Doom Patrol – S2 Ep8 – Dad Patrol Review

Director: Amanda Row

Writers: Tom Farrell and April Fitzsimmons

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Karen Obilom, Mark Sheppard, Bethany Anne Lind, Samantha Marie Ware, Pisay Pao, Leela Owen, Skye Roberts, Hannah Aline, Jackie Goldston, Sarah Borne and Dave MacDonald. With Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk and the voice of Lex Lang

Wow… talk about daddy issues! In this week’s episode we see all kinds of fathers: absentee, those making amends, past, passing, and downright evil. The themes that have been running throughout season two are now reaching boiling point, in “Dad Patrol”

Well, Well, Well…

The trials and tribulations of Jane, Amanda, and Kay Challis’ other surviving personalities continue this week. We revisit her horrifying past, her evil father, and learn secrets about Kay and Miranda hitherto undisclosed. The ties to Kay’s past are not all painful however, as we learn of a childhood treasure that Jane decides to embark on a quest for, alongside Larry.

We also see Vic team up with Rita, and get another TV trailer like the classic Steele and Stone, from “Finger Patrol”. This one’s a lot more 60s, and features The Beekeeper and Borg, done in the style of the classic UK Avengers TV show. Beekeeper could be my favourite superhero alias since the Bombastic Bag Man! Steed and Emma Peel would be proud.

Their quest also reveals some more about Roni’s past (and present), and we find out that she’s a lot stronger than anyone would’ve guessed.

More Dynamic Duos

My favorite part of the show features Cliff spending time with his daughter, Clara. Young Ms Steele turned up at Doom Manor at the end of “Dumb Patrol” and she’s a delight. If you ever wondered whether any character could ever drop an expletive like Robotman, then I guess the only thing I can say is that this particular apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Speaking of pairings – and fathers and daughters – The Chief and Dorothy have some adventures of their own. Sadly, the spectre of Niles’ imminent demise, Dorothy’s growing powers and awareness of coming of age, come to a head. We witness scenes that the greatest horror movies would be proud of, as we catch up with Dorothy’s mother, and the Candlemaker starts to make his presence felt.

We also get the welcome return of Mark Sheppard’s Willoughby Kipling, and meet some of his associates, including the wonderful Bunbury. This guy’s going to really tickle fans of the weird and wonderful. He’s SO Doom Patrol.

Also, watch out for a heated phone conversation between Niles and Kipling, it really takes the cake!

Conclusion

Woo… there’s a hell of a lot happening, so much in fact that I have no clue how they’ll be able to wrap it all up in next week’s season finale. Will Jane be able to help Kay and stabilise the underground? Will Rita become a Superhero? Can Roni and Dorothy be saved? Is there anything that can stop the Candlemaker?

All these questions and more will (hopefully) be answered in “Wax Patrol”. I can’t wait.

Doom Patrol – S2 Ep7 – Dumb Patrol Review

Director: Jessica Lowrey

Writers: Tamara Becher-Wilkinson and Eric Dietel

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Stephanie Czajkowski, Karen Obilom, Mark Sheppard, Irene Ziegler, Tommy Snider, Bethany Anne Lind, Stephanie Czajkowski, Avis-Marie Barnes, Jhemma Ziegler, Hannah Aline, Shay Mack and Chelsea Rivero. With Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk and the voice of Lex Lang

In space, no-one can hear you scream, “WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU… !”

Last week we saw the Chief blow Cliff out of the airlock, after rescuing Dorothy from the moon. This time we see the – ahem – fallout from those events.

Here’s WBTV’s synopsis of “Dumb Patrol”:

Miranda helps protect the Doom Patrol from some truly terrible ideas, after a mysterious package arrives at Doom Manor. Rita’s visit with the Cloverton beekeeper leads her to confront her lingering mommy issues. While on his way back to the manor, Cliff ends up stuck on the side of the road – literally – while Niles heads north to find Dorothy’s mother.

Bunch Of Idyats

No, that isn’t a typo… I’m just being sneaky with my spoiler avoidance tactics.

This episode (surprise, surprise) is fantastic. Fans of Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol Comics, (particularly 2017’s issue #7) will know exactly what I’m talking about, even if they’ve only had scant time to pull out their back issues. I love the way that this is episode 7, and it harkens back to issue #7. Clever? Silly? Coincidence? I don’t care, as it’s a hell of a nice touch, whatever the actual answer is.

