This article “Who is Harlan and why does he have powers in The Umbrella Academy season 2?” contains important spoilers.
In Season 2, Vanya meets a married woman named Sissy who she grows a romantic relationship with. However, Sissy has a son called Harlan who has clear mental difficulties that affect his behavior. Throughout Season 2, we all presume that he is an innocent child who is part of the story that Vanya has grown a bond with, but it is not that simple. Who is Harlan and why does he have powers in The Umbrella Academy Season 2?
Why is he drawn to Vanya so much?
Throughout the story, Harlan seems to have a liking for Vanya — there’s an implied trust probably due to a rusty family dynamic caused by his parents. Vanya spends a lot of time with Harlan, it seems.
Why does Harlan have powers?
In the second to last episode, we seem to experience scenes suggesting he has powers that are very confusing for the audience. But his powers seem to be present due to Vanya. During the later episodes, Harlan had drowned in a lake — Vanya saves him and uses her energy to bring him back to life. Vanya believes that she gave him her powers when she saved his life — that’s what she and the viewers are led to believe anyway. Whether there’s a deeper meaning to why he has powers is another question. The powers seem to have exactly the same as Vanya’s.
Can he control them?
No — like Vanya, both characters struggle to control them. Harlan seems to struggle with them more due to his mental problems. Also, because Vanya seemingly gave Harlan her powers, for a couple of episodes the characters seem to be connected — when Vanya activates her powers intensely, so does Harlan.
Does Harlan get rid of his powers?
In the last episode, he appears to not have his powers anymore when Vanya attempts to get rid of them. However, as the second season draws near an end, Harlan is seen floating an object at the back of the car, unbeknown to his mother. It could be that if he still has powers, that Vanya meets both Sissy and Harlan again one day. This is definitely a possibility now.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.