The Umbrella Academy Episode 1 ends with the ultimate objective, ending a muddled, complex, yet entertaining start to the series.
This recap of The Umbrella Academy Episode 1, “We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals”, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
As I believed it would, The Umbrella Academy Episode 1, “We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals”, opens up on Netflix with more questions than answers. The premise delivers a thick layer of clues, with additional complexities layered on by the characters. The opening scenes reveal a young woman flirting with a friend before jumping into the pool; what occurs after that is a moment of wonder, as blood starts spreading in the water, and she later gives birth.
The young woman was not pregnant before entering the pool. Forty-three infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women on the same day in 1989, prompting billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) to adopt as many as possible; he manages seven, claiming that they are special. The product of that is The Umbrella Academy is born, raised to save the world.
“We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals” reveals how dysfunctional this family has become. Once the chapter moves forward from introducing us to each character, in a somewhat Suicide Squad kind of way, they all find out that their father has died, encouraging all of them to visit their home, which is a stereotypical mansion one would expect from a billionaire. It’s clear from the outset that the days of being a super-human team have taken their toll, with each family member barely showing an inch of love with dry introductions across the board.
Luther (Tom Hopper) decides to tell the group his theory, that his dad always wore that monocle, but on the day of his death it was not on him, making a sly suggestion that one of his adopted children did it. Of course, the rest of the group are dismayed by this accusation, throwing tantrums and disbanding the conversation. Luther is protective of his father, even though he was not father-like in the scenes we have seen him in; disconnected, cold and as Diego stated in the throwing of his ashes, he could not be bothered even to name his children, just numbers instead.
Vanya played by the fan-favorite Ellen Page is rather quiet through “We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals”. According to her memories, she was deemed “not special” because she has no powers. It is clear her father discredited Vanya, leading her to write an autobiography about her family titled “Being Number 7”. I assume as the series progresses, and they all try to save the world, more truths will be revealed about the treatment from their father. Klaus (Robert Sheehan), for instance, is a drug addict and spends most of the chapter moving oddly around like Captain Jack Sparrow and making any joke possible. Klaus is a character who transparently tries to mask his past.
The significant reveal in The Umbrella Academy Episode 1 comes from Number 5 (Aidan Gallagher), who I believe has not yet named himself – he can move through space and time – and he accidentally got stuck in the future. Presumed dead, he returns on the same day his father’s ashes are thrown still looking like a young child, but with adult-like tendencies, revealing he has the consciousness of a 58-year-old. At the end of the episode, he gets into an altercation with some unknown gunmen who are determined to capture him.
Meanwhile, Diego reveals he has the monocle, looking at the coast ponderously. Did he kill his father? The accusation is way too obvious. Diego is an easy target in the family; disgruntled by his father and starting fist fights with Luther, the most protective of their dad.
As “We Only See Each Other At Weddings and Funerals” ends, Number 5 speaks to Vanya and explains in the future he was the only person left and that the world is going to end in 8 days. The Umbrella Academy Episode 1 ends with the ultimate objective, ending a muddled, complex, yet entertaining start to the series.
You can check out our thoughts on the next episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.