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The Umbrella Academy: The Hidden Klaus Detail You Missed On Season 1

Not all superheroes wear capes, as evidenced by The Umbrella Academy's masked, uniform-wearing Hargreeves squad. But along with their lack of flowing accessories comes a general aura of mystery around the adopted siblings' powers. Number Five's (Aidan Gallagher) space- and time-jumping, Luther's (Tom Hopper) strength, Allison's (Emmy Raver-Lampman) persuasion, and Diego's (David Castañeda) knife-throwing are all pretty straight-forward. However, Ben's (Justin H. Min) eldritch tentacle-portaling and Vanya's (Ellen Page) energy conversion were so obscured that it was hard to get a firm grip on what they could do until the back half of the Netflix series' first season. The same goes for Klaus (Robert Sheehan) — who, despite boasting an enigmatic personality, spends most of the show's first 10 episodes with his powers dulled.

As viewers initially see, Klaus' abilities allow him to see and talk to the dead. They're also directly impacted by his use — or, rather, abuse – of alcohol and drugs. On the one hand, Klaus' habits appear to be a form of escapism. If you consider the morbid and disruptive nature of his power, it's easy to understand why Klaus might not be into terrifying specters continually yelling at him. But the dimming of Klaus' powers is also a direct effect of his substance abuse, as he uses his "highs" as a way to suppress his own peaks behind the veil.

Yet, as the series goes on and Klaus get cleaner — sometimes by choice, other times by force — the haze around his abilities begins to disperse, and with it comes the arrival of his dead brother, Ben. Viewers are offered little in the way of an explanation for death during The Umbrella Academy's first season, but the very same could be said about Klaus' powers. What is clear about both, though, is that as more of Klaus' powers reveal themselves, so does more of Ben

Ben and Klaus both start off in very dark places during The Umbrella Academy season 1

On the very first episode of The Umbrella Academy, Ben appears as a dark apparition shrouded in shadow, scolding and judginng Klaus in the backseat of their brother Diego's car. He can barely form words since Klaus, recently released from rehab, is still buzzing from his latest hit. The following episode, "Run Boy Run," finds Klaus tormented by screaming, blurred visions of the dead as he sleeps. Upon waking, he talks to Ben — who, at this point, is still just as into wearing black hoodies and hanging in the shadows as he is being critical of his brother.

If that wasn't clear enough, the handful of other short yet begrudging interactions between the two across The Umbrella Academy's earliest episodes points to a relationship not entirely built on trust, or even a mutual desire to share space. Ben's tether to — and thus existence in — this realm is through a brother who would rather soak in the bathtub and smoke than deal with episodes of spiritual overload.

But the next time Klaus and Ben have a full-on interaction on the fourth episode, a shift begins that offers viewers and Klaus the ability to see the true extent of his powers, as well as how Ben will ultimately illustrate them. In "Man on the Moon," Klaus is kidnapped by Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige), two agent-hitmen who work for the time-travel organization Temps Commission. While being tied up and interrogated by the masked-duo, Klaus is unable to feed his drug addiction, allowing Ben to break through Klaus' darkness.

As Klaus sobers up, Ben begins to materialize during The Umbrella Academy's first season

During a brief flashback, "Man on the Moon" shows a young Klaus locked in a tomb as the flickering outlines and hair-raising screams of the dead envelope him. A moment later, that nightmare takes viewers back to the present, where Klaus — tied to a chair in a motel closet with his mouth duct-taped — screams mercilessly. He's bloody and sweating, while behind him, Ben makes it clear he's going through withdrawal and attempts to calm his living brother.

With his hood no longer obscuring his now mostly illuminated face, Ben is forming full sentences — and ones that aren't entirely dripping with bitter resentment. He tells Klaus that "the worst part of being dead" is that you're stuck "with nowhere to go, nowhere to change" — and yet, there's a visible difference between the Ben we saw in Diego's backseat and the one that's in the closet. Beyond the discrepancy in locations, Klaus isn't hopped up on drugs, meaning Ben is more animated than he was before.

As the next few episodes reveal, the longer Klaus isn't playing "pick your poison," the stronger and more life-like Ben's spirit becomes. It helps confirm what The Umbrella Academy hinted at from episode 1, and what it eventually reveals during its finale: the deceased Ben is materializing because of Klaus. But before audiences get the full answer about Klaus' abilities, Ben's return from the dark obscurity of the afterlife is briefly jeopardized by Klaus crossing over himself.

When Ben prods Klaus to help their older brother Luther while he's high at a club with three men ready to take him down, Klaus gets involved and ends up on the floor, where it's lights out. The result is that the sarcastic and drug-addicted Hargreeve finally reunites with his cold-hearted and demanding father after episodes of attempting to bring Sir Reginald (Colm Feore) forth using his powers.

Ben and Klaus both find peace — and power — in the light of The Umbrella Academy season 1finale

When Klaus arrives in the afterlife, Sir Reginald is both precisely as we remember him and yet somewhat different. At times, he seems slightly warmer than The Umbrella Academy's flashbacks would remember him, but he still berates Klaus about being "afraid of the dark." It harkens to the tomb flashback, but also a message on the statue the Hargreeves created for Ben after his passing: "May the darkness within you find peace in the light."

Up until this point, we believe that Ben is only tied to his brother because Klaus can see him, and part of that may very well be true. But what else becomes clear at that moment is that since Ben died, his existence became linked somehow to his brother's. That theory is reinforced when Sir Reginald delivers a clear message to his adopted son: "You only scratched the surface of what you're truly capable of."

This moment is the final clue and last puzzle piece of Klaus' abilities before the finale unveils his real potential. As the team fights off their sister Vanya (now on a revenge mission after discovering the truth about her abilities) and a fully-armed brigade of Temps Commission soldiers, Klaus and Ben find their synergy. In one moment, Ben can physically pull Diego to safety in the midst of Vanya collapsing their childhood mansion. In another, Klaus channels Ben into physical existence before using his energy — and eldritch tentacles — to single-handedly take down an entire concert hall full of bad guys. With Klaus sober and clean, both his powers and Ben are no longer shadows of their true potential.

Throughout the first season of The Umbrella Academy, both brothers moved from their own incapacitating darkness into the light. For Ben, the result is a return of sorts to the land of the living. For Klaus, it's a whole new set of powers that represent just the tip of the iceberg. While viewers can't yet see what else lies beneath the surface of Klaus' abilities, it's clear how from the very first episode, The Umbrella Academy pointed to Ben's true greatness.