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Umbrella Academy Review – Racism, Rebels and Reveals (2 x 03)

The implications surrounding Lila, and her relation to the Handler is a mystery that's sure to be intriguing as it unravels this season.
Lila (Ritu Arya) is revealed to be the Handler's daughter in episode 203 of Umbrella Academy. / image from Netflix



In episode 203 of Umbrella Academy,  “The Swedish Job,” Alison leads a sit-in to protest racial injustice, Klaus becomes a cult leader, and The Handler’s daughter is revealed to be Lila.

During episode 2, the Handler was revived from the brink of death, while Diego is fatally wounded by Reginald Hargreeves. This episode begins with Diego being nursed back to health by Lila, and in a game-changing plot twist at the end of the episode, she’s revealed to be the daughter of the Handler – whom she’s actively involved with.

The Handler has followed the Hargreeves in 1963 and hides in a secret base of operations with a pet store as a front. The implications of her presence at the same time and place as the Hargreeves siblings suggests that she has new machinations that will probably mean bad news.

As if that doesn’t complicate things enough, Diego decides to sleep with Lila, albeit in an awkwardly funny sex scene where Elliott, who’s in the other room, pretends to be oblivious.

Klaus Started A Cult

In the opening montage sequence of the episode, Klaus is shown to become a messianic figure for a cult he hilariously calls “Destiny’s Children.”

For the past two years, Klaus traveled to Mexico, India, and San Francisco to spread his message, which he mostly made up as he went. But his status proves useful as he’s managed to survive and bide his time to eventually encounter his siblings whom he thought were all dead.

Alison manages to find Klaus in his mansion where the two reunite joyously and have a great dialogue, the highlight of which was as follows:

“You started a cult,” Alison says.

To which Klaus replied, “We prefer to call it an alternative spiritual community.”

The two share a laugh, and after realizing that Klaus met Alison’s husband Ray when he was incarcerated, he vows to free him.

He does so by using Ben to scare the police into releasing Ray by haunting the station. (Apparently, that’s what it takes to combat police injustice.)

Also in the episode, Klaus tries to convince a younger Dave, the Vietnam veteran he fell in love with in season 1, not to sign up for the military in order to save his life.

Alison Leads A Civil Rights Protest

Alison convinces the rest of the civil rights activist group she’s involved in to go through the sit-in protests despite the absence of Ray, who was wrongfully jailed – he eventually joins the protest after being freed by Klaus.

Alison has a powerful dialogue that empowers the discouraged civil rights activists when they begin to have doubts and fears about their plans to protest.

Their protest, of course, causes chaos at the local diner where they organized the sit-in, which is underscored by the racism and police brutality against African-Americans during those times.

The scene shows disturbing and sickening acts of prejudice by the local population, and it’s an intense scene to watch that’s apropos to the racial tensions happening in the country.

Eventually, Alison is forced to use her powers to save his husband, who was getting beaten with a baton by a Caucasian policeman. Ray, however, is shocked as to why a white officer would ever listen to a black woman and runs away confused and frightened.

Earlier in the episode, Alison revealed to Klaus that she has not used her powers since arriving in 1961 because of the incident with Vanya, who slit her throat and rendered Alison incapable of speaking for a year.

So using it in a desperate situation definitely caused her some emotional turmoil as well.

Other Noteworthy Events:

  • Vanya is hunted down by The Swedes but manages to fend them off by instinctively using her powers. As a result of the power surge, Five was able to locate Vanya and informs her of her forgotten past, and the current situation they must deal with regarding the coming apocalypse.
  • Luther tracks Alison’s home address with the help of Jack Ruby, but only finds Ray at home. He’s saddened to find out that Alison has been married for a year, and he hilariously eats the box of chocolates he brought as a gift for Alison. Emotionally distraught, Luther later lets his opponent in the underground fighting ring to knock him out, so he can “feel all the pain.”
  • The show depicts a gripping scene with Harlan, the autistic mute son of Sissy, throwing a tantrum where he bites his mother.

