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Doom Patrol: Season Three, Ep. 4 ”Undead Patrol” Review

Gabrielle: Now, I wanna start with a very specific thing: The Dead Boy Detectives. If they come back later in the season, that’s beyond our knowledge. But based on what we saw, I really hope so and that their spin-off works out well. I feel like a horror/mystery show with dark comedy with both of them, Crystal, and Dorothy could be something great. That’s another thing; Dorothy’s with them now. It’s kind of sad to see her leave since I like her character a lot, but I believe she will make a great addition to the detectives.

What’s your opinion on the Dead Boy Detectives and the possible spin-off, Dan?

Dan: So I know we didn’t have the space for it last week, but I found them fascinating. As with everything else, their writing was hilarious, and their group dynamic was wonderfully complicated. I had no idea they were up for a spin-off until you told me, so I was so excited to hear that!

What I loved most was Larry offering Edwin Paine a word about accepting who he is and telling the other how he feels. It was really nice to see one of the Doom Patrol use their 300 tons of trauma to guide someone to find some joy. I hope they get a spin-off, and Mark Sheppard can show up there too.

Gabrielle: Of course! And Dorothy too. Now that we know she’s leaving with them, I wanna see more of her too. It would be a shame if the character just…disappeared. I find it fascinating how the Dead Boys never really interacted with the Doom Patrol in the comics, but their first show might have a Doom Patrol character starring in it. Although apparently, HBO is thinking about recasting them, for some reason, causing Crystal’s actress, Madalyn Horcher, to ask the fans to show their support with the hashtag #KeepTheDeadBoysCast. Honestly, it seems so nonsensical to me that they even considered recasting.

Justice League of Fuck Ups

Gabrielle: SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS IN THIS EPISODE. First of all, we see the last episode’s consequences: The Doom Patrol turn into zombies thanks to the vomit of that underworld monster lady. They slowly descend into putrefaction and an unstoppable hunger for brains. It’s really funny stuff. I love how they still retained their personalities, just a little more zombified.

Kipling returns too, which I thought was to help them. But instead, he considers killing them after getting their help to recover Niles’ decapitated and resuscitated head. Now, the person who stole Niles’ head is Darren Jones from the Bureau of Normalcy. I’ve gotta say, I absolutely loved what they did to the character. They could’ve done a lot of stuff, but a Were-butt is not something I ever would’ve expected. I think that was the point where I just went ‘’Damn, this season really is the weirdest yet’’. Seeing zombie Larry killing butts with a chainsaw is something I never knew I needed, and a phrase that could only come from something like Doom Patrol.

Of course, we also have the growing mystery of who exactly is Madame Rouge, and now, how Rita fits there. Rita is amazing as always, and Michelle Gomez keeps proving how excellent of an addition to the show she is. We have another mini-mystery added, too, related to Larry. I don’t think I’m wrong to think this, but…did the negative spirit got Larry pregnant?

What was your favorite part of this absolutely delirious episode, Dan?

Dan: That canonically the Doom Patrol eats ass. The Doom Patrol theme on a theremin was actually my favorite part of the episode. It has such a classic sci-fi horror vibe, but it’s always been my favorite instrument because it’s so weird. You essentially play the air around the instrument. It’s very much a Doom Patrol vibe.

The Tragedy of Never Truly Mending Fences

Dan: Something that Doom Patrol does better than any other show is to show just how complicated “making up” for things is. It explores the idea that a sorry and a quick one-episode storyline isn’t enough to mend some relationships. People are complicated, and sometimes, when you think a wound is closed, it was just in remission for some time. Forgiving people is sometimes a thing you can never do as much as you try,

I bring this up not because of Niles, which we will get to, but because of Silas Stone and Cyborg. When Cyborg is unwillingly tasked to fix a time machine, he asks his father to come help him. Although, it’s with the ulterior motive of asking about what his mother told him in the afterlife. Turns out, Silas had a choice to use another experimental method to save his son, which was synthetic skin. A choice that could have given Vic the humanity that he believes he has lost since the accident.

It’s so interesting to see this relationship tried and tried again because, in other media, it usually has some sort of finality. But finality isn’t something Doom Patrol gives you. There is no catharsis in this questioning of his father. It can’t change what has been done. Time and time again, Silas has had to defend what he did to save his son’s life. It’s clear that this time he has had enough when he storms out. It’s all very messy and complicated because Silas did take away Vic’s autonomy with his choice, but he also saved his life which would have otherwise ended before it really began. While in some other shows, this may feel like retreading old themes, in Doom Patrol, it’s an interesting theme of “Can you truly fix the broken things?” which seems to be in every facet of the show. What did you think about our mysterious time traveler’s speech to Niles’ head?

Gabrielle: Joivan is always so good as Cyborg, and his relationship with Silas is really complicated. He can try to move on, but he never seems to be able to forgive him (Can’t blame him, obviously). Like we saw back in season one when he found out Silas lied to him about his mother’s death. We know his father doesn’t want to actively harm him and does love him. But his view of how the world and people function is so disconnected from everything else that it obviously left a mark on their relationship forever. I don’t see it as retreading but as expanding in a deeply complicated relationship. They’re never gonna be a happy dad and son playing baseball in the backyard, but you can see how their relationship developed; Silas is less controlling, a lot of the truth has come out, they try to work together. But there are some things that you simply can’t change or fix, and Doom Patrol understands the complexity of that.

Now, regarding Rouge and her conversation with Niles, I think it’s evident now that she was indeed a villain (If sending Rita and the rest to death wasn’t enough proof), but the question is, will she stay that way? She questions how Niles speaks as if she was a bad person because she doesn’t feel like one, and it’s not something that can be erased along with our memory. But as we have seen with a lot of the members in the Doom Patrol, that’s not the case. They were bad persons, even if it was because of their trauma. But at one point, they chose to be better. We’re not aware of Rouge’s past for now, but the question stands: if she gets her memory back, will she let it define her? Or is it even possible to come back from that? I mean, getting THE Niles Caulder to hate you and think of you as a bad person is truly an achievement that tells you a lot of stuff without really telling you anything.

Mystery is something that the previous season didn’t really have, but it fits astoundingly well with the show, giving it a different vibe and really making it stand out.

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