Umbrella Academy Sparrow Team

‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3: Mid-Credit Scene Explained

***SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses the season 3 finale of The Umbrella Academy.***

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Season three of Netflix’s superhero dramedy The Umbrella Academy didn’t disappoint, with enough twists and turns and deaths and rebirths to send our heads spinning. This season saw the Hargreeves siblings return to an altered 2019, where Sir Reginald has recruited an alternate team of six superpowered orphans, dubbed the Sparrow Academy. The Umbrellas and the Sparrows start fighting, but eventually the lines of communication open and the dueling sibling teams begin to form connections. And like all dysfunctional families, there is plenty of inter-group drama. Some, like Luther (Tom Hopper) and Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez) fall in love and get married. Others continue to fight and bicker. But the main connective thread between the Umbrella and the Sparrows is Ben (Justin H. Min).

In season one, Ben aka Number Six is the deceased member of the Umbrellas whose ghost regularly appears to Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and can sometimes inhabit his body. Season 2 finds Ben saving the world, as he enters Vanya’s traumatized mind and helps avert an explosive apocalypse. His efforts cause a second, permanent death for Ben, who departs for the afterlife. But Ben isn’t gone for long: in season 3, the Umbrellas discover that an Alternate Ben is a member of the Sparrows, where he is known as Number Two. Although Alternate Ben is more of a dick, he still possesses the same powers in this universe.

Season three sees Alt Ben trying to find kinship within the Umbrellas, and especially Klaus, but his self defense mechanisms keep him from being able to truly connect. All the siblings team up to storm the Hotel Oblivion in the finale, a dimensional portal that contains the reset button to the universe. The reset button sucks the powers from the siblings to power itself as Reginald plans to reprogram the universe. The siblings almost die, but Allison kills Reginald and slams the reset button, saving their lives. The siblings wake up to find themselves alive and intact, but missing their powers. Reginald Hargreeves is alive and a business magnate, alongside his now-living wife Abigail.

Okay, so what about the mid-credits scene?

The scene finds Ben reading a book aboard a train bound for Yeouido Station in South Korea. Next to Ben is a QR code sticker that leads to a website named Pogo’s Tattoo Shop, where viewers can see and download tattoo designs inspired by the show. The scene is a mirror of the season 3 opener, where we se a young schoolgirl (presumably Ben’s mother) instantly become pregnant and give birth on the train in 1989. The big question is: which version of Ben is on the train? Is it Umbrella Ben, Sparrow Ben, or an all new version of Ben?

In an interview with TV Guide, Min says “When I filmed that scene, I was given no information about what we were filming, what it would be used for, … And when I saw it in the post-credits scene, I was as shocked as everyone.” Showrunner  Steve Blackman had a more specific explanation, saying “I can only tell you that is the Sparrow Ben you met in Season 3,” he said of the post-credits scene. “It’s not ghost Ben, it’s not a Ben from that Umbrella timeline. It’s the Ben that we met this season, it’s that Ben on the train.”

While season 4 of the series has yet to be greenlit, Blackman said that he would envision season four as the final season of the series. “I think if we got to season four,” he told The Wrap, “it would be a great ending for the run of the show. I’m not saying I couldn’t do more, but you know, I think that would be very satisfying for the audience, four seasons.” 

The Umbrella Academy seasons 1-3 are now streaming on Netflix.

(via The Wrap, featured image: Netflix)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.