalypse-sized spoilers ahead.
The barnyard battle showdown between the Umbrella Academy, The Commission, Lila, and The Handler – where we learn the true extent of Lila’s powers – proves a stunning final action set piece to the season.
“I wanted the last episode to be a non-stop action episode,” Blackman tells Yahoo Movies UK, on structuring the finale, “I wanted to have a little break in the beginning, and then give it a few false endings, where you keep thinking you've got to the end, but it's not over yet, and you still need to get the end. It's not over yet!”
There’s a reason it feels so epic in scale, too: the showdown was inspired by another famous TV battle.
“I was really loving Game of Thrones, and I was watching it at the time,” Blackman explains, of the influences on staging the fight between the Umbrella Academy and The Commission.
“I wanted to do our version of the horde army coming over the hill. So, that's why we had all those commission agents,” says Blackman, his army of sharp suit-clad agents wielding briefcases rather than Dothraki blades, “It was a lot of fun to do.”
There was another, unpredictable addition on set which added an extra detail to the episode which had not been previously planned, reveals Blackman.
“It was a very tricky episode because it actually snowed halfway through filming. This episode was not supposed to have snow, and we ended up with a lot of snow,” Blackman explains, “It was really hard. We shot half of it without, and we had to add a lot of fake, CG snow after.”
Blackman reveals that he wanted to create a conclusion to the second season which equally satisfied, and teased fans.
“I really enjoyed giving each character an ending, and I wanted to wrap up all the stories,” the showrunner tells us. “But then I wanted the final coda to be a real twist that makes people say, ‘Oh, now I gotta wait again for another season?!’ I'm like, ‘Yeah, you do!’”
Speaking of final twists, there was another big surprise for fans of the series towards the end of the second season: one revelation about one Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Or, rather, the alien, Sir Reginald Hargreeves.
This information is nothing new to readers of the graphic novel by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá on which the TV series is based, but for viewers who have gone in cold to the series, the Hargreeves siblings adopted father’s background has never been explained. Seeing him unleash his alien head from behind his upper class human mask makes for a mind-blowing moment in the second season.
“In the first few frames of the graphic novel, you discover who Hargreeves really is,” explains Blackman, “There's this iconic moment that I took from the graphic novel, which I put in the series, where he lays something on that chair – I don't want to give it away.”
It will be a major part of season three, if it happens, says Blackman. “But yes, I wanted to have them know who his real identity is, and if we are lucky enough to have a season three, we clearly have to pay that off.”
“I have a very good idea what I want to do with that. But dad's a little different,” he adds.
A season three renewal has yet to be been confirmed by Netflix, but Blackman already has clear plans in place for it already.
Speaking to Yahoo, he revealed that he’s keen to mix up the dynamics of the Umbrella Academy gang in the future.
“I'd like to put some characters together who don't normally spend a lot of time together. I'm fascinated with Allison and Diego, who don't spend a lot of time together. And I haven't done a lot of Luther (Tom Hopper) and Vanya (Ellen Page). Allison and Klaus have spent some time together, but not a lot. I'd like to try new pairings of people and see how the dynamics play out.”
For more on Umbrella Academy Season 2, read the rest of our interview with Steve Blackman, where he reveals the advantages of this season’s 1960s setting, and the time travel arguments from behind the scenes of the show’s writer’s room, right here.
The Umbrella Academy season 2 is available to watch on Netflix now.