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Why Lila Pitts From Umbrella Academy Season 2 Looks So Familiar

Contains major spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 2

Going into the second season of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, one could easily think that the show couldn't possibly need many — or any — new characters. The seven super-powered, dysfunctional-but-improving Hargreeves siblings; the eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), his robot partner Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins), and his chimp majordomo Pogo (Ken Hall and Adam Godley); the assassins and head honchos of the mysterious agency known as the Commission; and a handful of antagonists were more than enough to keep fans entertained on season 1. And that's not even mentioning the brand-new apocalypse to wrestle with on season 2. 

However, any notion that there's no room for fresh faces on The Umbrella Academy is proven wrong when fans first catch sight of Diego Hargreeves (David Castañeda) on the new season. After the events of The Umbrella Academy season 1 finale sent the gang way back to the 1960s, Diego has spent his time as an asylum inmate due to his attempts to stop President John F. Kennedy's impeding assassination. Accompanying Diego in the asylum is an enigmatic inmate named Lila Pitts, who soon escapes with Diego and joins the Hargreeves siblings in their adventures. 

Unfortunately, Diego's brother Five (Aidan Gallagher) is right to be suspicious of the charming newcomer. Spoiler alert: Lila is actually on a secret mission from her adopted mother, who turns out to be none other than Five's former boss — the villainous Handler (Kate Walsh), the head of the Commission. What's more, the season 2 finale reveals that, just like the Hargreeves siblings, Lila is one of the 43 babies born on October 1, 1989 ... and she possesses the dangerous ability to mimic their superpowers. 

Lila Pitts represents huge potential for future narrative exploration on the series, and actress Ritu Arya plays her with the exact playful malice that the character requires. In fact, she's such a strong onscreen presence that you may remember seeing Arya's face somewhere before. 

Here's why Lila Pitts from The Umbrella Academy season 2 looks so familiar.

Ritu Arya appeared on a beloved episode of Sherlock

Since 2013, Arya has appeared on TV shows and in the occasional movie, with and her very first acting credit coming via a one-off role on an episode of The Tunnel, the British-French remake of the Scandinavian Noir classic The Bridge. 

Arya's next gig came a year later in 2014, when she featured in one of the biggest and best British shows in recent years: Sherlock. On the critically acclaimed season 3 episode "The Sign of Three," Arya portrayed Gail — one of the women Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) questioned during the episode's fantastical multi-laptop chat scene, presented as a dramatic interrogation in a fancy council chamber. As a stark contrast to the charmingly unhinged Lila, Gail was arguably the most straight-laced of the ladies — and the first one to log off when Sherlock started to imply that she might have secrets.  

Of course, any mention of Arya's early career must also include her work on the long-running BBC medical soap opera Doctors. After portraying the single-episode character Sukhinder Nain in 2013, she returned in 2017 as Dr. Megan Sharma, a psychiatrist who ultimately fell from grace after starting a relationship with her patient.

Ritu Arya played Flash on Humans

From 2016 to 2018, Arya honed her genre chops through what's arguably her most visually recognizable role: as Flash on Humans, the British sci-fi series that explored humanity's difficult relationship with robotic, green-eyed "synths." Arya's Flash was a pink-haired nanny synth who became sentient after Niska (24: Live Another Day's Emily Berrington) released a code that enables synths to achieve consciousness. A fellow synth called Max (Black Mirror's Ivanno Jeremiah) soon rescues Flash, and together, they start building a synth refuge on an abandoned lot. Unfortunately, Flash died at the beginning of the show's third season, when she ran into a group of humans while running for supplies. 

According to Collider, the synth roles on Humans were very physically demanding. Actress Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, The Eternals), who played another synth named Anita, has said that it was important to make the robotic characters' movements seem a little off in order to convey their economic, non-human nature. As such, every synth actor had to follow a basic set of movement rules, and they also worked with choreographers in order to craft the movements of their specific character. 

After leaving the synth life behind in 2018, Arya appeared as Barsha Nambeesan on the ITV medical drama The Good Karma Hospital, as Jenna in the Emilia Clarke-starring romantic comedy Last Christmas, and as Becky on the psychological workplace thriller miniseries Sticks and Stones. However, it wasn't until 2020 when things got really exciting for Arya. 

You may recognize Ritu Arya from Doctor Who

2020 has made it abundantly clear that we're going to hear a lot more about Arya in the future. She kicked the year off with a role on a perfectly reviewed episode of Doctor Who season 12, entitled "Fugitive of the Judoon." Arya's character, Gat, was member of the Doctor's (Jodie Whittaker) own species, known as Time Lords. Gat was chasing a previously unknown version of the Doctor played by Jo Martin (Fleabag), but ultimately died when she fired a sabotaged weapon in a confrontation with the two Doctors. 

Thereafter, Arya appeared on an episode of the British Netflix mystery thriller The Strangeras part of an all-star cast that includes Richard Armitage (The Hobbit movies, Hannibal), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp), and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones)Before The Umbrella Academy, we also saw Arya on the British comedy-drama series Feel Good, where she played Lava, the daughter of main character Mae's (show creator Mae Martin) Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Maggie (Sophie Thompson of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame).

With The Umbrella Academy season 2, the talented Arya has truly made the jump stateside — and judging by her role as Lila, it looks like she's out to make a massive impact on the entertainment industry. How high is her star set to rise? Well, before 2020 is over, we'll also see Arya in Rawson Marshall Thurber's Netflix heist movie Red Noticein which she stars opposite Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Yeah, we have a feeling that Ritu Arya has a pretty bright future ahead.