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#Umbrella Academy

Attention all followers!!!

As I post about and reblog a wide variety of posts, and post quite a bit about Deceit and Remus, I recognize that my current tw and cw tags probably aren’t as comprehensive as I’d like them to be.

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bc I’m doing an in-depth rewatch of episode 1 the changing postures in the portraits particularly caught my attention.

Luther is always standing tall, but he slowly gets further away from Reginald with each portrait. 

In the first one, he almost appears to be standing next to Reginald in this one and seems to be the only proud one. Whilst the rest are impassive, just standing there (interesting to note that Luther, Allison and Ben are closest to Reginald whereas Klaus and Five are furthest away, with Diego in the middle)

The second portrait is where Five disappears (but he gets his own), Allison is next to Luther, Klaus is smirking, nothing else appears to change.

Then we get Ben’s statue, then the next portrait: Luther and Klaus are furthest the from Reginald (this is really interesting to me for some reason), Allison is facing away from Reginald. Except for Luther, they all look upset, and Klaus is facing away from everyone, off to the side.

The last portrait has Ben fade away, Klaus still facing off the side with his arms crossed, Diego has his hands in front of him, Allison is facing forwards again, and Luther is taller, towering above them all. 

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Staring up at the moon,,, so sensual,,, you think I’m being dramatic but really,,, I’m just wondering why it hasn’t yet been blown up by a power lesbian with secret powers her estranged adopted father kept from her for twenty six years while heavily medicating her,,,, romantic sigh,,,

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Luther having to keep his siblings in line would have lead to misplaced resentment, made worse since he is a safer target for anger than Hargreeves, who has total power over them. Diego taunting him about their father just sounds like more of the same animosity Luther is used to from a childhood in competion against him but Diego is trying to get his brother to recognize that Hargreeves treatment of them was wrong. Luther's in a place, so dependent on Hargreeves, that he can't afford to see it.

Definitely. They all hate Reginald, or harbor some level of resentment toward him, but they can’t fight back. Any sign of animosity toward him will be crushed swiftly and without mercy. But the kids have all this anger toward their dad, so who do they choose to let it out on? 

Easy. Their dad’s Number One. 

Luther doesn’t have a fraction of the power Reginald has, but he’s been elevated to the position of Number One, so he must have done something their dad approved of, right? And he never speaks out against Reginald, always gets uncomfortable when they start to criticize him, which is annoying as hell and also kind of insulting. So the kids make Luther their target, vent some of their misplaced anger on him. It probably doesn’t make them feel any better, but they’re not about to stop. 

Luther, meanwhile, is probably being told that he maintains his position as Number One by always behaving like Number One. I wouldn’t be surprised if Reginald threatened to give his position to Diego, when Luther did something that displeased him. This would have fueled their rivalry and kept them from speaking to each other in a civil manner, which could have led to the discovery that Reginald was shitty towards them both and, therefore, the real enemy there. Reginald probably fostered animosity between his children so they wouldn’t band together to unseat him. 

Diego has definitely come to see how fucked up their childhood is, but instead of approaching Luther with gentle words and a plea for friendship, he comes out swinging. He tries to rouse Luther’s anger toward Reginald through blatant body-shaming and harsh words at their dad’s funeral—both of which backfire. Yet I think Diego is afraid to be seen as weak, and he’s afraid kindness will be mistaken for weakness, so he doesn’t take the only approach that would smooth over their childhood animosity: coming to Luther, hat in hand, and asking if they can bury the hatchet. 

Luther’s identity is still wrapped up in being Number One. He’s still convinced he’s nothing without his rank, and that his rank is something fragile that must be upheld at all times, through all his conduct. So when Diego attempts to rouse his anger, all that fury is directed right back at Diego. He’s probably afraid to criticize his dad at all, a fear that was likely instilled in him in childhood. 

