Story recap – what happened in The Umbrella Academy season 3?

By Adam Lock
Published: June 22, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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This is a story recap of the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy season 3 and contains spoilers as it details what happened.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and news for The Umbrella Academy.

In the third season of The Umbrella Academy, our superhero misfits had to do battle with an angry, apocalyptic black hole, seven warring super-human siblings known as the Sparrows, and their very own detestable father. Every episode was chocked full of double crossings, twists, and deep mythology. So there is plenty to unpack from this fantastic series and its complex narrative.  Here’s a breakdown of what happened in each episode of The Umbrella Academy season 3:

Story recap – what happened in The Umbrella Academy season 3?

Episode 1 – “Meet the Family”

The Umbrellas arrive in their new timeline to find the Sparrows inhabiting their mansion and Sir Reginald Hargreeves very much alive. The two parties argue and then fight. Jayme causes Diego and Five to have unusual visions. The Sparrows annihilate the Umbrellas, but Vanya uses her powers to disarm them, meaning neither side wins. The Umbrellas escape and hide out at The Hotel Obsidian. Lila drops off her son Stanley for Diego to babysit. Vanya tries to broker a deal with Marcus (the Sparrows’ No. 1). She won’t attack him publicly if he returns the time-traveling briefcase, which would allow the Umbrellas to return to the right timeline. Marcus agrees, but when he goes down to the cellar, he finds a swirling, red vortex (the Kugelblitz) instead. The Kugelblitz vaporizes Marcus.

Episode 2 – “World’s Biggest Ball of Twine”

The Sparrows kidnap Luther in the hopes of exchanging him for Marcus, who they believe the Umbrellas have hostage. Luther and Sloane start to fall in love. Allison finds out her daughter doesn’t exist in this timeline. Vanya transitions to Viktor. Klaus and Five go on a road trip, searching for Klaus’ birth mother. Lila’s time-traveling briefcase is broken. Diego bonds with his son while they fight Alphonso and Jayme. Klaus finds his auntie at an Amish farm, where he’s informed that his mother died on the day he was born, but actually before Klaus was born. A strange man called Lester stalks the Umbrellas. Lila steals the Umbrellas’ briefcase from the cellar. Five explains how they created a time paradox when they jumped to this timeline.

Episode 3 – “Pocket Full of Lightning”

The Kugelblitz continues to vaporize droves of people, which Five suspects are due to the time paradox. Both of the briefcases Lila has been broken. She fights Five, and then they decide to team up to save the world. Lester books into the hotel. The warring Academies try to make a deal, “Marcus for the briefcase,” but both are lying. Klaus breaks into the Sparrows’ mansion and befriends Reginald. Reginald is being drugged by the Sparrows. Klaus teaches him a trick to avoid swallowing the pills. Five and Lila manage to jump-start the briefcases and travel to the future. The Academies meet at the hotel for the handover. It is all a ruse, and the Sparrows attack the Umbrella siblings. Stanley sets fire to the hotel. Lester protects the Umbrellas and kills both Jayme and Alphonso. Viktor thinks Lester is actually Harlan Cooper (Sissy’s son).

Episode 4 – “Kugelblitz”

A montage follows Harlan’s life from childhood in the early sixties until his mother’s death in 1989. Enraged by her death, he loses control and explodes in the hospital. Back in the present, Harlan runs away, and Viktor chases after him. Sloane feels betrayed and runs away as well. Stan cleans the Hotel as punishment for starting a fire, and Klaus babysits him. Viktor asks Harlan about Sissy’s life. Sloane and Luther look ready to split up. In the future, Five and Lila head to The Commission headquarters and find Five’s future self. He warns Five against stopping the apocalypse and then dies. Ben wants to kill Harlan as revenge. Klaus breaks into The White Buffalo Suite at the hotel with Stan. Stan shoots Klaus by accident with a harpoon, killing him. Harlan explains to Viktor that he inadvertently killed all the Umbrella siblings’ mothers when he exploded after his own mother’s death. Harlan caused the paradox.

Episode 5 – “Kindest Cut”

Harlan and Viktor argue over the deaths of the Umbrellas’ mothers, but he says it was all an accident. Allison turns to the booze. Lila and Five return from the future, just in time for a family meeting. The briefcase is irreversibly damaged, though. Five explains what the Kugelblitz is and that the world is going to end very soon. Klaus wanders around in the afterlife and then springs back to life while Diego and Stan are disposing of his corpse. Lila and Diego’s relationship strengthens. Allison forces Luther to kiss her. Allison helps Viktor and Harlan escape from the hotel. Klaus and Five do shots together and discuss elderly Five’s tattoo. Klaus explains that it is a biker gang tattoo. Five searches for the biker gang and finds Pogo.

