Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy centers on a dysfunctional family of superheroes. Every superhero needs a villain and for parts of Season 1, the Umbrella Academy’s is the Commission. But just who is this mysterious organization and what are they after?
The Commission is based on an organization from the comics called the Temps Aeternalis. Both organizations are devoted to the preservation of the time continuum. They do this by traveling through time and making “corrections” to the timeline to ensure that whatever is supposed to happen happens. It’s never made clear how they get this information. While the organization doesn’t appear to be inherently bad or evil, they aren’t very concerned about whether their actions are right or wrong as long as they do their job and protect the timeline.
In the television adaptation, the organization appears to be pretty bureaucratic. The Commission’s headquarters are located in 1955 and although they don’t seem to have powers like the Umbrella Academy, they do have some pretty advanced technology. They’re able to time travel with more accuracy than Number Five can on his own using devices that take the form of briefcases. They can also communicate with their agents in the field through a pneumatic tube system. And although it doesn’t have much to do with protecting the time continuum, they can even produce candies that embody the flavor of a particular era.
In both the source material and the adaptation, the organization recruited Number Five after he had been stranded in the post-apocalyptic future for many years. They trained him and in the comics, they also combined his DNA with that of several famous assassins and serial killers. This is how Number Five became so deadly. But Number Five left the organization when he saw an opportunity to travel back to the present and stop the apocalypse. He also defied them by not assassinating President Kennedy.
In The Umbrella Academy Season 1, the Commission serves as an antagonist to the Hargreeves family. This is because they maintain that the apocalypse that Number Five witnesses is something that has to happen. So, the Hargreeves clash frequently with the organization. Number Five destroys their headquarters but the Commission appears to bounce back by the end of Season 1. If Season 2 does follow the “Dallas” arc of the comic books, the Commission could have an even bigger role going forward.
The Commission is represented by a few characters. The first is the Handler who recruits Number Five. She’s a high ranking member of the Commission but even she has her superiors. She’s quite cunning, convincing Number Five to return to the organization in exchange for a promotion, a new body, and the opportunity to save his siblings. Unfortunately for her, this is short-lived as Number Five goes on to destroy their headquarters. He also throws a grenade at her, but this is not the end of the Handler. Instead, she meets her end at the hands of Hazel.
Hazel and Cha-Cha are the other two main characters from the Commission. The creepy-mask-wearing partners take care of the Commission’s dirty work, but they get more than they bargained for when they’re sent after Number Five. Cha-Cha is proud of the work they do and isn’t afraid to kill or torture without mercy. On the other hand, Hazel grows restless and starts to question their mission after he finds out that they’re helping to bring about the end of the world. As they track down Number Five, Hazel meets and falls in love with Agnes, who works at a doughnut shop. He goes on to betray Cha-Cha and the Commission to be with her, but as the world ends he and Agnes appear to be transported away. This hints that the Commission is still up and running as Season 1 comes to an end.
In The Umbrella Academy Season 2, the Hargreeves will try to prevent the apocalypse again. The Handler may be dead but the Commission almost certainly isn’t. Undoubtedly, they will clash with the Academy once more, whenever they’ve ended up.
Based on the Dark Horse Comics series created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher and Justin Min. Season 1 of The Umbrella Academy is currently available on Netflix and Season 2 will be released on July 31.
The Umbrella Academy Season 1 featured a few different antagonists but none as strange as the Commission. So we break down the strange organization.