The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 4 recap – “Kugelblitz”

By Adam Lock
Published: June 22, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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The show delivers its best episode yet, with many twists and turns stuffed into another tense and thrilling installment.

This recap of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 4, “Kugelblitz,” contains spoilers.

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The shimmering, swirling vortex of doom finally has a name now: “Kugelblitz,” which roughly translates from German as a ball of lightning. This also goes quite the way to describe our new arrival, the man who managed to save the Umbrellas and wipe out two of the Sparrows in the process. This strange man goes by the name Lester Pocket, hence the previously titled chapter: “Pocket Full of Lightning.” See, the creators don’t just pluck episode titles from the air. Lester becomes the main focus of episode four, which is by far the standout episode in this electrifying third season so far.

The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 4 recap

We’re given a swift montage of Lester’s life, specifically Harlan Cooper’s (Sissy’s son from season two). The boy, who had non-verbal autism, was friends with Vanya in the sixties timeline. He struggled to control his colossal powers all the way through that swinging decade, moving from state to state. The superb opening sequence conveys this difficult upbringing in perfect form, ending with a heartbreaking death. His mother, Sissy, dies of cancer, and an enraged Harlan lets forth his dormant, explosive abilities in the hospital, intriguingly on Oct 1, 1989.

In the present, the Umbrella siblings deal with the consequences of Harlan’s God-like powers. Stanley hugs Diego and Luther rushes over to Sloane’s side. Just as Klaus waltzes in to discover the two dead bodies in the hotel foyer. Harlan fears retribution and flees, with Sloane doing likewise after spotting her fallen family members. Luther gives chase to his lover, while Viktor follows Harlan. There’s a gripping back and forth between Luther and Sloane in this installment, with both fearing they’ve been deceived by the other, conned into a fabricated romance. After falling head over heels for this loving duo, it is heart-wrenching to see them at odds with one another. Diego and Allison want answers, and Allison uses The Rumor to help locate the briefcase. Unfortunately, Sloane is unaware of this time-traveling item’s existence and is of little help.

Unbeknownst to the gang, Five and Lila have the briefcase and use it to travel to a dystopian future. They rush inside the Commission headquarters, discovering that the entire time continuum has collapsed. Lila finds a booklet containing instructions on the protocols for dealing with the Grandfather Paradox. Hunting out an operations bunker, Five makes a horrifying discovery; he is The Founder of the Commission and meets his future self, lying in an iron lung. Future Five has no answers to this oncoming apocalypse and inconveniently dies there and then.

Stanley spends the day cleaning hotel rooms as punishment for setting fire to the Hotel, with the rebellious Klaus as his babysitter. Ben and Fei argue over their next move, and Viktor questions Harlan about Sissy’s life. It’s an emotional and layered episode with slick editing that keeps you hooked, juggling multiple narrative strands all at once. Yet it saves its best for the climax.

The ending

Klaus breaks into a White Buffalo suite, the Hotel’s finest room, with the buffalo imagery reminding him of his father. Stanley, who can’t help but tinker in every room, picks up a harpoon and accidentally shoots Klaus straight through the chest. This shocking twist comes out of nowhere, delivering one hell of a guttural punch to viewers. That’s not the only twist hidden up the show’s sleeve; in a tense finale, Harlan uncovers the folder containing files on the Umbrellas’ dead mothers. Angered, he interrogates Viktor about this manhunt. Viktor explains how they are trying to figure out why their mothers are dead and how the paradox began. Well, hold onto your hats; Harlan provides Viktor with the answer. His enraged outburst at the hospital after his own mother’s death somehow caused this whole sorry mess in the first place. Exceptionally written, this series is meticulously planned out.

With Klaus possibly dead, the Sparrows wanting Lester’s head as payback, and the whole time paradox now having an origin story, things are really starting to ramp up on The Umbrella Academy. This third season continues to defy expectations and deliver the goods, firing on all cylinders.

What did you think of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 4? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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