The only unnamed kid of the Umbrella Academy portrayed by Aidan Gallagher was born with Time Travel powers. Since childhood, Number 5 was eager to use his powers and jump in time. While he was discouraged by Sir Reginald, who told him it could be dangerous at his age, 13-year-old Five Hargreeves travels twenty years ahead in time and finds himself in an apocalyptic wasteland. Here, he remains stuck for many decades as his time manipulation fails to work. In simpler words, he couldn’t calculate the right time to return to his family until one day, a lady from Temps Aeternalis reached him with an offer.
After working on the Commission under a deal, he became a smart assassin and learned to micro-jump in time. However, one day being frustrated by this killing pact, he decides to rebel against the Commission and return to the past to warn his siblings about the approaching doomsday that will end everything. The fear of losing everything important in his life takes a deep seat in his heart even though they are a bunch of annoying scattered siblings. This fear defines most of Five’s erratic and cold decisions throughout the three seasons of the show.
Aidan Gallagher, aka Five Hargreeves, has only one mission in his life
In season 1, we saw Number 5 reveal that he spent about 45 years in the future, and due to the transit his body was repressed from an old man to an unageing 13-year-old boy. While coming back from the future, Five Hargreeves seemed extremely occupied with this upcoming disaster as he dedicated himself to saving his family.
For instance, Five constantly indulges himself with the calculations to find a loophole between the events that lead to this imminent end of the world. However, even his intelligent brain couldn’t find the solution to this inevitable holocaust, and he takes his family to other timelines at the end of season 1. His behavior toward the impending doom has a deeper connection to what he faced in the future because living 45 years alone is an unimaginable thing. Like he told Viktor:
“You do whatever it takes to survive, or you die.”
Moreover, Five has seen his family dying several times in different timelines, which was a traumatic experience for him. So he became obsessed with stopping this holocaust that was trying to take the lives of millions of people, including his siblings. Otherwise, he would be the last living person on a post-apocalyptic landscape where only creeping loneliness will surround him. And thus, saving the world from the apocalypse became his lifelong mission.
The apocalypse has deeply shaken Number 5’s soul
There are several instances in the show where we see Five Hargreeves going into flashbacks of the time he spent in the deserted world. As far as the sight goes, there is only fire, demolished buildings, and dead bodies which was a terrifying thing to experience for any human being. Moreover, his condition gets so bad that he has to take the support of a mannequin to keep himself company in the hollowed universe. All these experiences made him the most adult of the siblings, despite his appearance.
Whereas in the present, he keeps on suggesting to his siblings that they are underestimating the graveness of the situation. And it is clearly visible that Five (Aidan Gallagher) is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He even feels incredibly alone and frustrated when his siblings don’t take him seriously while he tries to keep them safe. Still, he is the bravest child who is holding the edges even after seeing such dreadful things in life. Beaten by destiny, he even joined hands with the Commission once again (later against it) just to find a way that can help his family escape this situation.
Eventually, he finds out that the apocalypse will follow the siblings no matter what timeline they jump into or what equations he tries. Therefore, they have to face it because their existence is why the apocalypse is hitting the world again and again wherever they go. If you still haven’t seen the complicated connection of the Hargreeves siblings, go stream all three seasons available exclusively on Netflix.