Verdict: 9.5 / 10

The most political episode of the season yet, the racial undertones of the show reach an apex in this episode, and it’s a beautifully weaved sequence of events that delivers a powerful albeit uncomfortable reminder of our country’s problematic past. Even so, Umbrella Academy retains the humor within the chaos and simultaneously sets up intriguing storylines to follow while delivering an important message about social change.

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Lorenz Bacani is a pop-culture enthusiast who's trying to watch as many good comic-book movies and TV shows as superhumanly possible. He received a bachelor's degree in Journalism and New Media at California Baptist University. Wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled in some photography (mostly for Instagram purposes). He is probably currently binge-watching an old TV show for nostalgia.


‘Berlin’ Is the ‘Money Heist’ Spinoff We Never Knew We Needed



'Berlin' Is the 'Money Heist' Spinoff We Never Knew We Needed

Berlin is the Money Heist spinoff we never knew we needed… but we’re so glad it’s almost here. 

Since Berlin (Pedro González Alonso) was hands-down the most captivating (and problematic) character in the Spanish heist drama, fans always wanted to get to know more of him, especially after he sacrificed himself in the season 1 finale for his team, largely due to his terminal illness, redeeming himself in the process.

Quickly rising the ranks as a fan-favorite, the writers kept Berlin’s spirit alive in the following seasons via flashbacks, noting that he always had a hand in the planning of the heists, even if he wasn’t around to see them through. And it became more and more clear that there was an unsatiable thirst from audiences to explore additional parts of the character’s origin story; thus, a prequel to Money Heist focusing solely on Berlin’s prior escapades only made sense. 

Related: Kiernan Shipka’s New Slasher Comedy Is Your Fall Must-Watch

As seen in the later season of Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, Berlin garnered even more intrigue when his son, Rafael (Patrick Criado) joined the heist. The former Electronics Engineer from MIT is Berlin’s prodigal son, whose only request was not to end up a thief like his father, also drew attention after entering a relationship with his father’s wife, Tatiana. It’s a lot to unpack, clearly, but it’s also proof that there was nothing boring or mediocre about Berlin’s life in the slightest, at any point. 

So, again, it warrants a spinoff that digs even deeper into this complex, charismatic, and morally questionable character we’ve all come to love. 

When he joined the Professor’s group in the series, he was already one of the most seasoned robbers of the bunch, having a plethora of experience mapping out and executing heists of ranging scales.

Also Read: ‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ Is The CW’s Most Promising New Show—And It Stars Chad Michael Murray

With Berlin: Money Heist, we’re not only going to get to see one of those previous heists in action, but we’re also going to get a sense of the man he was before attempting the biggest heist in history, which made him the beloved criminal we’ve come to know.  

Capitalizing on the love already established for the series—one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time—the prequel finds Berlin, in all his glory as Andrés de Fonollosa, the mastermind behind a heist targeting the biggest auction house in Paris to steal €44 million.

The series trails the planning of a new heist as he recruits his crew: “Michelle Jenner (Isabel) plays Keila, an eminence in electronic engineering; Tristán Ulloa (Fariña) goes into the skin of Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant; Begoña Vargas (Welcome to Eden) plays Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge; Julio Peña Fernández (Through My Window) brings to life Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire; and Joel Sánchez plays Bruce, the relentless man of action in the gang.”

While it’s mostly an all-new cast, we’ll see a few familiar faces with Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituno) appearing at some point, though it’s unclear what their connection is to the storyline. Is it possible that their paths have always crossed and Berlin was always on their radar way prior to the action at the Royal Mint?

We may not be getting the version of Berlin from the original series, but don’t fret, as the teaser trailer evidenced, he’s still as ruthless, dapper, and flirtatious as ever, meaning that they really did this character–and prequel—justice. The fact that it hails from the original showrunner, Alex Pina, is also a sign that it won’t let the fandom down.

“It’s a trip through the golden age of the character, when he robbed around Europe crazy in love,” Pina previously told TUDUM, adding, “That’s the most surprising, the comedy. You’re going to make people laugh a lot.”

Berlin in his prime, in love, and flexing his comedic bone? As the beloved criminal says in the trailer, “it’s all the things worth living for.”

