Beyond that, the show descends from its second-season cliffhanger into an increasingly convoluted world of shifting timelines, battling superteams, and existential dangers, presented with plenty of goofy humor and irreverence, but as the weird new stuff accumulates, more and more destined for what looks like a bunch of hardy loyalists with the patience to keep up.
The bewildered members of the original team essentially engage in a season-long dance with their alternate timeline siblings on a variety of fronts, including an actual dance sequence that underscores the playful tone of the movie. ’emission. Interactions range from hostility and fights to a relationship involving Luther (Tom Hopper) and a sparrow (Genesis Rodriguez), whom one of his siblings derisively calls “Gravity Barbie.”
Yet once the final plan is established, the assorted subplots produce diminishing returns, indulging in strange detours while heading for the inevitable face-to-face with the amorphous menace. Adding a whole new cast of characters is a challenge, and the series struggles with the pitfalls frequently associated with time jumping and tinkering with those outcomes and eventualities.
Without spoiling anything, the end of the third season leaves plenty of room for a fourth, which reinforces the feeling that it’s time to start planning for a proper conclusion. Because when an ambitious show like “Umbrella Academy” starts to look like its best days are behind it, well, when it rains, it pours.
The third season of “The Umbrella Academy” premieres June 22 on Netflix.