‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3: Ending, Explained – What Was Reginald’s Project Oblivion? What Does The Mid-Credit Scene Mean?


The Umbrella Academy has been trying to save the world from ending in the previous two seasons, and the hustle continues in Season 3. But let’s not rush things and start from the beginning of everything. The story begins with Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a mysterious billionaire from America who adopts seven babies on October 1, 1989, all born on the same date and under very unusual circumstances. None of the mothers of these children were pregnant before October 1, and these babies just appeared magically in a matter of seconds. Later, we come to know that all seven children have superhuman abilities, and Reginald trains them and turns them into superheroes who form a superhero team called “The Umbrella Academy.” However, it is said that on October 1, 1989, a total of 43 women gave birth at the same time, and thus there could be other superhumans in this universe, but we don’t see any more of them until Season 3.

While fighting crime in America, a member of the team named Ben, who can summon octopus-like tentacles from his body, loses his life during one of the missions. The tragedy takes a toll on the teenage superheroes, and soon the team gets disbanded as everyone decides to follow their own path. Only the leader of the pack, Number One, or Luther, stays back at the Umbrella Academy. However, while carrying out a mission for his father, Luther suffers lethal injuries, after which Reginald injects him with a serum to save his life, which eventually transforms his body (except the face) into an ape. Reginald even sends Luther to the moon to protect him from other perils. In the current time, Luther and the other four surviving members (Diego, Klaus, Vanya, and Allison) get the news of Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ death, soon after which they arrive at their family bungalow to pay their last respects to their arrogant, distant, and sadistic father. During the funeral, another prominent member of the team, Number Five, who can travel through space and time, appears at the house. Number Five disappeared some years ago while trying to jump in time, and everyone believed that he was dead. Five traveled to the near future and found himself standing on a devastated post-apocalyptic earth. He tried to return to his original timeline, but his powers gave up on him. He lived his life on the lonely dead planet and was later contacted by a woman called The Handler, who offered him the job of an assassin in an organization called the Temps Commission, whose mission is to maintain the proper timelines and remove the threats that try to change them. While working for the commission, Five has a change of heart and decides to save his family from the apocalypse. He goes back to his original timeline, eight days before the end of the world, to stop the apocalypse.

In Season 1, it is revealed that it was Vanya/Viktor who caused the apocalypse. Viktor is the most powerful member of the team, but Reginald feared his powers and started drugging him while he was still a kid. He was even rumored by Allison, because of which Viktor totally forgot that he had powers. He was later manipulated by a sociopath named Harold Jenkins, who wanted to turn Viktor against his own siblings in order to take revenge from the Umbrella Academy. So, in the original timeline, Vanya did destroy the Earth. Hence, at the crucial moment, Five decided to travel back in time with his family in order to try to stop the apocalypse once again. However, instead of going back to the near past, Five and his siblings ended up in different years of the 1960s. As Five finally arrived in the timeline, i.e., November 25, 1963, he realized that the world was going to end again, and this time it would be a nuclear war between the two superpowers of the world. And, like earlier, it was his siblings who caused it. Hence, once again, Five and his siblings banded together to save the world, and eventually they did, or at least they thought so. They returned to the original timeline with the help of the briefcase from the commission. They teleported themselves to the cellar of “The Umbrella Academy,” but as they came to the hall room, they found out that “their” academy didn’t exist anymore and their father had founded a new one. The kids had met Sir Reginald during the 1960s, and looking at the state of his perfidious children, he decided to adopt a completely different group of kids this time, and named the academy the Sparrow Academy. However, the question is, is the world going to end again? Hell yes. That’s the pitch, right?

Major Spoilers Ahead

Did The Sparrow Academy Drug Their Father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves?

In “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, it wasn’t 43 women but only 16 women around the world who gave birth at the same time on the same date, i.e., October 1, 1989. As usual, Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children, who later formed a superhero team named “The Sparrow Academy.” Ben was the only familiar face from the original timeline who was adopted by Reginald, probably because he never saw Ben in 1963, as Ben was already dead when the siblings jumped into the past. Hence, including Ben, there were six other disciplined and well-groomed superheroes who, unlike “The Umbrella Academy,” really did fight crime and solve world problems, and people loved them for that. In this changed timeline, Pogo, an intelligent chimpanzee whom Reginald once considered his own child, realized that Reginald was nothing but a narcissistic individual who would push his own children into the fire just to finish his Project Oblivion. Hence, when Reginald fired Pogo while he was training the sparrows, he left a box of pills with Marcus, the leader of “The Sparrow Academy.” The children drugged their father with these pills that numbed Reginald’s intellect and turned him into a dormant old man. They treated him the same way Reginald treated Viktor in the original timeline. Probably, because the old man had lost his power of authority, the members of The Sparrow Academy managed to survive so far without any loss of life.

