[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 2 finale of Umbrella Academy, “The End of Something.”]
So, how about Emmy Raver-Lampman’s performance in Umbrella Academy Season 2? There’s a lot to love about the new season overall, and really, every Hargreeves sibling gets a quality storyline that makes an impression, but Allison’s journey is key to bringing the show well beyond sky high entertainment value, and into a zone where it’s got something important to say that can inspire growth and change.
In the latest edition of Collider Ladies Night dropping tomorrow, Raver-Lampman spoke a good deal about early inspirations, her experience on Broadway, and her journey to Netflix, but we made sure to save a chunk of time to talk Umbrella Academy Season 2 spoilers so we could really dig into what Allison experiences after time traveling with her family back to the 1960s. It’s a pretty significant storyline for Raver-Lampman, so first, I had to ask when she first found out that that was the plan for the character and how she felt about it:
“I think we all left the first season with knowing not that we were getting a second season, but knowing that if we did, Steve [Blackman], our showrunner was really interested in following the graphic novels in the sense of having Dallas be a part of it and the JFK assassination. And so for me, I just was like, ‘Great, that’s dope. However, you have now cast a black woman as Allison,’ which is amazing, but then it is impossible for us not to address the fact that if they go back to the 60s, you will be throwing Allison into the segregated south as a black woman. And that will shape, if not be, her entire storyline for the season of what that is and that is something that she will not have in common with the rest of her siblings.”
Of course, The Umbrella Academy wound up being a hit when it first dropped in 2019 and, ultimately, the team would be moving forward full steam with a second season.
“When the second season got announced and they started the writers’ room and they started writing, I think the conversation was like, ‘How far are we gonna go into this? And how is Allison gonna be involved? And how much is she gonna be involved? And what does that mean? And also, is she gonna have her powers back and if she does, is she gonna use them?’ It was a huge conversation, I know, for the writers’ room and Steve of how deep Allison was gonna be in the movement. And I think the couple conversations that him and I had about it in the beginning, I just was like, ‘I think we’re doing a huge disservice if we do not take that as an opportunity to really just have her ingratiate herself in this movement and become a part of it and take that as an opportunity for our show and for this platform that we have.”
Now that we know they seized that opportunity to the fullest in Season 2, what are the lessons Allison learned and how are they going to apply them to her journey in Season 3, and hopefully beyond? Here’s how Raver-Lampman put it:
“I think the lessons that Allison is taking away from the second season are immense. We’re seeing a really new Allison. We’re seeing an Allison that is stripped of all of her crutches and her vices. And she’s coming from a place of using her power and using them for selfish reasons and is at a real low and is riddled with regret and guilt and looking at a life that, outside of her daughter, feels meaningless and superficial. And so I think the Allison that we meet in the second season, she’s had to scale it all the way back. She doesn’t have her power, she doesn’t have her family, she doesn’t have the notoriety and the fame and the career and she doesn’t know where Claire is. Because she doesn’t have her power, she’s had to be observant and she’s had to listen and she’s had to slow things down and she’s had to approach the world in a new way on top of being in the middle of the segregated south in the middle of this movement. And I think she’s finding this new self-worth that I think is really beautiful to watch. And I think for the first time in her life, she’s looking in the mirror and actually liking that reflection because I think she knows that everything she has now, she’s worked for and she has a community that supports her and has a community that loves her and has found a man that loves her without all the things that made her lovable.”
Raver-Lampman also took a moment to further highlight one of the biggest lessons learned:
“And I think the biggest one also is that she doesn’t need her power to be powerful. And I think that is how she has approached everything in her life up until this point that she’s like, ‘I’m powerful because I have powers.’ But I think this season she’s learning the power that is in her actual voice and the message that she wants to carry and pass on and the fights that she wants to fight and whatever it is that she wants to take on, I think she’s starting to learn that she doesn’t need her powers to do that.”
Not only does Raver-Lampman hope to see Allison put those lessons to use in Season 3, but she’s also hoping that the series addresses the trauma she experienced trying to make a life for herself for three years in the 1960s:
“And so I think, going into a third season, if we did, it would be amazing to see how that manifests when they’re seemingly back in their normal timeline, if they are. And I think it would be such a disservice to not take the lessons that she’s been learning this season and translate that to another season. And also I think it would be really interesting, educational and informative for her to deal with the traumas of this past season. In her landing scene, we see her get chased by the men and run into the beauty salon and then start her journey there. But at the end of the day, for three years she is in survival mode, you know what I mean? I think for three years she is having to normalize the violence that she’s seeing in the street and normalize the ‘whites only’ signs and normalize these things that she’s coming from a place where those didn’t exist. I’m not saying she didn’t know about them and I’m not saying she didn’t face prejudice and racism and micro-aggressions. Obviously, there’s no doubt that she did, but the level of which they are at in the time that they are in has got to affect her and it is trauma and there’s going to be trauma there. And so I would love to actually explore her mental health having essentially lived through these three years. Obviously, there were beautiful moments and relationships that she’s walking away from with love and she’s this new person, but I also think she had to be strong for so long.”
If you’re looking for more from Raver-Lampman, hang tight because her full episode of Ladies Night drops right here on Collider tomorrow!