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How The Umbrella Academy Fans Really Feel About Lila

Premiering on Netflix in 2019, "The Umbrella Academy" introduced viewers to an odd assortment of super-powered individuals whose one common link is the date of their birth. Based on the comic book series created by Gerard Way, the show brought the dysfunctional Hargreeves family to the small screen, with each member's comical idiosyncrasies and emotional insecurities on full display.

Of course, the Hargreeves clan are not the only powered people in their world. As revealed in Season 1, 43 babies were born at the same time on October 1, 1989, to women who were not pregnant prior to the moment of delivery. Seven of the infants were adopted by Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), a cruel billionaire later revealed to be an interdimensional being. During their youth, the Hargreeves kids suffered frequent abuse by Reginald, who only saw them as weapons to prevent an apocalypse.

To date, the series has introduced 14 of the 43 individuals born in that mysterious occurrence. In addition to the seven Hargreeves in the series' main timeline, another six were shown as members of The Sparrow Academy, Reginald's adoptees in an alternate timeline. In Season 2, Lila Pitts (Ritu Arya) entered the fray as the lone non-Hargreeves with powers ... and fan reactions to the character haven't all been positive.

Lila proved she could not be trusted

Before addressing fan reactions, though, it's important to understand that Lila, first of all, isn't a character from the original comics. Created specifically for the Netflix adaptation, Lila was introduced in Season 2, when the Hargreeves found themselves stuck at various points in the 1960s. While initially seeming to be a patient at the same psychiatric hospital as Diego Hargreeves (David Castañeda), Lila formed a mutual connection with Diego, helping him escape and staying with him afterwards. Unfortunately for the isolated and untrusting Diego, meeting Lila was not a coincidence.

In truth, Lila is the adopted daughter of the Handler (Kate Walsh), another character created for the series and a member of the Temps Commission, a group devoted to ensuring no one alters fixed events in time. The Handler, much like Reginald, raised Lila to be a weapon in her mission, though she went a bit further by having Lila's birth parents assassinated in order to facilitate the adoption. She planted Lila in the hospital in order to win over Diego and gain access to The Umbrella Academy. By the end of Season 2, after a series of betrayals, revelations, and various time-travel shenanigans, Lila is shot and killed by her adoptive mother. That said, it's suspected by many viewers that she may return in Season 3, and not every fan is happy about it. 

Many fans had issues with Lila's powers

Interestingly, fan discontent with the character has nothing to do with her double-crossing Diego. As revealed in a recent Reddit thread, one of the most common complaints against Lila is her powers. User chibimm, who started the thread, felt that Lila's ability to mimic the powers of others lacks in creativity and individuality compared to the powers possessed by the Hargreeves. The original poster also disliked how Lila, at times, was more powerful than the Hargreeves, which proved to be the main bone of contention among the complaints.

Multiple people replied to the OP to express their frustration not only because of Lila's ability to mimic other people's powers, but also that she had complete and immediate mastery of those powers. As the first two seasons of "The Umbrella Academy" have demonstrated, the Hargreeves themselves haven't fully mastered their powers, despite years of training under Reginald. One user, haijak, made an apt comparison to "Man of Steel," which saw General Zod learn all the ins and outs of his newfound powers within minutes of gaining them, compared to Superman spending his whole life figuring them out.

A possible explanation for Lila's full control of others' powers comes from u/gibbspaidlethargy, who pointed out that the Handler has been training Lila for quite some time, and given the Handler's access to time travel, it's possible she took Lila to different points in time in order to see and learn to use the Hargreeves' abilities. While that seems like a big detail to leave out of the series, viewers will perhaps find out more about Lila and her gift when Season 3 rolls around in June.