Episode 8 finally ups the stakes as the end of the world draws nearer. The characters are more desperate and disjointed than ever.
This recap of Netflix series The Umbrella Academy season 2, episode 8, “The Seven Stages” contains significant spoilers.
How does The Umbrella Academy season 2, episode 8, “The Seven Stages” open?
It opens with Vanya in an interrogation room. They ask her for details and an ID. She explains that she has amnesia. The officer smartly suggests that she materialised in thin air and that she’s Russian. He speaks in Russian and Vanya suddenly speaks in that language and she’s shocked. The story is starting to unfold here — it’s all starting to make sense and come together nicely…
Does Vanya cause World War Three?
The officer talks about the communist threat to the country. Suddenly Vanya uses her powers but she’s sedated. Ironically, Vanya seems to be the reason why World War Three happened — she is seen as an aggressive agent from Russia. Before the answer even arrives, it’s obvious that the character causes the nuclear war.
Panicking over a dead body
Raymond is panicking about the dead blonde man on his sofa but then Klaus heads over and sees the mess. Meanwhile, the remaining members of The Swedes remember what he did and try to cut off his hand but then he gets a new instruction from The Commission — he realizes The Handler is now sending orders.
Diego joins the ranks
Lila tells The Handler that Diego can be useful for The Commission. The Handler asks Diego where his loyalties lie and he states his loyalties remain with himself. The Handler agrees to put him through orientation. Again, it’s so obvious this is going to go wrong but you can’t help but feel The Handler is being purposefully reckless.
Are you a good man Reggie?
Grace, who we’ve barely seen in Season 2, finds plans to assassinate President Kennedy. Reginald asks Grace why she is looking through his things. She asks him if he wants to harm the President as the plans are all about his visit. Grace wants to know if Reginald is a good man but he tells her there are elements he cannot discuss and he asks Grace to trust him until the time is right. Grace says sorry, stating she cannot wait that long. It looks very obvious that Reginald is attempting to assassinate the President but you always sense there is a twist around the corner.
Five is hydrating himself and putting baby powder all over him. He plans to fight himself to get his briefcase back. He understands that the side effects of meeting his own self and lists them; it includes itching and thirst. Five asks Luther to keep him on task and not enter paradox psychosis.
She turned us against each other
Carl tells Sissy that Vanya is a KGB agent and explains that they were duped and she turned them against each other. Sissy doesn’t want to believe it, wondering why a Russian agent would be hiding on a farm. That’s a good question, to be honest, but then again, this is a Russia versus America underlying story — any question is a good question by the outlier characters.
Vanya is being tortured by electricity by the FBI and they drop hallucinogens into her eyes so she trips out. The agent asks who she is. She suddenly thinks she is with Reginald calling her Number Seven and having supper with her family.
Older Five meets Five
Five and Luther find the adult Five at a bar — this is the Five that originally stopped the assassination and caused Five to be trapped in a child version of himself. Child Five asks Luther to reason with his older self to get the briefcase. Luther heads over to adult Five and introduces himself. Eventually, Both Fives talk; child Five tells adult Five what happens and how he ends up trapped in a young body. Child Five wants to do it right this time, with the correct calculations. Adult Five suddenly wants to go for a p*ss. Child Five senses his older looking self is acting strange. The situation is evidently complex, but it’s entertaining — seeing both Fives trying to outwit each other is comedy in itself.
Lila shows Diego how they control time at The Commission and takes him to his orientation. She tells Diego to not screw this up. Diego watches a presentation that gives him a breakdown of The Commission. He gets bored quickly and leaves the room.
Show me a date
Diego heads to the switchboards at The Commission but Herb, the analyst, catches him. Herb tells Diego that he’s a legend around here. Diego asks Herb to look at November 22, 1963 — the assassination of President Kennedy. Herb says he can’t because if he’s caught they will be killed. The video plays and Kennedy isn’t assassinated and an FBI building blows up in the background. The US government blamed the attack on Russia. The explosion was clearly caused by Vanya while being interrogated. Nuclear war starts between Russia and America — that’s what ends the world. Vanya is the trigger.
You have to wonder — will Vanya always be the cause of the apocalypse? She’s a character clearly cursed and an anomaly in the timelines.
Old Five has a plan too
In the bathroom, Luther tells adult Five that Vanya ended the world. Adult Five shares a plan with Luther and states they should be nice with Vanya in 2019 and that will save the world. Luther is impressed with the idea and the adult Five states that child Five is experiencing paradox psychosis and that they should kill him. Luther asks adult Five if he has paradox psychosis but he claims he feels good.
Both Fives clearly have paradox psychosis as they head out of the bar. This family is getting more dysfunctional as the series progresses.
Back to the interrogation and Vanya is still tripping, thinking she’s at a family dinner. Dinner is served which is a brain each on a plate. Reginald tells her to remember by eating the brain. She eats some of the brain and suddenly her powers begin to activate — the FBI torture her even more, unaware of what she’s capable of.
I’ve got to go
As Allison, Raymond, Klaus, and Ben remove the body of the swede, Diego and Herb show up. Diego tells Allison that Vanya causes the apocalypse. Raymond starts having a nervous breakdown so Allison calms him down and tells him she has to go. They have one last kiss — this feels like an end of happiness for Allison; it’s devastating for the character. Meanwhile, Lila notices that Diego is missing.
How does The Umbrella Academy season 2, episode 8, “The Seven Stages” end?
As President Kennedy is en route in his motorcade, Vanya is interrogated aggressively — Allison, Klaus, Diego, and Ben are desperate to find her before it’s too late. Strangely, as Vanya’s powers activate, Harlan also has a fit at the farm and freezes, suggesting that both characters are connected somehow.
Klaus, Allison, Ben, and Diego make it to the FBI building but Vanya’s powers are growing. Klaus asks the important question; if the FBI are all stuck to the ceiling why hasn’t Vanya stopped. As Vanya’s eyes light up, so do Harlan’s. Episode 8 finally ups the stakes as the end of the world draws nearer. The characters are more desperate and disjointed than ever.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.