The Umbrella Academy (created by Jeremy Slater) Episodes 2 to 5 [7/10]

Doesn’t the world shine more brightly with imaginative tales like “The Umbrella Academy” out there? I rated the first episode highly and went into the next four episodes expecting the earth. And the freshness of the concept, the sparkling acting (if in the first episode I was drawn to Tom Hopper, Ellen Page and Aidan Gallagher, over these four hours I grew to admire Robert Sheehan as dissolute Klaus, David Castaneda as blade-throwing Diego, and Cameron Britton as jaded enforcer Hazel), the lush props, and the brilliant orchestration of action, all of these were admirable. Yet I couldn’t help but shake my head as the plot veered from crazy-neat to plodding and back again. By Episode 5, I queried my commitment, but that episode corrects course and offers intriguing developments in the offing. So … I’ve been tested over the season’s opening half but remain optimistic that the concept’s fresh premise and filmic chops will bear fruit over the second half.

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