This week’s Doom Patrol episode, “Dumb Patrol,” introduces bad idea parasites called Scants that turn their victims stupid and almost kill Larry, Vic, and Roni.
However, thanks to Kipling who –returns to educate the team about the weird creatures– and Jane/Miranda’s fast thinking and immunity to the parasites, the team lives to fight another day. Proving that a little knowledge in the face of utter stupidity can go a long way.
Elsewhere, Cliff crash lands on Earth, Rita goes bee-keeping, and Niles revisits sacred ground. Also, the Beard Hunter (Tommy Snider) and the Scant Queen (Jhemma Ziegler) make guest appearances.
Robotman Crashes In The Middle of Nowhere
Following Cliff’s ejection from Niles’ spaceship in the previous episode, he crashes back to Earth with no means of transportation or communication to get help from the rest of the team. He tries hitchhiking, but who would want to pick up a stranger, let alone a robot in a leather jacket?
Besides, Cliff wasn’t in the best mood at that moment as he was cursing and threatening to kill Niles under his breath. He eventually finds a man who lets him use his phone in exchange for hilarious shout-out videos to his friends on social media. Unable to reach his team still, he decides to walk all the way back to Doom Manor where his daughter surprisingly appears waiting for him.
Cliff returns to his comedic form in this episode after last week’s dramatic shift and drops a bunch of F-bombs in the process (See Doom Patrol’s Instagram running tally on this). He’s the most honest and introspective character in the show and his charm turns almost every bad situation he’s in into comedy gold.
The Scants And Their Queen
When a large box that says “DO NOT OPEN” arrives at Doom Manor, the team of course unwittingly opens it and finds the white blank canvas painting where Mr. Nobody and the Beard Hunter were trapped in during season 1. They find that the painting itself is blank, but are unaware that it has been infested with bad idea-inducing parasites called Scants.
They become infected, and almost immediately start doing idiotic things (like Cyborg trying to perform surgery on Roni), which attracts the attention of Kipling who informs them via an old-timey slide show about the parasitic creatures. They then find out that the only way to beat the Scants is to kill their Queen, who is hiding in the painting.
They go into the painting and find the Beard Hunter, who is also infected, who “hides” himself by painting only the front half of his body in white to blend in with the canvas. As a funny meta-reference to explain Mr. Nobody’s absence, Beard Hunter tells the team he got a gig on some “DC animated bullshit,” which alludes to Mr. Nobody actor, Alan Tudyk, voicing the Joker on Harley Quinn.
They are eventually captured by the Scants and brought to their Queen to be harvested for an essence called “Idyat” from their brains which is turned into “Uma Jelly.” The process would have eventually left them to suffer dysentery and die slow and painful deaths. Fortunately, Miranda’s immunity to the Scants proved useful as she successfully kills the queen and cures everyone else of their stupidity.
As the main story arc of this episode, it showcases a light-hearted if not silly premise yet upholds the overall signature comedic tone that Doom Patrol has cultivated. It’s a refreshing watch after the mostly drama-heavy installment from the previous episode, and it works well in setting up numerous individual character story arcs as well.
The Scants themselves were an afterthought in terms of detail and served as a clever plot device to draw out hilarious scenes that would have otherwise been out of place or out of character.
Particularly, Larry and Victor, who are usually playing a “straight man” role that other characters play off of in comedy tropes. During this episode, they are both dumbed down and act strangely, which is far from the norm. In contrast, Jane/Miranda, who is usually the character who causes the most chaos, is the voice of reason for a change, and ultimately sets the team straight.
Rita And The Beekeeper
Rita is relegated to background storyline during this episode as she shadows the real beekeeper (guest star Avis-Marie Barnes) she’s portraying in the town’s upcoming play. The two share both hilarious and heartfelt moments while discussing their respective mother-daughter relationships while drinking beer. The storyline ends when the beekeeper suggests that Rita vents her frustrated feelings toward her mother to an alternate outlet, in this case, the beekeeper’s swarm of bees.
It works to some extent for Rita because as she’s walking home she witnesses a mugging in progress, and is able to stop it by easily using her powers in the heat of the moment, which is a sign that the mental block she’s been experiencing for the past few episodes has began to lift.
