The JFK Mystery That Bothers Us In The Umbrella Academy Season 2

The first season of The Umbrella Academy stuck close to home — literally, in that the previously estranged siblings used their old home/training ground as a base, and also in terms of the characters' major concerns. While Five (Aidan Gallagher) was committed to preventing a world-ending apocalypse, his brothers and sisters were more preoccupied with family resentment, child custody arrangements, substance addiction, and learning that their adoptive father lied to them their whole lives.

However, the second season switched the focus from events affecting the family (and anyone within blast range of the Moon) to a major historical event. Namely, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. After the time jump from 2019 lands him in October of '63, Diego (David Castañeda) becomes obsessed with saving Kennedy. Five arrives three days after the assassination is diverted to find that nuclear war has broken out with the USSR. And if all that wasn't enough, the pair discovers that their dad may have something to do with Kennedy's death.

It certainly makes for compelling drama, but with all the time jumping and rearranging of the timeline, there's one JFK mystery that bothers us in The Umbrella Academy season 2. It's the same one conspiracy theorists have been fixating on for decades: who shot JFK — and why?

Who killed JFK in The Umbrella Academy's original timeline?

Before figuring out what happened to Kennedy in season 2, let's recap season 1.

As Five reminds Luther (Tom Hopper) in season two, the Commission sent Five (played in his 58-year-old body by Sean Sullivan) to Dallas on November 22, 1963, to make sure Kennedy was assassinated. Instead, Five broke his contract and opened the portal to 2019, so he never carried out the mission. After he left, shots rang out, apparently from the direction of the infamous grassy knoll, and the radio announced that Kennedy has been killed.

It's notable that Kennedy died even without Five's help. That means that Five might not necessarily have been targeting the president. The Commission tends to go after regular people whose actions inadvertently have major impacts on the timeline, rather than VIPs. There's another potential clue in one of the small details you missed in Umbrella Academy season 2. When Five returns to the spot with Luther, he changes vantage points to watch the motorcade. He moves older-looking Five's briefcase from the fence where he was positioned with the gun over to the perpendicular fence. If the other fence had a better view of Kennedy, why not stand there the first time round? Well, maybe it wasn't Kennedy he was aiming at.

Like the grassy knoll, the picket or stockade fence where Five and Luther stand is a famous location to JFK conspiracy theorists. It's right behind the grassy knoll, to the north. Some believe that a second shooter was positioned there — this figure came to be known as Badge Man, thanks to somewhat tenuous claims that he was wearing a police badge.

Was Five Badge Man? Was he aiming at Kennedy — or a bystander? The mystery only deepens in season 2.

Who killed JFK in The Umbrella Academy season 2?

Despite Diego's best efforts, he and his siblings aren't able to save Kennedy when they travel back to Dallas in 1963.

Initially, Five and Diego believe their father is somehow involved. Specifically, they believe that he's the Umbrella Man, a real person of interest in the Kennedy assassination. He was seen in the Zapruder film (the real version of the Frankel footage) standing on the grassy knoll in a black suit with an open black umbrella, directly opposite the spot where Kennedy was shot. However, when Diego tackles the man, he realizes it's not his dad but his dad's driver, presumably sent to troll him. (In real life, the so-called Umbrella Man later turned out to be a life insurance salesman — seriously — who was using the umbrella to troll Kennedy.)

So, who killed Kennedy in the world of The Umbrella Academy? The obvious answer is Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who was actually accused of the shooting. However, it seems that the Magnificent 12 had something to do with it, whether they recruited Oswald or sent a second shooter. They tell Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) as much when he confronts and then kills them after the assassination. It's also possible that the Commission sent a second assassin to get the job done — the same person who finished the job Five couldn't during the events of the first season.

There are lots of unanswered questions in The Umbrella Academy season 2. For example, we still don't know what happened to Ben Hargreeves. We may never get more answers about what exactly happened to JFK in the show — but it's a good reason to tune in for season 3.