One big mystery from Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy involves the billionaire eccentric dad, Reginald Hargreeves. We never see him exhibit any kind of strange powers. But there’s a prologue right before the final episode of Season 1 that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s led fans to wonder if Reginald isn’t at all that he appears.
This post has major spoilers for the finale scene involving Reginald Hargreeves.
In that scene, we see Reginald in a flashback, years earlier. The caption simply reads: “Long Ago…”
His wife is dying and he brings her a violin. She says he should take the violin and give it someone who will love the violin as much as she did. He ultimately lets Vanya have the violin, many years later.
What’s interesting about this scene is how much emotion Reginald has. He loves his wife desperately. This is a type of emotion we never see in all the flashbacks with his children.
When Reginald looks outside, we see a field with farming robots and rockets taking off. This is obviously not Earth, as this type of technology didn’t exist during that period of time in Earth’s history. He’s either in the future or somewhere else. (But considering that Five is trying to stop an apocalypse on Earth, he’s likely not on Earth’s future unless it’s in a parallel universe of some sort.)
We also see Reginald carrying some kind of jar filled with glowing lights, which escape like pixie dust into the sky as he looks out the window onto the fields. It’s unclear what this means. Is this dust a magical power of some sort that allows him to travel to Earth? Is this what caused all those women to give birth unexpectedly?
The second theory isn’t likely. When Reginald arrives on Earth, it’s 1928. The women don’t give birth until 1989.
The years do tell us that Reginald is aging much slower than a human would.
We also learn that when Reginald arrives at his destination in the United States, it’s via a ship called Hargreeves, which he named himself after. So he went through the Immigration Bureau when he arrived. This likely wasn’t his first arrival on Earth, I would guess.
This is the only hint that the TV series gives us about Reginald. He’s either from another planet or another time period. Rockets were taking off and ferrying people away from his planet. Either that was pretty common for his world, or they were leaving before some kind of apocalypse.
He did say to his wife (or lover): “I can’t leave you, there must be another way.” And she said, “There isn’t. I will die here, but you won’t. I won’t allow it. The world needs you, Reggie.”
Perhaps Reginald was so obsessed with finding the children because their powers could somehow save his planet. Or maybe because their powers were from his world. I’m going to guess the latter, because through all those years it appears he never made much of an effort to bring them in on his past life.
Also, notice that his wife says “the world needs you.” She must be talking about their world, but Reginald never brings the children in on a plan to save their world. This might lend itself to a theory that Reginald is from Earth, just a different time period or a parallel version.
The comics do provide an explanation for Reginald, although it’s not apparent if this will be used in the TV series. Read on for a spoiler from the comic series.
In the comics, Reginald is revealed to be an alien. Not much else is said about his origins. It’s said that he’s a world-renowned scientist and entrepreneur who invented the “televator,” the “levitator,” the “mobile umbrella communicator” and “clever crisp cereal.” It also notes that he worked in the “cerebral advancement of the chimpanzee.” The comics say that he set out with his bodyguard aboard his private vessel, “rumoured to be powered by the remains of King Amen-Kharej IV (an Egyptian monarch.)”
In the comics, he removes his mask and there’s a caption that reads “space alien,” but his true form isn’t shown. This obviously isn’t being repeated in the TV series, since he and his wife spoke in their true form, and they look exactly like humans.
So there are some divergences between the comics and the series. But it’s likely, however, that Reginald remains an alien, just like in the comics.
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