Are the Jokester's powers a joke to the showrunners?
If you watched 'The Umbrella Academy' season 3 closely, you might have noticed that the Sparrow Academy's Alphonso enjoys an ability to mirror the punches he gets from other people, thus making the attacker feel his pain.
What a handy skill, huh? Except for when it doesn't work.
Many fans have spotted that Alphonso's powers are not that consistent. For instance, when he urges Allison to hit him in episode 1, his powers work and Allison feels the pain of her own punch. But when Alphonso engages in a fight with Diego later in the season, some of Diego's attack backfire, and some don't.
Moreover, when Stan, Diego's "son", also tries to slide into the fight and attacks Alphonso with a knife, he gets cut. But then Diego attacks Alphonso again, and the latter deals with the pain himself.
It seems to be a consistency error, unless one fan explanation managed to get it right.
"It's called empathetic masochism! It's not explained well but he can control it. It uses stamina to do so, like he has to think about and use energy towards it in fights." – @boyoleander.
Even if the thing is indeed about Alphonso needing to specifically concentrate to repel the attacks, the show has never addressed the issue directly. In fact, the powers of the Sparrow Academy are not explicitly explained, with the show only providing several sneak-peeks at Sparrows abilities. For his part, Christopher the Cube has not even received a backstory, even though fans were extremely curious to know more about him.
Alphonso's character also remains largely out of spotlight. Aside from his powers seemingly being inconsistent, the show also never explained the story of his face being disfigured in just five years.
It is also unlikely that these issues will be addressed in season 4 if it is confirmed by Netflix, because Alphonso – spoiler alert! – dies in the end of season 3, like the majority of the Sparrows.
'The Umbrella Academy' is currently streaming on Netflix.