The Umbrella Academy Is Finally Returning To Netflix, See What Critics Are Saying About Season 3 And The Sparrows

Aidan Gallagher on The Umbrella Academy.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Madness is about to ensue as The Umbrella Academy returns to Netflix subscribers for a third season that sees the Hargreeves facing the consequences of their Season 2 time travels back to 1963 Dallas. Those consequences include returning “home” to an alternate universe where Reginald Hargreeves adopted the Sparrows — a new squad of super-beings (and a cube) — to call his children. Critics have had the opportunity to screen the episodes ahead of their June 22 release on Netflix, so let’s see what they said about the manic chaos promised to fans in the trailer.

It’s been almost two years since Season 2 ended with a huge cliffhanger that introduced the Sparrow Academy, who included a still-alive Ben (Justin H. Min, who’s leaning into details from the comic book for his character this season) and a telekinetic cube that has people pretty excited. Let’s jump into the reviews and see what we have to look forward to with The Umbrella Academy Season 3. Mason Downey of GameSpot says Season 3 maintains its quirky charm, but the addition of so many characters and plots may have been a little over-ambitious:

Put plainly, Umbrella Academy Season 3 has a lot going on--and while the higher concept sci-fi conceits are certainly par for the course in the show, there's more of them overlapping than ever before, and there are more characters in play to keep track of this time around, making this season feel bigger and busier than ever. Unfortunately, this new size and scale also means that Season 3 has a few too many ideas, and no real way to pay them all off.

Tom Power of TechRadar rates the new season of The Umbrella Academy with a 3 out of 5 stars, saying that he enjoys the plot twists and fun callbacks to the comics. Fans will be happy to find more of the series’ trademark wisecracks and dance numbers, and the story answers some of the mystery while leaving plenty of room for more revelations in future seasons. While the Sparrow Academy characters aren’t always used as effectively as they could be, this review says that the way they contrast the Hargreeves is “fascinating”: 

They’re presented as an intriguing foil to the Umbrellas; a far more ambitious and efficient supergroup, but one that’s largely packed with ruthless individuals constantly looking to usurp each other as the team’s de facto leader. It’s a striking contrast to the dysfunctional but more family-oriented Umbrellas, one that holds each group up as a reflection of the other in fascinating fashion.

Charles Pulliam-Moore of The Verge calls this the best season yet of the comic book-inspired series, as its ever-expanding lore and creative pacing make it worthy of the 10-hour commitment. This review also speaks to the big change that Season 3 sees for Elliot Page’s character Viktor, and it’s about more than gender:

After a lifetime of being looked at as the weakest member of the family, Viktor finally (and matter of factly) comes into his own as part of this season’s larger exploration of how transitions of power can bring out both the best and worst in people. More so than Viktor’s gender, it’s his newfound confidence in his own ability to lead and make decisions that gives his siblings pause and a renewed sense that things are changing in ways beyond their control.

Alex Stedman of IGN rates the upcoming season a “Great” 8 out of 10, saying despite the addition of more characters, The Umbrella Academy is able to tell a more intimate story in its third season, thanks to the strength of its complicated characters and excellent cast:

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 may take a few episodes to find its footing, but give it time and it eventually ends up doing what it does best: building on the character development of the Hargreeves siblings and their relationships between one another. There’s not a weak performance in the bunch, but Tom Hopper gets a little something more to work with as Luther, and Elliot Page and Emmy Raver-Lampman stand out especially in Viktor and Allison’s complicated relationships. It may initially seem less inventive and action-packed than previous seasons, but what it loses in wackiness, it gains in heart and the clarity of its message – one that resonates whether your family is screwing up the timeline or not.

Petrana Radulovic of Polygon says viewers’ enjoyment of Season 3 depends on how much they enjoy seeing characters they love keep making the same wrong decisions over and over again. It’s frustrating, this review says, but deliciously so, and while the new characters and plots are a lot to handle, the season settles in to become quite fun:

This season of The Umbrella Academy is a lot. It is so much. And yet, it’s also the same as it’s always been. There may be new characters and new places and a new world-ending catastrophe on the horizon, but at the end of the day, it is a show about a group of siblings who love each other more than anything while also being incredibly terrible to one another, because they know exactly how to break each other down.

It sounds like fans of The Umbrella Academy are going to want to check this season out, even if there are some hiccups along the way. Ahead of its release, Season 3 has garnered an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 12 critics. If you’ve been waiting two years to see the next chapter of Hargreeves adventures, your wait is almost over. The Umbrella Academy Season 3 premieres Wednesday, June 22 on Netflix, and be sure to check out what other TV shows are coming soon to Netflix

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.