Review: DOOM PATROL 2×04 – “SEX PATROL”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Omar Madha
Writers: Eric Deitel, Tanya Steele
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Doom Patrol 2×04 – “Sex Patrol”: When the Dannyzens throw a massive party at Doom Manor to resuscitate Danny the Brick, Dorothy longs to join the festivities and experience life as a grown-up. As the party rages on, Rita asks Flex Mentallo to help unleash her full potential – which has some dangerously racy consequences.
The thing I love most about Doom Patrol is how it seamlessly blends hilarious absurd humour with well-written drama that makes the viewer feel for the characters. And “Sex Patrol” is yet another episode that exemplifies this perfect balance between tragedy and comedy.
The episode centres around the efforts to heal Danny the Street after his recent accident caused by Dorothy. To aid in the efforts to heal Danny, his former residents (a.k.a. the Dannyzens) declare that the way to fix Danny is to heal his heart through music and laughter – that is, to throw a party.
It was especially touching to see Dorothy’s rendition of “Pure Imagination” kick off the process of Danny’s recovery. However, we learn that there is a darker side to the relationship between Danny, Dorothy, and the Chief. Danny was not merely Dorothy’s friend, but her prison. In keeping her safe over the past century, Danny was also serving as her cage, and Niles intends for him to do so again.
It is truly heartbreaking to see Dorothy come to this realization, especially when we see how close she comes to acting out violently against Danny. Of course, she is goaded into this by her imaginary friend, the Candlemaker. The Candlemaker seems to have his own evil agenda, which will likely spell trouble for the Patrol in the future.
On the comedic side, we see Rita attempt to overcome the mental blocks that keep her from fully controlling her powers. She does this by having Flex Mentallo flex his muscles in a way that causes her to find sexual release – that is, orgasm. However, this catches the attention of a sex demon, and nearly causes a “sex apocalypse”.
But fear not, the cavalry shows up in the form of the Sex-Men, a team of investigators that deal with supernatural erotic occurrences. The name is a rather obvious parody of the X-Men, but the Sex-Men are more like the Sex-Ghostbusters, in both appearance and function. They wear devices reminiscent of Proton Packs, and deal with “sex ghosts” and “sex demons”.
But even in the midst of this utterly bizarre situation, there is a touch of tragedy. While under the effects of Flex’s flexing, Rita has a vision. This vision is a flashback of Rita as a little girl discovering that her roles as a child star weren’t due to her own acting ability, but that her mother was sleeping with studio executives.
Also, we see that a depressed Cliff after his disastrous attempt to bond with his daughter. In an effort to cheer him up, the Chief offers to add Ecstasy to his brain’s nutrient bath. We are then treated to the antics of Robotman tripping out.
I was also intrigued to see that Danny didn’t just recover, but he also evolves. Instead of remaining a street, he chooses a new form, which is hinted at. We see him take the form of a tire, implying that his new form is automotive in nature. But he also resolves to improve spiritually, and starts by refusing to act as Dorothy’s prison any longer.
The second season is still maintaining the same high level of quality we saw last season. I do miss Mister Nobody’s fourth-wall-breaking narration though.
Doom Patrol has quickly become my favourite show on TV currently, and “Sex Patrol” is a perfect example of what I love about it. The humour is so freakin’ insane, but somehow it doesn’t detract to the seriousness of the emotional turmoil the heroes suffer. Doom Patrol is an improbable, yet perfect mix of the ridiculous and the sublime.