Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy dropped on Netflix on July 31 and fans were finally reunited with their favorite dysfunctional family of superpowered siblings. What’s more, the Hargreeves had time-jumped to the swinging sixties, where Klaus is a cult leader, Allison’s heading the Civil Rights Movement and Vanya is living her best life on a farm with her girlfriend. And there’s an impending nuclear apocalypse, of course.
There’s no denying that the Hargreeves siblings are at their strongest when they’re all together, but Season 2 does the opposite. Our heroes are divided and paired up with new characters, resulting in surprisingly interesting and effective dynamics.
One of these new faces is Lila Pitts, introduced as a patient at the mental asylum where Diego’s confined. Played by British-Indian actor Ritu Arya, Lila is a character with big secrets and even bigger balls.
In a show about superhuman badasses, we take a look at what makes Lila’s character so remarkably memorable.
1. Saving Diego – Twice
Her first impression may be that of an erratic madcap but Lila ends up saving Diego on quite a few occasions. Tagging along during the breakout from the asylum, she helps Diego dodge the three Swedish assassins hell-bent on killing him. She also secures a getaway by committing grand theft auto like it’s no big deal.
When Diego passes out after being stabbed by his dad, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, Lila’s the one who rescues him. This happens off-camera but the showrunners made sure to include the scene, in all its gory detail, where Lila cauterizes and treats the wound in Diego’s side. Again, she doesn’t break a sweat. The woman has nerves of steel.
2. Born Lippy
In a season fraught with romantic entanglements, what made Diego and Lila’s relationship stand out was their witty banter and how well they played off of each other. Diego keeps trying to push her away but Lila latches on, hard. She may have saved Diego’s life twice but that doesn’t spare him from her savage tongue. In Episode 2: The Frankel Footage, Diego once again attempts to put her off, claiming she doesn’t know him at all. But Lila begs to differ:
“I know everything about you. You’re an open book written for very dumb children.”
This, on top of his brother Five describing him as, “Imagine Batman, then aim lower.” Ouch! Poor Diego just couldn’t catch a break this season, huh?
3. Lila is Full of Surprises
What makes Season 2 so bingeable is that it had enough twists and turns to fill a book. One of the biggest surprises comes early on, in Episode 3: The Swedish Job. It is revealed that Lila, the cheerful and chaotic hanger-on, is, in fact, a skilled assassin working for the Commission and the adoptive daughter of the Handler.
The seemingly random actions performed by the Handler over the course of the episode (visiting a pet shop, spending time leisurely at a hotel, etc.) finally make sense. They were bread crumbs left behind for her “little one” to follow so they can meet in secret.
And Lila arrives right after a hook-up with Diego, wearing a pair of red boots, a callback to her adoptive mother’s signature red heels. (But more practical for someone who has to kick butts on a daily basis.)
4. “Just follow my lead.”
Who can resist a woman that takes charge? Certainly not Diego!
Consider the dance scene at the Mexican Consulate in Episode 4: The Majestic 12. Even in a room full of people, the chemistry between Lila and Diego is crackling as they masterfully spin and dip to the music. And then Lila pulls the ultimate power move: she begins to lead. Diego resists at first and says, “I’m the man.” But Lila shushes him and soon enough, he starts enjoying himself.
Now, you can read a lot into this exchange but one thing’s for sure: Lila knew what she wanted and just went for it!
5. Taking Down the Swede
Three Swedish assassins walk into a party to murder a 13-year-old.
Having been instructed by The Handler/her mum to protect Five at all costs, Lila faces a dilemma when the Swedes attack him and Diego at the same time. But the mission comes before the man she loves, and once the decision’s made, there’s no stopping her. While Diego is getting nailed by two of the Swedes, she goes for the third who has Five cornered. Propelling herself off the walls to gain an advantage over the towering Swede, Lila chokes him with her thighs, then debilitates him by flipping the guy over her head. All while wearing a dress.
We have no choice but to stan a queen.
6. Standoff with Five
The trouble with picking a favorite moment in an episode of The Umbrella Academy is that you’re spoiled for choice. From Allison, Klaus, and Vanya cutting loose to “Twistin’ the Night Away”, to the Swedes holding a Viking funeral for their fallen brother, Episode 5: Valhalla had a fair few memorable scenes. But the show-stealer for me was the Big Fight Scene between Lila and Five. The tension between the two finally boils over into an incredibly choreographed, no-holds-barred action sequence set to a ska-punk cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”.
Lila gives Five a run for his money, somehow managing to evade him despite his deadly combat skills and ability to teleport. Five eventually bests Lila but fails to notice the foreshadowing of her powers in this face-off. Truly, poetic cinema.
7. Going Toe-to-toe with The Handler
Lila may love her adoptive mum very much but she’s not blind to her faults. Deep inside, she knows the Handler is a manipulative, power-hungry narcissist. After playing good little soldier for most of her life, Lila decides to stand up to her mother – by kidnapping Diego and recruiting him to the Commission. Um … who said anything about the end justifying the means? Certainly not me.
Like Diego points out later in the season, Lila knew that she had to keep a check on the Handler, which is why she reeled him in to help her and have her back. We’ve all seen what an expert negotiator the Handler is, but Lila holds her own against her. She’s calm, controlled, and determined to get her way … and she does!
Bonus: Lila Versus Team Zero
The most jaw-dropping twist of the season comes in the final episode, The End of Something, when it is finally revealed that Lila is one of the 43 special babies born on October 1, 1989. It quickly becomes apparent that she has a powerful ability – while the army of Commission assassins amassed by the Handler is decimated in seconds by Vanya, Lila doesn’t even bat an eyelid. She just turns around and blasts Vanya with an equally strong sonic wave, then proceeds to dispatch the rest of the siblings in a cool and efficient fashion.
She throws Luther through a wall and knocks out Five in teleportation battle 2.0. Then, in the biggest Uno Reverse card pull ever, she Rumors the breath out of Allison. Team Zero eventually catches on: Lila can imitate the powers of anyone she faces.
TL;DR: A brown woman faces down a host of “superheroes”, turns their powers against them, and manages to get away in the end. Lila is OP. Everybody liked that.