Oh, and speaking of Gerard Way… fans of his will also get a huge kick out of a billboard featured at the top of the show, as will lovers of Kite Man and The Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. Hell Yeah!

Willoughby Kipling Talks Out Of His @$$

Mark Sheppard’s back… Yay! Honestly, I don’t know why I’m cheering, as even though I’m a huge fan of the actor, and the character, Kipling is a bit of a bad news bear.

On the plus side, amongst the doom (sorry), gloom, omens and portents, there are still plenty of laughs to be had this week too. Willoughby’s mask may be the butt of a few jokes, but the revelation of exactly what happened to Mr Nobody after season one ended is hilarious. I think that Alan Tudyk fans will get animated by the wonderful answer, as it’s delivered by none other than the returning beard hunter (another Yay!). I could Harley believe it!

My Bees!

While most of the episode focuses on Larry, Vic, Roni, Miranda. and a special delivery; The Chief, Cliff, and Rita also have some great moments.

Niles returns to the Yukon to try and find Dorothy’s mother, but ends up waxing lyrical with another friend entirely. Rita continues researching her character for the town players, and encounters a wise, if somewhat grumpy, beekeeper. I kid you not.

Conclusion

You know how I said last week that “Space Patrol” was my favorite episode from Doom Patrol, Season 2? Well, it was… but now this one is.

After you’ve seen “Dumb Patrol” you know that it would be a very bad idea to disagree with me, I may have to pound you into purple jelly if you try!

Doom Patrol – S2 Ep6 – Space Patrol Review

Director: Kristin Windell

Writer: Neil Reynolds

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Stephanie Czajkowski, Karen Obilom, Phil Morris, Irene Ziegler, Samantha Marie Ware, Mariana Klaveno, Stephanie Czajkowski, Charity Cervantes, Sarah Borne, Skye Roberts, Derek Evans and Jason Burkey. With Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk and the voice of Lex Lang

We really feel the repercussions of the catastrophic results of Dorothy and Baby-Doll’s falling out at the end of last week’s terrific episode in this week’s Doom Patrol. Here’s WBTV’s synopsis of “Space Patrol”:
Larry is tasked with handling Niles’ old research team when the ageless astronauts return from space. As Niles and Cliff set out to find a missing Dorothy, a funeral in The Underground occupies Jane’s mind. Meanwhile, Vic discovers a curious connection between Roni and S.T.A.R. Labs, and Rita finds that her role in an upcoming community theater production hits too close to home.

All’s Well That Ends Well?

Wow! Where do I even begin? After Dorothy summoned her sabre-toothed, antler, wolf-bear imaginary friend, Manny, Baby-Doll – in fear of the creature – called up her Sun Daddy, who killed him. In grief and rage, Dorothy made a wish which released the Candlemaker into the underground, where he murdered both Baby-Doll and Sun Daddy, right in front of Jane, Hammer Head, and all of Kay Challis’ other exiled personalities.

This tragic turn of events causes most of Kay’s other selves to turn on Jane, and we learn more about her past, and the original primary persona, Miranda.

Totally disgusted with herself, and terrified of the repercussions of her actions, young Dorothy runs away, and while Cliff and Niles rocket off to find her, Larry deals with some more of the Chief’s old friends, Vic continues his attempts to help Roni Evers and Rita attempts to re-kindle her acting career.

Bang! Zoom! Straight To The Moon!

The writing in this episode is fantastic. The return of Niles’ former space project; the crew of the Icarus, the Pioneers of the Uncharted, leads to laughs and revelations. I must admit to not being very familiar with the names Zip, Specs, or Moscow, but when the lady of the crew revealed her real name to be Valentina Vostok, my Doom Patrol senses started tingling.

Her presence initially has a Negative effect on Larry, but they find that they truly are kindred Spirits before long.

Long time fans of the original source material may find the way that Valentina, and Larry’s histories have been altered from those of their comic-book counterparts, upsetting. I have to say that, for storytelling purposes, it really works. Anyway, no comics’ adaptation has ever been truly faithful – Dorothy isn’t Niles’ daughter for a start – but Doom Patrol gets more things right than wrong, and any changes made are frequently for the better.

