The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 5 recap – “Kindest Cut”

By Adam Lock
Published: June 22, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Episode five brings some emotional weight to proceedings, with the looming apocalypse only days away. Another action-packed and twisted offering.

This recap of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 5, “Kindest Cut,” contains spoilers.

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TV shows really struggle to let go of their main characters and have a hard time killing any of them off. That’s what made Klaus’ death so shocking in the previous instalment. Episode five opens with our death-defying superhero exploring a purgatorial black and white world. In “Kindest Cut” our cast of characters battle their own demons while the Umbrella siblings decide what to do with the deadly Harlan, their apocalyptic elephant in the room.

The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 5 recap

Klaus finds himself in a monochrome world, after being shot through the chest by a harpoon. He walks to a beach and relives some fatal memories from his past, all to the beat of The XX’s Crystalised. Firstly, Reginald experiments on a youthful Klaus inside a mausoleum, then a teenage Klaus falls off a roof, and finally, he watches his latest death again. The sibling, who can talk to the dead, realizes that he can also avoid death, with a vision of his mother telling him he’s died a grand total of fifty six times before. Is Klaus immortal? It would appear so.

Back in the ‘real’ world, Viktor and Harlan find time for a heart-to-heart, although this is only after a rather destructive quarrel, where they flex their muscles in a ruined hotel room. Harlan says he waited years for Viktor to return, and on the day his mother died, he felt Viktor’s connection again. That connection was linked to Viktor’s mother and all the other mothers. Harlan tried to break the connection, but it was too late, the damage was done. Their deaths were an accident, yet Viktor worries no one else will see it that way. They must formulate a plan to keep Harlan safe, but still address the cause of the paradox.

The gang reunite, with Lila and Five hopping back to update the Umbrellas about the imminent end of the world. This time-traveling misadventure seems to have destroyed the very last briefcase of its kind in the process. Lila embraces her ex, Diego, stating he’s now off the hook. The ensuing and unstoppable apocalypse causes characters to act recklessly. People will do strange things when there are no real consequences anymore. Allison forces Luther to lust for her, using her powers to manipulate his mind. Lila sleeps with Diego once more and all the siblings seem happy to drown their sorrows with an unhealthy supply of liquor.

The conversation turns to Harlan and how they’re going to handle this destructive rogue. Viktor tries his damnedest to keep him safe, even going against his family’s wishes. But the rest want to offload him to the Sparrows, hoping that this olive branch will allow them the chance to solve the Kugelblitz together. Harlan wants to work with Viktor to solve the problem, yet they have a lot of angry individuals to convince.

The ending

The episode ends with Five and Klaus sharing shots at the Hotel bar. Both brothers have had brushes with their own mortality lately and discuss this in the show’s iconic quick-witted style. Five doesn’t understand why he was told not to save the world and shows Klaus the tattoo he skinned from his future-self. Klaus instantly points out the symbolism of the tat, it is from the biker gang the Mothers of Agony. So our teen time-traveler hops off to their base, where he meets Pogo (you know, the talking chimp), who now performs tattoos for the biker gang.

Another packed episode, this time focusing more on the emotional aspects of family and the encroaching end of the world. Diego and Lila’s relationship is handled nicely, with Diego bonding with his psychotic son. Harlan and Viktor’s friendship takes on new ground, with Viktor happy to side with the maniac over his own siblings. It’s a visually stunning, dense story that continues to push the boundaries of the TV format—more twisted fun from the comic book adaptation.

What did you think of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 5? Comment below.

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