Doom Patrol review: Paying homage to LGBTQ+ acceptance


“Danny Patrol” features self-discovery, a sentient, teleporting genderqueer street, and Larry Trainer’s stage presence. Now, when’s the Doom Patrol musical tour?

The team might not be confident in their ability to be heroes or their team itself, but Doom Patrol is confident in its storytelling, direction, and character direction. DC Universe’s Doom Patrol somehow keeps giving us new adaptions to comic tales and even more reasons to watch the show, and we’re running out of room on our running mental “reasons to watch” elevator pitch (after all, we have to be prepared at all times to convince people to watch the best superhero family). However, “Danny Patrol” is potentially the strongest narratives on the shows — plus, it’s the queerest episode on the series.

If intermittent episodes and comic issues display the Doom Patrol’s harrowing past and even more tragic character evolution (and interpersonal developments), then “Danny Patrol” is a comfort episode.

Matt Bomer (Larry Trainer/Negative Man)  and Alan Mingo Jr. (formerly Agent Wilson, and now Maura Lee Karupt) serenade us to Kelly Clarkson’s, “People Like Us.” Larry and Vic (played by Joivan Wade) save a genderqueer street from the Bureau of Normalcy. Larry starts to accept his identity as both a gay man and a heavily implied disabled man. Maura Lee kicks a bad guy’s butt, all while she’s in full drag and high heels (clearly we haven’t been using our own heels correctly). We couldn’t ask for much more from Doom Patrol, and we’re just happy this episode exists.

Doom Patrol’s world build has always been a strong attribute of the show, but “Danny Patrol” illustrates the show’s ability to mold a living street and personify them. And, the introducing of Danny the Street is a beautiful and playful piece of cinematography. After Danny comes to the Doom Patrol for help, this week’s episode  showcases how vulnerable those who are intrinsically helpful can be.

After becoming a literal and figurative sanctuary for everyone and anyone who’s been ostracized by society (in the form of the Bureau of Normalcy), Danny needs the Doom Patrol’s help. Though a living street, the series handles their character development in a visible fashion. After their introduction into the DC Universe scene in the opening moments of the episode, the episode pans to a more closed off scene of Danny the Street.

With the threat of the Bureau of Normalcy mounting, everything is boarded up on Danny Street. Beyond the polarizing depicts, the episode parallel’s Vic’s current fears of the future and himself to the Dannyzens that are hiding from the outside world that hates them just for existing. Vic is scared before of the Hangman’s Daughter’s painting, and it isn’t until the ending moments of the episode that he finally allows himself a chance to open up about it. He covers up his own apprehensions by leading and caring for other, all in a way that isn’t dissimilar from Danny, who protects and cares for the Dannyzens.

In fact, Danny is somewhat of a symbol of a safe space — more specifically the LGBTQ community. They host, protect, and accepts countless identities, especially Larry, who never started to accept himself as a gay man or a heavily implied disabled man until this episode. (Even if he was hesitant at first, as evidenced by his illusion of him singing on stage. Danny picks up, shelters, and guides any lost or disoriented members of society who don’t fit in because society won’t let them fit in or even feel included. Danny provides community and they physically are the community.

Meanwhile, we get a brief flicker of Cliff’s journey through his own character development as he bond with a kid, while Karen is off being, well… the terrible, but in her own way. Karen is the worst, but her arc is a nostalgic homage to 90s rom-coms… just with a tinge of suspense. The falling in the muddy puddle.

Then, the rainy sorrowful reunion. The tearful apology, followed by a makeup kiss. The day-dreamy scoring. We see what you did there, Doom Patrol writers, and we’re glad you did it.but he arc is a nostalgic homage to 90s rom-coms… just with a tinge of suspense.

In an episode where Rita and Cliff also attempt to convince Jane to come back, it’s clear that the episode is about Larry’s journey to acceptance. It’s still a work in progress just as much as any and all of the team’s path to self-assurance. Just after Cliff starts to learn to appreciate his roboself, thanks to a kid, Jane enters a catatonic fugue state. After Karen, Jane’s lowest mental health cloaked as a last-resort alter, leaves, we get a glimpse of the Underground, which leads us to think the Doom Patrol might start to redirect to character-focused narratives, and we’ll see Jane’s story next week.

Although “Danny Patrol” was about Larry’s introspective journey, we wish the episode gave him and Vic some opportunities to build their friendship and mutual respect. At least we wish Larry stop preemptively persecuting Victor for something the Hangman’s Daughter painted in the last episode. However, we know they’ll have time to become better friends in future episodes.

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

In the concluding moments of Doom Patrol, “Danny Patrol,” Danny gives Vic My Greatest Adventure #51. Perhaps reading the comic will clue us into the happenings in episode 9… or maybe it will just be a nice re-reading session. Either way, we have some homework to do before this week’s episode.

Doom Patrol airs every Friday at 9 a.m. EST on DC Universe.