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Umbrella Academy Quotes That Mean More Than You Realize

Over the course of its barn burner of a first season, Netfilx's hyper-violent superhero delight The Umbrella Academy all but reinvented what a superhero team-up story could be. It did so in part by boldly grounding its fantastical tale in a skewed reality, and daring to make tragically human the sort of heroes comic book fans rarely get to see as such. Perhaps more than anything, it was the unexpected (and unexpectedly sloppy) human entanglements driving the narrative – which follows a deeply fractured "family" of supers re-uniting to try and save the world from a surprising foe – that helped the series resonate so deeply with viewers.

Given where season 1 left off and what we already know about The Umbrella Academy's second season, there's little question the series' writing team will again be putting complex relationships front and center, even as they're clearly planning on expanding the Hargreeves' world in ways that even The Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way couldn't have imagined. Wherever those writers take the show from its shocker of a season 1 finale, we can only hope they'll continue to deliver their signature brand of quippy dialogue, because season 1 of The Umbrella Academy was chock full of quote-worthy delights. 

In fact, some of the more memorable lines from season 1 of The Umbrella Academy proved more on point than they initially seemed. Here are a few quotes that meant more than you may have realized on first hearing them. 

Vanya offered unknowingly prophetic words about her future by posing this question

Throughout the dramatic events of The Umbrella Academy's inaugural season, Ellen Page's Vanya Hargreeves rose to become not just the most powerful member of the splintered superhero family, but also the season's primary villain. That rise was but one of the first season's head-spinning narrative twists, if only because when the season began, Vanya was believed to be not only the family's least powerful member, but also the only one to possess no powers at all. 

This was so accepted as true that she'd actually written a biography about what it was like to be raised in a home in which her apparent lack of super-powered abilities left her in utter isolation from her adoptive siblings and father. Given the circumstances of her upbringing, it's hardly a surprise that Vanya's seeming mission with her tell-all book is to answer the question of what it was like to be raised alongside her super siblings. She does just that in the season's third episode, which finds her reading an excerpt from the book that poses the question, "If you're raised to believe nothing about you is special, if the benchmark is extraordinary, what do you do if you're not," to a largely empty room.

With what we come to know about Vanya's boundless and terrifyingly unstable powers, that question now seems far more loaded than it did when she posed it. 

Allison delivered some self-skewering insight early in The Umbrella Academy's first season

Regarding Vanya's all-but-unparalleled powers, it's worth noting they were cruelly hidden from her and chemically suppressed by her adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who feared they could never be controlled. It's also worth noting Vanya didn't often use them for good when she was in training. Whatever the case, her powers were more or less unlocked by Leonard Peabody (John Magaro), who weaseled his way into Vanya's life with the sole purpose of unearthing her talents.

That task involved depriving Vanya of her anxiety meds, becoming her lover, and eventually taking the role of her "trainer." The "lover" part of that equation proves key in Vanya's downfall, mainly because her need to be seen and loved by another human being clouds her vision regarding Leonard's duplicitous intentions. Vanya's big sis Allison is quick to pick up on Leonard's duplicity, however, offering via a heartfelt conversation in the series' fifth episode that, "When something seems too perfect, it's usually anything but."

Allison is clearly talking about Vanya's unfettered image of Leonard in the moment, but given what we'd come to know of The Rumor's tragic personal struggles by that point, she might just as well be talking about her own once seemingly perfect, now tragically unraveling life.  

The Handler may have teased more than we thought with this cryptic aside

Spoiler alert: Vanya's transformation from non-powered Hargreeves kid into the all-powerful White Violin ultimately leads to the end of the world. As her powers were kept a secret even from her siblings, none of the Hargreeves had any idea of the scope or instability of their sister's abilities.

That includes the time-jumping fan fave Number 5 (Aidan Gallagher), who, after inadvertently jumping into the apocalypse, was left none the wiser about how it all came to happen. As he wasn't fully in control of his own powers, Number 5 also couldn't use them to get back to his own timeline and warn anyone, and ended up spending decades alone in the apocalyptic future. He was eventually discovered by The Handler (Kate Walsh), whose work for the nefarious Commission included controlling the continuity of the time-space continuum.

The dapper bureaucrat eventually offered Number 5 a job in The Commission's "corrections" department, which ensure timelines — even the one leading to the end of the world — are not altered. When Number 5 questions her on that particular point, The Handler responds callously that the apocalypse wasn't the end of everything, but, "Just the end of something." While that cryptic quote hasn't yet paid off in The Umbrella Academy, it certainly opens the doors to the possibility of multiple timelines, which is almost certain to be vital to the narrative of the show's upcoming second season.

Hazel and Cha-Cha got their lines seriously crossed with a few fateful words

Most viewers would agree that, of all the secondary characters in season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, the psychotic, time-traveling, blue collar assassins Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) were among the most colorful. While the murderous duo's beyond-creepy cartoon masks played a big part in their unsettling impact in The Umbrella Academy's first season, the characters were a lot nicer in the Netflix adaptation than they were in the pages of Gerard Way's and Gabriel Bá's source material. 

Plus, even if the deadly duo's objective is the same in both versions of The Umbrella Academy (to track and kill Number 5), as portrayed in the Netflix series, they're just a couple of average Joes who happen to make a living killing people in brutal fashion. In fact, Hazel's burgeoning love story becomes one of the more surprising, and surprisingly heartfelt, twists in the series' first season. It even eventually finds Hazel waxing poetic on the nature of love and fate by quipping, "Sometimes, what you want's right in front of you. By the time you realize it, it's too late."

He utters those words to his long-time partner Cha-Cha, and though he's talking about his feelings for Griddy's Doughnuts maven Agnes (Sheila McCarthy), they seem to stir feelings Cha-Cha likely didn't know she had for her partner. By the time Cha-Cha realizes Hazel's talking about someone else, the damage is done, and the pair spend the rest of their time on opposite sides of an apocalyptic equation.