Friday, February 15, 2019

The Umbrella Academy - We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals

Based on the opening mini-series of the comic of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, Netflix's The Umbrella Academy begins with the reunion of a dysfunctional family due the passing of their adopted father (Colm Feore). What makes this family so unique is the father was a eccentric scientist who adopted seven children, all of who were born on the same day to separate mothers all over the world who each experienced spontaneous pregnancy, not out of any love or philanthropy but out of scientific curiosity. As children, the group were turned into heroes he believed were destined to save the world. "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals" offers a solid introduction to the comic's opening (and best) arc, involving the return of the lost member of the team (Aidan Gallagher) who reappears still in the form of a 13 year-old but who has lived for decades after becoming stuck in a post-apocalyptic future.

The dysfunctional family consists of several odd characters, and one seemingly normal member (Ellen Page), who will play a major role in events before all is said and done. There is the powerful Luther (Tom Hopper), whose bizarre comic look has unfortunately been pared down, who returns from the moon for the funeral. There's also the celebrity Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) who has the power to make others do whatever she wants, the drug addict Klaus (Robert Sheehan) who can commune with the dead, and the dickish Diego (David Castañeda) who alone continues crime-fighting. Seen only during flashbacks, we also meet the one member of the team who never made it into adulthood (Ethan Hwang). After showcasing the dysfunction among the family, the episode ends with Number 5's revelation of the impending apocalypse which will occur in only five days time. While one family member seems willing to accept his story, it will take much more to save the world.

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