The Umbrella Academy season 3 is streaming now on Netflix and, although the latest installment doesn’t involve as much time-hopping as previous seasons, the timeline is still a bit of a tricky one to wrap your head around. While the action is situated firmly in the present day (unlike season 2, which took place in the ’60s), there are still flashbacks aplenty, and several years past are very significant to the plot.
We’ve tried to make things a bit simpler by identifying every year that’d significant in the new season and put them in chronological order, breaking down the key events that happen in each. Hopefully, this will clear up any queries you might have after finishing up the latest run of the Hargreeves’ misadventures.
There are major spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 3 ahead, so look away now if you haven’t watched all 10 of the new episodes.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 timeline, explained
We discover that family patriarch Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) built the Hotel Obsidian, where the Umbrella Academy are hiding out in season 3, back in 1918. In a flashback at the start of episode 8, we see him assessing the land on which the hotel was eventually built, seeking out the portal to alternate dimension Oblivion with a telescope-type contraption. Once the hotel has been opened, he sends a group of armed soldiers through the tunnel to Oblivion, but none of them make it back alive.
The Commission’s headquarters are situated in the ’50s, and 1953 is the year in which Lila (Ritu Arya) briefly visits them at the start of episode 7. At a loss at what to do after the death of her adopted mother, the Handler (Kate Walsh), at the end of season 2, she ends up traveling back to West Berlin in 1989.
After the Hargreeves are transported back to Dallas at different points of the early ’60s in season 2, 1963 is the year in which they all manage to reconvene. This is the year in which the world is meant to end, which the siblings manage to stop before traveling back to the present day.
This is the year the Hargreeves – and all the other superpowered children – were born. On October 1, 1989, 43 women across the world gave birth, despite not being pregnant when they woke up that morning. Each of the 43 children born on that day has superpowers. We know the identities of 14 of these children – the Umbrellas, the Sparrows, and Lila – but the remaining 29 remain a mystery. For now, at least.
1989 is also the year that Lila travels back to when she arrives in West Berlin at the beginning of episode 7.
A flashback at the start of episode 6 takes us back to 2014. Pogo (voiced by Adam Godley) is facilitating a training session for the Sparrows, which sees them fight each other in pairs. When a showdown between Ben (Justin H. Min) and Jayme (Cazzie David) goes slightly too far, Pogo insists that they stop. Reginald, however, orders them to continue. When Pogo challenges him on this afterward, Reginald orders him to leave the Sparrow Academy. This is why, five years later in 2019, Five (Aidan Gallagher) finds Pogo working as a tattoo artist instead.
Luther (Tom Hopper) arrives on the moon in 2015 after being sent there on a mission by Reginald, which we see a flashback to at the start of episode 9. The specific year is never specified on the show, but we know he spent four years there before returning for Reginald’s funeral in 2019. As to why Luther went to the moon, he discovers in season 1 that his father never read any of the reports he sent back and the mission was merely to keep him out of the way.
2019 is the present day, when the bulk of season 3’s action takes place. Flashbacks aside, Five and Lila are the only characters who do any time traveling this season, to an unspecified post-apocalyptic future where they encounter an elderly version of Five at the Commission.
For more on the Hargreeves, check out our guides to the Umbrella Academy season 3 ending explained, The Umbrella Academy season 3 post-credits scene, and who is Harlan Cooper in The Umbrella Academy, as well as everything we know about a potential The Umbrella Academy season 4.