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(Part 4/I am an awful person) Grace was taught what she was taught. Does as told. She had no autonomy of her own. Thusly the 1950s aesthetic is subtly terrifying on her "husband's" part. As of pogo he was doing a very difficult act. If he does nothing these kids will break, stand up too much and he'll be discarded. He did what he could in a terrible set of circumstances, and I'm honestly convinced the guilt still eats him alive.

Grace was certainly programmed to be the perfect, obedient housewife and mother—but I think she grew beyond her programming, and I think she did it somewhat quickly. In a flashback, we see her serenely moving through the chaos of pre-mission preparation, helping each child in turn. Most of the things she does—helping Ben with the zipper on his suit, giving Allison a repaired domino mask—directly play into what Reginald wants in that situation; and her compliment to Vanya is brief and doesn’t hold back progress at all. But when she sees Diego trying to work through his stutter, she stops, and gently reminds him to “picture the word in your mind.” This has nothing to do with the mission. It has nothing to do with getting ready for the mission. Diego could go through every single mission without saying a single word and it would likely only add to his strong-and-silent persona. Yet Grace helps him anyway, because Diego is embarrassed by his stutter and wants to speak. 

She wasn’t programmed to be independent, but she found ways to obtain pieces of independence anyway. However, she always uses this independence for the good of her kids, not for her own good. She doesn’t use it to leave the Academy after Reginald’s death, or to claim a room for herself. Every time she exerts her own will, it’s to help one of her kids. What’s interesting about this is that, while she praises Reginald and gently admonishes Diego for hating him, she seems to have recognized that he was not the perfect man he told her he was. She seems to know that he didn’t always have the kids’ best interests at heart, and so when she acts on her own, she counters Reginald’s toxic influence—even as she denies that this toxicity has harmed her as well. 

Pogo is I think one of the more misunderstood characters in this fandom. See, in the comics, Five learns that Reginald granted Pogo humanlike intelligence and sapience through a series of brutal, gruesome experiments that clearly traumatized poor Pogo. Yet Pogo remains loyal to Reginald, because (as he says at the funeral) “in all respects, he made me who I am today.” I think Reginald would have made it clear that he was the reason Pogo had the life he had, which would have made Pogo reluctant to show any signs of rebellion. 

Additionally, Pogo probably remembers the lab, or pieces of it. He probably remembers the pain, the humiliation and fear he felt. Yet he knows that the trauma Reginald put him through gave him intelligence and reason, so I think that on at least one level, he sees his own abuse as necessary. Because of this, it’s not too much of a leap to assume he sees the kids’ abuse as necessary. If abuse granted him intelligence, then it has to have some benefit for the kids. Going along with it clearly tears him apart inside, but there’s not much he can do—and there might not be not much he thinks he should do. 

(Part 6/ I can’t count) I blame the sorry excuse of a man that was so sociopathic and cold as to create these circumstances. I blame Reginald because if the children were the soldiers, and vanya was the civilians. If Grace was a symbol of the post war dream, and pogo a good will ambassador esque presence, then Reginald was the problem. Reginald was the untouchable power. He was the old man sending children to fight his war. He could have used his resources the right way

(Part 7/ oh the irony) He could have helped sway laws, or used his disgusting wealth to change things. But he didn’t because he was in love with the carnage and violence. I don’t really think he even gave a damn about right and wrong. I think he just really loved the destruction, because when someone stands behind a cause to the point of sacrifice, normally THEY go in harm’s way. Normally they sacrifice something of their own. He didn’t give a damn about good or bad, he just wanted to play god.

Reginald is definitely the real villain here. 

I think we get a peek into his psyche in his flashback: He’s on an Earthlike planet, taking the hand of his dying partner as missiles rain down from the sky. I don’t know what his backstory is, and I don’t know how much of his comics origin they’re adding to his Netflix backstory, but it seems evident that he escaped a planet in dire straits, possibly one at war and on the brink of collapse. 

