Oh, you thought The Umbrella Academy was confusing before? Well, Season 3 takes the time-traveling chaos to a whole new level, introducing mind-melting paradoxes and incredibly complex alternate timelines that will probably have most viewers needing to hit pause to keep it all straight. Because the new season introduces a brand-new sequence of events separate from the one fans knew in the first two seasons, this Umbrella Academy Season 3 timeline is basically essential in order to fully understanding what’s going on.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from throughout The Umbrella Academy Season 3. Due to the Umbrellas’ time-travel shenanigans in Season 2, they wound up creating an alternate timeline in which Reginald Hargreeves never adopted them and instead formed the Sparrow Academy with seven different children — well, actually six different children, since Ben was a part of both teams.
There are two reasons for the creation of this branched timeline. The first is the result of the Umbrellas meeting up with Reginald back in 1963. Reginald revealed he was so repulsed by the ill-mannered sextet that when it came time for him to adopt seven children to form his superhero team 25 years later, he made sure they weren’t included.
But the real root cause of the whole timeline fiasco is actually Harlan, the young boy Viktor shared his powers with in 1963. Unable to control his powers and in his grief over losing his own mother, Sissy, Harlan murdered the mothers of Viktor, Luther, Allison, Diego, Five, and Klaus before they could give birth in 1989. Because the six were never actually born in this new timeline, their existence in the timeline created an all-consuming paradox that threatened to end the universe.
Got all that? Good, because that’s only the half of it. Now that it’s clear how the new timeline formed, here are all the major events that happened in this new sequence of events.
Reginald Hargreeves’ grand plan started coming together in 1918, when he was able to locate the portal to Oblivion, a pocket dimension that holds the promise to resetting the universe. Upon finding the portal, Reginald constructed the Hotel Obsidian around it, hiding the portal in the plush White Buffalo Suite.
Time works a bit differently in the Commission. Although Lila witnessed the murder of her adoptive mother, the Handler, in 1963, it was actually 1952 at the Commission when Lila returned. Fed up and hurt after discovering the alternate timeline in which the Handler callously shot her, Lila left the Commission in 1952 and started her new adventure by traveling to 1989 Berlin and retrieving a hidden briefcase.
The branched timeline was kickstarted when the Umbrellas traveled back to 1963 Dallas in Season 2. Most importantly, the superhero team met up with Reginald and left a very bad impression on him, and Viktor’s strong bond with Harlan wound up giving the young boy similar powers.
The most important year in all Umbrella Academy timelines, on Oct. 1, 1989, 43 children were suddenly mysteriously born with superhuman abilities. In the original timeline, Reginald adopted Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, Ben, and Viktor. However, in the new timeline, Harlan prevented all their births (except for Ben’s) by disposing of their mothers in his grief over Sissy.
Since those six kids were never born in this new timeline, Reginald instead adopted Marcus, Fei, Alphonso, Sloane, Jayme, and Christopher, along with Ben once again, to form the Sparrow Academy.
The Sparrow Academy had already become a lethal superhero group by 2014, thanks to training sessions with Pogo. However, after a particularly tense skirmish between Ben and Jayme, Reginald fired Pogo from the Sparrow Academy for being too soft. Sometime after his dismissal in 2014, Pogo joined the Mothers of Agony bike gang and became a tattoo artist.
The events of Season 1 took place in 2019, as do most of the events in Season 3. After forming the new timeline with their trip to 1963, the Umbrellas returned to 2019 to come face to face with their replacements, the Sparrows. As hard as it may be to believe given how much happens, the rest of the core events in Season 3 take place over just a few days in this new version of 2019.
The final moments of Season 3 seemed to set up even weirder time and space chaos in a potential fourth season, so prepare for even messier timelines moving ahead.