Doom Patrol season 2, episode 5 review: Finger Patrol

Doom Patrol -- EP 205 -- “Finger Patrol“ -- Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Doom Patrol -- EP 205 -- “Finger Patrol“ -- Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

“If you don’t spin, the world will explode!” Spoilers for Doom Patrol season 2, episode 5 follow.

After coming together to save Danny and stop the Sex Demon from destroying the world, the Doom Patrol returns back to their normal life in the latest episode of the DC Universe show. And by normal, that means dealing with underlying trauma.

Meanwhile, Dorothy has a new friend to play with, Baby Doll. All they want to do is play, but nothing can ever be that simple right?

Withdrawal symptoms

It’s been clear since the first time Diane Guerrero stepped on screen as Jane that she was the absolute perfect choice for this role and, once again, that’s made clear in this episode. She doesn’t have many personalities to play with here, but the one that she does, Baby Doll, she portrays fantastically. It’s hard to imagine an actor in a non-voice only role playing a child, well, a child personality in the body of an adult, but Guerrero does so expertly in this episode.

There’s very little true joy to be found within the contents of Doom Patrol, which isn’t all that surprising given the themes and characters presented, but what little there may be becomes very noticeable. This is very much the case for Dorothy and Baby Doll’s playtime during the first half of this episode. The pure, child-like joy of just being able to play is a nice feeling that the show almost never portrays, but, unsurprisingly, the joy presented in this episode is fleeting, which was really for the best. By contrasting the more light-hearted first half of Dorothy and Baby Doll’s time together with the extremely dark second half, it makes the horror of Candlemaker even greater.

This episode does a great job of building up Dorothy and Baby Doll’s relationship over the course of 25 minutes to immediately tear it down in the same timeframe and yet, it completely works. It’s a believable relationship that the two (not) children create together and just as a believable ending of it. Most kids don’t end up killing the other’s pet which then causes a retaliation from a giant candle monster, killing the first kid, but it’s still believable in nature. Superhero shows, films, and comics are heightened simply by their own nature, but often, the stories they tell are grounded in reality, which is what happens with Dorothy and Baby Doll in this episode.

Larry come home

And since this is probably the most serious episode of the season so far, more heartbreak is on the way for Larry as he attempts to bond with his son. It starts out wholesome and nice, much like Dorothy and Baby Doll’s story does, but soon begins to become something more sinister. There’s no easy way out on Doom Patrol and that is, once again, evident here.

Doom Patrol has never shied away from showing Larry as the terrible father that he was and now? Now that’s all coming full circle for him. One his children is dead and, well, the other one frankly hates him. He tries to show that he doesn’t hate his dad, but by the end of the episode, it becomes very apparent that he does. Not that this hatred is unfounded though, but seeing that hatred finally come out, taking away the hopefulness of earlier in the episode, it hurts.

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All Larry wants to do is make amends for his past mistakes, but it’s not that easy. He can have the best intentions in the world, but he ruined lives through his actions and inactions, so forgiveness doesn’t come easy, or possibly ever at all. This is something that is very difficult to portray and, while the show doesn’t necessarily say of it perfectly, it says it well enough to get the point across.

The Two Robots

While much of this episode falls into a more serious tone, the one point of needed levity for this episode is whenever Cliff and Vic are on-screen together. They really haven’t gotten that much one-on-one time during the length of the show, so it was really nice to see them bonding somewhat here.

Their portion of the episode also contains one of the funniest things this season, which is when Cliff envisions himself and Vic as characters in a 70s cop show. It’s a great combination of tropes and clichés from the time done in a way that celebrates said era, while also making fun of it. It is quintessentially Doom Patrol.

The weakest part of this episode is the return to Vic’s relationship drama. It’s better than it was in previous episodes, but it still doesn’t work at that well. It feels way too CW-esque to really have any impact within the context of Doom Patrol.

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Another week, another great episode for Doom Patrol as it forgoes most of its levity for a more serious tone.