The death of Marcus Hargreaves in season three proves that the number one at Umbrella Academy is always number two. Luther Hargreaves of The Umbrella Academy, played by Tom Hopper, is Sir Reginald’s first number one, but it’s not immediately clear why. While Reg’s other recruits gained cool abilities such as time travel and communicating with ghosts, Luther gained superpowers. And it would be good if he really was super strong. Alas, it’s often hard to tell if Luther has the power, or if he just ate more protein than his siblings. Despite several impressive feats scattered throughout the three seasons of Umbrella Academy, Luther makes minimal contributions during combat scenes and takes damage with surprising regularity for someone supposedly so resilient.
Aside from deeply questionable abilities, Luther (at least in the first season of Umbrella Academy) is a strikingly useless leader. Losing touch with his siblings was bad form on Number One’s part, but locking Victor up after he hurt Allison wasn’t just cruel, it had spectacular unpleasant consequences when Number Seven turned into a vengeful White Fiddle and broke free. Luther’s kinder approach could have prevented the apocalypse. Seasons 2 and 3 of Umbrella Academy redeem Luther’s character (even if his abilities remain random), but his growth is still ahead.
In the third season of Umbrella Academy, the curse number one is secretly blamed for Luther’s troubles. The Sparrow timeline introduces Marcus Hargreaves (Justin Cornwell), who is reputedly physically stronger than Luther and is a better leader. However, despite his outward superiority, Marcus proves that he is just as useless as his number one colleague by becoming the first Sparrow to die in season 3 of Umbrella Academy. This is also a miserable death. Why would anyone, let alone the leader of the Sparrow Academy, touch a glowing ball of cosmic fire with his bare hand? A beginner’s mistake. Having completely sealed Umbrella Academy’s number one curse, Luther gets his own death, which could have been avoided by falling in love with Sir Reginald’s uncharacteristic act of kindness. The 3rd season of Umbrella Academy is a bad indicator for number one, all things considered.
The third season of Umbrella Academy revealed Luther’s Weaknesses
The third season of Umbrella Academy reveals Luther’s weaknesses in two main ways—starting with Marcus. No matter how useless he is, Marcus has exactly the same superpower abilities as Luther. There’s no obvious reason why these Number Ones shouldn’t be equal, and yet Luther is completely defeated when they fight at Hargreaves Mansion. Luther’s defeat mercilessly highlights his embarrassing lack of training and field experience. Curiously, Marcus is also much more respected than Luther. Sparrow Academy is replete with strong personalities, some of whom (ahem, Ben) brazenly do their job. And yet they still look to Marcus as a leader. The Sparrows constantly report to Luther as a representative of Umbrella Academy, and each time he looks confused by the assumption that his rank really means something in this timeline.
Umbrella Academy’s journey into a parallel universe also proves that even though he found love with Sloan, Luther still values his worth through the approval of others. When Sparrow Ben offers Luther a place on their team, he is too mesmerized by the fancy suit to think about the possibility of a trick, not to mention how this news can upset his brothers and sisters. Luther’s desperation to gain an identity eventually leads to his demise, as Sir Reginald tricks him using the old hug-punch maneuver. If the Umbrella leader had thought about it, he would have realized that a person who deliberately chose a completely different group of heroes after meeting his original team in 1963 probably wouldn’t hug him out of love…