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Why The Commission Makes No Sense To Umbrella Academy Fans

Netflix's The Umbrella Academy has taken its dysfunctional superhero family to some pretty strange places over the course of its two seasons. With the introduction of Reginald Hargreeves' (Colm Feore) mysterious Sparrow Academy, it looks like The Umbrella Academy season 3 is planning to keep up the pace. 

While it certainly seems that the Hargreeves have plenty of adventures ahead of them, the ending of the show's season 2 makes it clear that they've managed to vanquish what is, arguably, their greatest opponent so far: The Temps Commission, which is tasked with watching and managing the space-time continuum. Thanks to their connection to the time-and space-hopping Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), they are a pervasive force throughout the show. However, the siblings finally defeat the Handler (Kate Walsh) and the Commission's troops in an epic confrontation in the season finale.

The Handler's machinations and the show's time-jumping tendencies tend to cast the Commission in a villainous role, though it proves to be a rather less malicious entity during AJ Carmichael's (voiced by an uncredited Robin Atkin Downes) leadership, and could even become something of an ally of the Umbrella Academy under its most recent Chair of the Board, Herb (Ken Hall). Still, regardless of the Commission's alignment, some viewers have pointed out that the very existence of the powerful, well-staffed time-guarding organization seems kind of weird and confusing. 

Here's why the Commission makes no sense to some The Umbrella Academy fans.

What is the Temps Commission's actual job, anyway?

On a Reddit thread discussing the Temps Commission, one fan questions the nature of the organization's job — or, at the very least, its size. "The temps commission states that they oversee and manage the space time continuum and make sure all events that are meant to happen actually happen," user Jakee214 writes. "So my question is, what is causing the events to not happen in the first place? I mean, so far Five is the only one that we have heard about that can time travel and mess things up. However, the Temps Commission is a massive organisation with hundreds of field agents. Are there other people time travelling trying to alter past events?"

That's a pretty good question, since the Commission is a huge, clearly well-funded entity with a considerable capacity for violence, if the situation calls for it. Surely, they don't maintain such a powerful structure just to deal with Five — the only person we've seen with time-travel powers that aren't related to Commission technology? 

Of course, there could be tons of time travelers out there who we don't know about, but the show hasn't addressed them yet. If there are, that might certainly justify the kind of fighting force the Commission maintains. After all, the ending of The Umbrella Academy season 2 showed us that even one time traveler can be pretty hard to handle — especially if he happens to have a bunch of super-powered siblings.

The Commission may be confusing, but not necessarily pointless

Some fans think there might actually be a method to the Commission's mayhem. Per Redditor Caraleena, the organization's duty to observe and course-correct a single timeline might mean that said timeline's events are constantly repeating. "And when they repeat, there's always an element of random chance (ie free will) that could change things, so the Commission sends people to keep that from happening," they speculate.

Jakee214 also feels things progress on a set path, unless a disturbance starts mixing things up enough for the Commission to interfere. "Yeah I always thought what happened is what will always happen unless something interferes. Like even free will."

Incidentally, some viewers have speculated that the reason the Commission has been meddling so much might be that the Umbrella Academy itself is a "wrong timeline" sort of disturbance. As such, the organization might have been attempting to course-correct them all along — which might mean the Sparrow Academy timeline is the real thing. "The Sparrow Academy could be the original timeline where the Umbrella Academy could be off, and the commission needed this to happen," Redditor Devildog93 suggests, regarding the season 2 ending, where the Hargreeves end up in a strange version of their present ... at least, from their point of view.

While all of this could be true — or false, for that matter — it's good to keep in mind that we've only seen a fraction of the Temps Commission's reason and rhyme. They might very well have plenty of hidden depths that may or may not be revealed when The Umbrella Academy season 3 arrives. Maybe things will get less confusing, then, or maybe they'll get infinitely more confusing. Either way, it is guaranteed to be entertaining.