Niles Gets Colder
Niles goes back to the secluded area in the frozen Northern Yukon Territory where he met Dorothy’s mother to find some kind of clue or spiritual advice from its hallowed grounds. However, he only ends up met face-to-face with the spirit of the Candlemaker who threatens to kill him next and reveals horrific details about Dorothy’s birth and why she was bestowed with the Candlemaker’s power.
Niles reacts horrifically to the news and summons Kipling to make drastic arrangements against Dorothy that they have previously discussed – implying that Niles always had a backup plan in case he’s unable to control Dorothy.
The most unintentionally absurd part about Niles’ side story is that he was able to traverse the cold wasteland in an electric wheelchair whereas the last time he was there, he and his colleagues all nearly perished. It’s a minor detail that ultimately doesn’t affect the narrative, but it’s a glaring plot hole, to say the least. Then again, this is a comic-book superhero show, so screw logic, right?
Ultimately, Niles’ arc sets him up to do some dark and disturbing things again, which is always a great way to trigger plotlines that bring the rest of the Doom Patrol together in the end.
Doom Patrol Review — Finale Ends With Major Cliffhangers (2 x 09)
Doom Patrol concluded its shortened season 2 with the finale episode “Wax Patrol.” Following Dorothy’s coming of age, the Candlemaker’s powers manifest itself into the world and wreak havoc at the carnival where the rest of the team must come together if they hope to stop yet another doomsday.
This time, however, the team falls short as the Candlemaker’s powers proved too much for the team to handle.
Each member of the team had to face the toxic versions of their personal imaginary friend from their childhood.
Plus, Miranda’s tragic backstory is highlighted as it’s revealed that a sinister persona has taken over as Primary.
Miranda’s Tragic Love Story
The episode opens with a flashback of Miranda’s backstory and how she fell in love with a man named John, a street guitarist, who wooed her when she was working at a local diner during the 1970s.
Miranda is hesitant to get intimate with him at first, understandably so due to the traumatic sexual abuse she suffered through, but eventually, they fall in love and seem to have developed a healthy relationship — her first time with another man.
But once John gets a corporate job, he proceeds to brown-nose to his superiors by holding a swinger-sex party which ends in Miranda reluctantly participating and ultimately being raped by one of John’s friends. This triggers Miranda who tried to make it work but was only reminded of being raped by her father.
This causes her to fade back into the Underground and the Crazy Jane persona emerges and verbally assaults everyone participating in the sex party. It’s a well-delivered and compelling monologue from Diane Guerrero that tackles rape culture and toxic masculinity quite poignantly.
At the end of the episode, however, it’s revealed that the “Daddy” persona from the Well has taken the form of Miranda, who Jane discovers is dead at the bottom of the well.
Daddy as Miranda then confronts Kay, who was investigating the disappearances of her other personas, and reveals himself to her and the aftermath is left as a cliffhanger.
Jane’s backstory, though a bit distracting at first, has become quite compelling and how it resolves in the following season will be an interesting development.
The Team Gets Waxed
With several members of the team stuck in their personal turmoils, the Doom Patrol gets off on a rocky start against their latest doomsday event.
Cliff is worried about what to wear to his daughter’s wedding. Cyborg is heartbroken over Roni and listens to a sad love song on repeat (Haven’t we all?).
Rita loses confidence in her powers, again. Jane is well… not herself, to say the least.
Surprisingly, Larry has the healthiest mental condition on the team at this point and proceeds to lead the charge toward the Candlemaker.
Cliff, disappointed in himself after making amends with her daughter in the last episode, is heartbroken to tell her he can’t make her wedding.
Cyborg is picked up by Rita and tells him to basically buck up for Dorothy’s sake.
Jane AKA Miranda just goes with whatever because as she says, “I’m new.” (You sure are you evil little… @#%!?)
Upon arriving at the carnival where Dorothy is at, they find a beat down Kipling who runs away from his imaginary friend, a Punch and Judy puppet.
The team soon confronts each of their imaginary friends from childhood and everyone one of them is a befitting adversary that breaks them down.
Cyborg faces the Cowboy version of his father, who serves only to affirm him.
Rita deals with a paper cut-out doll model from a magazine with her mother’s eyes whose approval she promptly tries to get.
Cliff fights Jesus Christ himself (from Cliff’s time during Bible summer camp), only this version has a southern accent with the “Bro” lingo and super strength.
Larry and Jane don’t seem to have any imaginary friends. Larry, because he’s so high strung, and Jane because well… her personalities are basically imaginary friends.
