Rita Arya’s Lila Pitts possesses a unique mimicry ability in The Umbrella Academy. How does this very useful superpower work, exactly?
In The Umbrella Academy, how do Lila Pitts’ powers work, and what rules does her gift follow? Lila Pitts, played by Ritu Arya, made her first appearance in season 2 of The Umbrella Academy. She was the adopted daughter of the Commission’s evil Handler. Sir Reginald Hargreeves made 43 “super-children,” and Lila was one of them. She avoided being adopted, which was a lucky break. While working for the Commission, Number Five killed her parents at the Handler’s request. The child was taken in by the goldfish-eating Handler, who raised him until he became a strong agent.
Lila’s superpower is imitating other people’s powers. In The Umbrella Academy season 3, she uses Fei’s crow power to steal a Commission briefcase from Hargreeves’ mansion, Viktor’s sonic blasts to break down a door, Five’s time travel to make a broken briefcase work again, and Diego’s knife-throwing to fight a guardian in Oblivion. When the Umbrellas and the Sparrows work together to stop the kugelblitz, Lila’s ability to imitate helps because she can copy and paste Viktor’s vibrations. Even though Lila’s empath gift can come in handy in a pinch, it has built-in limits on how and when it can be used.
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Lila doesn’t have to touch or see her target to steal their power. All she needs is to be close to them.
When Lila imitates Fei from outside Hargreeves Mansion and then uses Viktor’s vibration to get out of the Hotel Oblivion broom closet after Diego locked her in, season 3 of The Umbrella Academy clearly shows this rule. Fei is also a good example of Lila’s target range because she uses Sparrow Number Three’s bird power from the mansion’s roof while Fei walks around on the ground. Lila must be able to “sense” when a sibling with superpowers is nearby to know if a skill is ready to be learned.
Another big benefit of Lila’s mimicry is that she can use second-hand skills as well as, or even better than, the person who first had them. This is more clear in The Umbrella Academy season 2, when Lila not only rumors Allison without saying “I heard a rumor” first (something Allison doesn’t learn to do until season 3) but also outmuscles Luther and instantly masters the sonic abilities that Viktor famously struggled to control. Ms. Pitts is naturally good at throwing around superpowers. This could be a natural part of her technique, or it could be that her advanced Commission training gave her the discipline and control she needed to use stolen powers on the spot.
Lila’s superpower in The Umbrella Academy has only two flaws, but only one could be called an Achilles’ Heel.
lila pitts loira sendo a maior gostosa de the umbrella academy pic.twitter.com/i9WL6M2YeQ
— tiphani (@mundoodeseries) December 28, 2022
The battle against the Umbrellas in Season 2 shows that Lila can switch between powers quickly if other powerful people surround her, but she can only use one power at a time. So, if Lila is using Luther’s super-strength to block a punch, she can’t use Viktor’s sonic vibrations at the same time. The second problem is that Lila’s powers only last for a short time. Lila has no power once her super-powered target is out of range. Every other sibling can always rely on their gifts, but Lila needs another sibling to borrow from. This is the only big problem with her ability to imitate. Sadly, it doesn’t look like The Umbrella Academy season 4 will have much mimicry of any kind…
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.