WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 1, streaming now on Netflix.
In its first season, Netflix's The Umbrella Academy takes a deep dive into the psyches of the dysfunctional family of superheroes trained by Sir Reginald Hargreeves to some day stop the apocalypse. Decades later, the estranged siblings are reunited by the mysterious death of their adoptive father, which reopens old wounds, and places their idiosyncrasies on full display. But amid the accusations, recriminations and occasional blows, the series premiere presents a moment of vulnerability and joy that very well could be the best dance sequence we've ever seen on television.
About midway through "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals," five of the seven adult Hargreeves sibling find themselves together in their childhood home for the first time in years. Retreating to separate corners of the the vast home most of them tried for so long to escape, they're solemnly absorbed in their own thoughts. That is until a song from their shared youth, Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now," begins to filter through the cavernous mansion.
The dance sequence begins with perhaps the last character you'd expect, the stiff and serious Luther, aka Number One (Tom Hopper), who puts on the record in his old bedroom. Then, one by one, his other sibling are from their solitude by the familiar tune; it's infectious.
Luther breaks out some silly moves, reflecting that he just yearns to cut loose and perhaps experience what was denied him as a child. The rebellious Diego (David Castañeda) closes the doors to the library to ensure his privacy, then shows his moves aren't limited to fighting. Ever the performer, Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) throws herself into her dance number. The drug-addled Klaus (Robert Sheehan) holds the urn containing Sir Reginald ashes as he glides around the kitchen. And the self-conscious Vanya (Ellen Page) breaks into a dance so stiff that it telegraphs her lack of confidence. And yet, each sibling's routine complements the others so well.
It's a moment of levity, sure, but the scene also adds another layer to each of these characters; through their dancing, we get to know the Hargreeves children a little better.
We've seen epic dance sequences in shows like Glee, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends and even The Big Bang Theory, but this wasn't something expected from the members of the Umbrella Academy. You can see the actors enjoying themselves, with the magic of the moment captured in that glorious doll house shot.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Umbrella Academy Season 1 stars Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige, Tom Hopper, Cameron Britton, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Adam Godley, Aidan Gallagher, David Castañeda, John Magaro, Ashley Madekwe and Colm Feore.