In the end, everyone is waxed by the imaginary friends (except Cliff who gets blown to pieces by Jesus), which leaves Dorothy and Niles as the only ones left to stop the Candlemaker.
That is, until Slava, Dorothy’s mother comes in spirit form and basically tells her daughter to fight back.
Dorothy after hearing her father’s desperate plea conjures a gigantic trident-like weapon and cryptically tells Niles “I know what to do now”
The season ends as the Candlemaker grabs Dorothy into a huge flaming portal.
The Doom Patrol definitely took a big “L” during this finale, and it’s a bit of a shame because the ending definitely feels rushed.
Still, the show managed to set up a lot of potentially compelling storylines to follow through with once season 3 eventually returns.
There’s a lot of great scenes and dialogue throughout the episode but every moment just feels a tad bit rushed, which is understandable because this season was cut one episode short.
However, the mysteries surrounding Dorothy and the Candlemaker, as well as Crazy Jane’s increasingly compelling backstory, should be enough to keep fans interested.
Doom Patrol Review – Daddy-Daughter Doomsday (2 x 08)
In Doom Patrol’s season 2 penultimate episode “Dad Patrol,” the team spends quality time dealing with deep-seated daddy issues.
Niles take Dorothy to the fair before almost surrendering her to Kipling, Cliff reconnects & bonds with his estranged daughter Clara, Jane drags Larry to a traumatic site from her past that’s connected to her abusive father. Meanwhile, Rita and Victor go play superhero.
The biggest revelation from last week’s Doom Patrol was that Niles and Kipling had a plan to deal with Dorothy before her powers got out of hand. That plan fell through this week, however, when Niles took too long saying his farewells to his daughter.
Dorothy Comes Of Age
In a story arc filled with sweet moments between father and daughter, Niles gave Dorothy an entire day dedicated to doing whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
As the day went on, Dorothy matured into a woman (for her standards anyway) as she had her first period in over 100 years – at a gas station convenience store no less – when the nicest store clerk in the world helped Dorothy through her first “red dragon,” as the kind woman gently put it.
Dorothy mistakenly keeps this secret from Niles, and unbeknownst to herself, it signals her coming-of-age and the powers from the Candlemaker imbued in her uncontrollably activates. She becomes haunted by images of her dead mother urging her “it’s time.” And by the end of the episode, everything around her begins to melt like candle wax. This signals a catastrophic event, according to Kipling and his weird circle of friends at least, and a paranoid occult rabbit that seemed pessimistic about the whole situation. Niles is stricken with his sickness at the most crucial moment as well, and is left powerless against her daughter.
This arc basically sets up the next episode (which is also the premature finale of this season due to COVID-19) when it seems Dorothy will be the main source of conflict that the rest of the team must unite for to save the day.
Clara & Cliff Steele The Show
Yet again, the most hilarious part of a Doom Patrol episode is one which features the Robotman AKA Cliff Steele. This time, he teams up with his daughter Clara, who reveals she’s getting married to a lady named Mel, and is also pregnant with a boy! Cliff is more excited for the latter news, but gets invited to the wedding after the two bond for an entire day.
Cliff serves her sausages (one of which was almost the frozen finger he kept in episode 5) and pancakes, does a full tune-up of her car, and even offers to do her laundry. Cliff was really making up for lost time, and during this episode, he finally gets to show how great a father he can be, and it seems to have worked as Clara was receptive of her robot father’s jokes and advice.
Eventually, she calls him “dad” which Cliff reacts giddily to, and says that nothing will stop him from coming to the wedding (except maybe for another cataclysmic event, but a robot can dream).
Robotman has been sensational this season, and seeing what he does in the season finale will surely set up an intriguing story arc for Cliff if Doom Patrol is officially renewed for a third season, which is more than likely given the quality of the show.
Jane Falls Into The Well
As chaos and turmoil begin happening in the Underground (the shared space manifested by Jane’s collective psyche), Jane finds her status as the Primary persona in jeopardy over the looming return of the increasingly dependable Miranda.
This prompts Jane to take action as she urges Larry to accompany her to her childhood home in order to retrieve a stuffed toy that’s hidden at the bottom of the well to prove her worth as the Primary. As revealed in the episode, the well is the device of torture and punishment used by Jane’s abusive father when she was younger, and is a place of fear by even the most powerful of Jane’s multiple personalities.
