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Recap / The Umbrella Academy (2019) S01E06

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Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

"Who the hell is Harold Jenkins?"
Diego
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"The Day that Wasn't" is the sixth episode of The Umbrella Academy's first season.

Luther convenes the siblings to discuss the impending apocalypse, but Klaus, Diego, and Allison are reluctant to step up. Vanya, who walks in on the meeting after having spent the night at Leonard's, assumes she has been intentionally excluded and storms off. After realizing that Reginald never looked at the correspondence Luther sent from the moon, Luther is shaken, and spends a heartfelt afternoon and evening with Allison.

Cha-Cha is ordered to terminate Hazel while Five arrives at the Commission for his first assignment as a case manager. The Handler gets in the way of his attempts to find out more about the apocalypse. Klaus enlists Diego's help in staying sober enough to contact Dave. Meanwhile, Vanya finds her father's notebook in Leonard's things and learns that Reginald was suppressing her powers, while Diego accompanies a revived Grace to the park. Following an altercation with the Handler, Five jumps back in time to Luther's meeting earlier that day. He orders his siblings to get their act together, convinced that protecting a man named Harold Jenkins is the key to allowing the apocalypse to happen.

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Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: At the forest, when Cha-Cha has Hazel at gunpoint, there is a gunshot on the soundtrack and a Smash to Black. In the next scene there is a Reveal Shot showing that Hazel is alive and kicking.
  • Blanket Fort: Young Allison and Luther have one on the rooftop of the academy.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Dave, after getting shot in the chest.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Wall of Weapons in the Handler's office gets some focus when Five first arrives. He then uses them against her when he escapes from the Commission.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Hazel and Cha-Cha get separate orders to kill each other.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Most of what happens in this episode is reset by Five escaping from the Commission directly into the middle of the emergency meeting happening earlier in the episode.
  • Dance of Romance: Luther and Allison share one in a fantasy sequence set to "Dancing in the Moonlight".
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  • Deadly Euphemism: The Handler explains that the case managers decide if people have to be "removed from the equation" for events to unfold as they should.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Cha-Cha destroys the note that orders her to kill Hazel by burning it. Well, or so it seems.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Dave dies in Klaus's arms in the trenches.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: When the Handler discovers what Five is up to, she tries to shoot him in the tube room, but Five uses his powers to dodge every shot. When the Handler can finally get a clear shot at him, it turns out she already used up her last bullet.
  • Endless Corridor: The room at the Commission's headquarters where the case managers sit doesn't seem to have an end.
  • Get Out!: Luther has a breakdown and shouts at Pogo to leave the room after learning that his four-year-mission on the moon was for nothing.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In an attempt to get sober, Klaus has Diego tie him to a chair. It seems to have worked as he's able to summon Dave, although the longterm effects of this attempt are unknown since Five retcons the event out of existence.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Before the day resets, a rebuild Grace takes Diego to the park, away from Pogo's watchful gaze and confesses to him the circumstances beyond Reginald's death.
  • Groin Attack: Diego kicks Klaus in the nuts when the latter doesn't want to sit down on the chair.
  • Historical In-Joke: Five is put in charge of the Hindenburg disaster, while other agents are working on other such events like the Lusitania and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Five tells the Handler that he couldn't find Gloria, the latter makes noises from behind her desk.
  • The Lost Lenore: Dave, Klaus's squadmate and lover in Vietnam, exists for Klaus to mourn him.
  • Ms. Exposition: The Handler explains how the Commission works to Five.
  • Never Recycle a Room: A flashback shows how Luther and Allison once sneaked out of their rooms at night to play in a secluded section of the Academy, where they had set up a tent and brought snacks. They got caught in the act by Sir Reginald who forbade them from ever coming to the room again. In the present day, Allison, in an attempt to cheer up Luther, takes him back to this room, and everything is still exactly how they left it all those years ago. Even the snacks are still there, though they've gone bad by now.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Vanya spent the night at Leonard's and was neither present nor reachable by phone when Luther called an emergency meeting. She was happily coming to the Academy to invite her family to her concert as First Chair, at Leonard's encouragement. They both overhear what sounds like a serious family meeting. This doesn't stop her from thinking she was intentionally excluded and lecturing Allison on how unfair it is to be her sister. It doesn't help that Luther implies that the apocalypse doesn't concern her, and Allison says she'll fill in Vanya later, which makes her feel like a second thought.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Luthor's 4-year-long mission to the moon was purely meant to make him feel useful after the accident. The data, samples, and correspondence he sent to Reginald was tossed into a trapdoor in the latter's study, all completely unopened.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Can be heard when Reginald Hargreeves finds young Allison and Luther on the rooftop.
  • Reset Button: Five time travels back to the morning, negating the events of this episode.
  • The Reveal: Reginald was suppressing Vanya's powers and using medication to do the trick.
  • Sticky Fingers: Leonard steals some action figures from the Academy.
  • The Story That Never Was: As lampshaded by the episode's title, Five's actions in the climax undo everything that happened this episode (aside from the events at the Commissions HQ since it's in a different time period).
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Five's impulsiveness. It's highly implied that the Handler would have let him fulfill his contract, as they agreed, and he could have played The Long Game to stop the apocalypse in at least one timeline. He ends up breaking a few rules on his first day, steals a file, and gets shot by the Handler for his troubles. Oh, and he ends up resetting the day for his siblings right as they all make some important revelations and reach epiphanies.
  • Stun Guns: Five uses a taser to knock out Gloria for minutes, so he could send out his orders for Hazel and Cha-Cha.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Thanks to Five resetting the day, this happens twice.
    • Klaus finally sees his dead lover, and is overjoyed. He did it!
    • After they dance in the moonlight, Allison invites Luther to come with her to Los Angeles, and they can spend their last few days on Earth together as she reconnects with Claire. He agrees, and they prepare to go to the airport.
  • You Remind Me of X: The Handler tells Five that he reminds her of her when she was younger.

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