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The Umbrella Academy’s Robert Sheehan On Klaus’ Hilariously Brutal Power Trip, And What He’s Really Hoping For In Season 4

Klaus shirt open on a bench in The Umbrella Academy
(Image credit: Netflix)

Throughout pretty much the entirety of The Umbrella Academy’s third apocalyptic season on Netflix, viewers watched as a paradox-spawned kugelblitz essentially ate up the entire universe, save for the Hotel Obsidian, its superpowered inhabitants, and its alt-dimensional hallway to the Hotel Oblivion. All that destruction seemed to have been retconned by the finale’s end, though it came at the cost of the Hargreeves siblings (with the continuity-reversing Sparrow Ben and nude brawler extraordinaire Lila included) all losing their superpowers. It was a bummer for everyone, but perhaps especially for Robert Sheehan’s Klaus, who’d only just figured out how to willfully put his death-reversing powers to work.

As viewers will likely remember, Episode 7 featured a madcap sequence in which Klaus perfected his resurrection abilities through being fatally struck by speeding vehicles over and over again. When Robert Sheehan and Tom Hopper spoke with CinemaBlend and other press about The Umbrella Academy Season 3, I asked for the Irish actor’s thoughts on the particularly painful and Looney Tunes-esque manner in which Reginald Hargreeves essentially forced Klaus to evolve his power set. In his words:

Well, you know, physical pain...maybe [showrunner] Steve Blackman is a bit medieval in his thinking, because it's like Klaus has to go through this agonizing physical trial to sort of discover something within himself. And because he's a sadist who, I think, enjoys American culture, he decided to put that trial on a highway with old buses and trucks and cars from the '70s smashing me to and fro. But you know, it was great fun. Yeah, it was great fun. Nice to get 'Cat’s in the Cradle' as well.

At that point in his answer, Tom Hopper spoke up and agreed that it was a cool needle drop for the scene, and the two actors then began singing the chorus to the Harry Chapin classic, and it was as magnificent as it sounds. But I digress. 

Klaus with palm outstretched in The Umbrella Academy Season 3 finale

(Image credit: Netflix)

Thankfully, Klaus was able to utilize his newly conquered power set to return to the living after Reginald had left him for dead outside of the hotel-connecting hallway. But that modicum of success was short-lived (pun slightly intended), since the Hargreeves clan all seemingly lost their powers after Allison hit the big red button in Reginald’s ship.

In the Season 3 finale’s last group scene, ahead of the mid-credits bits, Luther went off to somehow try and find Sloane, despite not knowing anything about where she might be. At which point Klaus felt the responsibility to follow him, since Luther had only just previously been resurrected himself for the first time. When I asked Robert Sheehan for his thoughts on that ending, and what he hoped would happen with Klaus in a potential fourth season, here’s how he answered: 

Oh, I suppose I was always secretly looking forward to a possible time when the Umbrella team were stripped of their powers, you know, stripped of their super flaws. So I was very pleased. It's the ideal sort of fish-out-of-water plot, isn't it? When you set up these adults who, since the age of almost dotage, they've been made to be superheroes and do all that business and be very capable and do that stuff. So the most interesting theatrical idea is to sort of subvert that notion, and so stripped them of all that, and see what they are without it. I really hope that without it, Klaus is an absolute gibbering mess. That's what I'd like to see. Just completely incapable of being a normal person. That's really all I want. That will keep me very entertained for another season's worth of this show. And after that, who knows? Who knows what the bells and whistles will look like on that?

As it turns out, Robert Sheehan had long been curious about what these Hargreeves kids would be like without the powers that dictated their life paths, so he’s fully down with the idea of Klaus and the rest being “normal” people for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if Klaus once again found himself the unwitting leader of a loyal following (cough-cult-cough), even though I doubt the writers will repeat themselves in that respect. 

Granted, Umbrella Academy fans probably don’t expect for the group to go powerless for the entirety of the fourth season, especially since showrunner Steve Blackman has stated that the show could fittingly conclude with Season 4, should the renewal happen. (And it likely will, considering it ruled Netflix’s Top 10 TV list for the entire span between Stranger Things’ first Season 4 drop and when the final two episodes were released.) Whichever way it goes, at least fans can still definitely look forward to the upcoming fourth comic arc from creators Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, who worked with Blackman to help keep things connected to, but still distinct from, the source material. 

The Umbrella Academy (opens in new tab)’s three seasons can all be streamed in their entirety with a Netflix subscription.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.