The Umbrella Academy season 3 brought the whole gang back together, including Elliot Page’s Number Seven, and the series managed a perfect portrayal.
Warning: Contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season 3.
Elliot Page’s transition between The Umbrella Academy seasons 2 and 3 put the show in a rare position, but the series balanced Viktor Hargreeves’ transition perfectly. With The Umbrella Academy season 2 having released in July 2020, there has been plenty of time for the world to change in the intervening years before The Umbrella Academy season 3 released. One of those things was that Elliot Page came out as non-binary and now uses he / they pronouns, and for a while it was unclear how this would affect his character in The Umbrella Academy.
Elliot Page’s The Umbrella Academy character, Number Seven, was always ostracized by the family to some extent after Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), fearing their power, had them locked away in the basement until making Seven believe that he had no powers. After finding love in The Umbrella Academy season 2 with Sissy, Seven returned to the future and realized that he needed to accept himself for who he was. This led to Page’s character coming out to the rest of his family after getting a haircut, announcing that he now goes by Viktor and uses he / him pronouns.
Theories abounded about how The Umbrella Academy season 3 would handle Elliot Page’s transition and it seemed that there were risks that the show might either ignore it entirely or might make it an unwieldy major plot point. The former of these might have been invalidating of Elliot Page’s gender, while the latter would have risked making trans identities seem all-consuming of a character’s identity and narrative. However, The Umbrella Academy manages to walk a perfect line between these two. Viktor Hargreeves’ realization about his gender is a major moment for him that ties naturally to his pre-established story. When Viktor comes out to his siblings he is clearly unsure about how the news will be received, but each of them is supportive in their own style. It remains a key aspect of Viktor’s interactions with others throughout The Umbrella Academy season 3, but it is only a fraction of his larger character arc.
One potential criticism of the portrayal of Elliot Page’s Viktor Hargreeves transition is that it is too universally positive and in some ways appears easy. The Umbrella Academy potentially minimizes the struggles that trans people face with attaining proper medical care if they choose to pursue a medical transition, and all of Viktor’s siblings seem to be welcoming and accepting after the briefest of pauses. However, it is worth noting that Klaus slips up and deadnames Viktor when talking about his past actions to Reginald (a common slip-up) and Luther is notably weird about Viktor’s transition at first. Ultimately, though, the positive depiction of a transition experience works for the show and is uplifting in its vision of perhaps how family should actually respond to someone coming out.
Not only does The Umbrella Academy nicely balance between acknowledging the importance of Viktor Hargreeves’ transition and not letting it define his character, the series shows an aspect of transition that is too often ignored in media. Some of the most important moments of The Umbrella Academy season 3 come in small moments for Viktor. First, when talking to Allison about how he feels in his body and looking in the mirror, Viktor is clearly experiencing a moment of gender euphoria. Another similar moment happens between Viktor and Luther as Luther asks his brother to be his best man for his strange end-of-the-world wedding.
While it might have been easy for The Umbrella Academy season 3 to have stumbled in its portrayal of Viktor Hargreeves’ transition, it really stuck the landing. This might be reasonably attributed to those behind the portrayal of the character. Gerard Way, who wrote the The Umbrella Academy graphic novels and created the character of Number Sever, supported the introduction of Viktor Hargreeves whole-heartedly, and Elliot Page themselves seems unlikely to have entertained a production that did not provide a positive and authentic image of trans experience.
Next: Every Song In The Umbrella Academy Season 3
The Umbrella Academy season 3 is now available on Netflix.
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