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Why Grace's Needlepoint In The Umbrella Academy Was So Important

In Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's Umbrella Academy comics, the end of the world never comes. One of the seven famous Hargreeves children discovers some telekinetic powers just in the nick of time, stopping Vanya and her apocalypse. In the first season of Netflix's adaptation, however, the world does end, not just once, but twice. After failing to heed his father Reginald's (Colm Feore) caution, Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) uses his powers to jump through time, landing in a burning future on a post-apocalyptic Earth. He then spends several decades trying to figure out how to get back and stop it, finally jumping back in time to his siblings — who are now older — and his 13-year-old body. From that point on, it's his mission to prevent the dark future in which he spent his entire adult life.

Yet, by the season 1 finale, it's clear not only that he fails in this, but that changing the future is going to take a few extra tries. After battling with The Commission, the organization tasked with overseeing and managing the space-time continuum, one version of the apocalypse gets re-wound in "The Day That Wasn't," but Number Five is still forced to whisk himself and his siblings away through time to try again after Vanya's (Ellen Page) powers cause the moon to blow up in "The White Violin." Throughout all of this, it's assumed that only a handful of entities actually know about the end of the world: There's Five, who's lived it, and The Commission, who work to ensure it happens. There's also Reginald, who the show points to knowing about the apocalypse without really explaining how or why. Fans, however, have pointed out that hidden in the series is proof that at least one other person didn't just know the world was going to end, they knew exactly how. That person is the Hargreeves' stiff and smiley housewife robot, Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins). 

Grace's needlepoint foreshadows the season 1 finale

While Grace is technically not a person, she is the family's matriarch. Trusted enough by Reginald to serve as the primary caretaker of the Hargreeves children, she also helps assist him in his death around a week before the apocalypse. 

She becomes a primary suspect in his "murder" by episode 3, "Extra Ordinary," when Luther (Tom Hopper) discovers Grace was with Reginald the night he died. As Luther and Alison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) question her, Grace acts somewhat avoidant, and even appears to malfunction. Concerned with what she might do, the siblings debate whether to shut her down. After Grace is unfazed by a shootout in the house with Commission agents Cha Cha and Hazel, Diego (David Castañeda) quietly makes the choice to go through with it after witnessing her troubling glitchiness. Seeing Grace working on her needlework, Diego notices that she's punctured her hand and is threading through her own palm, but fans on Reddit like u/MindlessMe13 and u/king_of_kings caught the real shocker in the scene, which sees Grace embroidering an image of the moon breaking apart. 

The show's writers may have been playfully foreshadowing the season 1 end, which saw chunks of broken moon hurtle towards Earth. It's also possible it was a warning that Reginald programmed into Grace to help his children realize what was coming faster. His death was perfectly timed to Five's return and explicitly designed to bring the superhero team back together, not to mention that Grace told Diego "to remember" — possibly what she was working on — right before she turned off.

Still, the reveal could also point to Grace playing a significant role in the time-travel plot of the series. While a relatively small character in the comics, Grace was dramatically beefed up for the Netflix show, meaning the writers might have something bigger planned for her when season 2 debuts on July 31, 2020