Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet finished the entirety of The Umbrella Academy Season 2. You have been warned!
Over the course of The Umbrella Academy's awesome Season 2, audiences watched as the numbered Hargreeves siblings adjusted to their sudden relocation to Dallas in the early 1960s, though not exclusively in positive ways. Diego and certain others were intent on changing history by saving John F. Kennedy from being assassinated, regardless of the nuclear aftermath, and believed that the communal father figure Reginald Hargreeves was responsible. But Umbrella Academy's finale revealed that Reginald actually wanted Kennedy to survive (which didn't happen), and then fully confirmed that the character has actually been an alien this whole time. Dun dun dun!
To be sure, Reginald Hargreeves' off-Earth origins were already well-known to fans of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá's Umbrella Academy comics, and had been strongly hinted at in the Season 1 finale. But the gloves came off in the Season 2 capper, as did the rest of Reginald's human skin, when he brutally massacred the rest of the Majestic 12 for lying about Kennedy. When CinemaBlend spoke with showrunner Steve Blackman about at last giving audiences that wild reveal, here's what he told me:
It was important for me to eventually get to that. It's something that you see in almost the first frames of the graphic novel in Volume 1. But it's also a good reveal. I know the fans of the graphic novel know that, but I don't think a lot of the new fans know that. But I had to find the right moment where it felt really organic and made sense. And you know, we found the moment, and if we're lucky enough to have a Season 3, obviously that's gonna be part of the storytelling. Who is Reginald Hargreeves? Who is he really? . . . We're really excited. To get another season would be great.
Anyone who has kept up with The Umbrella Academy's source material is well aware that Season 2 isn't a moment-by-moment retelling of the "Dallas" arc, meaning Steve Blackman and his creative team had to figure out how to introduce lots of different moments into live-action, with Reginald's alien reveal being one of the big ones. As Blackman stated, the character's alien origin is revealed rather quickly in the chaos-driven comic, but I can't imagine it would have had the same impact on the TV show had it played out the same way.
Wisely, the Netflix series gave Colm Feore's adoption-happy billionaire more narrative strands to work with before giving viewers proof of Reginald's true nature. It certainly doesn't hurt that it happens during a scene where he slaughters the conspiratorial Majestic 12 group, though viewers only got to hear that massacre, with the camera locked in on Reginald's skin mask.
Viewers almost definitely also have questions about the Reginald that the Umbrella Academy heroes reconnect with at the end of Season 2, considering he apparently built up an entirely new team of heroes as replacements, dubbed the Sparrow Academy. When I asked showrunner Steve Blackman if it was Five's time-traveling shenanigans that inevitably inspired Reginald to alter his future, he widened the scope to say it was indeed Reginald's 1963 introduction to his would-be children that caused him to veer away from that fate. In Blackman's words:
I think I would answer by saying the Tiki dinner has a lot of impact. Reginald Hargreeves meeting his family has definitely had an impact on him, without giving anything else away. Because remember, we haven't gotten to the events of 1989 yet. But he's had a chance to meet his family, and what he does with that, I think, will be interesting.
By all means, if anyone in Reginald's place had come into contact with Five and the rest of the Umbrella Academy's questionable members 26 years before their supposed adoption (which is already mysterious in nature as it is), I could easily grasp why he likely made a mental note to go a completely different route by the time 1989 came around. Granted, Reginald did still adopt Ben, who is apparently the leader of the Sparrow Academy, but it's not at all clear where the rest of his team came from, nor what this new future means for the Umbrella Academy proper.
They didn't cease to exist in the timeline Five returned them to, so Reginald apparently had something to do with what happened to the characters after their respective births. But we'll sadly have to wait until a potential third season comes around to explain it all.
The Umbrella Academy Seasons 1-2 are currently available to stream in full on Netflix, so be sure to get all of those episodes watched so that the streaming service is convinced to renew it for Season 3. And while waiting to hear good news on that front, head to our Netflix 2020 premiere schedule and our Fall 2020 TV rundown to see what new and returning shows are popping up soon.