Here We Go Again

Every line, every performance, every tear and every laugh really hit home this week. Niles’ love for his daughter, Cliff’s ineptitude, and eventual acceptance of Dorothy, and poor Rita’s experience at the amateur dramatics club, was brilliantly written and acted.

I’m loving, and terrified by, Vic and Roni’s relationship in equal measure and am glued to my seat watching things develop.

Jane’s ongoing personality crisis has me fearful for her, and the other members of the Underground, as I can’t see how Miranda will peacefully resolve their issues with Dorothy. There’s so much going on this season that I have no idea how it could possibly be wrapped up in the remaining 3 episodes!

Conclusion

Two thirds of the way through Doom Patrol season two, and this series has yet to disappoint. I don’t know of another show that has had this strong a run of great to excellent episodes. This one has been my favorite of the second season so far.

The writing’s top drawer, the acting’s fantastic, and the visuals all match up to the drama. I love this show, and don’t want it to end.

Doom Patrol – S2 Ep5 – Finger Patrol Review

Director: Glen Winter

Writers: Chris Dingess & Shoshana Sachi

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Stephanie Czajkowski, Karen Obilom, John Getz, Phil Morris and Irene Ziegler. With Riley Shanahan and Matthew Zuk

70s cop shows, slamming car doors, a sabre-toothed wolf-bear with antlers, reconciliation and betrayal, this episode has it all. The gloves are off, the truth is out there, and even dreams contain portents of the future. “Finger Patrol” lights more than a few fuses, and fireworks are sure to follow.

WBTV’s episode synopsis reads as follows:
Dorothy finally finds a friend in Baby Doll – until playtime goes awry. Cliff discovers that Niles plans to give him human-like upgrades, while Vic devises a plan to win Roni back. After Rita has a lousy audition, Larry brings her along to meet his family and learns more about the life he left behind.

Child’s Play

While this epsiode is slower than what we my be used to with Doom Patrol, we get a lot of story, tons of character, and a slow burn towards a powerful climax. Diane Guerrero is at her absolute best as Jane and Baby-Doll, whose innocence is heartbreaking, but whose wrath is terrifying. Her blossoming friendship with Dorothy is a joy to experience, but, while watching them you’re always on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Rita’s emotions are still frayed after the sexcapades of last week’s show, so having a break from the manor, and taking a road-trip with Larry seems like the perfect tonic… at first.

This is Doom Patrol, after all… not Happy Families.

Can’t Quite Put My Finger On It

The themes of family, trust and betrayal continue to be the underlying themes for season two. The Chief tries his hardest to reconcile with the team, and with Jane and Cliff in particular; counselling sessions, potential upgrades to Cliff’s metallic body, and the resurgence of baby-Doll, seem to be the first steps on the road to earning forgiveness.

Writing spoiler free episode reviews for this series is really difficult, but when you get Robotman and Cyborg on a stakeout, and then get a Starsky and Hutch, 70s cop-show trailer, that marries everything from Shaft to Dallas, you can’t help but get excited.

I want to watch Steele and Stone, from Morilar productions so bad. I don’t want to point the finger, but DC Universe has planted a seed that I just want to grow, and grow, and not see cut short. That idea’s just slammin’!

Putting Bots In Seats

Doom Patrol builds tension and atmosphere like no other show. Fans who know nothing about these characters outside of TV can just be swept along on the crazy wave, but long term ultra nerds (like me) may find their nerves fraying in anticipation. Knowing Roni Evers comics history, I watch every scene featuring her and Vic, brilliantly portrayed by Karen Obilom and Joivan Wade, on the edge of my seat.

Vic’s dreams are portents for just what’s coming, and Roni’s ongoing revelations about her past before meeting him, are setting off alarm bells. I think that seeing Phil Morris back as Silas Stone, Vic’s dad, may not spell a brighter future for Cliff, but I’m sure that he’ll have a much bigger part to play with Vic’s love interest.

Conclusion

Multiple personalities, imaginary friends, and combustible temperaments all come to a head this week. Seeing children at play, and the sounds of their laughter are truly beautiful things, but when they disagree and tempers fray – which you know they will, eventually – … that’s a whole other story.

Then add super powers to the mix.

Once again, I don’t want to give anything away, but “Finger Patrol” delivers the first casualties of war; and the Underground, Doom Manor, Kay Challis and Dorothy Caulder may never be the same again.