Doom Patrol season 3, episode 8 review: Subconscious Patrol

(L-R) Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Joivan Wade, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 7 -- Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
(L-R) Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Joivan Wade, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 7 -- Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

“Does anyone know what trauma is?” Spoilers for Doom Patrol season 3, episode 8 follow.

After failing to stop the Sisterhood of Dada from beginning the eternal flagellation, the Doom Patrol gets stuck in their own painful memories.

In the real world though, the subconscious of everyone is out running free in the world.

Here’s what went down in Doom Patrol season 3, episode 8 “Subconscious Patrol”.

Memories run wild in Doom Patrol season 3

After being pulled away by the faced birds at the end of the last episode, we finally get to learn what the eternal flagellation is, and it’s basically exactly as the name implies. Those that are touched by the Dada birds are brought into their worst memories or fantasies, forced to relive and try to learn from it while their subconscious is brought into the real world.

What’s great about each of these memories is that they’re all so different from one another. Vic’s is from when he was a child. Cliff’s is when he felt like a king. Larry’s is from his wedding day. And Jane’s is Kay’s fantasy world in which all the various personalities are puppets. They all fit perfectly into who each of these characters are and why these specific memories were picked by their subconscious.

Each of these scenes allows the episode to enjoy changes of pace, providing both levity and seriousness in a way that this season has often failed at. So, it’s nice to see what made the first couple of seasons of Doom Patrol so good come back into prominence here.


As for the subconscious manifestations coming to the real world, this is where the episode really shines. For one, it’s cool to see Brendan Fraser and Matt Bomer in the flesh for a substantial portion of the episode and they absolutely kill it. Every scene they have is excellently done and while it has always made sense as to why they aren’t physically in the show that much, it’s always a little disappointing when they leave again.

But as for what these subconscious manifestations accomplish in terms of character-building, it’s the best this season has done. Each interaction that the Doom Patrol has with their inner selves works so well, each in varying ways with none of the conversations ending the same. Larry’s is heartbreaking and hopeful in the best ways, while Cliff and Vic’s don’t really bring any proper closure as their subconsciousness didn’t fix anything, it just forced them to come realizations about themselves. It’s honestly so great.

Jane’s though, that’s the real devastating one. She’s given her entire existence to attempting to keep Kay safe from both herself and the outside world, so to be told that Kay wants her to die? That’s just absolutely brutal in every way. It hurts to watch, which is great.

Rita’s revenge

While the rest of the Doom Patrol is dealing with their subconsciouses, Rita is out seeking the end of her revenge quest against Laura De Mille. There isn’t much to it in this episode, but the Rita portions of the season have consistently been the best parts, so it’s nice to at least get some more context as to what exactly Rita’s gameplan is.

We also learn why Laura came to the present in the first place, which was at the behest of the Brotherhood of Evil. It’s still unclear exactly what role they’re playing, but it’s clear that there’s so much more going on with them.

Doom Patrol season 3 enjoys what is probably its best episode by doing what the first two seasons did so well: Being weird, but not just for the sake of it, but to help build the characters.

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

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What did you think of Doom Patrol season 3, episode 8? Let us know in the comments below!