Doom Patrol review: A horrifying episode with triumph


Terrifying backstories. An iconic teamup. Powerful character development. What more could we ask for in a Doom Patrol episode?

Following another world of weird in last week’s episode, Doom Patrol‘s sixth episode embodies the psychological terrors of some of the team’s comic book origins. By taking elements from the thriller and horror genres, “Doom Patrol Patrol,” slowly transmutes the wholesome meeting between the original Doom Patrol team with the family of newbies into a creepy encounter that would make Wes Craven shiver. Overflowing the show’s terrifying undertones into episodic overtones illustrates how the heroes’ ambiguous backstories. However, this menacing episode also helps ignite change in the new-found heroes.

Despite resembling a horror production, the almost-official Doom Patrol team rebels against a lot of horror-inspired survival tips. They trust nearly everyone. They teamup with bad guys (and listen to them). Plus, they split up — arguably the most critical no-no in the horror genre (and subgenres). Despite the fact that they’ve clearly never watched a horror film, “Doom Patrol Patrol” immerses the team in a horrifying journey of self-discovery, and it subtly pays nerdy homage to the team’s comic book counterparts.

Doom Patrol easily distracts us with its artful storytelling, which also gradually strengthens with every episode. This narrative diversion isn’t maliciously though; it just naturally allows character development to unfold in the background. By no means is the character development an afterthought. It simply coexists with the drama and creepiness in the episode while each character grows and defines their own definition of agency in a way that makes their growth seem unified with the other elements in the plot.

Watching each hero rebel against their past is a wicked part of the series in itself. For Rita Farr especially, this week’s inveterate character development is especially powerful. This week’s episode forces all the characters to confront their past. While many of the members of Doom Patrol 2.0 are slowly learning to accept themselves, in this episode especially, Rita literally confronts her past and conjures up the strength to go against it.

Sure, she had to relive her past traumas thanks to Mento, but her strength doesn’t just present in her ability to overcome Mento’s telepathic illusions. Her breaking out of the illusion to help her friends, family, and the somewhat villainous Mento, shows a powerful step in her character evolution and how she’s starting to recreate her identity and take control over her ability that she once felt powerless against.

The new almost-team confronts their past, even if it isn’t explicit. The puzzle pieces and the ominous voice in Jane’s scenes at the faux Doom Patrol academy show some of her horrifying comic book origins without explicitly exploiting her traumatic past. We’re glad the series didn’t explicitly illustrate her lifelong traumas. However, using the implicit imagery of her father and the infamous puzzle elicits a powerful emotional response, and we’re still feeling the reverberations from it.

We don’t have space to fully appreciate all the nerdy Easter eggs, comic book parallels, horror, and melancholy in the episode, otherwise this article would turn into a thesis; however, there are several moments and scenes that make us rewind just so we can bask in the moment. (That’s right: We’re not afraid to rewatch certain scenes.)

  • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man’s rocky start to villainy. Poor AVM Man. We’re not supposed to like villains, but we love the fact that Doom Patrol recognizes that entry-level villainous positions are just as difficult as entry-level hero gigs. We hope that AVM Man can sort out his discordance with the prehistoric part of himself soon. (At least this proves that the Jurassic Park/World franchise is right: Humans and dinos just don’t get along.)
  • Wonder Woman’s sword in the Doom Patrol pseudo-academy vault. Seriously, we’re glad to see the original team are fans of Diana Prince as well.
  • Speaking of comic book media Easter eggs and callouts… Can we take a moment to admire the ominous foreshadowing of the Brain’s potential rise to villainy in the series? Does this mean the Brotherhood of Evil is on the way? We hope so.
  • The Cyborg suit. Sure, they’re prosthetics, but you definitely can’t deny that Doom Patrol‘s incarnation of Cyborg looks like, acts like, and is Cyborg.
  • Cliff Steele sticking up for Victor when Vic was unconscious and his dad was still trying to control his life. Cliff and Vic have had an implicit sibling rivalry on the series, but now we’re glad to see their brotherly bond start to shine in the episode. We just can’t wait for Cyborg to use his full set of leadership skills to help the Doom Patrol become an even more cohesive team.

The show’s divide and conquer strategy continuously works well for its storytelling, the plot, and character development. It allows the character-based journey to thrive while the main plot continues to unfold, and it gives the writers amble opportunities to focus on each character.

In a lineup of five weirdos, the sometimes-missing Niles Caulder, multiple recurring side characters, and Jane’s 64 alters that’s a difficult feat that we can all acknowledge and appreciate.

Related Story. Doom Patrol’s Crazy Jane backstory is just beginning to unfold. light

Although “Doom Patrol Patrol” might seem like a drastic shift from the show’s harmless humor and wackiness, Doom Patrol has always been a mixture of horror, humor, and tragedy. This episode embraces the canon attributes of the namesake team’s lengthy comic book history, even if it comes at the expense of our tear ducts and tissue budget.