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The Klaus Plot Hole That Umbrella Academy Fans Aren't Happy About

By the end of The Umbrella Academy's first season, fans finally got the chance to see the kind of power Klaus was truly capable of. A fan favorite, Klaus' dark sense of humor and dramatic journey from drug addict to powerful hero made him one of the Academy's more empathetic and entertaining characters. While he may have been Sir Reginald's "greatest disappointment," viewers saw Klaus a little differently.

The journey of Klaus (Robert Sheehan), as spirited as it was, couldn't have happened without the help of his dead brother, Ben (Justin Min). While The Umbrella Academy skirted around Ben's fate, it had no reservations about exploring him and his afterlife arc through his relationship with Klaus. For the entirety of the Netflix series' first 10 episodes, the two weren't just physically attached but had their development tied to each other through Klaus' powers. Klaus often found the arrangement taxing, but the writers clearly saw it as an opportunity to keep Ben in the loop.

Yet, prior to the season 1 finale in which Ben was revealed to still be alive through Klaus' powers, it was unclear whether any of the Hargreeves besides Number Four actually knew Ben was, well, right there. The Hargreeves knew of Klaus's ability to speak to the dead, and they attempt to use it after the death of their adoptive father, Sir Reginald (Colm Feore), to discover how he died. So why didn't they try the same thing with Ben?

Despite the fact that Ben is often there for some of the team and Klaus' biggest decisions, they only sometimes acknowledge him, and that inconsistency has some fans frustrated.

Klaus confuses viewers about whether Ben is actually there

While there are plenty of moments in The Umbrella Academy where characters seemingly contradict themselves on whether Ben could be among them, the oddest moment comes in episode 3, "Extra Ordinary." As the Hargreeves siblings take a vote on what to do with their android "Mom," Klaus votes to keep her turned on before telling them, "If Ben was here, he would agree with me." It's clearly a way to guilt his siblings who have voted to turn her off, but Ben is actually there, and states that he sides with Luther (Tom Hopper) and Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman). So if Klaus knew that Ben was there, why didn't he just say so to his siblings?

In this particular moment, it works against Klaus because Ben's vote ties them up, making the vote of Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) the deciding one. Ignoring that Ben has disagreed with him means that Klaus, Diego (David Castañeda), and Vanya (Ellen Page) succeeded in keeping Mom turned on. It's a move not out of character for Klaus, and it leads to the group putting a pause on the vote until Five can have a say. Now, with Ben out of the equation, if Five votes to turn Mom off, it'll remain a tie, which would lead to the same inaction Luther agreed to while waiting for Five — a win-win for Klaus.

But even if Klaus did pipe up and tell his siblings that Ben was there and had voted, would they have believed him? Their skepticism around Klaus throwing a bowling ball at Ben on the season 1 finale "The White Violin" indicates they probably wouldn't have. 

The Hargreeves may have needed to believe Ben moved on

On episode 5, "Number Five," Diego references the death of his former partner, Detective Eudora Patch, during a conversation with Klaus, telling his brother that he's "luckier than most." "When you lose someone you still get to see them," Diego says, implying that he knows the dead communicate with Klaus. So if Diego knows that Klaus can still see the dead, he should know that he can still see Ben — and yet the group was shocked when Ben appeared to save Diego in the finale. 

This may be explained by how little the Hargreeves know about Klaus's power. His conversation with Reginald about being a disappointment in episode 7 proves that for much of Klaus' life, the family hadn't seen everything he was capable of. Reginald might have known it, but because he couldn't get Klaus to manifest his full level of power, his siblings never saw it. The fact that Klaus spent so much of his adult life trying to snuff his powers out with drugs, and destroyed his siblings' trust in him in the process, may have furthered their belief that he was not capable of a sustained relationship with the dead.

Or maybe, considering what happened to Ben — the very event that split The Umbrella Academy up — the idea that he might still be around, trapped in a cycle of familiar trauma even in death, was too much to accept. If Klaus couldn't reach their father for whatever reason, the next best thing was that Reginald had moved on. And if the team was still harboring unresolved tension and guilt over Ben, maybe it was just easier to think that Klaus was, too.

All we can do is speculate, because the show never offers up any explanation. Perhaps the situation will become more clear in The Umbrella Academy season 2.