Wouldn’t it be nice to kill who you want for a change, not who the Commission tells us to?”
That’s, hopefully, not something most of us can relate to, but the context it’s presented in during Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” is something we likely all feel.
For those unaware of it, “The Umbrella Academy” is something of a dark superhero story which follows seven siblings trained from birth to save the world by an emotionally distant adoptive father.
I maintain somebody could teach a film class on this series.
While certainly each character has their own message — some as simple as “don’t lock your son in a mausoleum” — I want to focus today on one of the side characters.
On top of trying to stop the apocalypse, the character Five has a previous employer dedicated to maintaining the timeline and they aren’t fans of what he’s doing.
Which is where the assassins Hazel and Cha Cha come in. Honestly, I’ve watched this a couple times and I’m still debating some on Cha Cha’s character arc. Maybe we’ll get to see her again at some point.
However, I want to talk about Hazel. As I said, he’s an assassin, with a love for food and a bad wrist.
He and Cha Cha have been doing this for an undisclosed amount of time, but they’ve killed dozens, if not hundreds of people.
From when we first meet them, Hazel is complaining about their jobs. Everything from needing to carry a heavy briefcase at all times to sharing a hotel room.
On this assignment, he meets Agnes.
She runs a doughnut shop and enjoys bird watching.
The show toes a careful line to not put too much attention on their growing relationship, but it isn’t ignored either.
Hazel is tired of being a cog in the machine of The Commission, just doing what he’s told and thinking he should be satisfied with it.
This isn’t a new issue. We learn later on that during an earlier mission he let somebody go and claimed it was to “make it more exciting.”
Hazel shows us that no matter what your job is, no matter how good you are at it, you’re going to get tired.
He wants a simple life with Agnes, traveling, visiting bird sanctuaries and just seeing what else there is in the world.
He’s ready to make his own decisions in life and so he does.
That’s what matters. Hazel has found somebody who makes him happy just by existing and these things he never seemed interested in before are now thrilling because he gets to see how much they mean to her.
In a story of abuse, hero complexes, fight scenes and psychological issues, Hazel has the most realistic story. It’s one of hope and love and a desire for a peaceful life.
Michael Shine is a contributing writer for the Daily American Republic.