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Why Alphonso From The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Looks So Familiar

The second season of "The Umbrella Academy," Netflix's superhero TV series adapted from a comic book written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way, premiered in July of 2020. Just a few months later, in November of that year, Netflix announced that it had renewed "The Umbrella Academy" for a third season.

Following news of the series' third season was an announcement in January 2021 of several actors who would be joining its central cast as the Sparrow Academy. In short, at the end of "The Umbrella Academy" Season 2, the show's titular group of heroes encounters alternate reality versions of themselves, united under the Sparrow Academy moniker. Then, in Season 3, their counterparts become recurring characters.

Alphonso is the member of the Sparrow Academy who corresponds to the Umbrella Academy's Klaus (Robert Sheehan). However, although Alphonso is effectively an alternate reality version of Klaus, their respective powers do not directly correspond with one another — Klaus can speak with the dead, whereas Alphonso wields voodoo-based abilities.

Jake Epstein is the actor that portrays Alphonso in "The Umbrella Academy" Season 3. If he looks familiar, it's likely from one of the following roles.

Jake Epstein played a musician in Degrassi: The Next Generation

In order for the 14 seasons of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" — which are all about a single high school and its students — to make sense, different series leads are ultimately cycled in and out of its main cast. Jake Epstein plays one of the show's numerous central characters, a musician named Craig Manning. Epstein's career includes a few stints on Broadway, so his real-life musical abilities were doubtlessly helpful when it came time for him to portray a musician on TV.

Craig was featured in the cast of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" from its second to its fifth season, as well as during its eighth season in a reprisal of his longtime role. In a fashion befitting the show's signature melodramatic flair, some of Craig's storylines from throughout his tenure on the show include romantic affairs, a pregnancy, and a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Epstein appears in 91 episodes of "Degrassi" in total, so fans of the series, and especially those who watched it in his early days, are likely well familiar with Epstein as a performer thanks to his time on the iconic teen drama.

Jake Epstein played a recurring role on Designated Survivor

"Designated Survivor" aired first on ABC for two seasons and then on Netflix for its third before the streaming service canceled the series in 2019. Its central story conceit revolves around a real-life stipulation that, should the president of the United States die, their line of succession includes a "designated survivor." That role is specifically given to someone that not will be present at major events that the president and other key officials must attend.

Keifer Sutherland appears in the titular role of "Designated Survivor," stepping into the presidency following a disaster that kills everyone before him in the presidential line of succession. Jake Epstein, meanwhile, plays Chuck Russink, an analyst for the FBI. While Chuck isn't one of the series' primary characters, he's a recurring presence during the show's first two seasons. In total, Epstein appears on "Designated Survivor" for 28 of its 53 episodes.

All three seasons of "Designated Survivor" remain available to stream on Netflix, which is now also home to his more recent work on "The Umbrella Academy."

Epstein was Brian Altman in Suits

USA Network's legal drama "Suits" aired for more than 130 episodes over the course of nine seasons between 2011 and 2019. At the heart of the series are powerful lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and the inexperienced but gifted attorney Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull) are also partners at their same law firm, and recurring characters for most of the show's run. Jake Epstein, meanwhile, shows up in Seasons 7, 8, and 9 as a lawyer named Brian Altman. Rather than his legal work, Brian's storylines are largely defined by his marriage.

First, in Season 7, Brian requests time off to help his wife take care of their newborn baby. Initially, Louis responds hostilely, before recognizing that his attitude is coming from a place of anger and reconciling with Brian. Later on, Brian comes into conflict with Katrina, who at first attempts to fire him, before becoming something of an illicit love interest that threatens to undermine his marriage. This leads to Brian's departure from the law firm in Season 9, marking the end of Epstein's tenure on the series.

Jake Epstein starred in the Lifetime original movie Mistletoe & Menorahs

In 2019, the Lifetime channel aired an original movie titled "Mistletoe & Menorahs." While plenty of Lifetime movies of years past have revolved around Christmas, "Mistletoe & Menorahs" is one of the few to include Hanukkah as a holiday central to its story too. Essentially, a woman who normally celebrates Christmas every year has to learn about Hanukkah from a Jewish man who himself has to learn about Christmas for the first time. The reasonings behind both of their predicaments are suitably sappy and unimportant.

Beyond being one of a small number of Lifetime original Hanukkah movies, "Mistletoe & Menorahs" is one of a few films in which Jake Epstein plays a leading role. He stars as Jonathan Silver, the habitual Hanukkah-celebrator planning a Christmas celebration for the first time in his life.

Most viewers would likely consider Lifetime original movies to be in a different tier of entertainment than "The Umbrella Academy." That said, the contingent of crossover fans of both sappy TV movies and bingeable superhero action series should enjoy Epstein as the face one of the Lifetime channel's most notable Hanukkah evangelists.

Epstein is Mr. Munder in Season 2 of The Hardy Boys

Season 1 of "The Hardy Boys" premiered on Hulu in 2020, reintroducing the characters featured in the classic book series of the same name to a modern audience. In fact, the "Hardy Boys" show includes a new origin story for how its protagonists become child detectives in the first place, diverging from its source material particularly in this regard.

Jake Epstein serves an important role in "The Hardy Boys" Season 2 — which premiered on Hulu in 2022 — as a schoolteacher named Mr. Munder. Like plenty of adult characters in "Hardy Boys" stories before him, Mr. Munder appears to be harboring his fair share of secrets, and uncovering what he may be hiding proves integral to the mystery at the heart of Season 2. Since Mr. Munder's storyline appears to be wrapped up as of Season 2's end, however, it's unlikely that Epstein will reprise his role on any potential future seasons of "The Hardy Boys" moving forward.