Who Was Harlan Cooper (Also Known As Lester Pocket)? Is Harlan Dead?

As the Umbrella Academy arrived in this changed timeline, they created a grandfather’s paradox, as in this timeline, they didn’t really exist. Why? So here comes Harlan Cooper, aka Lester Pocket. When Viktor arrived in 1963, Texas, he was struck by Sissy Cooper’s car, after which he lost a chunk of his memory. Sissy took Viktor to her farm, where she lived with her husband, Carl, and their autistic child, Harlan. Harlan drowned himself in a lake, and to save his life, Viktor gave him CPR. In the process, he transferred the magical particles (the source of her powers) to Harlan, after which he attained telekinetic abilities just like Viktor. At the end of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 2, Viktor believed that he had extracted all the magical particles from Harlan’s body, but some of them were left. After Viktor traveled to the original timeline with his family, Sissy and Harlan moved to New Mexico and kept on changing their location because of Harlan’s uncontrollable powers. In 1989, Sissy was diagnosed with cancer, and on October 1, 1989, she lost her life. While Harlan was grieving for his lost mother, he felt Viktor and his siblings’ presence around him as he was connected with them through this magical particle. It was the same date on which these children were about to be born, but Harlan thought that Viktor had returned. He tried to make contact and, in the process, killed the children’s mother before they could give birth to the members of the Umbrella Academy, except for Ben. Harlan, just like Reginald Hargreeves, never met Ben in the 1960s and thus didn’t have an idea that he existed, which could be the reason why he never tried to make contact with him or his mother, and thus Ben survived Harlan’s accidental attack. When Allison found out that it was Harlan Cooper who killed all the mothers, because of which neither she was born in this timeline nor her daughter Claire, she blamed Harlan for all her miseries and eventually killed him.

Five and his siblings never imagined that a small contact between Harlan and Viktor would one day erase their entire existence. But that’s why one shouldn’t disturb the timeline, right? When Five and his siblings arrived in modern times, they created a grandfather paradox that led to the formation of a Kugelblitz that later became the reason for the collapse of the entire universe.

What Was A Kugelblitz? What Happened To The Members Of The Sparrow Academy? Are They All Dead?

In “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, it was Harlan who killed two members of “The Sparrow Academy,” that is, Jayme and Alphonso, while Marcus was soaked inside a Kugelblitz, a black hole that looked like a ball of light and could devour an entire timeline. Kugelblitz was created as a result of a collapse in the time continuum caused by Five and his siblings. Hence, the only thing constant in the universe of the series is an apocalypse, which is the reason why Five’s 100-year-old advised his younger self not to save the world, as it was destined to be doomed. No matter how many times Five and his siblings would try to save the world, it would eventually end in doomsday, one way or the other. And this time, it was a Kugelblitz. Yet, Five didn’t listen and teamed up with the remaining members of the Sparrow Academy to stop or contain the Kugelblitz. The experiment ended in a total failure and later devoured two other members of the Sparrow Academy, i.e., Fei and Christopher. At the end of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, only Ben and Sloane survived, and they decided to help Reginald with his Project Oblivion, whose sole motive was to reset the universe and protect the world. However, at the end of the mission, Sloane didn’t make it out alive (or at least it wasn’t revealed at the end of Season 3), and only Ben (Sparrow) and the original members of the Umbrella Academy (including the original Ben and Lila) arrived back safely.

What Was The Objective Of Project Oblivion? Who Sir Reginald Hargreeves Really Was?