The full synopsis for the series reads:

“There are only two things that are sure to turn a bad day into a great one: love, and a payday worth millions. They’re what keep Berlin going through his golden years, a time when he still has no inkling of his illness and hasn’t gotten trapped like a rat in the Spanish Mint. This is where he starts preparing one of his most extraordinary heists: making jewels worth 44 million disappear like some sort of magic trick. To do it, he’ll enlist the help of one of the three gangs he’s ever stolen with.” 

Watch the Berlin trailer below:

Berlin arrives a few days prior to New Year’s Eve on Dec. 29, 2023, which means you’ll have plenty of time to binge watch while counting down to 2024.

To prepare, you can stream Money Heist on Netflix and read our coverage here. 

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Who Is Mel’s Father in ‘Virgin River’?



Virgin River Season 5 Premiere Episode 1 Review Second Chance

Virgin River Season 5 concluded with a tiny time jump four months into the future, bringing the timeline into the Christmas holiday season. 

Disclaimer — this post includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.

On Virgin River Season 5 Episode 10, as Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson) decorated their cabin in anticipation of Joey’s arrival with the kids for their first-ever Virgin River Christmas, Mel received quite a shocking piece of information. 

Her sister informed her that she found a stack of love letters between Mel’s mother and a mystery man in Virgin River that she believed could be Mel’s real father. 

And this obviously lends itself to the question—who is the secret admirer?

There aren’t that many elderly men in Virgin River aside from Doc (Tim Matheson), and it would be next-level if he had another secret child in addition to Ryan, Denny’s late father. Though wouldn’t it be funny if Mel thought she just escaped to this random small town only to learn that it wasn’t random at all and she’d been working with her dad this whole time?

Aside from Doc, there’s really only Nick (Keith MacKechnie), Bert (Trevor Lerner), and Charlie (Patrick Keating), that we are familiar with, anyway. 

Naturally, there are probably plenty of residents that audiences have never met (and they have to keep us on our toes and think of new directions for the storyline), and it’s possible her dad isn’t even alive anymore.

It would be extremely fitting if it was Lilly’s late husband, Buck, making Mel sisters with Ava, and Tara. Considering her strong bond with that family, her sisterly relationship with Ava, her love baby Chloe, and how drawn she is to that farm, this would be such a sweet twist. Mel always had a soft spot for Lilly as well, so this would be a unique way to keep her memory alive. 

Mel’s father will be the major storyline addressed in the two bonus holiday episodes dropping in November, as the trailer revealed Mel starting the search for her biological dad before informing Jack shortly after that they found him, with Preacher noting that he’s “still in Virgin River.”

The way he says it makes it seem like he’s still alive, which limits the possibilities even more. Who do you think it is?


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Either way, Mel actually has roots in this small town that’s always felt like home. 

Will There Be a Season 6 of ‘Virgin River’? And If So, When?

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‘Riverdale’ Season 7 Hits Netflix—Stream It Now



Riverdale’s seventh and final season is now available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.! 

Merely a week after the long-running CW series aired its final episode ever, the streaming giant has added the series in its entirety.

All the episodes are available for fans all over the world to binge-watch on September 1, and going into a long weekend, that gives you plenty of time to catch up on all the shenanigans happening in the Town with Pep. 

Riverdale Season 7 Hits Netflix

Credit: Netflix

Many fans weren’t interested in the weekly release model as it wasn’t ideal having to wait for new episodes to drop every week, but having them available all at once on Netflix allows you to catch up with ease. 

And if you’ve never seen Riverdale and are curious about all the nutty twists and turns that eventually get all of our characters to—spoiler—the 1950s, well, all seven seasons are on the streamer for your viewing pleasure. 

You can rewatch those previous seasons and relive the series in all its glory (including anything you may have missed/forgotten about), or you can just tune in for the final season—it’s up to you! 

As mentioned before, the final season hit the reset button of sorts as Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica (Camilla Mendes), along with many of their loved ones and friends, went back in time to 1955 and found themselves reliving their high school days all over again. 

Of course, as you rewatch any and all episodes, you can read all our reviews of the series that we’ve covered since its inception in 2017! 

Enjoy your Labor Day travels to Riverdale—just remember that before it was redubbed the “Town With Pep” it was known as “Murder Town of the World.” You’ve been warned. 

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