The snow Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly) causes in The Umbrella Academy season 2 finale was written into the script at the last moment due to an unexpected snowstorm. The hit Netflix show released season 2 in late July, transplanting the characters to 1960s Texas and weaving in the civil rights battle, as well as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The plot of the season centered around how the Hargreeves children are potentially involved in the death of the US president and sees all of the core cast returning.
In addition, a number of new characters were added, including Lila (Ritu Arya), an initially mysterious girl who befriends Diego (David Castaneda) and turns out to be one of the children born on the same day as the rest of the Hargreeves children. The Umbrella Academy season 2 also introduced the Cooper family, who take in Vanya (Ellen Page) after the mother, Sissy (Marin Ireland) almost runs her over. Her son, Harlan, is autistic and, later in the season, takes on some of Vanya’s powers, causing a massive snowstorm in the season finale “The End of Something.”
And now, a behind-the-scenes video for that episode reveals that initially, the weather wouldn’t be changed by Harlan. However, an uncharacteristically early season snowstorm in Vancouver, the show’s shooting location that doubled for Dallas, meant that the show’s producers had to make a plan. In the video, Arya says that “tinkering with the script” became a “necessity,” with Page adding that the snow was written into the script as it wouldn’t melt and they couldn’t reschedule the day any longer. Page explains the solution they came up with:
Because we’ve established that the powers that Harlan has, which are obviously the powers that Vanya has and Vanya had a lot of influence over the weather in the first season, and now Harlan in this really, really wild state is causing snow to fall.
The revelation that the change was caused by real weather is quite illuminating. The weather change in the episode does come out of nowhere, but actually adds to the finale’s sense of doom and dread. The fact that the crew was able to think on their toes and improve episode 10 by including the snow in the storyline is a testament to their creative ability.
Ironically, given that extreme weather is most often created by visual effects in modern productions, most fans would have assumed that the snow in the finale was created the same way, or at least using fake snow. The fact that not only was it real, but unplanned, adds an extra layer of behind-the-scenes intrigue to season 2. One wonders if the notoriously fickle Canadian weather will have an impact on The Umbrella Academy season 3, and if the producers will have a contingency plan in place this time around.