Umbrella Academy is full of different characters that are all unique in their own way, and that means that they also have their own flaws. Even the supporting characters are also quite unique. This includes Harlan Cooper, who made his debut in season 2 of Umbrella Academy but made his return in season 3 but in a totally different way. But who is Harlan Cooper in Umbrella Academy?
Harlan Cooper was a young boy that Viktor met when he was still Vanya in the 1960s. He was the son of Sissy and Carl. After Harlan accidentally drowned, Viktor saved the young boy and ended up giving him powers. He was the one who accidentally triggered the Grandfather Paradox in season 3.
Despite the fact that he is a supporting character, Harlan Cooper plays a huge role in the development of the story in season 3. His role in season 2 wasn’t too big, but he was still important enough that he allowed season 3 to progress its storyline. Now, with that said, let’s get to know Harlan Cooper a bit more.
Who Is Harlan Cooper In Umbrella Academy?
Umbrella Academy may revolve around the members of the aforementioned superhero group, but this is a series that includes a lot of interesting characters that have played their own parts in the progression of the series. We did meet the Sparrow Academy at the end of season 2 when the Umbrella Academy children ended up traveling to an alternate timeline. But before they traveled to that timeline, they got to meet an interesting character named Harlan Cooper.
Going back to the events of season 1, we saw that Number Five used his powers to bring the Umbrella Academy children back in time to the 60s, although they arrived in that decade at different times. Vanya, who was the one responsible for triggering the apocalypse in season 1, landed on a farm in the Dallas area. She was accidentally hit by a couple named Sissy and Carl as they raised her back to health.
Harlan Cooper was actually the son of this couple, as Vanya bonded with him while he was staying over with Sissy and Carl. It was also during her stay with the Cooper family that allowed Vanya to realize who she truly was. She fell in love with Sissy as she eventually came out male and became Viktor in season 3. Nevertheless, Viktor, who was still Vanya in season 2, was responsible for a big change in Harlan’s life.
He may have seemed like an ordinary kid, but Harlan was a non-verbal autistic child. However, during a debate between Viktor and Sissy, Harlan ran from their home and went to the lake, where he accidentally drowned. But Viktor was there to save him from drowning and administered CPR to rescue him from certain death.
However, it was through CPR that Viktor accidentally transferred some of the particles that allowed her to have powers. In that regard, Harlan ended up developing some of the powers that Viktor had. But Harlan seemed like he was more powerful than Viktor, and the worst part was that he couldn’t control his powers.
After the Umbrella Academy fought the Commission, Viktor tried taking back Harlan’s powers as he was seemingly returned to a regular child. However, when the Umbrella Academy left the timeline, it was clear that Harlan still had his powers because he was floating a toy with his hand.
In that regard, while Harlan had powers that were similar to Viktor’s, he could also telekinetically move things with his mind. In season 3, it was also revealed that his connection with the other gifted characters was so strong that he could connect with their brains and hear their vibrations and resonations from hundreds of miles away. Harlan, in fact, was able to find Viktor in season 3 when he felt his resonance.
What Happened To Harlan In Season 3?
The ending of season 2 allowed us to see the Umbrella Academy returning to 2019 but ended up in an alternate timeline where the Umbrella Academy didn’t exist. Instead, the Sparrow Academy took their place as Reginald Hargreeves made sure to avoid adopting the Umbrella Academy children after seeing how messed up they were back when they met in 1963.
With the Umbrella Academy ousted out of their home, they had to settle in the Hotel Obsidian without realizing that the universe was now ending because a phenomenon known as the Grandfather Paradox was triggered. This paradox basically messes the entire universe up when someone goes back to the past to kill his own grandfather, which will result in a never-ending paradox where someone who shouldn’t exist managed to kill an ancestor in the past.
This paradox was triggered when the mothers of the Umbrella Academy kids all died at the exact same time and before they even gave birth to them in that timeline. That means that they shouldn’t exist in that timeline, and that was what triggered kugelblitz, which started swallowing the entire universe due to the paradox that occurred.
Going back to Harlan, the Sparrow Academy went to the Hotel Obsidian in an attempt to get their brother Marcus back, who they didn’t know had already been absorbed by the kugelblitz. They attacked the Umbrella Academy and were about to kill them until an old man came to their rescue. This old man exhibited the same powers as Viktor and was able to kill two of the Sparrow Academy members in a single attack.
Viktor was able to recognize this old man as Harlan, who was now right around his 70s. The Sparrows tried to bargain with the Umbrella Academy to bring them Harlan as a peace offering. But Viktor and Allison took off with the old man.
Before that, Viktor actually discovered that it was Harlan who accidentally killed all of their mothers and triggered the Grandfather Paradox. This happened when Sissy died in 1989 as Viktor’s sadness triggered his powers and ended up causing an aneurism in the mothers of the Umbrella Academy children because of his mental connection with them. He basically accidentally triggered the end of the universe.
Viktor was able to successfully absorb Harlan’s powers back into her to leave the old man without his powers because he never wanted his powers from the very beginning. He later confessed to Allison about what he did with their mothers, and that fueled her anger because it was the paradox that prevented her daughter from ever existing in that timeline. That was when she killed Harlan and gave his body to the Sparrows. It was also Harlan’s death that ruined the relationship between Viktor and Allison.
Who Plays Harlan Cooper in Umbrella Academy?
The young Harlan Cooper was played by Justin Paul Kelly, who has seen his fair share of productions at such a young age. He has appeared in Paw Patrol as Chase and the animated TV show Esme & Roy.
Meanwhile, the older Harlan Cooper was played by veteran actor Callum Keith Rennie, who has been acting since 1993 and has appeared in productions like Memento, The Man in the High Castle, Californication, and Fifty Shades of Grey.