Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Reason So Many Fans Hate Pogo On The Umbrella Academy

He suffered one of the more brutal deaths on the first season of Netflix's superhero series The Umbrella Academy – and some fans believe the brilliant chimpanzee Pogo (voiced with soulful sincerity by Adam Godley) got what he deserved. Conversations hating on Pogo have been popping up online since the series hit Netflix in February 2019, and few of them are showing much empathy for the ill-fated, immaculately rendered CGI creature from The Umbrella Academy.

But what's the reason for all the Pogo hate?

It appears that many anti-Pogo Umbrella Academy fans don't see him as the caring parental figure he's mostly presented as on season 1 of the series. Rather, they view Pogo as more of a dubious co-conspirator who, alongside his creator Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), actively participated in the physical and emotional abuse inflicted on the inaugural class of Hargreeves' "Umbrella Academy." Additionally, some believe Pogo's lack of transparency about Vanya Hargreeves' (Ellen Page) dangerous powers even into her adulthood is a big part of why things went so tragically wrong for the Hargreeves kids when they all found their way back home. 

It's worth noting that Pogo did, in fact, participate in the Hargreeves' wildly unconventional upbringing, played a role as a more or less passive observer in how badly Vanya (a.k.a. season 1's big bad The White Violin) was mistreated, and continued to keep nasty secrets even as he saw things turning for the worse. So yeah, it's not hard to see why some fired-up fans might be apt to label Pogo as "spineless" and "a lying POS complicit in all the abuse." Given the context, one might even be inclined to understand Vanya's violent reaction upon learning of his betrayal. 

Does Pogo really deserve all The Umbrella Academy hate?

Participation is, after all, the very definition of "complicit." But does Pogo deserve the level of hate he's garnered? We're fully aware of Pogo's involvement in all manner of Sir Reginald's many scientific misdeeds, but he himself is one of those misdeeds. (Sir Reginald injected Pogo with a serum to make him human-like.) While there's not much evidence to suggest Pogo wasn't acting of his own free will, he never appeared to be in a position to stop or even sway Sir Reginald's plans.

Savvy viewers of The Umbrella Academy likely even noticed that in scenes where Sir Reginald takes matters too far, Pogo looks to be in regular (if passive) opposition to those decisions. As such, it appears Pogo's only real course of action was to try to help care for the Hargreeves kids as best he could after the fact — which he did. Whether Pogo could stop Sir Reginald or not, it's hard to argue he didn't care deeply for the super-powered kids. He even died sacrificing himself to save two of their lives after Vanya fully came into her destructive powers. So whether you love him or not, Pogo essentially became the only true father figure the kids had.

Even so, Pogo's participation in certain parts of Vanya's tragic youth are indefensible, as is his mind-boggling decision to wait so long to tell the other Hargreeves kids (and even Vanya) about her powers. Sure, Pogo didn't exactly lie to the team, but he could've been more forthcoming with such vital information.

In all, Pogo's questionable actions on season 1 of The Umbrella Academy are hardly that of a hero, but they don't quite make him a villain either — which pretty much puts him on par with the rest of the duplicitous characters in The Umbrella Academy, right?