Throughout the three seasons, Five believed that it was only him who was trying to save his world from an apocalypse, but there was another person, a more potent threat to the timeline, and it was none other than his adoptive alien father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves. It was revealed at the beginning of “The Umbrella Academy,” Season 1, Episode 10, that Reginald’s wife, Abigail Hargreeves, was suffering from a terminal illness. The two probably belonged to a different planet, or maybe Earth from a different dimension that was quickly perishing. Residents of the planets were leaving the inhabitable planet on their spaceships, and Reginald couldn’t do anything to protect his wife or the planet. It wasn’t revealed whether Abigail knew that Reginald was an alien or whether the planet where she met Reginald was his own. In the scene that happened a long time ago, we saw Reginald with a jar filled with glowing particles, the source of all superpowers in “The Umbrella Academy” universe, and it was the same particles that traveled into the women’s bodies that gave birth to superhumans on October 1, 1989. The bridge between these two timelines was never revealed in the series, on how or when these particles traveled to 1989. Whether Reginald brought them to Earth or if they traveled on their own.

Reginald kept his wife’s deceased body inside a cryogenic tube on the moon protected by a geofence technology similar to what we witnessed inside the White Buffalo Suite in The Hotel Obsidian, that highlights that it was probably an alien technology. He even sent Luther to the moon to protect Abigail’s tomb, but Luther wasn’t bright enough to understand his father’s motives. He never saw Abigail’s cryogenic tube on the moon. After his wife’s death, Reginald arrived in the 19th-century United States, where he bought D.S. Umbrella Manufacturing Company and soon started implementing his plan of action. So what did Reginald want? I think Reginald loved his wife too much and wanted to get her back at all cost, just like Dr. Strange got obsessed with saving Christine Palmer’s life in “What If?” and destroyed the entire universe in the process. So the world was bound to be doomed, and Abigail was destined to die, unlike the alien Reginald, who had the powers of longevity. But it’s a lonely feeling to live forever, and one is ready to go to any lengths to get their loved ones back to fill the void that slowly expands and weighs them down emotionally. Reginald’s trip to America was a part of a master plan to reset the universe and get Abigail back so that he could again spend time with her.

In “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, Episode 8, it was revealed that Reginald came to America in 1918 searching for a portal to the other side. He believed that whoever created the universe left this secret portal where there was a way to reset the universe in case the universe witnessed a total annihilation. Reginald built the Hotel Obsidian around it and hid the portal inside the White Buffalo Suite. He knew that there were three deadly guardians protecting the creator’s timeline machine, and thus Reginald had to first deal with them to fulfill his motives. At first, Reginald hired some men with guns and ammunition to kill the guardians, but when they failed to accomplish the mission, he became certain that he needed humans with superhuman abilities to finish his Project Oblivion. In the original timeline, he trained the members of the Umbrella Academy to carry out the task, while in the changed timeline, he trained the Sparrow Academy to do the same, and it was his only reason for adopting the superhuman beings, as also told by Pogo To Five. And Reginald was ready to sacrifice his own children to get Abigail back. Probably, a 100-year-old Five knew about his father’s sinister plan and thus tried to warn his younger self not to save the world from an apocalypse. Five even founded the Temps Commission so that no one would ever try to disturb the established timeline, but everyone, including the younger Five, was suffering from a superhero complex, which Reginald greedily used for his own benefits.

‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3: Ending Explained: Is Reginald Dead Or Alive? Will There Be A Season 4?

Reginald tried hard to convince his adopted children to enter the portal and fight the guardians in the other dimension so that he could reset the universe. However, they voted against their father’s wishes, which is when Reginald decided to do things the nasty way. He bought Allison’s loyalty by promising her that once everything was finished, she would be able to see her daughter again. Allison supported Reginald and tried to convince his siblings to go to the portal, but when nothing worked, Reginald decided to kill Luther. After his death, Reginald blamed the guardians for killing Luther. Sloane, and others, decided to walk to the other side to destroy the guardians to take revenge for Luther’s death and reset the universe. And true to his nature, Reginald didn’t let Klaus pass through the portal and pushed him out of the door, who was later killed by the Kugelblitz. However, Klaus had recently discovered that he had the powers to resurrect himself, which he later used to unravel his father’s evil intentions.

