Doom Patrol: Therapy Patrol
March 29, 2019 11:49 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The group shares their feelings.

Another solid week for Doom Patrol.

* Cyborg's version of Siri/Alexa is really proactive, and now reads his mind.
* Admiral Whiskers is a good hacker too.
* Jane is taking last week's events pretty badly, but that makes perfect sense.
* Larry is right to miss having readable facial expressions.
* Mr. Nobody has a knack for recruitment.

IGN review
posted by mordax (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm just having to put the impossibility of that car being parked outside of Cliff's parents' place in 1961 (since it doesn't exist at that time and won't be available until later in the decade) down to the fact that as a rodent, Admiral Whiskers doesn't know enough about automotive history to realize that he has created an anachronism in Cliff's memory (while he is mucking about with Cliff's mind and heart and soul). It's definitely not a mistake, so where's my No-Prize by another name?

I still don't quite understand what Rita has done and it's driving me bonkers. Was the casting agent she killed the husband of the blonde woman? Is that what drover the blonde woman to commit the act of self-harm that she did? Or is there something else we're supposed to guess at that I just totally missed?

I really want Larry to get chattier with his spirit. I think they really need to have a few more conversations now that they've addressed Larry's guilt and self-loathing.
posted by sardonyx at 8:42 PM on March 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I liked the creative 'simultaneous arcs' they did here. Once is enough, though.

Had no suspicion at all that Cliff was suffering from an acute psychotic break.

But, great googly moogly, it didn't completely click for me until now - Cliff's situation is a little like the brain cylinder in 'The Whisperer in Darkness.'

Cliff's brain receives exactly zero stimuli (aside from - evidently - hearing, sight, and some kind of kinesiological feedback).

This is absolutely horrifying. I wonder if it would be better or worse to not be mobile and able to interact with the world or not.

"I can't be the only one who needs to talk. ... It's what Niles would do. Niles used to talk to us, right? Like, well... really just listen."

I continue to be impressed with Fraser's voicework. Anyone know who's actually in the suit?
posted by porpoise at 9:31 PM on March 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

IMDB lists Riley Shanahan as Robotman and Matthew Zuk as Negative Man. I think those are the names on the end credits, although I'd have to pay attention next time to be sure.

Both do a good job with different challenges. Zuk has to invoke Matt Bomer's physicality (not to mention his words) and I think he nails it--there's something in the posture that allows me to "see" Bomer, whether that's the way he actually stands and holds himself or not. Shanahan has to move under that constricting costume, and that can't be easy.
posted by sardonyx at 10:28 AM on March 31, 2019 [6 favorites]

I kinda want a show about Admiral Whiskers now
posted by numaner at 12:40 PM on April 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

I was a little disappointed that Admiral Whiskers didn't have a cowl and cape.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:00 PM on April 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I really find it remarkable how much this show effectively communicates that all the characters are kind of assholes, and yet I still find them all so incredibly relatable. Larry more than the others, for reasons that are a bit painful, despite having been born so many decades later, but like... I never would have even thought I'd see any of my experience in Rita or Cliff, and yet.

sardonyx, my supposition so far--which might be off-base--is that we're not supposed to be able to completely put the pieces together of what happened to Rita? We've kind of got the edges of whatever happened, but not enough to fill in the middle yet and figure out how they all connect to each other. The idea that Rita isn't even her real name--I think there's a lot of blanks due for some filling-in.
posted by Sequence at 1:10 PM on April 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Is there something I missed that explains why they stopped getting any older (while, for example, the original Doom Patrol didn't)?

And was Admiral Whiskers in the comic book (I read it a long time ago and it's a bit of a blur)? If not, congratulations to the writers for coming up with something superlatively Grant Morrison.

(I suspect that last question would ordinarily require a whole other category of post, but I'm not sure we need bother.)
posted by Grangousier at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Is there something I missed that explains why they stopped getting any older

Not that I saw. I think it's just an aspect of their various power suites:
- Rita looks like how she wants to look, and it's tough to say whether blobs age the way people do anyway.
- Larry seems to be kept alive wholly by the negative spirit anyway. Like, it wouldn't surprise me if he's technically dead without.
- Cliff's a robot.
- Jane's powers are so vast and sprawling that folding in 'not aging' seems trivial.

Niles is the one I wonder about, in the whole scenario.

And was Admiral Whiskers in the comic book

Casual googling suggests no. Everybody else has all these deep dives into comics lore connected to them when I poke around various wikis, but Admiral Whiskers comes up blank. (I hope someone who's read all the comics can confirm that? I've barely scratched the surface there. Only recently read Mr. Nobody's comic book origin.)
posted by mordax at 1:05 PM on April 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't remember anything like Admiral Whiskers being a thing in the comics, though it does sound like the kind of thing that might've been in one of the comics making fun of Doom Patrol comics. I thought it was of a piece with the Napoleonic cockroach? Even with that explanation for how blatantly off Cliff was acting, that piece of this episode didn't really work for me, even though I liked the structure quite a lot.

As for why the original DP got old and the current ones haven't...I have a theory, which is to say I vaguely remember some of Niles Caulder's origin story from the comics, which fits into some other stuff I've wondered if they're going to adapt but that's seemed too spoilery to talk about here (but if you look Niles Caulder up on wiki, it's right there.) But otherwise I was guessing along the same lines as mordax, partly just because none of the characters seem to question it. No way does "inventing something to stay young for a really long time" even crack the top twenty weirdest things those people have personally witnessed Niles Caulder doing.

Arrested aging aside, I still can't totally figure out why they went for such a long time jump in the pilot. I get they wanted to give Cliff's daughter a chance to grow up, and I guess have a reason why Cliff and Vic look so far apart technologically? But they could've had Cliff wake up almost any time between then and now, and I feel like Cliff, Larry, and Rita rarely seem to be played like people, even hermit-y people, who were walled up in a house together for decades (with their green son who is sometimes a lion.)
posted by jameaterblues at 8:41 PM on April 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a feeling there was some literal brain-fucking involved in this.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:56 AM on April 5, 2019

On rewatch, I notice that it seems the young Rita is played by an actress called Lana Turner.

Which is dead meta, really.
posted by Grangousier at 6:59 AM on June 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

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