Why Umbrella Academy Portfolios Stopped Working


Attention! Ahead of the spoilers of the third season of The Umbrella Academy.

Why don’t the Commission portfolios allow Lila and the Fifth to travel through time in the third season of Umbrella Academy? The laws of time have never mattered much at Netflix’s Umbrella Academy. Not only is Aidan Gallagher’s number five capable of jumping through the maelstrom, but every commission agent has a story at their fingertips. Unlike Five, Commission employees such as Hazel, Cha-Cha and Handler use portable devices to move between eras. Disguised as briefcases, these machines travel through time much more accurately than Five, and also allow access to the headquarters of the Commission, which exists regardless of time.

Unfortunately for our heroes, these portfolios completely stop working in season 3 of Umbrella Academy. Problems begin to arise when the briefcase that Lila retrieved from under the Berlin Wall starts to Fritz during her shopping trip. Later, in one expletive-filled street tantrum, Lila steals the Umbrella Academy briefcase from the Hargreaves Mansion, but gets exactly the same result. As the Fifth later admits, the probability that one device of the Commission will break is small; two are almost impossible. What happens to these barrier-breaking Portfolios in Season 3 Umbrella Academy? Maybe the Cugel wave just fried them all, or maybe there is a deeper explanation…

Link: Why are they called Sparrow Academy and not Umbrella Academy

Umbrella Academy has not fully disclosed how the Commission exists and why agents can travel in time, but the breakdown of the portfolio in the third season implies an essential detail — the Commission’s technology relies on an interconnected network. Thanks to the grandfather paradox caused by the presence of Umbrella Academy on the timeline where Harlan killed their mothers (and the resulting Kugelblitz), the Commission is destroyed. Being out of time means Herb and his buddies are touched before the real world, and even the Infinite Switchboard is destroyed. The portfolios of Lila and the Fifth cease to function at about the same time, which means that all the portfolios of the Commission must receive power from a central source at headquarters. Whatever this source was, it was torn apart by Kugelblitz, which made the time travel devices of Lila and the Fifth inert. It’s the same as cell phones no longer ringing because all the masts have fallen.

The third season of Umbrella Academy may secretly reveal that the central source of the Commission’s power is actually Number Five himself. In a big (though not entirely unexpected) twist, the Fifth discovers that his 100-year-old colleague founded the Commission. It goes without saying that Future Five’s superpower has always been how the Commission has traveled through time, with an Infinite Switchboard and portfolios somehow directly connected to it. The younger version of Aidan Gallagher wouldn’t be capable of such a feat (he can’t even travel through time exactly…), but the older version would have better control over these abilities. This explains why Commission portfolios are more reliable than Fifth’s jumps, and why Fifth’s own power (combined with Lila’s mimicry) successfully triggers a broken device in season 3 of Umbrella Academy. a metal camera cut off from the timeline. Perhaps the entrance to this room cut off his connection with the briefcases, and therefore they stopped working.

The 4th season of “Umbrella Academy” will not necessarily answer these lingering questions of the Commission. The organization was completely destroyed, apparently forever, since the existence outside of time means that events cannot be rewritten. Even more worryingly, Sir Reginald Hargreaves’ rewritten universe seems to have set number five on a completely different path. The 100-year-old founder of the Commission was missing a hand, and the current Fifth later gets this very injury, fighting with the guardian of Oblivion. However, as soon as Reginald reboots the universe, the Fifth’s hand is completely healed, suggesting that the sarcastic time jumper is now going a completely different way compared to the Five who founded the Commission.

This does not mean that the Fifth will not lose his arm for the second time in season 4 of Umbrella Academy, but Sir Reginald’s actions could accidentally create another paradox. If the Five fail to find a Commission one day, Umbrella Academy will never leave 1963 in the second season, the first Kugelblitz will never happen, and Reginald will remain safe under the influence of Sparrows…