In the other dimension, Five and others killed the three guardians and even found the sigil that Reginald had been looking for. These patterns on the floor were the key to activating the machine, which the creator of the universe designed to reset the universe. The machine was powered by the glowing particles inside the superhumans, which was why Reginald only adopted seven children, as he needed seven of these children to activate the machine. Reginald knew from the beginning that to activate the machine he would have to sacrifice these seven children. It is probably the reason why he never tried to maintain or establish an emotional connection with them and hence treated them as pawns in a battle. They were the price Reginald was willing to pay to get his wife back. However, he stopped Allison from stepping on one of these symbols on the floor because he didn’t want to lose her for now and probably had some other use for her in the near future. Nevertheless, Allison couldn’t see her siblings dying in front of her and thus decided to kill her father to end the torture and misery for once and for all. But even after Reginald was dead, Allison decided to touch the last button on the machine to see what would have happened when they had reset the universe. She was ready to sacrifice everything for the possibility of seeing her daughter again. To her surprise, she was able to return to her daughter, Claire, but in this timeline, she wasn’t married to Patrick, but it was Raymond Chestnut, the man she met in 1961 in Dallas and fell in love with. Probably, it was the deal that Allison made with Reginald, and thus he pulled some strings to make her wish come true.

While, on the other hand, the other six siblings (including Ben from the Sparrow Academy) and Lila Pitts arrived at the Obsidian Memorial Park, founded by Sir Reginald Hargreeves. It was the same place where Reginald once constructed the Hotel Obsidian. However, the siblings soon realized that they had lost their powers. Luther, who too returned from the dead, realized that his body had turned back to normal. However, his happiness was short-lived as he soon found out that Sloane hadn’t returned from the other dimension. The reason wasn’t explained at the end of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, and we can speculate Reginald didn’t want her to return and he only wanted the original The Umbrella Academy to return. Or it could be that Allison saved her siblings’ lives before Reginald could sacrifice them to the machine, and thus they came out alive from the other dimension, but then why not Sloane? Or she did make it out alive, but Reginald sent her somewhere else, like in the case of Allison. The end, indeed, leaves a lot of space for various theories and speculation, and the real reason for their survival may be revealed in “The Umbrella Academy” Season 4, if it happens. Reginald also made a slight error, which was revealed in the post-credit scene of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3. 

In the end, as the siblings realized that they had lost their powers, they decided to move on with the past (at least some of them decided that). They walked away to live a separate life of their own away from their family. In the closing shot, we finally saw Reginald Hargreeves standing inside a tall building with his wife Abigail, who had returned from the dead and was living a luxurious life with the eccentric billionaire who owned almost everything in the city. Could it be a simulation? We don’t know.

What Does The Mid-Credit Scene In ‘The Umbrella Academy: Season 3’ Mean? Are There Two ‘Ben’?

When Klaus first met Ben at the beginning of Season 3, he noticed a scar on Ben’s face, which was one piece of information that made everyone realize that it wasn’t their own Ben but another one who grew up under different circumstances. The backstory of Ben from the changed timeline was also depicted during the prologue sequence, where we got to know that he was delivered on a train to Seoul on which his mother and father were romancing each other. At this point in time, the magical particles entered Ben’s mother’s body, and she became pregnant. Suppose the magical particles never existed, then the love story of Ben’s mother and father would have followed an organic path leading to Ben’s birth under normal circumstances, which probably did happen in the reset universe. In the Post Credit Scene of “The Umbrella Academy” Season 3, we saw an Original Ben wearing spectacles on the train bound for Yeouido Station, which may probably be his route from work to home while living a pretty normal life. His organic birth leads to the possibility that in the reset timeline, now there are two Bens on the same Earth, which may lead to paradox psychosis or something worse. “The Umbrella Academy” Season 4 may also shed some light on the Jennifer incident that took away Ben’s life in Season 1, and we still don’t know how he died. In Season 3, when Viktor went into Sparrow Ben’s room, he saw paintings of a woman with the name “Jennifer” written on one of them. Hence, it can be speculated that whoever Jennifer is, she is going to play an important role in Season 4.

On the other hand, when the siblings will find out that their father, Reginald, is alive and owns half the city, they will probably try to make contact with him. That will lead to further conflict that “The Umbrella Academy” Season 4 will follow. As it is destined, even in this reset universe, the Earth will end again, and Reginald will try everything again to protect it or save it or maybe to reset it again, and for that, he will need another seven individuals with the superpowers of the magical particles to become his bells again. Hence, Season 3 is indeed not the end of the story, not until the creators reveal who Reginald Hargreeves is, where he came from, and what the source of these particles is, that he has been carrying with him. The story craves closure and it is only Reginald’s end that will bring it. Perhaps it is his death that will break the cycle, and only his adopted kids can bring upon his doom, as they now know the true face of their father, especially Luther, who saw Reginald in his alien avatar. Let’s hope that Season 4 will be the end of it all.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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