If this is the case, then it would explain why he’s so adamant his children become soldiers and go to war as soon as they’re able. If he escaped a planet torn apart by violence, he might not see violence as something to be avoided, but as something to be utilized: When they bring you war, don’t pray for peace. Strike first, and make that strike so devastating that they never want to fight again. He doesn’t see violence as a means to start war, but as a means to end it before it begins. That he’s using actual children as his strike force doesn’t matter to him. 

He certainly could have used his immense resources for good. He saw wars begin and end; he watched social movements change attitudes as opinions swayed this way and that. Reginald had over a century of perspective to offer, over a century of wisdom—and he eschewed that in favor of forcing his own children to go to war. And when his ruthless methods damaged his children, he blamed them for not being strong enough. 

Diego said it best. “He was a monster. He was a bad man and a worse father, and the world is better off without him.” 

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I don't think Luther does anything for glory though. I think he does it because he's supposed too. I'm not even convinced WHATNEEDSTOBEDONE(TM) is even connotated towards morals or feelings in his head. He'd hate himself otherwise Diego similarly can't let go of war. (See everything he does ever) As of Allison, compared to most girls she's seen so much, hurt so much. If anyone deserves fame it's her right. And if she has to manipulate people well hasn't she saved them ten times over ?

I agree. Luther doesn’t appear to enjoy any of the “saving the world” business at any point in the series. Watch his face when he’s planning their next move, or looking for his old research from the Moon, or any number of things that go along with trying to prevent the apocalypse. He doesn’t look miserable, per se, but he’s definitely not having fun. It’s the face someone might wear at a job they’re not particularly fond of, but one that pays the bills. Reginald framed the Umbrella Academy as this magnificent thing from which his kids could derive all the glory they ever dreamed of, but Luther sees it more as something that has to be done. 

Lest I give the impression he just doesn’t emote all that much, I want to point out one instance where Luther is grinning to beat the band and having the time of his life: while doing that weird crab-dance-thing to “I Think We’re Alone Now.” He doesn’t like being the hero. He’d rather kick off his shoes and be his fun, goofy, pleasantly weird self. 

Diego was always raised to see himself as second best. He was Number Two, not Number One, and if he’d been a little bit better, a little bit more diligent, a little bit less himself, he could have been Number One. That’s what Reginald told him, anyway, and while Diego acts as if he doesn’t give a shit what his dad said, it’s clear Reginald’s childhood treatment of him wounded him deeply. And in some ways, I think he’s reluctant to let that wound heal. If he lets it heal, he’s afraid he’ll forget that what his dad did and said to him was wrong and he’ll accept reality as second best. So he’s still at war, because he’s afraid peace means surrender. 

I think Allison never really processed her childhood trauma. She grew up, and she was left with this awful wound that she didn’t know how to treat. So she distracted herself from the pain with things that made her happy. And since she had the power to get anything she wanted with just a few words—well, why shouldn’t she? She wanted to feel better. She needed to feel better. Reginald never taught her to respect other peoples’ boundaries or autonomy, so she didn’t bother. Like she tells Luther later, “I told myself it wasn’t wrong. I just had an advantage.” 

Another part of Allison’s response to trauma comes, I think, from the worldview Reginald instilled in her. He brought those kids up to see the world as a harsh place filled with people waiting to do evil. If anything, going to Hollywood would only reinforce that view. So Allison probably saw her power as something anybody would use, if given the chance. She probably thought anyone would do what she did, if they were in her shoes.

(Part 2/2) Poor Klaus turned to drugs after both “wartime” and actual wartime. Drugs and alcohol are sadly common with post war soldiers.I am like 90% sure his childhood kept him from being destroyed by vietnom Five is grown. He has to be grown, to be strong. Youth is weakness. He use to think that was a lie but after the apocalypse he would do anything to not be caught scared and unaware again.

