There are some characters that, no matter how dire a situation, always manage to come out alive and kicking. These characters don’t deserve to survive, but they do. Reginald Hargreeves in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is one such person. While he is supposed to be a billionaire philanthropist, he is actually a very cold and calculating person. He adopts a group of children who are born under mysterious circumstances and uses them as pawns to get what he wants. It is his death that kickstarts the events of Season 1, and even from beyond the grave, we see the effects of his bad parenting ruining the relationships of his adoptive children.
At the end of the third season, we see him die at the hands of Alison, who had been bitterly manipulated by him. It looks like the Academy will finally be rid of him this time. But the very last scene of the season changes everything. Hargreeves is seen alive and well, with his wife by his side. So, how did he survive the ax to the head? How is he still alive? Here’s what you should know about him.
How is Reginald Hargreeves Alive?
In the second season, the Umbrella Academy travels back in time to the 60s. While trying to stop the next apocalypse, they discover that Reginald has something to do with the Kennedy assassination. In an attempt to stop it, they have a meeting with him where they tell him the truth about the future. While there are a lot of things he could have learned from this encounter, Reginald walks away with a completely different lesson.
He finds the Umbrella Academy a bunch of unruly misfits and decides to not adopt them when the time comes. Instead, he goes forward with a set of seven other children, not knowing that he had adopted Ben the first time as well. While his decision seems very loathsome, he didn’t really have the choice of adopting the other six members of the Umbrella Academy because their mothers had died before they could give birth to the superpowered children.
No matter whom he chooses to parent, the bottom line remains that he is certain to adopt seven children. The reason behind this is revealed at the end of the third season when he uses seven of them, irrespective of whether they belong to the Umbrella or the Sparrow Academy. All he needs is the golden particles that lend superpowers to the Academy members. He uses it as fuel for the machine that allows him to reset the timeline and go back to his wife, Abigail, who had died in the original timeline.
Before he can press the button that will change everything, Alison kills him. His head is split in two, which means certain death for him. However, Alison picks up where he left off and resets the timeline. She does it to go back to her own family, but it also leads to drastic changes for the rest of them, dead or alive.
When they walk out of the elevator of Hotel Obsidian, the Umbrella Academy siblings find themselves in a new timeline where they neither have injuries from the previous timeline nor do they have the powers. This complete reset of events also brings back Luther who had been killed by Reginald to motivate others to enter the tunnel that led to the pocket dimension. This means that death in the previous timeline has no meaning in this one. This also means that Reginald Hargreeves is not dead here.
While Luther remembers everything from the past timelines, it remains to be seen whether Hargreeves remembers anything as well. It could be that this new version of him, which seems even more influential in this world, doesn’t know about the Umbrella Academy because he never adopted them. In the previous timeline, he sought them out from every corner of the world, and adopted only seven, even though he could have gone for more. But because he needed the exact seven to do his job, he settled at the same number both times.
In the new timeline, however, his wife is alive, and golden particles or not, he doesn’t need superpowered children. Or, it could simply be that the Umbrella Academy didn’t receive powers in this timeline, and there is another group, perhaps a variant of the Umbrella or the Sparrow Academy, that works for Hargreeves. Whether or not he remembers the original seven, and whether or not he has a new group under his command, the fact remains that Reginald will be back in the next season to stir more trouble for the group.
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