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DOOM PATROL EPISODE REVIEW S01:E13

Doom Patrol Season 1 PosterThe Ant Farm is in shambles. The Bureau of Normalcy is falling apart at the seams. And the residents of Doom Manor have found Flex Mentallo – The Master Of Muscle Mystery!

Okay, they did it entirely by accident. But Cliff Steele is still counting it as a victory. Just like he’s counting it as a victory that their group manage to save Cyborg from the Bureau of Normalcy… even if he did sort of go crazy and nearly beat his dad to death while they were in the middle of doing it.

The point is that he DIDN’T kill his own father and that they managed to find the man that Danny The Street thinks might be able to help them in their battle to save The Chief from Mr. Nobody. There’s just one problem – Flex Mentallo doesn’t remember who he is and has little interest in anything beyond his favorite soap operas.

Actually, there’s several other problems, but that’s the biggest one. The other problems involve Cyborg not being in any shape emotionally to lead the team, Rita finally confronting the dark secret from her past that she’s kept hidden from everyone and the Negative Spirit giving Larry one more glimpse at the past he’s repressed and how his hiding from the world only served to hurt others. Oh, and Cliff and Crazy Jane have put themselves in charge of restoring Flex Mentallo’s mind.

Yeah… this may have to be held over until next season.

There are some who dislike the meandering plot of Doom Patrol and how this first season has taken its time in dealing with its central conflict, as we’ve come to know the characters better and see them dealing with their own personal issues. And we’ve gotten to see some of the weirder elements of the Doom Patrol comics brought to life as a result.

Personally, I love the show’s leisurely pacing. It makes it feel more like a real comic and far less rushed than Titans did, with its effort to cram multiple storylines into a mere ten episodes. But I suspect I’m in the minority there. 

So what do we have to look forward to before then? I have no idea. And that’s the other thing that makes Doom Patrol so enjoyable – its unpredictability. Other superhero shows give you some broad idea of what to expect from week to week. Here, you have no idea when we’re going to get another cameo from the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man or a random bit of bored narration from Mr. Nobody.

Speaking of the series’ main villain, even he seems to be losing patience with his enemies and groans about how long it is taking them to get ready for the inevitable final confrontation that this series is sure to have when the finale arrives in two weeks. Me? I could stand another 4-5 episodes of Doom Patrol, putting its release schedule on par with the likes of Arrow and The Flash.

My only complaint about “Flex Patrol,” ironically enough, is that I do think the show has spent a bit more time than necessary on showing us Negative Man’s past and that Larry Trainor, the so-called “all-American hero”, was anything but when it came to sticking his neck out for anyone. The scenes here showing another instance of this are good but the theme is getting repetitive and it seems like we could have gotten to Rita’s backstory a lot sooner than this.

Still, with two episodes to go, this is still the best new series I’ve seen this year and a solid reason to subscribe to DC Universe, even without their now hosting the biggest on-line comic book archive in the world. Not bad for $8 bucks a month, huh kids?

9/10

Doom Patrol – Episode 13, “Flex Patrol”, airs Friday, May 3, 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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