Doom Patrol season 3, episode 4 review: Undead Patrol

Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

“I don’t know why, but when I think about him, I have the sudden urge to punch him in the face.” Spoilers for Doom Patrol season 3, episode 4 follow.

The Doom Patrol has recently come back from the dead, just in time to meet their new arrival, Shannon.

Meanwhile though, something is slowly happening to the team and their ability to not eat brains.

Here’s everything that went down in the Doom Patrol season 3‘s strangest episode yet, “Undead Patrol”.

Time travel

Having just come back from the dead, one would think that they could just go back home and get some much-needed rest. Not the Doom Patrol though, no. They come back from the dead and are immediately greeted by a time traveler searching for Niles. So really, nothing out of the ordinary for the Doom Patrol.

The problem though is that Rita recognizes Shannon, which is what Rita begins to call her, as the woman who locked the door on her, which led to her death. Now, this is something that could lead to some interesting dynamics between Rita and Shannon, but it really doesn’t at all. Sure, Rita sabotages the time machine, but other than that, nothing of interest really happens between the two.

The most interesting things revolving around Shannon in this episode are the wonderful performance by Michelle Gomez and minor introduction to the Sisterhood of Dada, which is partially connected to Mr. Nobody. There’s potential to be explored in future episodes, but it wasn’t really on display here.

Dead heads

The thing that completely derails this episode though is when the entire Doom Patrol turns into zombies. This is something that, if done well, could have been very fun, and there were indeed some fun moments with some great make-up effects, but for the most part, it just felt that the episode was trying to be weird for the sake of being weird.

There is no real purpose to them becoming zombies beyond being used to eat Niles’ head that Willoughby stole back at the end of the first episode. That scene was made to seem like it was incredibly important to the narrative going forward and yet, this is simply the end to it? It’s incredibly disappointing.

And beyond that, there’s really not much in this episode that necessitated the Doom Patrol being zombies. Sure, they have that fight against a bunch of were-butts, but with about 90% of that fight scene, them being zombies is inconsequential to the overall fight.

Closure in Doom Patrol season 3

The best part of this episode comes from the search for closure that Jane and Cyborg are searching for after coming back to life. When this episode eschews the weird and focuses on its characters, it truly shines.

For Jane, seeing her try various ways to get over and move through her complicated grief for Niles, it’s some great character work, mixed with some solid jokes. And the scene where she sits and watches her Niles effigy burn down and she begins to cry? Just absolutely wonderful.

As for Cyborg, nothing new is really done with him here, but the execution is still fantastic. Confronting his dad about the choices he made to turn Vic into Cyborg, it’s another wonderful scene in this episode. It’s just too bad that these scenes are few and far between here.

Despite the still great as ever characterizations, Doom Patrol has one of its weakest episodes of the series with a nonsensical zombie plot.

Doom Patrol season 3 releases new episodes on HBO Max on Thursdays.

Next. All 6 DC Universe original shows ranked from worst to best. dark

What did you think of Doom Patrol season 3, episode 4? Let us know in the comments below!