She successfully regains the stuffed toy and along with it a letter penned by Miranda that’s intended for their abusive father. Jane reads it and acknowledges Miranda’s strength of character and pledges to fall in line with the other personalities under Miranda’s leadership.
In a shocking twist, however, Jane’s hunch is proven correct when Miranda acts treacherously, and pushes Jane into the subconscious representation of “The Well” in the Underground. In it, Jane finds the “dead” personas of Baby Doll, Flaming Katy, Scarlet Harlot and Lucy Fugue floating unconscious. Jane herself begins to drown as the scene fades to black, leaving her fate unknown, at least until next week’s finale.
Jane’s whole saga in the Underground has been more of a point of emphasis for her character this season, and the reveal that Miranda is more malicious than she seems is an interesting twist. It will certainly be interesting how the show will resolve this problem, or if it will trickle over into the next season as a potential plot point to explore.
Beekeper & Borg, Spin-Off?
Both Rita and Vic are pushed into the sidelines once again in this episode as they’re plot line simply involves them going to Detriot to do some “superhero work” after Rita gains confidence as her beekeeper incident of stopping a mugger gets reported on the local newspaper.
Before she and Vic go to Detroit, Rita daydreams about herself and Cyborg in a spy-thriller like television show called “Beekeper & Borg.” The scene is hilarious as she and Vic look simultaneously stunning and ridiculous, which fits quite well into the Doom Patrol charm.
The duo’s story arc, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired as it ends up being pointless filler that involves Roni, who is now cured of her terminal disease because of the Uma Jelly she stole in the last episode, murdering the CEO of the tech company that experimented on her.
Overall the episode is still great, but the under-utilization of Victor and Rita’s characters in recent episodes has taken its toll and their overall appeal has been flat relative to their past showings.
Doom Patrol Review – Dealing With Loss In Space (2 x 06)
In the latest Doom Patrol (“Space Patrol”), Cliff and Niles chase Dorothy to the moon! Larry meets a kindred (negative) spirit, Jane is comatose, Victor hacks and Rita acts.
This episode ends with a few revelations and a shocking twist ending that will undoubtedly be interesting to watch unfold in the coming episode (and waiting a week for it will be absolute torture!).
Oh, and Cliff decides to show the severed finger from the previous episode to Niles so he can install it on him to regain his sense of touch somehow – it ends up in a freezer.
Last time on Doom Patrol, Jane’s Baby Doll and Sun Daddy personas fell victim to the wrath of Dorothy’s Candlemaker wish after Jane, in a fit of rage, killed Manny. In the aftermath, Dorothy feels guilty about her actions and fears that Niles will be angry with her if he finds out.
She decides to run away from home and ends up stealing the space ship of the Pioneers of the Uncharted, a group of astronauts Niles sent out into space in 1955 for research purposes, who just happened to find their way back to Earth after 60-some odd years.
PIONEERS OF THE UNCHARTED
A possible nod to the Jack Kirby comic “Challengers of the Unknown,” the Pioneers are Zip (Derek Evans), Specs (Jason Burkey), and Valentina Vostok / Negative Woman (Mariana Klaveno).
Although they mostly served as plot devices and absurdist comic relief (particularly Zip and Specs) during the episode, they’re arrival sets a number of scenarios in motion for the team to deal with. Aside from providing the means for Dorothy to escape to the moon, Larry finds out that Valentina actually possesses the same powers of a Negative Spirit as he does.
She, however, is not scarred, burned, or dangerously radioactive like Larry because she reveals that she has achieved “infinite harmony” with her spirit – a task she had completed in five years upon receiving her powers, and Larry has failed miserably at.
Larry is dumbfounded and finds out he could not “harmonize” with his spirit to regain a stable human form because he’s been torturing himself and the spirit with his deeply-seated emotional scars. At the end of the episode, he vows to try and “fix” himself and achieve the same result as Valentina did. He realizes in order to do this he must make peace with his estranged family, and more importantly with himself.
Meanwhile, Valentina reveals that part of the reason she came back to Earth was to bury Zip and Specs, who have only been kept alive by immortal alien body and mind-controlling spores, which explains their wacky catchphrase-laden, homo-erotic behavior before ultimately succumbing to Earth’s atmospheric conditions.
