The Umbrella Academy season 1, episode 2 recap: Run Boy Run


Five continues his mission alone on The Umbrella Academy.

“Run Boy Run” gives us more insight about who Five is as a person and what has shaped him during his time away from the family. The Umbrella Academy shines with Aidan Gallagher at the center, his scenes injecting both humor and darkness into the series. We know he’s here to stop the apocalypse, but it turns out things aren’t that simple.

This episode opens up with a flashback to the day Five decided to jump forward. Every morning, Reginald eats breakfast with his seven children. However, the kids are not allowed to speak during the meal but are allowed to do whatever else they’d like. Luther and Allison spend the time shooting shy glances at one another, Klaus is rolling a joint, Ben is reading a book, Vanya is doing what she can to make herself small, and Five is seething.

Jamming his knife into the table, Five demands an audience with his father. Reginald regards him as a petulant child and shoots down his request to travel through time. Five thinks he’s ready because he’s gotten a decent hold on his spatial jumps. Naturally, Reginald disagrees because he thinks time-travel has too much of an effect on the mind and Five wouldn’t be able to cope. Angry at his father’s refusal and lack of an explanation, he runs out of the house.

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Prepared to prove his father wrong, Five begins jumping forward in time every couple of years. Unfortunately, he winds up jumping into the apocalypse. He runs back to the Academy but finds the building absolutely destroyed. Since he isn’t able to get his powers to work, it looks like he’s stuck in this time period for a while.

Back in the present time, Vanya is struggling to accept what Five is warning her about. She thinks it’s possible he’s gone insane because Reginald did warn him of the effects of time-travel. He’s annoyed by her accusations but eventually, the two siblings make up. She’s terrified of losing her and thanks to the flashback, we can see Five is the only one who actually acknowledges Vanya as a sibling. In fact, in the apocalypse, she was the first one who Five called out for. Vanya invites Five to spend the night, but he sneaks out after looking at a fake eyeball.

He heads to MeniTech, the place where the eyeball was allegedly manufactured. At first, Five pretends to be a caring child, just looking for the owner so he could return it. However, the scientist in charge refuses to hand out that information. Five immediately transforms to his usual self and threatens to throw the guy through a wall if he doesn’t help out. With security on the way, Five is forced to leave and figure out a new plan.

Five recruits Klaus for some help with the promise of twenty bucks. Klaus needs the money to fuel his drug addiction and to get out of the house since Pogo is on his back. Apparently, the notebook and papers that Klaus had tossed from Reginald’s ornate box were actually valuable. Nevertheless, the two brothers take off after Five convince Vanya he’s fine, and head back to MeniTech. Klaus pretends to be Five’s father but still, the scientist isn’t ready to play ball. Instead, Klaus takes a different route. He punches Five in the face and smashes an ice globe on his own head and threatens to blame the assault on the scientist.

Truly terrified by these two crazy people, the scientist finally hands over the information. It turns out, the eye hasn’t even ben manufactured yet much less sold. With another dead end, Five heads outside defeated. Out there, Klaus suggests his brother needs to get laid so he can stop being so grumpy. The Umbrella Academy does bring up a depressing aspect to Five’s life: he’ll never be able to find a normal love. He looks like a thirteen-year-old but is actually fifty-eight, which means he can’t have a relationship with someone physically his age or someone mentally his age. Luckily, Five reveals he was in a thirty-year relationship with a woman named Delores in the future!

Who is Delores exactly? Five heads to Gimble’s a department store where she “works”. Turns out, Delores is a female mannequin at the store. It’s hilarious to watch Five carry on a serious conversation with a mannequin but also incredibly dark. He was trapped in the future, alone, for so long and this was the only company he’s ever known. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway, he needed to find something to interact with just to stay sane.

Throughout this episode of The Umbrella Academy, we also meet assassins, Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige). The time-traveling killers don creepy children’s masks and find unique ways to torture anyone. They head to the mechanic’s shop and torture the man there for information about Five. The guy dies a painful death but at least they’re sent in the direction of the department store for Five.

In an epic fight scene, the two match up against the boy, much to his surprise. He’s able to hold his own, especially because he seemed like he was expecting them to arrive eventually. After the shootout, Five somehow manages to save Delores and get away but the police are hot on the trail of all three. Detective Patch (Ashley Madekwe) has a history with Diego and doesn’t seem to like his vigilante ways. Taking his advice from early in the episode she swings by the mechanic’s to find the man dead.

The Umbrella Academy keeps Vanya in her own storyline for the most part. She gets in a fight with Allison and winds up fleeing back to her apartment. There, she meets Leonard (John Magaro), her latest music student. He’s charming and manages to make Vanya feel like she’s the most talented person in the room. He asks her to come to visit his woodshop some time, which she makes a noncommital answer to but we doubt we’re seeing the last of him.

While we don’t get to see Allison’s powers that much, The Umbrella Academy gives her a unique perspective over the others. As the only mother, she has a different outlook on their childhood. We see her beg with her husband for the ability to talk to her daughter, Claire, but for some reason is denied. We don’t know what happened there yet but it’s bound to be a plotline throughout this season. When Pogo lets her look at the old surveillance tapes of the kids, which is a bit creepy but Allison views as nostalgic, she notices how excluded Vanya was. Allison thinks if anyone had ever isolated Claire that way she would be horrified. Realizing how terrible all of the siblings were to Vanya, Allison has a renewed sense of dedication to repairing that relationship.

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Finally, The Umbrella Academy leaves things off with another cliffhanger. It turns out when Five returned to the Academy in the future, he found the bodies of Luther, Allison, Klaus, and Diego. Luther is clutching the fake eyeball, which is why Five is so desperate to find the owner. If he can prevent the apocalypse than he can save his family’s lives. However, it’s important to note, we don’t see Vanya anywhere on the scene which does leave her fate open-ended at the moment.

What did you think of this episode? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!