Doom Patrol season 2, episode 8 review: Dad Patrol

“We’re finally starting to heal.” Spoilers for Doom Patrol season 2, episode 8 follow.

The Doom Patrol are still scattered and doing their own things and have yet to see the true enemy in front of them this season on the DC Universe show.

Cliff is reconnecting with his daughter while Jane and Larry return to her old home in order help Jane’s original personality begin to heal. This is all happening while Niles is trying to spend one last day with Dorothy.

The search for Harry

Sometimes, we all need to hug a stuffed animal and the same can be said for Kay, aka the girl’s whose body that Jane is the dominant personality for. In this one episode alone, we learn more about Kay and one the reasons why she is stuck in her child-like state than we have in the previous twenty-two episodes combined. The thing is though, we learn that through something so small and that’s her lost stuffed animal.

Jane’s journey in this episode is something that many should be able to empathize with. Almost everyone had that one thing as a child that brought you comfort and when it was taken away, that comfort was gone. Then, as an adult, suddenly you get a feeling of needing that comfort again, so you search high and low for the thing that brings it to you. This episode handles that journey for Jane incredibly well and even presents a believable existential crisis along the way. Despite the character, the show, and the situation being crazy in every way, this episode does a great job of still making everything about Jane feel human.

This goes the same for Larry as well as he is having a similar existential crisis to Jane. Both are afraid to let go because letting go means possibly just “fading away,” as Jane puts it. Jane and Larry are so similar in so many ways, so being able to see them have a candid discussion about their feelings regarding these ideas, it’s nice to see here.

Dad-mode Cliff

While the rest of the episode is pretty dour, there is one thing that is relatively positive and that’s Cliff being able to bond with his daughter, Clara. This is something that has been a long time coming and after trying several times to reconnect and failing, it seems like this is the time where it will actually stick.

There are several heart-warming moments in this episode regarding these two, from Cliff explaining everything weird that happens in Doom Manor to Clara coming out as gay and Cliff being incredibly accepting and reassuring to Clara inviting him to her wedding. It’s a nice, seemingly genuine showing of father/daughter bonding that the two have in this episode. It also creates a feeling that something horrible will happen to Clara and/or Cliff soon, which is perfectly in line with Doom Patrol. Hopefully these moments together will not end in tragedy though, but it will be unsurprising if they do.

The long goodbye

On a less than positive father/daughter note though, Niles is trying to spend one last day with Dorothy before the Knights Templar take her to stop Candlemaker from destroying the world. On top of everything else, from Niles being Niles yet again to learning exactly why Dorothy has looked like a young girl for centuries, it’s too late to stop Candlemaker from escaping Dorothy’s mind. Niles had a chance to stop it, but instead tried to be a good father for once, which is too little, too late by this point and Candlemaker has been released. And because of Niles mistakes, this episode plays like a decent horror-movie and it is a bit creepy at times, which is generally perfect for what is about to happen.

Niles isn’t the only one saying goodbye though as Cyborg is saying goodbye to Ronnie as well. After trying this entire season to help her, he did, and then she went and murdered one of the men who experimented on her. It’s an understandable reasoning, but one that Cyborg thankfully stays in character for and can’t let her just get away with it.

The problem with Cyborg and Ronnie’s portion of the episode though is that, it’s supposed to be emotionally compromising for Cyborg and it never feels like that. The final scene between the two is well acted, but the emotion simply isn’t there as the relationship never really got off the ground anyway.

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Doom Patrol heads into its finale poised for cataclysm as Candlemaker has finally been released.