Could the Sparrow Academy’s Ben Hargreeves switch sides in The Umbrella Academy season 3? When Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy begins, the seven-sibling team are one member light due to the death of Number 6 several years prior. Taking cues from the source material by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, Ben Hargreeves perished under mysterious circumstances, and the story deliberately dances around this issue, leaving fans none the wiser. Thanks to the clairvoyant abilities of Klaus, however, Ben lives on as a ghost, haunting his drunk brother from beyond the grave.
Played by Justin H. Min, Ben Hargreeves finally manifests into physical form in The Umbrella Academy season 1’s finale, before sacrificing himself for Vanya in the following season. Despite losing Ben, the Umbrella kids gained a bunch more siblings in the closing moments of season 2, thanks to the dramatic reveal of the Sparrow Academy.
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As a result of their meddling in the 1960s, Reginald Hargreeves selected an entirely different crop of superhero babies and opted for a bird-base team name instead of the usual “Umbrella” moniker. This Sparrow Academy are far more obedient and, crucially, count a still-alive Ben among their ranks. The Umbrella Academy season 3 looks set to pit the regular Hargreeves siblings against their Sparrow counterparts – but could Ben end up replacing the original group’s dead character?
The Sparrow Academy Will (Probably) Be Erased
For Sparrow Ben to join the Umbrella Academy, something must happen to the rest of his alternate timeline team and, sure enough, evidence suggests the Sparrow kids could be erased by the end of season 3. The Umbrella Academy‘s time travel mechanics appear to be linear and changeable, meaning the Hargreeves siblings can dip into the 1960s, change things around, then return to the present day to see the result of their actions. There’s no multiverse with varying realities and no “what happened, happened” rule, and this means the Umbrella Academy have no choice but to fix their mess.
As the situation stands in The Umbrella Academy season 3, the Hargreeves siblings aren’t living in Reginald’s mansion, meaning alternate versions of Luther, Allison, Klaus, etc. are somewhere out there, having experienced completely different, non-superhero lives. To avoid creating a paradox where multiple iterations of the same grown-up 1989 babies roam freely, the only option is for the Umbrellas to return to 1963 and undo whatever damage was caused, meaning the Sparrows are effectively scrubbed from existence. The Commission will no doubt also be keen to restore the natural flow of time, since that’s their whole reason for existing.
A key fan theory from The Umbrella Academy season 2 supports the idea that the timelines will be fixed, and the Sparrows wiped from memory. When the gang visit their adopted father in the 1960s, Luther suffers a bout of flatulence in the elevator. Farting is, of course, a symptom of getting too close to yourself during time travel, which suggests another version of Luther was somewhere nearby during this scene, attempting to right the wrongs of season 2 à la Back To The Future.
Ben Still Needs A Presence In The Show
By this point, Justin H. Min’s Ben Hargreeves is a key figure in The Umbrella Academy, but the original character is now properly deceased. As revealed in The Umbrella Academy season 2, Ben haunted Klaus because he was afraid to move on into the afterlife, but as Vanya threatened to trigger the apocalypse (again), only a ghost could get close enough to talk Elliot Page’s character down. The ghost of Ben narrowly thwarted another world-ending disaster, but at the cost of his corporeal existence.
Despite the death of his initial character, Justin H. Min will continue to be a presence in The Umbrella Academy season 3 thanks to the Sparrows, but what comes next? After the Sparrow Academy are dealt with and the timeline is fixed, it’s hard to imagine the Hargreeves siblings existing as a 6-piece into the future, and keeping Sparrow Ben on a permanent basis is the perfect solution. Min would remain a member of The Umbrella Academy‘s cast, but possess a completely revamped personality and character. It’s a trick the Arrowverse has used to great effect, and would allow the Hargreeves siblings to remain whole – without retconning Ben’s noble sacrifice in season 2.
Sparrow Ben Could Join The Umbrella Academy By Accident
If Sparrow Ben joins the Umbrella Academy, how would the transition work? Based purely on rumors, hints and speculation, The Umbrella Academy will most likely involve the Hargreeves siblings retreading their steps in the 1960s to undo the damage caused in season 2. Since this would mean erasing the Sparrow Academy from history, Reginald’s other superhero team will probably be looking to stop them every step of the way, fighting for their own right to exist. When the moment of truth comes and the timeline is eventually reestablished, Ben may accidentally find himself on the wrong side of the divide, perhaps still trying to tussle with the Umbrellas, even though the rest of the Sparrows have accepted their fate, and making contact with his enemies’ Commission briefcase.
And since the original Ben is dead, there’s no risk of a paradox. In the regular timeline, the other members of the Sparrow Academy were never adopted by Reginald Hargreeves and, presumably, went on to live ordinary lives elsewhere. Were any of those Sparrows to follow the Umbrella Academy back through to the restored 2019, they’d be trouble, but Ben can cross over without ripping a whole in the time-space continuum.
Ben joining the Hargreeves family by accident would set up a refreshing dynamic between the main cast ahead of The Umbrella Academy season 4. Luther, Five, and the rest wouldn’t trust Sparrow Ben, and might even view him as an insult to the brother they once knew. By the same token, Sparrow Ben will resent the Umbrella “a**holes” for vanquishing the rest of his family (even if they had no choice). Watching the two sides gradually learn to trust each and work together until Sparrow Ben is a valued member of the Umbrella Academy would make a fascinating arc for season 4.
The Umbrella Academy Still Hasn’t Addressed Ben’s Death
As sure as the sun rises in the east and Number Five drinks copious amounts of coffee, the biggest mystery in The Umbrella Academy is still how Ben died. Season 3 may be too tied up with timeline shenanigans to explore this meaty topic, but bringing Sparrow Ben into the prime timeline would be the perfect device to finally address the lingering question in The Umbrella Academy season 4. The alternate, living Ben would naturally be curious as to his counterpart’s fate, asking exactly the same questions the audience have been over the past two seasons. As Ben ponders what happened to himself in the Umbrella Academy’s reality, the other Hargreeves siblings would be cautions not to let history repeat itself. The living presence of another Ben in their lives (one that they all can see) will spark memories, conversations and arguments, and it’ll be virtually impossible for the show to avoid addressing how Ben died.
Bringing the Sparrow Academy’s Ben Hargreeves into the main group will obviously require a spot of quantum gymnastics to pull off convincingly, but with The Umbrella Academy already veering towards a “timeline correction” plot in season 3, and plenty of exciting story possibilities to be gained, the opportunity is surely too good to ignore.
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