While everyone rants and raves about how awesome Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is, can we not skip over the racism and trauma? Thanks. It seems like everyone is so caught up in the action of their favorite Netflix comic series that they’re just glazing over the events they said were included so The Umbrella Academy could “discuss it”.
But no one is discussing this shit!
Not The Umbrella Academy writers, not the critics, no one! So again I ask, was the racism really needed? If we’re not going to at least talk about this, then what was the point in even including it? (Aside from – because it was in the comics, which were written years ago.)
Oh right … this wasn’t included in the comics because Allison wasn’t Black! That was added when they wrote the script for Netflix.While everyone rants and raves about how awesome Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is, can we not skip over the racism and trauma?
And while the most traumatic scene in Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy (for Black folks at least) is only 3 minutes long, it’s literally the hardest thing I’ve had to watch in a long time, and the hardest part to watch in Season 2!
Yet it doesn’t seem to have bothered folks enough for them to discuss it?
Cool, cool! Well, I’m gonna discuss it!
I touched on it a tad in my review of The Umbrella Academy Season 2, and I mentioned in this post why I think The Umbrella Academy pails in comparison to Doom Patrol (another comic series on HBO Max), but for this post, I’m going to break down the entire 3 traumatic minutes, so you can really understand why this shit is a mess.
And then … if you still don’t get why this hurts me so much, why this hurts US so much … and why scenes like these aren’t needed on-screen, then so be it. I’m not here to argue.
I was asked to point this shit out since no one else did and I’ve graciously accepted the challenge, as traumatizing as it may be for me right now as well.
Cause someone has to do it right!? Why not me!
Anywho … since I’m literally walking you through the ending of Season 2 Episode 3, there are spoilers in this post.
So it’s okay if you need to wait to read this until after you’ve watched episode 3.
Just bookmark it, or email it to yourself, whatever you need to do to remember to read it once you’ve finished episode 3.
However, with that said here’s …
The Most Traumatic Scene In The Umbrella Academy Season 2
Please Note: There are Season 2 Episode 3 spoilers below.
*** Disclaimer: Season 2 Episode 3 spoilers below. ***
The most traumatic scene in The Umbrella Academy Season 2 begins at approximately 39:21 of Episode 3.
They’re protesting …
The camera flashes to Allison and her husband Ray, inside of a restaurant that serves “whites only”.
Ray was just bailed out of jail and is currently complaining because Allison’s brother bailed him out.
The racist white server in this restaurant decides this is “his moment” and slides a steaming hot cup of coffee into Allison’s lap and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already been triggered at least 3x by just reading that.
So why is this important?
The scene you just “walked in” on is a sit-in. One of the many ways our Black family members and ancestors protested years ago to help fight segregation. Everyone bans together, picks a white establishment, and sits in seats they know are illegal to sit in. They sit and ask to be served, nothing more, nothing less.
Much like the Greensboro sit-in, in 1960, where Black students sat at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and refused to leave after being denied service.
Honestly, the only difference here is probably that this was much calmer than the sit-ins that actually occurred, and that Allison was actually in Texas.
But once they sit, police know they can’t touch them. There’s almost this unwritten code that says once everyone is seated, police aren’t allowed to move them.
I say “unwritten” because we all know very damn well that the Police can and will do whatever the f*ck they please these days so I’m pretty sure it was the same back then, but worse since there were no cell phones or live videos to capture what happens.
Anywho … the police storm in and ask Allison and everyone else to leave.
Well, it’s more like they TELL them to leave, but my point is, they don’t ever touch them or try to forcefully remove them off their seats.
Almost as if they can’t actually pull them out of the store. Which, honestly, is quite shocking since they’ve done much worse than grab someone off a damn bar stool these days.
But in this particular scene, when they storm in they don’t touch anyone.
They just scream, shout, and try to intimidate them into leaving.
So while Allison is preoccupied with her ungrateful ass husband at the moment, who’s currently whining during a f*ckng sit-in about how her brother bailed him out of jail, the server pretends he’s going to serve her and slides the hot cup of coffee into her lap because if she gets up then the police can grab her.
And of course, it works! It’s honestly a cheap shot because he knows she’s distracted. Plus the coffee is boiling hot and anyone’s first reaction would be to jump since our body is literally wired to pull away from hot things.
She jumps up in an attempt to shake some of it off, the pain, and the hot coffee, and that’s when the police grab her and things escalate.
Now before I keep going, can I just say that …
If her damn husband had just paid attention to the damn protest none of this would have happened? But here he is sounding jealous AF ’cause Allison has a ‘lost puppy’ aka brother looking for her.
