Picking up from the season 1 cliffhanger, Doom Patrol dropped the first three episodes of its second season on June 25th.
After dealing with the threat of Mr. Nobody, everyone on the team (except Larry) is shrunk and must find a way to return to normal size.
What’s more is that Danny degrades to a sentient brick, and is unable to help, so Dorothy – Niles’ superpowered ape-like daughter – is exposed to the real world.
With potential dangers always lurking on the horizon, Niles must find a way to protect his daughter, while guiding the dysfunctional Doom Patrol.
“FUN-SIZE PATROL” (2 x 1)
The season premieres with a backstory of Dorothy’s tortured past, and how Niles, after discovering she’s his offspring from a relationship with a now-deceased primitive woman, took her in his care.
Dorothy’s powers are highlighted during the episode, and her potential to destroy the world is what motived Niles to hide her under Danny’s protection.
Also, Dorothy is forever an 11-year old girl and harbors an innocent worldview. Partly because Niles shielded her from the real world as she’s a danger to others if not kept in check.
Her powers are manifested by her emotions and imagination as she can conjure powerful imaginary friends whenever she is threatened.
This dilemma is slowly uncovered as each member of the Doom Patrol begin to acquaint themselves with Dorothy.
While most are wary of her, especially Jane – who is already disturbed by struggling with the 63 other personalities in her head and drug problems – can sense Dorothy’s imaginary friends.
On the other hand, Cliff reluctantly bonds with Dorothy during the episode, but inadvertently exposes her to dangerous situations.
This triggered Dorothy’s powers, and almost kills several members of the team, including her father.
Brendan Fraser, who plays Cliff, brings much-needed heart during this episode and steals the scene every time he cusses-out in childish frustration.
This works well as a counterpoint to the stoic demeanor of Niles as the father figure of the team, and Fraser constantly cuts the tension with great comedic timing.
It also complements the character of Dorothy well because, in some ways, both are child-like in their maturity, and they strike a nice balance with their scenes together.
Of course, there’s always going to be the dynamic between Cliff and Jane, who seem to have developed their co-dependent relationship even further.
Vic and Rita also establish a nice dynamic where Vic pushes her to embrace the potential of her abilities for heroic use.
Meanwhile, Larry, being the only one not shrunk in the aftermath of the battle with Mr. Nobody essentially becomes the caretaker of the group as he makes and serves them hilariously tiny pancakes in one scene.
The episode ends with Niles making a deal with the mysterious mystic Willoughby Kipling (guest star Mark Sheppard) by giving up his Talisman of Longevity, which has extended his life to superhuman levels, in exchange for a substance that was able to return him and his team to normal size.
This episode is capped off with a scene revealing that Niles is 139 years old, which Cliff, of course, makes fun of him for.
But Niles’ mortality looms over him, and Dorothy realizes that her father might be dying.
“TYME PATROL” (2 x 2)
As Niles loses his nigh immortality, he tries to make arrangements to protect his daughter by revealing the true reason he experimented with the members of the Doom Patrol.
Essentially, each of them was an attempt by Niles to have a contingency plan in extending his own life, so he can keep protecting his daughter, and by extension, the world from assured mutual destruction.
However, when everyone returned to normal size, each had their own personal agenda to deal with.
Vic goes off on his own to return to his hometown of Detroit, Michigan where he tries to reconnect with people by joining a PTSD support group.
There he meets Roni Evers (newcomer Karen Obilom), an ex-soldier who tries to shun Vic away because of his cyborg surveillance systems.
Vic has a meaningful scene with Roni in this episode where he struggles to handle a moral dilemma when a mugger attempts to attack Roni, whom she fends off easily.
Vic’s uncompromising sense of justice is challenged when he tries to get the would-be mugger arrested, but Roni disagrees with him and they have a heated argument on the effects of the broken criminal justice system on the poor, and how letting the mugger go would be better in the long run because he would only end up in a vicious cycle as a petty criminal.
The scene is powerful in a lot of ways because it shows two different perspectives in dealing with criminals, which is apropos to the current state in the U.S. with police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter” movement at the forefront of steering political and social change.
It’s also a nice touch by the showrunners to have two strong black leads (and different genders to boot) engage in this philosophical debate, which lends credibility to better the overall impact of the scene.
Meanwhile, back at the Doom Patrol Mansion, Niles hatches a plan to try extending his life by acquiring “Continuinium,” a substance with time-controlling properties, from the eccentric yet dangerous time-traveling being known as Doctor Tyme (guest star Brandon Perea) – and yes, it’s spelled with a “Y” and they comedically address it in the episode.
He reluctantly sends Cliff, Jane, and Rita to collect Dr. Tyme’s helmet, but they are dumbfounded when they discover that he is a 1980’s disco roller skate-loving lunatic who plays “Bad Girl” by Donna Summer on loop for an indeterminate amount of time.
