DOOM PATROL EPISODE REVIEW S01:E06

Doom Patrol Season 1 PosterStill searching for the abducted Dr. Caulder and the mysterious Mister Nobody who took him, the residents of Doom Manor (as Mr. Nobody calls it) have only one lead – an instruction Mr. Nobody gave Crazy Jane to find the Doom Patrol.

Shockingly the only person who has any idea what this means is Rita Farr, who recalls them as a minor superhero team from the 1950s. Of course she has the benefit of having had a brief romantic involvement with one of the team’s members – Steve Dayton, who in addition to being the fifth richest man in American in 1955, was also a powerful telepath who went by the unlikely name of Mento.

Soon Rita and Crazy Jane (along with Larry Trainor) are standing in front of the mansion in the first picture Crazy Jane could find of the team. They are shocked to find that the mansion is now a school for metahuman children who dream of becoming superheroes. Rita is even further shocked when she discovers that Mento is one of the teachers and he doesn’t look a day older than when their romance ended 60 years ago!

Back at Doom Manor, Cyborg is walking wounded – or the equivalent of walking wounded when you’re half-robot, missing a few parts and your teammates efforts to help you stop from exploding after your weapons systems overloaded have locked you out of your own body. As much as he hates to admit it, he needs his dad’s help. But with Dr. Silas Stone not approving of… well, much of anything Cyborg has been doing with his life ever since he decided to join the search for Dr. Caulder, Victor isn’t sure he can trust his father not to mess around with his body or mind. Of course Robotman might be willing to watch over him and report on everything Dr. Stone does… for a price.

While I’ve enjoyed every episode of Doom Patrol to date, I think this might be my favorite so far, even if it isn’t as technically accomplished, creatively written or utterly weird as what has come before. A lot of that comes down to the subtle humor behind the episode parodying X-Men. It’s rather fitting that the Doom Patrol show should mock the idea of a superhero school, given that X-Men started out as a rip-off of the Doom Patrol comics.

It’s true. Doom Patrol came out several months before the first issue of X-Men, presenting a team of heroes whose powers were more curse than blessing, defending a world that hated and feared them, led by a man in a wheelchair who was kind of a jerk. Sound a bit familiar? The only thing that really made the early X-Men books unique was the school setting.

Beyond that, this episode finally gives Rita Farr the development she needed to be more than “the diva joke that lived.” Through flashbacks and Rita’s encounter with her former beau, we learn far more about her and her past than we have in all the other episodes so far put together. It must be said that April Bowlby does a fantastic job with this material.

This episode truly surprised me in more ways than one and twisted like a knife up until the end. If you haven’t given DC Universe and its new series a try, you’re really missing out. Thankfully, for another week, you can give the service a try and check out the first episodes of all their new shows for free. Give it a try here

8/10

Doom Patrol – Episode 6, “Doom Patrol Patrol”, airs Friday, March 22, on DC Universe.

Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

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