Doom Patrol: Flex Patrol
May 11, 2019 10:57 AM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The team must help Flex Mentallo.

More stuff this time:

* Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man will be fine, as he was 'only shot in the minerals.'
* Poor Dolores.
* Poor Flex.
* All that talk about a daytime Emmy for Cliff might have been sarcasm he missed.
* We got a better look at how Mr. Nobody sets stuff up, with his pep talk to Rita. I'm already bracing for whatever disaster he has planned. (Presumably, he knows what happened to that baby.)
* I knew what was going on when Flex started talking about the Chief being replaced by his evil twin, but couldn't help laughing anyway, as it was perfect.
posted by mordax (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Unlike Mr. Nobody, I don't need heroes vs. villains. I'm perfectly happy with 13 episodes of character development, especially if it gives us even more Rita coming to terms with herself, and Larry reaching an understanding with Sparky.

This has been a really smart, enjoyable season (I presume this wraps things up for season one, right?). A big well done needs to go out to the production team behind this show.
posted by sardonyx at 1:38 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


This has been a really smart, enjoyable season (I presume this wraps things up for season one, right?).

According to the imdb, we have 2 more episodes to go. They're not infallible, but I am hoping for just a little more this year, heh.

Unlike Mr. Nobody, I don't need heroes vs. villains.

I actually like that plot thread, because the team is on our side: all they want is for their lives to improve. The guy pushing the classic 'heroes vs. villains' narrative is plainly a force for destruction that we are never meant to sympathize or agree with.

(I appreciate the smaller team nod to that in this episode where Cliff is all 'yay, this is a win! TWO wins!' and everybody else pretty much rolls their eyes because that was never what they signed on for.)
posted by mordax at 2:35 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


Two more episodes, that's welcomed news. I guess I'm just used to standard TV schedules where a half season is typically 12 or 13 episodes.

That convention, plus Mr. Nobody's exposition at the end made it feel like an end of the season tease, but I'm glad it's not.

I guess I should temper what I posted above. I know that hero shows don't really exist unless they've got villains to battle. It's just that I'd rather have more smarter, quieter character episodes than big blow out battles (although they do have their place). The conflicts in this show, so far, have been surmountable ones, and they've been a good way for the team members to find their feet and learn to work together, while giving them both reasons and space to develop as individuals. That's a tough balancing act to pull off and this show has walked that tightrope skillfully and with grace.
posted by sardonyx at 2:44 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


That's a tough balancing act to pull off and this show has walked that tightrope skillfully and with grace.

Agreed. This show is art in a way that very few properties manage, superhero or otherwise. I am immensely impressed with what they pulled off, especially given just how gonzo the trappings are.
posted by mordax at 2:49 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


wrt season-long character development (internal conflict) as opposed to fighting (a) baddie(s) (external conflinct) - this show is so much better than it had to be, even with the former premise.

Excellent execution so far. I cannot pick a least favourite lead; Cyborg might have a sliver over but his 'what is reality' conflict really resonates with me.

Chief/ evil twin - it totally was perfect because it absolutely nails exactly how soggy Flex's mind had gotten in two lines.
posted by porpoise at 2:13 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


this was a good one. I LOVE FLEX.

but oh man, i really hate Jane, it's a chore to wade through any of her interactions. i couldn't even watch her dedicated episode. and boy, is Larry a drip. i'd be happy with just a lot more Rita, and Sparky (a speechless, faceless entity but hooray! we have a name now!) without boring boring Larry.
posted by lapolla at 6:55 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I like pretty much everybody, but Rita's become my favorite.
posted by mordax at 7:37 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


I cannot say what delight it brought me to see Flex Mentallo strolling through a Pleasantville afternoon in those leopard-print bootie shorts. Cliff and Larry's designs mean they can look almost exactly like they do in comics, Jane and Rita are a little more translated, Vic's somewhere in the middle, but no one needs an edgy 2010s makeover less than the Man of Muscle Mystery. That is just the man to flex the Pentagon into a circle, and I'm here for it.