Also .. I’m not sure if Ray was more annoyed at the fact that he didn’t know she had siblings, or if he was just mad because they were white and they were the ones that saved his ass.
‘Cause I can see how that would suck.
Having two random white men randomly tell you they’re related to your wife and then magically “save the day”? Yeah, that would suck! (But y’all notice they’re selling the white savior narrative here again as usual, right?)
Moving on …
Once Allison is grabbed by the police her husband immediately jumps up.
To do what? Save her, I guess? But I mean … had he just focused on one thing at a time and dealt with home issues at home they wouldn’t have been in this situation, to begin with, because she wouldn’t have been distracted. But whatever! He’s not the real problem right, racism is. So let me stop blaming his ass.
But when he gets up the cops slam him to a table and beat him with a baton.
The beatings are on his back, similar to how they whipped slaves.
And now I remember why this season made me so angry in the first place! Just thinking about this makes me angry! It also makes me wanna cry and honestly THIS is why Season 2 needed a trigger warning! (And why the racism just wasn’t f*cking necessary, to begin with.)
However, while this is happening, the police come in for the others that are sitting and scream “hands up”.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong but cops normally scream “hands up” when someone has done something wrong right? Why do people who are peacefully protesting while sitting with no damn weapons need to put their hands up?
There are no weapons, they aren’t armed, but oh right, they’re Black!
And all Black people, including the ones peacefully protesting, are dangerous and armed at all times right?
Sorry, I forgot! I forgot that the color of my skin was an actual weapon.
And just like that everyone puts their hands up and they’re handcuffed.
Meanwhile, Allison’s friend, the salon owner, is screaming for the police to let her go and another woman, sorry let me say that again, another BLACK WOMAN runs over, grabs the cops, and pulls them off of her.
Let that sink in.
Another Black woman …
Risked her life …
To save another Black woman.
WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE MEN!?
You know I’m mad if I start writing curse words correctly.
But seriously, where are they?!
Oh right … the men are the ones sitting they asses down while all hell breaks loose, watching the shit go down, and just willfully being arrested.
That’s cool …
So I guess Black men don’t ever protect Black women, huh?
Nope, every man for themselves I guess. But yet, Black women can still be brave enough to put their hands on a cop to save a friend!
I don’t know if I should be mad at the men in this show for not getting up and helping or at the people who wrote this shit and sold us this narrative!
‘Cause I don’t think I know a Black man who would watch a Black woman get slammed to the table and sit there and not do shit!
I don’t even know a Black BOY who would do that, let alone a whole man. But here comes these white folks selling us the “Black men ain’t shit” narrative again.
And I mean, I’m a Black woman, I know some of them ain’t shit, but during segregation, men just sat there and watched shit happen while their women were mistreated?
Yeah, I can’t see that happening.
Maybe someone who wasn’t apart of the protest would walk away so he doesn’t get involved, but these men were already involved.
Good job though, y’all almost had me there for a second! *whew* Almost!
Now back to the story …
Yeah, we’re not done yet! And remember, this all happens within 3 minutes! Son!
This has to be the longest 3 minutes of my life!
Anywho … Ray gets dragged outside by the cops and now that Allison is finally freed, she runs out after them.
Now let’s pause here again for a moment, to note that they’re gassing peaceful protesters.
Ain’t shit changed apparently! *sigh*
So the cops start punching Ray in his face and then they beat him again with the baton. (Because you know, doing that the first time in this scene didn’t get the slave owners point across so we had to see it again.)
But this time, Allison has had enough! She can’t watch them beat her husband to death. So she finally gives in and uses her powers.
But 2 things to note here …
- She uses her powers, but only makes the cop walk away.
- She had to save her husband!
Yet again we’re being fed the “Black men ain’t shit” narrative, and that for the day to be saved Black women have to take matters into their own hands and save Black men. It’s never the other way around right! (Unless Tyler Perry is telling the story, but y’all know how that goes.)
It’s no wonder women are so damn independent these days. Even our entertainment tells us that we have to stand up and take control! Every movie and TV show we watch screams that for us to be happy, we have to save the day. *rolls eyes*
However, I’m impressed by Allison’s restraint.
How’d she have so much damn control over herself and her powers after watching the cops beat her husband to only make this cop walk away is beyond my comprehension? Like sis that’s ALL you asked for?
I don’t know if the writers wanted her to appear weak or if she was struggling and too traumatized and just needed him to stop.
Although this would have been a great moment to sell us the angry Black woman narrative, right?
I mean, what’s one more negative stereotype amongst friends? *rolls eyes* (So I guess I should be happy they didn’t take that route.)
