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The Portrait Detail You Likely Missed In The Umbrella Academy Season 3

Contains spoilers for "The Umbrella Academy" Season 3

It's been a few years since Nettflix subscribers last went on a time-travelling adventure with "The Umbrella Academy," as the unconventional heroes crashed into the 1960s during Season 2. That sophomore outing ended on a huge cliffhanger, as they return to the present day to find the timeline has been changed and they've been replaced by the Sparrow Academy

This new version of the Academy is run by the mysterious Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who is still alive in this timeline — but who has chosen to adopt a different handful of super-powered babies.

Obviously, there are many other children with abilities out in the world, and showrunner Steve Blackman worked with the writer of the original comics, Gerard Way, to focus on new characters for the series. He told IGN, "Eventually, I wanted to meet more of them, and [Gerard Way] also was planning to do something in the comic book. Our sort of minds melded and hence the Sparrow Academy." The Sparrows are hugely different to the Umbrellas because they're more of a traditional superhero team rather than a dysfunctional family who have a habit of messing up and destroying the world.

Interestingly, they only show up at the end of the most recent third volume of the comics, "The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion" (via Fandom) so the show was placed in a prime position to explore the characters in a way audiences aren't expecting. Indeed, the Season 3 premiere includes a fascinating detail about the Sparrows which might reveal more about the history of the team.

The painting of Ben

Season 3 kicks off with the tense stand-off between the Umbrellas and the Sparrows that predictably escalates into a full-blown battle between the two sets of heroes. Although it's great to see them clash, there's a fascinating detail hidden in the background of the mansion that reveals a lot about the history of this new world. 

In the Umbrellas' original timeline, a painting of Five (Aidan Gallagher) hangs above the fireplace which commemorates the time-traveling hero after he seemingly disappears and gets stuck in the future as a young boy. However, in the Sparrows' mansion, there's a painting of Ben Hargreeves (Justin H. Min) instead.

Although the series doesn't reveal why Ben's painting is hung up, it seems likely that it's been put up for an emotional reason — rather than glorifying him as the team leader. After all, he's Number Two of the team, answering to Marcus Hargreeves' (Justin Cornell) Number One. So it's possible that at some point in the past Ben also disappeared, or even died like his Umbrella counterpart. The Sparrows might've used the painting as a way of remembering their fallen teammate before he returned, much like Five in the main timeline.

Unfortunately the show doesn't offer any explanation behind the painting, and it could just be because he was Reginald's favorite member of the team at some point in his life. The Sparrow Ben seems particularly bitter compared to the main version, so it's not impossible that he went through a traumatic experience that changed his outlook on life as a superhero.