The Umbrella Academy Episode 9 is all about the apocalypse and Vanya, as the characters energetically move towards the conclusion.
This recap of The Umbrella Academy Episode 9, “Changes” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
And here we go. The second-to-last sprint in Netflix’s latest superhero baby. What stumped me as I eagerly pressed play is that The Umbrella Academy Episode 9 is 44-minutes long. All previous episodes have been almost an hour. Once I reached the credits, I realized why they made this decision. Chapter nine needed to be fast-paced and energetic, leading to a thrilling finale; it was the calm before the storm. It was almost perfect.
“Changes” begins with a flashback of younger Vanya. Her father required a nanny that could put up with the volatile child, but each one ended up becoming hurt by her powers. Eventually, Grace, their mother, becomes the permanent carer of the household, capable of dealing Vanya (Ellen Page).
In the present day, The Umbrella Academy Episode 9 deals with the aftermath of Vanya’s attack on Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman). She looks traumatized by previous events, but Harold (John Magaro) excitedly buzzes around her like a kid in a sweet shop, declaring they must take the fight to them. But Vanya wants to explain herself, regardless of Harold’s persuasive words of calling her special. I know it is intentional, but Harold is super-creepy, and I imagine that’s what most dudes are like in real life on Film Twitter.
Harold’s journey ends prematurely; Vanya finds the notebook owned by her father and accuses him of manipulating her the entire time she has spent with him. When she asks who Harold Jenkins is (remember, she knows him as Leonard at this point), he soppily replies, “someone like us, a lonely boy, an outsider whose family was cruel to him”. In their heated exchange of words, Vanya is insistent she did not mean to kill Allison. Harold’s next move then dumbfounded me – he decided to anger Vanya, slamming a book over and over again and forcing her to use her powers. She does use them, placing anything sharp in the room to wound him. Harold is dead.
While Vanya is consumed with shock and grief, The Umbrella Academy Episode 9 smartly calms down the characters. Pogo and Grace have found a way to save Allison using a blood transfusion, and Diego (David Castañeda) is the most suitable person. The ordeal becomes a comedy sketch because the other two candidates who come forward are not appropriate; Luther (Tom Hopper) has ape blood, and Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is a drug addict. So that means Allison is indeed alive, leaving Luther to sob and confess his love for her while sleeping.
The story of Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) is not over. Hazel randomly shows up at The Umbrella Academy house looking to speak to “Number 5” (Aidan Gallagher). Diego being superheroic as always starts a fight with Hazel, but “Number 5” cuts it short. In a weird turn of events, “Number 5” explains that the apocalypse is over and the equations are well and truly pointing at an altered timeline. I found this admission mildly strange. Perhaps Klaus claiming that “Number 5” is addicted to the end of the world resonated with him. Hazel, who is done with The Commission, gives his guns to “Number 5” which will prove Diego did not kill Patch using ballistic evidence.
The end of The Umbrella Academy Episode 9 is all about Vanya. Allison wakes up and explains to Luther that Vanya attacked her. In an odd, subtle and cruel scene, Vanya shows up to the house and confesses to Luther her powers. She vows that the scenario with Allison was an accident. Luther hugs her in an understanding way before squeezing her unconscious. He locks her in the same vault from when she was a child. Diego and Klaus disagree with Luther’s methods, but Allison is adamant that they should let her go, and in a pivotal moment Luther refuses.
Distressed and emotional, Vanya hallucinates and begins speaking to her younger self. She convinces herself that she’s isolated from the group and that Harold was right – they are lonely, they are outsiders, and for survival, it is best to embrace her powers because if not, she will be stuck in that vault forever. Vanya gathers so much energy she breaks the vault wall. Her eyes light up. Vanya has fully activated with her powers.
The whole Vanya storyline reminds me of Willow in Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Someone who is in pain and translates it into their powers. The concept is so similar, it’s uncanny.
A few notable pointers – while Klaus is looking for drugs, the ghost of Ben berates him and manages to physically attack him. Can Klaus use this extra ability so spirits can fight others as well? When Hazel goes back to his hotel room, he ends up in a fight with Cha-Cha to save his partner – The Handler shows up – what does she have up her sleeve for the finale? When they find Harold dead, “Number 5” figures out the technological eye belongs to him but what does this mean? They’ve never adequately explained this.
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.