But I find it so hard to believe that any Black woman with powers, even the best of them, would watch their husband be beaten like a slave for doing nothing other than being Black and sitting in a restaurant, to finally expose herself and only make his abuser walk away. But maybe that’s just the angry Black woman in me talking.
Yet how does this man repay her?
Does he say “thank you for saving my life”? “Thank you for making him stop?”
All he can think about and muster out his dusty mouth is “what did you say to him”! ‘Cause what could a Black woman say to a white man that would make him stop? *smh*
He ain’t glad he alive! He ain’t glad his wife saved him! He just wanna know WTF she said?
Like now is not the f*cking time for this sir! Be grateful and ask her this shit later! When you’re at home, safe. Sis just risked her life! Her entire being! For YOU! And all you wanna know is WTF she said? Ugh!
It’s the same shit that happens when a man finds out his woman is cheating. What’s the first thing he asks? Does he ask why she did it? Where they went wrong? Nope!
He asks her who was it! All that’s important to simple-minded men is who she f*cked! Was it someone she knew, is it someone she loves, or is it a total stranger?
The why never matters.
Male egos are so frail that instead of being grateful for getting out of jail and for being alive Ray worries about who helped him get out and how it happened.
A man wrote this script huh? ‘Cause a woman would never!
Now even though she saved his life, he looks at her differently.
He wants nothing to do with her!
Imagine saving your husband’s life and having him hate you for it!
And to drive this story home, Allison just stands there screaming, begging for him to come back! Inhaling all this gas, struggling to breathe, coughing and choking, but still screaming for her husband to come back!
The man who just walked away from the woman who saved his ungrateful ass. Yet, it’s the same brother who bails his ass out who has to save her.
Should I sit here and talk about the problem this also causes, as we watch her white brother come to her rescue as her Black HUSBAND walks away from her?
No right! ‘Cause I’m pretty sure you’ve already noticed that right. *sigh*
Yup, that’s finally it!
This scene ends at approximately 42:01.
Only 3 minutes of your time, but so damn traumatic and problematic that it’s …
Enough to make you wanna quit watching this shit right here and then, afraid to keep watching to see what may happen next.
And honestly, had I not been reviewing this I would have probably quit this show right after the cops started beating Ray. It’s a f*cking lot!
For most people, this is just a story.
But sadly for me, for US, this isn’t JUST a story! This happened! And it still happens!
It’s still happening right now!
So excuse TF outta me if I don’t wanna see the shit I see on the news in my f*cking entertainment! Black lives aren’t just for f*cking entertainment!
We aren’t just some characters on a page!
And listen! Don’t get this shit twisted. Just because a show shows us racism doesn’t mean they’re discussing it or combatting it.
Here’s an example of what combatting and discussing Black issues should look like on-screen: How Doom Patrol Discusses Black Issues While The Umbrella Academy Aimlessly Highlights Them
So where’s the discussion Umbrella Academy?
The “oh Alison wasn’t even Black in the comic, she was white” argument is also problematic.
‘Cause I’m not convinced they made Allison Black for all the right reasons!
I love that she’s Black. Yes.
But I can’t be excited when it feels like they made her Black so they could shove racism down our throats and traumatize us over and over.
There are way too many shows out there that are doing an amazing job at discussing Black issues for me to sit here and pat The Umbrella Academy on it’s back for this shit.
And don’t sit here and act like I don’t like this show and I’m just hating. I’m not. If this was a discussion and not just a pony display of racial tension and discrimination and so forth, I would be writing a very different post today.
But we gotta do better! It’s 2020! I don’t care if this was written years ago! I don’t care if the shit was already written. Y’all can rewrite.
Or better yet just hire Black folks to be apart of your writing teams and behind the scenes crew so they can tell you when shit is about to go sideways.
‘Cause I like this series but I’m not gonna sit here for another season and watch this shit if we don’t change the narrative!
And honestly … this is the only reason people keep writing this narrative!
People … WE, keep watching it!
If we stopped watching it and made them think about what they were creating and how it affects us then maybe things would actually change. But then again … this wasn’t created for us remember! Alison wasn’t even actually black. They just made her Black so she could fill the diversity quota so we would STFU about needing to see more Black faces in media!
But I’m done. I rest my case.
Let me go back to binge-watching Free Rein on Netflix. Which is actually good by the way. Although there are a few things I need to call out in that show as well! Ugh.
I guess my job is never ever gonna be done. But at least I can wash the racism and trauma out my brain for a few minutes and just enjoy watching a Black girl love on her black horse.
So let me go do that.
You can let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts above in the comments below. Or you can completely ignore this and pretend we didn’t have this discussion.
It’s up to you!