Cliff loses his cool because of the song, and in a fit of annoyance, attempts to destroy the deejay turntables supplying music for the roller disco party.
Which receives an aggressive response from Dr. Tyme.
All hell breaks loose as Rita accidentally slays Dr. Tyme by knocking his “helmet” off his head, revealing it to be his actual brain.
As Cliff and Jane try to grab the brain, they are frozen in time reliving painful memories from their past and slowly spiral into insanity.
Rita, realizing her comrades were in danger, uses Dr. Tyme’s clock face to turn back time, and undo everything they’ve done.
Grateful yet angry upon reviving, Dr. Tyme sends the trio back to their original time, but they return empty-handed, much to the dismay of Niles.
This lack of payoff at the end essentially renders this mission as a comedic filler story arc for the heroes, but it doesn’t take away from the more impactful scenes despite generally being a silly misadventure.
The aftermath still provides a catalyst for each of the characters to come at odds with each other, and that helps in driving the narrative forward in a convincing way.
Meanwhile, Larry, who discovers the death of his eldest son in the last episode through a vision, visits his wake and reveals himself to his other son – who is now an old man.
His son is shocked that he is still alive, but Larry explains that he hid from the world because of the highly dangerous radiation emanating from his body.
Which implied that he was trying to protect his family. His son understands his explanation and invites Larry to reconnect with the rest of his family. But he is reluctant, and ultimately doesn’t do so.
Larry has a heartbreaking scene during the episode when he rummages through the barn of his deceased son, and finds clues about his disappearance, and how his son never gave up in trying to find him.
This causes Larry to go through profound emotional pain, which mysteriously attracts a flock of butterflies to him as the episode ends.
Essentially, Larry’s story arc is an ingeniously crafted plot device that serves both as a character backstory, and a setup for the next episode.
“PAIN PATROL” (2 x 3)
Following the events of Larry’s journey, he is revealed to have been captured by Red Jack (guest star Roger Floyd), a supernatural being who feeds on the pain of others.
Turns out, the butterflies from the previous episode are not only conduits of Red Jack’s powers, but also the souls of the people he has tortured and killed.
In a flashback scene, Red Jack is depicted as the historical Jack the Ripper of the DC Universe who encounters Niles as a child.
Since then, Red Jack was curious toward Niles because he showed no fear when he killed a woman in front of the young boy.
The main story arc features Niles and Rita attempting to recover Larry from Red Jack’s realm.
Capturing and torturing Larry, however, was a ploy to convince Niles to become his apprentice in inflicting pain toward others in exchange for immortality.
Niles, though tempted by the proposition, refuses and is subjected to torture as well.
In the end, however, Niles overcomes Red Jack’s powers and stabs him twice, seemingly killing him as he disintegrates into a flock of butterflies.
Larry and Rita’s backstories are also fleshed-out in flashback scenes, and comes full circle at the end of the episode when both realize their worth to each other as they share a meaningful embrace.
The trio escape, but not before releasing Red Jack’s collection of pinned butterflies on his walls.
Meanwhile, Cliff and Jane go on a side adventure to visit Cliff’s daughter to prove to himself that he’s a better father than Niles.
This story arc ends up becoming a comedic trope though because Jane goes into a coma where she and the other personalities within her mind hold an intervention for her before they arrive.
This leaves Cliff to clumsily try to reconnect with his estranged daughter. He, of course, fails epically but finds out he has a granddaughter on the way.
As for Jane, she is trapped by the other personalities in her mind by the end of the episode, and her fate is left uncertain.
Fraser and Diane Guerrero’s well-established comedic chops in their respective characters are always a joy to watch and the way their scenes are cut to disrupt the gruesomely violent main storyline keeps the episode from spiraling into an off-putting heavy drama.
At the same time, their individual character developments are given depth as each tries to overcome their personal demons by dealing with their trauma.
As for Vic’s story arc, he shares an intimate scene with Roni as they discover painful details about their respective pasts and bond over them.
However, when Vic seeks a second date Roni hesitantly agrees but sends Vic an e-mail detailing her committing manslaughter during her time in the army.
This doesn’t sit well with Vic and he leaves a distraught Roni seemingly heartbroken.
The overall theme of pain, and how each of the characters defines and deals with its various forms is a great avenue for exploring narrative and this episode, without a doubt, succeeds in doing so.
This show exemplifies what makes superhero lore so profound and relatable because it takes fantastical characters and breaks them down to a human level.
Doom Patrol’s season 2 starts off with three gut-busting episodes filled with a great mix of action, comedy, drama, and a touch of bizarreness that promises a compelling narrative centered around the character of Dorothy who must traverse the world with the help of his father, and the family of disturbed heroes they happen to live with.
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 – Scants Keep A Good Patrol Down (2 x 07)
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.
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