Afterward, Valentina makes an outstandingly profound commentary about the human experience and existential crisis that basically says that despite what she has seen in her vast travels in space, Earth is still the most beautiful thing in the universe because it breeds suffering, and through that suffering, we can find meaning in our otherwise meaningless existence.
This is the kind of writing that Doom Patrol effortlessly weaves into the narrative of the show, and coming from an immortal space-traveling Russian woman is just the unexpectedly perfect messenger to deliver the lines.
Dorothy, Cliff, and Niles’ Lunar Escape
Dorothy runs away to the moon so she can stay away from people because she’s scared she might hurt her friends again or destroy the world and disappoint her father Niles.
A truly sad reaction coming from her character, but luckily Niles and Cliff are able to go after her because Niles keeps an old half-magical, half-scientific spaceship around in his garage. Unfortunately, Niles is unable to go after her himself because they ran out of space suits somehow(?).
So it’s up to Cliff, who isn’t affected by the vacuum of space or need oxygen to try and reason with Dorothy to come back.
The result is a genuine heart-warming scene between Cliff, the robot with no heart and can’t feel things, and Dorothy. (A great reference to the Wizard of Oz going on here)
Cliff is at his best in comedic scenes, but to have him take on a dramatic tone in this episode shines a new light on the character that simply permeates and comes through with resounding emotional gravity (pun intended). Cliff after searching the moon for Dorothy finds her building a gravesite for Manny and simply talks to her while consoling her and shares his experiences with his own daughter and the people he has lost in his life.
I can not begin to put into words the great delivery of lines between the two characters, and how much of a tear-jerker watching them together was. The biggest heart of the show belongs to the character who literally does not have one, and to have him connect with the troubled Dorothy is simply brilliant.
Just when all seemed to end on a good note though, Niles ends the episode with a twist by ejecting Cliff into outer space for no apparent reason!
Considering Cliff had just retrieved Dorothy on his behalf and had a moment of true bonding with her, this was totally a d**k move.
Niles has always done things for a reason, and this may very well end up being one of those convoluted plots he’s always hatching, but it’s hard to fathom what this will accomplish.
I can only imagine what Cliff will do to Niles if he manages to return to Earth somehow.
Inside Jane’s Candle-Waxed Head
After the”deaths” of two of Jane’s personas from Dorothy’s Candlemaker wish, she goes into a coma where she and the remaining personas in her head are dealing with the shock from the attack. The personas take a vote and decide to hold a funeral for the fallen personas and throw them down The Well where Daddy and Miranda are buried.
Jane argues that they are mere “constructs” in their own head, and should not hastily dispose of the fallen personas.
But Miranda, who has been missing for years, suddenly emerges from The Well claiming she had recovered and urges her fellow personas to proceed with the burial and unceremoniously takes the “primary” persona role from Jane toward the end of the episode.
The implications going forward of Miranda steering her actions is an interesting development because she does not have the same knowledge and camaraderie with the rest of the Doom Patrol as Jane did, and as Niles pointed out, she may never be the same again after the damage Dorothy and the Candlemaker did to her psyche.
Cyborg Hacks and Rita Acts
Vic and Rita take a backseat in this episode where they simply go into their individual story arcs.
Vic hacks the U.S. military’s secrets on behalf of his girlfriend Roni, then he confronts his father about his company selling weapons to them and indirectly being responsible for the damage it has caused to Roni’s body while she served in the Army’s black ops. The whole arc doesn’t really add much to the episode apart from some mildly funny sexual tension scenes and sex jokes that Victor and Roni have while engaging in pillow talk.
Rita’s arc is much to the same vain, but hers is more tied to her trauma from seeking her mother’s approval, which still haunts her emotionally.
She gets a part as the “beekeeper” in the Cloverton Players acting troupe in their play called “Our Town!” which is a loose adaptation of the events following season 1’s “Donkey Patrol” episode. There she meets Isabel Feathers (Charity Cervantes), a fellow actress who is playing a character based on Rita herself, and she and Isabel discuss the character (named “Blob Lady”) as Isabel details the character flaws she is using to play the part, Rita hilariously has to suffer through hearing them and has a moment of self-awareness. She then declares she has found her “nemesis” in Isabel.
VERDICT: 8.0 / 10
“Space Patrol” doesn’t have the same bursts of comedy that makes Doom Patrol great to watch, but the switch to a more dramatic tone, particularly with Cliff and Dorothy, simply works and delivers a powerful episode overall.
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