Episode 6 – “Marigold”

Five chases after Pogo. Stan goes missing, so Diego and Lila search for him. They believe he’s gone through a hidden door into an alternate hotel called Hotel Oblivion. The couple is chased by a monster in this hotel, who chops off Diego’s fingers. Luther and Sloane get back together, and Ben offers Luther a spot in the Sparrows. Five tracks down Pogo and shows him the future tattoo. Pogo explains how Reginald is psychotic and has been plotting the deadly Project Oblivion for some time now. Pogo gave the Sparrows the pills to drug Reginald. Reginald experiments on Klaus and his new powers. Viktor rids Harlan of his powers. Lila admits that Stan isn’t her son, and it was all just to test Diego’s parenting skills. Harlan confesses to Allison that he killed all their mothers. Allison kills Harlan in retaliation. She delivers his body to the Sparrows. Stan is vaporized by the Kugelblitz.

Episode 7 – “Auf Wiedersehen”

Reginald trains Klaus to control and improve his abilities, he is constantly killed over and over again. Klaus hones his skills and can rejuvenate quicker each time. Allison admits she killed Harlan. The family is angry that Viktor lied about Harlan, though. Both Academies decide to work together to end the apocalypse. Lila, Viktor, Christopher, and Sloane create a force field around the Kugelblitz and trap the black hole inside Christopher’s cube. They throw a party to celebrate preventing the apocalypse. Luther proposes to Sloane, who says yes. Lila tells Diego that she is pregnant. Christopher explodes, killing Fei in the process. Another shockwave rips through the local area, and the Kugelblitz grows in size, becoming even bigger than before.

Episode 8 – “Wedding at the End of the World”

A flashback reveals that Reginald built The Hotel Obsidian in a very specific place, right below a portal to another dimension. In the present, the Kugelblitz continues to grow, destroying everything except the hotel. Morale is low, although Luther and Sloane announce their engagement. They want to marry straightaway. At Luther’s bachelor party, the gang sing karaoke. Ben is angry he wasn’t invited. Luther and Sloane get married. Klaus tries to convince the others to listen to Reginald’s plan to save the world. No one is interested. Reginald delivers an awkward father-of-the-bride speech. Everyone gets very drunk and dances. In secret, Reginald makes a deal with an unknown member of the gang.

Episode 9 – “Seven Bells”

Five tries to figure out who has made a deal with Reginald. Reginald tries to sweet-talk Viktor, bringing him breakfast in bed. Allison apologizes to Luther. Everyone meets to hear Reginald’s plan to save the world. The plan is to defeat a Guardian in the Hotel Oblivion, who is protecting the portal and seven bells. They need to kill it and ring the bells to reset the universe and save everyone. The gang decides to vote on whether to follow Reginald’s plan or die in the ensuing apocalypse. Allison apologizes to Viktor, but he’s still suspicious of her. Most vote to stay, so the plan cannot go ahead. Reginald stabs Luther to death with an alien sword and frames it, so the rest believe the Guardian killed Luther. The Kugelblitz finally destroys the hotel, and they all run into the tunnel to Hotel Oblivion. Reginald stops Klaus from entering the tunnel. Klaus dives onto the buffalo’s horn, which kills him before the hotel is fully destroyed.

Episode 10 – “Oblivion”

The gang makes it through the tunnel into Hotel Oblivion. Reginald says Klaus didn’t make it. Luther and Klaus find themselves in the afterlife. They argue, and Luther forces Klaus to return to the land of the living to warn the others about Reginald’s betrayal. Five doesn’t trust Reginald. Sloane is heartbroken. Reginald explains that the bells are a metaphor, we’re actually looking for symbols called a sigil. They all split into teams and hunt for the symbols. Reginald rings a bell that summons three Guardians. They attack the groups, each with different weaponry. Reginald kills Klaus again. Allison admits she made a deal with Reginald. Five kills the first Guardian with an ax to the back. Lila and Viktor destroy the second Guardian. The final Guardian slices off Five’s hand. Luther returns from the dead and wounds the last Guardian. Luther says a final goodbye to Sloane before he fades away, back to the afterlife. The Guardian wakes. Five notices the stars on the lobby floor. They all stand on these stars and unite their powers to kill The Guardian. Reginald uses this opportunity to drain all the gang and fuel an alien machine. Allison is the only individual left, and she sees her friends dying. She decides to kill Reginald instead of saving the world. He is revealed to be an alien. Allison presses a button that resets the universe. The world returns back to normal. Luther is alive again. Although the Umbrellas have lost their powers and Luther can’t find Sloane. Reginald is seen in a cityscape, in the tallest tower, looking out over his empire with his wife, Abigail.

That’s the full story recap of what happened in The Umbrella Academy season 3. What are your thoughts on the story? Please comment below.

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