Doom Patrol season 1, episode 6 review: Doom Patrol Patrol


What happens to heroes when they lose? Spoilers ahead from Doom Patrol.

That’s the question our crew gets an answer to when the characters of Doom Patrol stumble upon The Chief’s previous superhero team. Meanwhile, Vic deals with the fallout of having his father arrive, and Cliff has father issues of his own when trying to reconnect with his daughter through social media.

When we last left off, Mr. Nobody took The Chief, and Crazy Jane found out about a group called the Doom Patrol. This week, Jane hopes to find The Chief by finding this group, and find them she does, but not quite in the way she expected.

Requiem for the Doom Patrol

Jane’s search for The Chief leads her to a photo of a building with three superheroes standing outside of it; the Doom Patrol from the 1950s, as Rita informs Jane. Believing this to be where Mr. Nobody took The Chief, Jane grabs Rita and Larry and teleports them there. They discover this building, the former haven for the Doom Patrol, is now a school for metahumans, run by a man named Josh Clay. He’s fidgety on his information about where The Chief is. But you know who does know where he is? His wife, or so she thinks.

The school seems like a beautiful, dream-like place to be in, a place Jane believes The Chief wanted her to go to, as she even has a room waiting for her there. But after talking to The Chief’s “wife,” things start to go awry when The Chief shows up, but it’s not The Chief. It’s a hologram. But his”wife” thinks he is real. It turns out that not only is this chief not real, but the whole place is a facade. It’s actually an asylum for the now old and mentally tormented Doom Patrol.

After they faced Mr. Nobody in the past, they lost the fight against him, and everything went downhill from there. They went crazy over the loss and the team became a fractured former shell of itself as a result. Now, Josh, actually a physician, is taking care of them by using the psychic abilities of one Doom Patrol member to make everything seem just as it was; the team young, healthy, happy, and being mentors to young metahumans. He’s giving them the perfect illusion because the reality is so far from it.

This rarely explored idea of what would happen to a hero when they lost the fight against the bad guy is done really well here by Doom Patrol. We’re so used to seeing the hero ultimately always whining in the end that we don’t stop to think about what would happen if they lost. For these people, being superheroes, saving the day and stopping the bad guy, was their life. For them to suddenly lose all of that took a great toll on them, as it would on most heroes in their position. It’s a sad, tragic reality, but a reality nonetheless.

Goodbye Rita Farr

Rita goes on her own emotional journey this episode, pushing her from the vain woman she once was to the woman willing to accept her destiny. After getting some flashbacks to her life as a 1950s actress, where she accidentally kills a producer by losing control of her body and smothering him to death, she went to The Chief for help and met Doom Patrol member/resident psychic Mento. Mento wanted to help her become a brand new person, a hero, but Rita was too obsessed with being normal and being the glamorous actress that she just couldn’t do it. But after everything she’s gone through since then, she’s become more accepting of who she is and recognizes the terrible person she was in the past. She knows she doesn’t want to be that person anymore and is ready to be that blank slate to help her develop into the person that she wants to be.

This is another great step for Rita. Everyone in the Doom Patrol has been taking baby steps towards actually becoming something resembling heroes, and Rita got her steps in right here.

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The C plot of this episode involves Vic dealing with the fallout of last week and having his father come in and take over. But he gets surprising help from Cliff, who gives Vic’s father such a verbal slap in the face about being a good father that the scientist decides to back off of Vic and let him do his thing. In return, Vic helps Cliff connect with his daughter, who he has discovered on social media and has been trying to get everybody to help him become her friend on there. Vic makes him a cat-fishing profile, AKA a fake profile that his daughter accepts as a friend that Cliff can use to spy on his daughter. But he regrets this pretty quickly when he finds photos of her and Bump and her referring to Bump as her father. Everything he’s done to friend her goes to waste when he destroys the laptop in response.

Vic and his father’s relationship also makes some strides here towards a mutually respectful relationship. Vic’s father finally backing off and showing true caring for his son is going to bring them closer together, so that Vic will actually want to have his father around versus trying to keep himself separated.

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Doom Patrol airs Fridays on the DC Universe app