This post contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy season two.
In season two, The Umbrella Academy finally did right by Vanya (Ellen Page).
Season one was a rough ride for the last of the Hargreeves children, who had been told her whole life that she did not share the superpowers of her siblings when she actually had the biggest powers of all. She found herself in an emotionally manipulative relationship with a guy who turned out to be a literal villain, accidentally nearly killed her sister, and got locked in a giant cage by her brother before bringing on the apocalypse.
In season two, Vanya got dropped into the early '60s and was taken in by a married couple, Sissy (Marin Ireland) and Carl (Stephen Bogaert). She began working as a nanny for their son, Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly), and had apparently lost all memory of who she was other than her name. Vanya and Sissy were clearly close and Sissy clearly was not all that in love with her husband, and it took half a season before a romance began.
While we were cheering for the pair and for Vanya to finally get some real romance, the relationship was obviously not without its problems. Sissy was married to Carl, and it was also the early 1960s, when same-sex relationships were not just frowned upon, but illegal in many ways. Sissy agreed to run away with Vanya, but made the mistake of leaving a note for Carl, who then sent the police after them. Vanya was then believed to be a KGB agent and taken away for questioning, which led to yet another apocalyptic event.
In the end, Vanya went back to 2019 with her siblings, while Sissy ran off with Harlan to hopefully live a better life.
Page tells E! News that it's a difficult thing to talk about.
"It was beautiful in many ways to play Vanya falling in love for the first time with a woman, and not in an awful, abusive relationship like she was in the first season, thank goodness," she says. "And then you want to take care of the storyline. You want to make sure you're showing the beauty and the love, and also reflecting the obstacles, of course."
She says that while a lot has changed since the 1960s, she still experiences homophobia in her own life and thinks Vanya and Sissy's story doesn't feel totally stuck in the past.
"It was illegal at the time, considered a mental illness, and what Vanya and Sissy go through is still very relevant," she says. "I've dealt with a lot of homophobia in my life, and I continue to. So I think it was really meaningful in terms of that representation going out into the world, especially with a show with this reach, and also just trying to be mindful of being sensitive and hopefully telling that story well."
Stay tuned for more from The Umbrella Academy season two, which is now streaming on Netflix.