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The Temps Commission Detail Umbrella Academy Fans Can't Help But Love

If audiences have learned anything from "The Umbrella Academy," it is that there sure are a lot of rules to this time travel thing. This is perfectly demonstrated in Season 1 when Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) reunites with his super-abled siblings via time travel only to have his body be rewound to that of his adolescent self. There surely are consequences and there is only one company to make sure those consequences are met. Aptly named The Temps Commission, these antagonistic bureaucrats are out to get Five who betrayed their mission to uphold the flow of time.

Five's former employer The Handler (Kate Walsh) is particularly not pleased to let go of Five so easily. Armed with a disregard for all human life as well as a killer wardrobe, The Handler is the main face of the corporation who makes saving the world infinitely harder than it has to be. Fully in support of the impending Apocalypse, The Temps Commission is one of the ultimate villains of the series. But somehow, fans still find a way to love them.

The Temps Commission is just like any other corporate office

The world of "The Umbrella Academy" is full of vibrant flair but no character is quite so vibrant as The Handler. A character who could very easily appear as an outrageous caricature, The Handler is instead a layered foe. In Season 2, she is also part of a specific commentary on American culture that hits close to home. After The Handler's mishandling of the Hargreeves situation at the end of "The Umbrella Academy" Season 1, The Temps Commission and her fishbowl-headed boss A.J. Carmichael are none too pleased with her performance. Her punishment is about the worst thing a corporate drone could think of: demotion. 

Devastated, The Handler states that she "took a bullet in the head for this company" to which Carmichael glibly replies: "And we thank you for your service." Redditors couldn't help but notice that this was a particularly nuanced observation on American culture in the workforce. "Umbrella Academy stays proving points on corporate companies," posted u/genabug325. Many other Reddit users went into further detail about what made this moment so significant. It's not just about tongue-in-cheek humor.

"[The corporate aspect is] such a strange dichotomy," noted u/CaptainKies. "You have the brutality at the core of their cause (assassinations and killings) mixed with traditional corporate riff raff like 401ks and performance reviews." The Netflix series brilliantly weaves together escapist circumstances with real-world emotions, and it isn't the only show doing it, either.

Severance has become the ultimate indictment of the corporate structure

For as long as serialized television has existed, social commentary has always been a prominent feature of the art form. This is especially true of today's streaming options. Amazon's "The Boys" satirizes superhero culture while Netflix's "Squid Game" throws audiences into a violently anti-capitalist world. But when it comes to shining a light on toxic corporations, Apple TV+'s "Severance" stands out. It is a unique spin on sci-fi, inspired by creator Dan Erickson's experience in an office job.

"I caught myself wishing I could just disassociate from the next eight hours," Erickson relayed to Inverse. "It occurred to me that that's a messed up thing to wish for." And that is exactly what the workers at Lumon Industries do. Mark S. (Adam Scott) takes a severed job so he won't have to experience the loss of his wife for eight hours a day. Some may take that deal since when you're at home, you have no memory of work. But the flip side shows that those on the inside only ever experience work, existing in a strange purgatory of constantly being at your job. This opens up many critiques of work-life balance and the practices that companies use to retain their employees.

"It is about these workers who decided to have some agency over what they're doing and question the corporate structure," stated Ben Stiller, who directed several episodes of "Severance." Evidently, Mark and his team's fight against their corporate overlords hits right at home for a lot of viewers (via Rotten Tomatoes).