War is hell, and Klaus’ childhood was hell. Reginald could have made it a little more bearable, had he approached Klaus’ powers with anything resembling compassion. Maybe he could have built a device that would allow him to spot where the ghosts were, and get Klaus out of there before the situation became too overwhelming. Or maybe he could have held family seance nights, where Klaus practices conjuring while everyone stands around protectively and hurls insults at ghosts who get too demanding. There’s a number of things he could have done, but because Reginald saw Klaus not as a child but as a tool, he decided to try and force him to overcome his fear. And, predictably, that attempt only made his fear worse. (Sadly, this is a technique too often utilized by real-life abusive parents. The results aren’t much better.) 

I see Five as the one in that house who left too young, grew up too fast, and—as you said—saw youth as weakness. He was stranded in a world harsher even than Reginald could have predicted, and he wasn’t prepared. He had to leave childhood behind quickly, or die. So he survived, carved out a life for himself, and left the unprepared, frightened version of himself in the past. The way Five sees it, he survived far worse than Reginald’s abuse. So I think that when he looks at his siblings, and all the ways they’re fucked up by their upbringing, he doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for them. I think many of his interactions with his siblings are fueled by impatience and more than a little condescension. 

(Part 3/I lied) Ben is an obvious one. He’s gone, as gone as the men in the trenches, as gone as the British casualties of ww2, as gone as the lost generation itself. Vanya is the civilian. For whatever reason too unskilled, too weak, too useless too ever be of use. So she’s told bow her head, be quiet, never complain, don’t get in the way. I don’t think she hates her siblings for treating her that way. I think deep inside she hates herself for someway deserving it.

Ben is dead, but he’s not gone. He’s stuck on the sidelines, watching his family struggle. It’s probably awful to watch them go through hell and not be able to do anything about it—but we see from his interactions with Klaus that being left behind has made him bitter. He no longer has any of the things his living siblings take for granted, and he hates watching his brothers and sisters squander everything he lost. Klaus is probably his biggest target because 1) he’s the only one in that family Ben can actually talk to, and 2) his entire life, up to the point he meets Dave, revolves around getting high. 

Vanya probably internalized the abuse when she was younger. I think it’s almost guaranteed she did. But in the present, she seems to have realized this. She knows she internalized the abuse, she knows internalization fucked her up, and so she’s rebelling against that earlier attitude by externalizing everything. In the scene where she walks in on Luther’s emergency meeting and reads them the riot act for leaving her out of it, a quick look at the circumstances shows that it was Vanya’s own choices that led to her being excluded from that meeting. She chose to leave the Academy, rather than stay the night. She chose to stay at Leonard’s, rather than at her apartment for which Allison had the number. She chose to make herself unreachable, yet when she sees her siblings have left her out of something yet again, she immediately blames them. And when Allison points out that she is not being fair, Vanya turns it back on Allison rather than ask how she’s being unfair or reassess her own behavior. 

That’s not to say those are the only two options. There is a whole sea of healthy options between “blame self for what other people do” and “blame others for what I do.” In my experience, healing from internalization isn’t found by blaming others for one’s own behavior, but in going through each painful memory and asking, “Okay, is this my fault? Did I do this, like my parents said I did, or was this someone else’s choice that I blamed myself for?” It’s a long process, and a painful one, but ultimately liberating. I hope Vanya will find a happy medium between the internalization of her past and the externalization of her present, but she’s not there yet. 

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So I kept seeing this meme being used by people who don’t like Luther, trying to make him look bad. And I was like


You will not ruin a YouTube series I enjoy. And here’s what I came up with! It’s great because Luther haters at first glance will think it’s yet another Luther hate post, and then maybe they’ll realise

oh, he was right about the moon.

Well we can hope at least. Diego said he should stop making the apocalypse about himself, but he wasn’t. He was completely and utterly right, and yet people still seem to think he wasn’t.

Five even said “the moon’s still shining, the earth is in one piece.” And I know y’all trust your favourite characters.

Ahem, small rant concluded, this was literally meant to be just a meme.

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Diego: well, how? Interesting?

Vanya: what?

Diego: It is interesting to go, staring out the window and be silent?

Vanya: shut up. I pretend to be offended …

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