Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy Season 3.
Another season of Netflix's hit comic book adaptation The Umbrella Academy is here, and Season 3 has already brought more surprises and mysteries. In Episode 6 of the show, titled "Marigold," Luther and Klaus mention "the Jennifer incident," which presumably connects to Ben's death in their timeline.
What is the Jennifer incident, how does it connect to Ben's death, and what does it mean for the show's future? Here's what we know so far.
What is "the Jennifer incident"?
During Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, the show includes a flashback to Ben's death. In the Umbrella Academy original timeline, Ben died in 2006 at the age of 17. Reginald Hargreaves' eulogy confirms that Ben died in a mission gone wrong, but no further details about the mission were included.
Now, in Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy, the phrase "the Jennifer incident" is used for the first time. In Episode 6, Luther talks to Ben, who asks why the Umbrellas keep referring to him as "Brother Ben." Luther replies, "He ... You ... were the best of us. And you died too soon. The Jennifer incident ..." and explains how the family wasn't the same after his death. Ben denies that he is the same version the Umbrellas remember, but Luther isn't convinced.
Thankfully, in Episode 7, fans get a few more hints about what really happened in "the Jennifer incident" and why Ben is still alive in the new timeline. When Viktor hides in Sparrow Ben's bedroom after a fight with Allison, he finds the room covered in drawings of a girl, all labeled "Jennifer."
Viktor's discovery confirms that Ben knew Jennifer in both timelines but that the outcomes of "the Jennifer incident" were very different. ScreenRant theorizes that the only reason Ben is alive in the Sparrow timeline is due to his selfish and ambitious nature, an enormous contrast to his Umbrella timeline self, who is selfless and caring.
ScreenRant suggests that, while Ben in the Umbrella timeline was implied to sacrifice his own life for Jennifer, Ben in the Sparrow timeline might have let her die. The show never reveals the true outcome of either timeline's "Jennifer incidents," nor how Sparrow Ben got the scar on his face. Fans hope that one day (maybe in Season 4?), the truth of Ben's death will be revealed.
Until then, fans continue to speculate about the nature of Ben and Jennifer's relationship, how Ben got his scar, and what his next move will be.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.