I was surprised at how happy I was for Vic to not have killed his father after all, and his decision to reinstall Grid but stay with Silas felt both appropriate and in-character (and I'm glad we get to keep Silas, too.) I hope he doesn't get totally sidelined for the last two episodes; he's really grown on me, and the actor has started to as well. I would not have put money on Cyborg and Elasti-Girl being up there with my favorite odd couple teams on TV this year, but here we are.

This show maybe has enough affable meathead with Cliff on board, but I like Flex a lot so far (and they don't seem especially similar, for what it's worth; maybe more like foils, like Cliff and Vic.) But zero points for instantly fridging Dolores, who seems to have had a pretty awful nightmare of a life herself. I had actually been assuming that the older woman who helped kidnap Vic and Jane wasn't Dolores, because she didn't look nearly old enough (and sure, Flex doesn't age normally either, but I think the picnic flashback had to have been in 1964.) AND. Flex has been in the Ant Farm this whole time. Do he and Danny actually know each other, and if so, was it from before that? How did that comic wind up on Danny, and whose comic was it, and did Flex literally come from that actual specific page? And most important, how hard did those bootie shorts kill in the Perpetual Cabaret?

(Also, there's a lot we still don't know about the Bureau of Normalcy, but how did they have the technology to (teleport? miniaturize? suck into a proton pack?) Flex in 1964, and in 2019 just toss Jane and Vic into a van?)

Even if Flex doesn't ultimately stick around, I appreciate that they gave the Negative Spirit a friend and the start of a personality (and a name!) And that we 1) have somebody who can talk to it, even if it's not clear how, and 2) that somebody is, somewhat hilariously, not Larry.

There were a bunch of reasons Larry didn't try to escape the Ant Farm, but I think I understood one of them was that the suit was containing his radiation and he was afraid for the people around him if he damaged it. I was wondering while I watched it how, exactly, Larry knows how radioactive he is and how important it is he keep the suit on, because from the Bureau's standpoint, that seems like a useful thing to have your captive believe to be true, if you need to keep him compliant but you're not sure how powerful he is and don't want him finding out. (Though for the record, “I’m poison and need to be hidden from the world” has been a thing in Larry’s head since way before the plane crash.) Still, he's pretty lucky they didn't just drag his wife and kids or John in, like they did Dolores.

I'm glad they got back around to what Jane definitely didn't want Cliff to see in the Underground, but I've been curious how or if it'll address the fact that Jane very clearly told Cliff to back off, and he ignored her several times, and only got in with the help of Penny and whatshername, the bog witch who grabbed his crotch and said he's Not A Man and thus allowed in the well. (Which, quick aside, that was for sure a random and uncomfortable moment verging right up on transphobia that I don't think was quite aware of itself, let alone how it spoke to Cliff's own brain-in-a-jar dysphoria, okay back to this episode.) Jane at least has an excuse to feel a little inconsistent as a character, and I'm pretty sure almost no time has passed in the story since the stuff with her dad, but her arc's a bit muddled for me at the moment.

I was positive the old man at the hospital was gonna be Wally Sage, so that was an extra-fun twist at the end and oh yeah, Nobody totally knows where that baby wound up. Rita is great, and this is more interesting than where I thought all the baby carriage stuff was going.

There were some delightful jokes this week, but I laughed real loud at "only shot in the minerals." I hadn't been thinking about Animal Vegetable Mineral Man as anything but a highly enjoyable background bit, but given Mr. Nobody's speech at the end, it's also rather clever to put a bonkers villain with a plot-relevant origin story right there if that's the story they wanted, when the actual story couldn't care less. Literally none of these people have thought for two seconds "hey, we should go stop Animal Vegetable Mineral Man" and why would they.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:41 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


I was wondering while I watched it how, exactly, Larry knows how radioactive he is and how important it is he keep the suit on, because from the Bureau's standpoint, that seems like a useful thing to have your captive believe to be true, if you need to keep him compliant but you're not sure how powerful he is and don't want him finding out.

There was the flashback in an earlier episode where Larry learned firsthand that he was harming all the nurses and doctors treating him in a military hospital, and then BoN took him away, so I think he's realized how dangerous his radiation is.
posted by numaner at 12:02 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


« Older Abby's: Soda Gun...   |  Six Feet Under: Pilot... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments