[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Chris Manley
Writer: Tamara Becher-Wilkinson
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade, Mark Sheppard, Timothy Dalton, Alan Tudyk, Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk, Matthew Carter, Alimi Ballard, WIll Kemp, Jasmine Kaur
A clue left in Jane’s head by Mr. Nobody leads Jane, Larry, and Rita to a school where Niles Caulder’s original Doom Patrol have retired. Unfortunately, things are not as they seem…. Meanwhile Cyborg and Robotman bond over shitty fathers.
Doom Patrol continues to be an excellent show that transcends normal classifications whether it be as an ensemble show, as a superhero show, a drama, a comedy and more. This episode was an amazing look into Rita’s psyche. While she has never been the best or kindest of people, the emotional trauma she and the rest of the Doom Patrol have lived through is something no one should have to experience, and this episode does a great job of exploring that.
This show explores the theme of being comfortable with oneself quite frequently, and that is very important. Its not something that gets talked about a lot, especially within comic book media, but when heroes struggle with being comfortable in their own skin, it makes them feel a lot more relatable. Rita is the heroine for this message, and is going through that with a lot of authenticity. Things aren’t solved in an episode because it takes a lot more time than that to heal.
This episode is a lot less comedic than the previous ones, but I think that’s a good thing. Sometimes to get to the heart of the issue, we need to feel a little more uncomfortable.
I think that this episode fell a little short on the Cyborg and Robotman fronts. The core conflict with Cyborg’s father resolved itself too easily and it didn’t feel earned.
This episode was a great look to the past to explore some more of Nile Caulder’s history as well as get to the root of some of Rita’s emotional traumas. It was awesome to see the return of Animal-Vegetable-Mineral man in some capacity and meet a few other heroes in this universe as well. We saw some very cathartic moments for Cyborg and Robotman and some frightening moments for Jane and Robotman. I also loved the hint that Monsieur Mallah and the Brain are out there somewhere.