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The Umbrella Academy: Diego's powers explained

Contains potential spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 2.

When season one introduced fans to The Umbrella Academy, their superpowered debut fell somewhat flat. Not because the characters or their stories weren't compelling. Their abilities just weren't entirely clear. Even when the writers weren't being intentionally coy about a specific power, the characters wielding them never seemed to be in total control, so we only caught glimpses of their full potential.

The same cannot be said in season 2. The Umbrella Academy enters their second season with a newfound grasp of their skills, which is on full display from the earliest moments of season 2. After being thrown into different years and places around Dallas between 1960 and 1963, each Hargreeve is forced to find their own way and master their talents in the process. In the case of David Castañeda's Diego, mastering his talents results in some pretty wild changes. That shift has confused some fans, who are once again questioning what Diego's specific ability is. 

Audiences have seen Number Two throw knives with deadly precision, leaving some to believe he has telekinesis or magnetism-related abilities. In season 2, Diego moves from guiding knives to bullets, which has only stoked the fires of speculation. In an interview with Den of Geek, showrunner Steven Blackman clears the air for fans. "If you think about Diego's power, he can, with his mind, control the trajectory of objects," he said. "Basically, he likes throwing, so he can throw his knife, and he can make it go in weird, odd curvatures and directions."

In short, it's trajectory manipulation, and it gives Diego the ability to move specific projectiles around obstacles to home in on a target. 

Diego and his siblings were stunted by Ben's death

While this doesn't make Diego the most powerful Umbrella Academy member, it does suggest the character has some serious potential. According to Blackman, Ben's death was the incident that left Diego and his siblings stunted in their growth as superheroes.

When Ben (Justin H. Min) became a spirit, he no longer had a body to channel his powers through. Then there's his sister Vanya (Ellen Page), who never knew about her abilities and thus had no idea she needed to refine them until Reginald Hargreeve's (Colm Feore) death. Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) was really the only one among them able to hone his powers, but that was because he vanished into the apocalyptic future for 45 years. By the time he returned, Ben's passing had already disbanded The Academy. 

Diego, Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), and Klaus (Robert Sheehan) all largely rejected the cold tutelage of their adopted father in favor of moving on and living a mostly separate life. So when Five came back, Luther (Tom Hopper), Reginald's Number One, was the only one left. And even his training had been somewhat abandoned after Reginald sent him to the Moon. All of this is why it took two seasons for fans to see Diego's powers expand, Blackman said. 

"All of them stopped their training in their adolescence when the family broke up, and they are still learning about their powers and their powers are still evolving," he said

In that same interview, Blackman also promised fans that this wasn't the last time they could expect would see the powers of Diego and his siblings grow. "As I go through seasons, we'll see more of that," he said. "But moving a knife through the air — an extension of that is then being able to manipulate bullets through the air."

The Umbrella Academy season 2 may have hinted at another one of Diego's abilities

While controlling bullets is the most visible of Diego's "upgrades," it may not be the only power expansion he gets in season 2. One hawkeyed fan on Reddit thinks they've pinpointed a scene where Number Two shows off a power Blackman hasn't previously disclosed. It is, however, one that comic creators Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá bestowed upon him: the ability to hold his breath for an indefinite period. In the comics, Reginald questions whether the power is functional, but Diego does find a way to use it, including to help him swim underwater. 

On episode 6, "A Light Supper," The Academy is invited by an elusive Reginald Hargreeves for dinner in a towering building. All of the Hargreeves, including an invisible Ben, pack into the elevator. On the way up, Luther gets a little "nervous" and lets out some wicked gas. Everyone reacts with intense disgust, covering their noses and turning away. Diego, however, merely smiles to himself, and as everyone else races to get out of the car, he meanders off as if nothing happened. 

Diego is particularly fond of messing with his siblings, and he's always up for seeing Luther make a fool of himself, but the decision to have Number One fart and Diego be the only one who doesn't recoil feels like more than a passing joke (pun intended). Based on Blackman's comments, it very well may be a sign of Diego's "other" yet-to-be-seen powers.