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Why The Vending Machine Scene Means More Than You Think On The Umbrella Academy

With its time travel twists and multiple important plotlines going on at any given moment, it can be hard to spot all the callbacks and Easter eggs in "Umbrella Academy." With the introduction of a brand new timeline in the end of Season 2, the impeding debut of the Sparrow Academy in Season 3 will likely complicate things even further. Still, scrupulous rewatchers can rest assured that the show hides all sorts of cool details to reward their efforts. 

In fact, even simple, fun, seemingly off-the-cuff scenes can hide hidden meanings in this peculiar Netflix superhero show. Take the seventh episode of Season 2, "Öga for Öga." In the opening minutes of the episode, Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) travels to the year 1982 in order to take down the Commission's board of directors at the Lonely Lodger Inn in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He takes care of the mission with typical, detached flair and somewhat unnerving glee, and only a seemingly random encounter with a vending machine breaks his air of focused, if slightly condescending professionalism. 

Turns out, that scene with the vending machine isn't quite so random after all. Here's what it actually means.  

The Fudge Nutter bar in the vending machine is a sneaky reminder of earlier events

The reason Five is raging at the vending machine before heading out to face off with the Commission bigshots is that it eats his coins and refuses to give him a chocolate bar. While it might initially seem that he's simply hangry, he actually abandons the machine after kicking its glass panel in, without bothering to help himself to the treats inside.

As "The Umbrella Academy" creator Steve Blackman revealed during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, this is because it's all about the chocolate he's trying to acquire. The chocolate bar in question is a Fudge Nutter, and while the scene itself is highly amusing, redditor u/Jarson421 inquired its deeper meaning from Blackman. The show creator answered that it's actually a cool reference to an earlier encounter between Five and scheming Commission member known as the Handler (Kate Walsh). 

"That's a callback to season one," Blackman wrote. "If you recall, that's the chocolate The Handler offered Five in her office."

Since Five is on a mission given to her by the Handler here, as well, the re-emergence of this particular chocolate bar is a pretty neat nod to the unnamed Hargreeves sibling's past.