It’s time for the Doom Patrol to finally take action, as their quest to rescue The Chief from the clutches of Mr. Nobody nears its end. Following a lead from Cyborg, the Doom Patrol hop aboard the magic bus and take a drive to visit Danny the Street. With the aid of Flex Mentallo – Man of Muscle Mystery – they manage to breach their way into Mr. Nobody’s world, only to be tempted by his offer of a better life for all of them.
However, not everything is as it seems and more truths are revealed about Mr. Nobody that could change everything. With the Doom Patrol being more of a team than ever before, could this be the real turning point for them? What does the future hold in store for them, and will Cyborg be able to reconcile with his father after learning new information about his past? And does Mr. Nobody truly have the power to shut down the DC Universe streaming service before the season finale?
When Doom Patrol gets it right, it gets it very right. And this episode is the possibly the most right this show has been all season!
There are so many high points of this episode that it’s probably worth getting the few low ones out of the way first, before all the gushing praise begins. Firstly, Crazy Jane threatens someone with a couple of bananas. That may sound funny on paper, but, in execution, it’s clumsy and seems forced. Then there’s the orgasmic result of Flex’s first pose, which goes on just slightly too long. And… well, that’s really it. Everything else pretty much works, and most of it works brilliantly.
It can’t be ignored that the performances in this episode are absolutely spot-on. Diane Guerrero’s portrayal of Crazy Jane has been patchy at times throughout the season but here she hits it perfectly, and April Bowlby as Rita continues to excel as the real breakout star of the series. Jovian Wade pulls double duty and turns in his best performance yet, and Alan Tudyk and Timothy Dalton once again prove their absolute value to the show.
It doesn’t hurt that the writing is this episode is top-notch too, giving the actors plenty to work with. Offering up everything from moments of high drama and introspection to outrageously bizarre and hilarious, it never crosses that fine line into melodrama or juvenile silliness. The dialogue for every character is properly tailor-made to suit them, creating a sense of unique identity for each of them, and when they interact together the banter seems like a genuine rapport.
Danny the Street is done true justice this time around, Cliff is at his most hapless layman best, and there are some fantastic twists, references and moments of creativity that exploit the true potential of the show and deliver on it. That first flex, while going on a little too long, IS funny in plenty of ways and the afterglow would have made Hitchcock chuckle; the confrontation with Mr. Nobody is smart, bringing some events full-circle with just the right callbacks for viewers who have stuck with the series; the breaking of the fourth wall is played to perfection this time around, and without any smug arrogance; there are enough references to the comic books for the fans, yet it tells its story in an original way that makes it all seem fresh.
Add in some wonderful directing and editing, the intelligent use of music and effects… and, basically, it gets it all right and ticks every box it should. More than that, it seems to do so almost effortlessly and that’s what makes it such a fantastic episode.
With just one episode to go this season, Doom Patrol is firing on all cylinders right now. It’s taken a while to hit its stride, and much like the nature of the team its track record isn’t great so far. It’s shown potential, but has also squandered some golden opportunities. Some of the storylines have been telegraphed a little too obviously, and at times it’s struggled to figure out exactly what it should be. But with the team now seeming more focused having learned to accept themselves, maybe it’s reflecting in the show itself? Whatever the reason, the results seen in this episode speak for themselves.
The action klaxon is sounding, and it’s now time to deliver on the finale. Don’t let us all down, Doom Patrol!
Doom Patrol - Penultimate Patrol
This episode fires on all cylinders!