Doom Patrol episode 10 review: A tangled multi-genre success


Doom Patrol episode 10 continues last week’s adventure. and it incorporates layers of different genres, weirdness, and aesthetically uncomfy scenes.

This week, Doom Patrol detangled Beard Hunter’s strange origin story and an even stranger source of his powers. “Hair Patrol” adds a new volumizing treatment to your usual Doom Patrol viewing routine, which is admittedly already an enriched regime.

We can’t guarantee that episode 10 will cure your split ends or that your facial hair will be safe from Ernest’s peculiar appetite, but this week’s update on the wide world of weird is just a fun adventure. Doom Patrol “Hair Patrol” is one of the strongest narratives that effortlessly braids together some of the diverse multi-genre elements throughout Doom Patrol history. (Granted, we feel like the series only gets even stronger every week.)

Maybe we’re a bit heavy-handed with our hair and beard puns and play-on-words, but “Hair Patrol” finally let us unleash our collection of bad puns, and we’re not going to let that opportunity fly away. “Hair Patrol” doesn’t just introduce one character this week, nor does it incorporate one genre or theme in its narrative. So, let’s delve into all that’s weird, wonderful, and gross about this episode before we get into our unavoidable fan theories and questions.

Interweaving multiple genres

Doom Patrol has never been skittish about It’s one of the many reasons we love Doom Patrol: The team has always been on the fringe of multiple genres, including comedy, horror, sci-fi, and lot in between. “Hair Patrol” weaves between horror, comedy, and romance in a way that’s only fitting for the Patrol, and the comedy especially helps the episode build Beard Hunter’s characterization and meta-human abilities.

For Beard Hunter’s debut on the DC Universe streaming service, the horror is in the hairy details. After all, horror isn’t just about jump scares, zombies, or slow burn apparent monster reveals that actually turn out to be quirky first dates (sort of). Doom Patrol realizes the horror is in the details. The disgusting, uncomfortable details… and the series isn’t afraid to dredge deep into the creative pipeline for those moments that really scare us.

We’re not talking about the introductory suspenseful scenes in the wintery wilderness that’d make John Carpenter proud. We’re talking about the atypical horror that “Hair Patrol” uses to explain Beard Hunter’s powers.

There are layers to the storytelling and the pacing and close-up zoom strangely make the uncomfortable drain scene and the scenes where Ernest pines over Vic’s beard oddly aesthetic. That’s not to say we didn’t gag a couple of times during the episode, but it was worth it. (This is what the show has done to us, and we’re not mad, though it’s going to take some extra effort to get our comic book hating pals in on this show after this episode.)

The gross imagery helps show us that Ernest gets his tracking abilities from eating beard hair, which also gives a clue that he has a potentially fatal weakness in his less-than-natural abilities (seeing as he needs to reboot after fueling up on drain scum). Like the comedy and horror elements that intertwine in Ernest’s side of the episode, another new character has a dual-ended introduction on the show.

A love story

For Slava, the episode uses a horror-to-romance transition to inaugurate her into the comic book media lore. We aren’t a fan of the start of Niles and Slava’s love story, seeing as Niles clearing had some racist and implicitly anti-Native ideology (and frankly, Slava, deserved better especially since she seems to be heavily coded as a Native woman). However, we’re glad to see that Niles stopped being a bigot and also quit Bureau of Normalcy as he finally adapted to a less myopic mindset.

As Niles and Slava’s love story quickly transforms from the horror overtones when Slava and her power-born friend were first introduced in the episode, “Hair Patrol” illustrates a more compassionate and passionate side of Niles which will make his likely villainousness past and latent undertones even more painful when they’re finally revealed on-screen.

Given the ending and Slava’s power to make an ignorant man gain some sense (which once again proving that women are powerful beyond their spiritual abilities or meta-human powers), we hope to see more of Slava in the rest of the season. However, Niles and Slava’s love story might change Doom Patrol history beyond the fact that Slava is a new character, especially since Slava’s powers are very vaguely reminiscent of Dorothy Spinner’s abilities to create creatures and imaginary friends themselves.

Curiouser and curiouser

Beyond introducing two new characters, “Hair Patrol” also had some hair raising conflict beyond Beard Hunter and the Bureau of Normalcy’s unexpected teamup. As the episode focuses on Rita and Victor’s unscheduled house guest, Doom Patrol sets up some internal conflict for Vic — just with Grid and his own morals. See, Grid is ready to fight and kill Beard Hunter, but given Victor’s moral code against unnecessary killing, he has some technology-related cognitive dissonance thanks to Grid’s less than amicable approach to the whole situation.

While this arc likely connects with the painting the Hangman’s Daughter illustrated in “Therapy Patrol,” this narrative will likely linger into future episodes as Vic tries to come to a compromise with Grid. The episode leaves Vic’s arc on a cliffhanger, but that isn’t the only thing that has us scribing some new theories and questions:

  • Did Slava kill Beard Hunter or will we see Doom Patrol‘s worst villain (who wasn’t really even technically a villain in this episode) again?
  • Given that Timothy Dalton (Niles/The Chief) has already said Dorothy Spinner will appear in Doom Patrol, could Dorothy’s future on-screen counterpart be Slava and Niles’ child?
  • Will the rest of the Doom Patrol meet Slava soon?
  • When will the Doom Patrol find out about Niles’ past with the Bureau of Normalcy?
  • Flex Mentallo seems to have escaped from the advertisements at of the end of My Greatest Adventure #51, which Danny the Street gave Vic in episode 8.

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