Doom Patrol season 1, episode 13 review: Flex Patrol


Doom Patrol has now laid down the groundwork for what should be an excellent ending for this quirky, yet wonderful series. Spoilers ahead.

The thirteenth episode of Doom Patrol (entitled “Flex Patrol”) makes the final connections for this unlikely team of superheroes. If the final two episodes can deliver on what has come thus far this season, the DC Universe streaming service has another memorable series on it hands. Check out my previous reviews for episodes three, four, and seven.

Complicated Cyborg

At the end of the previous episode (“Cyborg Patrol”), Cyborg/Vic Stone beats his father Dr. Silas Stone to within an inch of his life. Cyborg is often depicted as having issues with his father in previous versions of the character. But the anger displayed most recently was based upon a trick played upon him by Mr. Nobody.

This was just another moment for the villain to shine in this series. Mr. Nobody is very manipulative, and his powers of deceit are seemingly limitless. It really makes Mr. Nobody a worthy opponent for the Doom Patrol – and maybe even for the Justice League in some respects.

At the beginning of this episode, Silas is officially not dead from the beating he took from his son. When seeing this, there’s honestly a feeling of relief. Silas has his faults, but he genuinely loves his son and got the Doom Patrol together in order to rescue him.

But it wasn’t just about the survival of Silas. Vic has leapt off the screen in this series as a great hero. But he is also still very young and not fully prepared for a villain’s capacity to do evil. Cyborg is susceptible to the villain’s trick, because he has never seen anything like this.

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With age (and specifically this experience), Cyborg should be more in control if something like this happens again. Vic flew off the handle, and did something terrible. What happened with Vic’s father is regrettable, but Cyborg still has a chance to learn from his mistake. And for his father to be alive, it felt like the right choice. Silas may not survive this season, but Vic may still get the chance to make good with his dad.

At the end of this episode, Cyborg has officially sidelined himself for the fight with Mr. Nobody, so he can stay with his dad. But the rest of the Doom Patrol is poised to take on Mr. Nobody and finally find Niles Caulder/The Chief.

Heavy lifting

Every episode of this season has been a quick, enjoyable watch. And now, finally, the team is ready to come together and defeat the villain. But in another excellent fourth-wall breaking moment, Mr. Nobody ends the episode by addressing the audience:

"“After thirteen pointless, meandering episodes of character-driven schlock, we can finally get to the show that everyone wanted to see in the first place. A superhero show! Right versus wrong. Good versus evil. Hero versus villain.”"

Mr. Nobody acknowledges that he is indeed the villain of this particular story. Then after a sinister laugh, he closes with, “You bozos want The Chief? Come and get him.”

First, the humor of these lines adds to the fun tone of this show. Doom Patrol can be a bit dark at times, but it never forgets that there should be an element of fun to a comic book show.

And it couldn’t be further from the truth to call this show “pointless” and “meandering.” But it was right on point to use the term “character driven.” All of the episodes have built these characters with depth and detail that not only kept the show interesting, but made these characters worthy of the time spent with them. And now, what comes next should be the most fun of all.

Stage is set

The final two episodes have the opportunity to deliver on exactly what Mr. Nobody references as a “superhero show.” The good guys and the bad guy are going to duke it out once and for all. It really needs to be something spectacular.

It is clear that Mr. Nobody has toyed with this group throughout the season. Even at this point, the Doom Patrol is probably walking into another trap set by the villain. Previously, the thought was that the Doom Patrol should stand clear of Mr. Nobody. If they keep coming after him, they will feel his wrath.

But this past episode shows that he is still toying with them, as he took the shape of a hospital patient (played by the wonderful Ed Asner), and manipulated Rita into finally tracking the villain. Mr. Nobody clearly wants a showdown, and now he will have it.

If you’re like myself, you knew very little about the Doom Patrol property coming into this series. Most of my contact with the series came in the form of DC animated properties like Teen Titans, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Young Justice. Since starting this show, I have already read a half dozen Doom Patrol comics – which are included in the ever-growing DC Universe streaming digital library – and the Doom Patrol is just as much fun to read as it is to watch.

Next. Doom Patrol season 1, episode 12 review: Cyborg Patrol. dark

Final score – 9/10

With such a great lead-up, the expectations are high for the conclusion. It’s unclear what will come over the next two weeks, but the writing staff should be able to deliver on a season full of great storytelling. Episode fourteen premieres on May 17, followed by the final episode of season one on May 24 through the DC Universe streaming service.