Doom Patrol: Penultimate Patrol
May 18, 2019 1:53 PM - Season 1, Episode 14 - Subscribe

The team confronts Mr. Nobody.

So, uh, wow.

* ROG!
* Flex's flexing mishap was maybe even more uncomfortable than the Beard Hunter's first appearance, not sure.
* Rita narrating was beautiful.
* The team all choosing to save Niles was pretty great.
* Perry Como's "Hot Diggity" is gonna haunt my nightmares, seriously.
* I really enjoyed Silas' reveal. It was horrible and believable all at once.
* Jane drawing Dr. Harrison to fight Mr. Nobody was probably her best play even if it didn't work.
* Seriously, Rog.
posted by mordax (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, and I believe Niles that he was responsible for their various accidents, but I'm still processing *just* what that might mean.
posted by mordax at 1:57 PM on May 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


-A regular joe at the end of the day, telling his girlfriend "honey, my boss the brain in a jar didn't like the giant robot idea, they fired me from the Brotherhood of Evil and I'm being replaced by a gorilla, he speaks French": perfection. Dumping somebody because he's got insufficient supervillain prospects is ice cold but also, I now want to know everything about Millie and her desire to be with a more impressively fearsome and accomplished Evil Brother.

-Silas is a fascinating guy. I quite like that he didn't do anything at all to Vic's programming, he just lied to him enough while he was devastated and vulnerable and Vic's mind did the rest for him, which is both believable and brutal and kind of sympathetic in a way I didn't expect.

-We don't have a chance yet to see exactly what this means to Vic. I can understand being permanently, nuclear-level furious at his father, but as far as we know, he still caused the accident, which...feels like maybe the more important part to him, in the big picture? (Though who knows, maybe that was Niles too.) Silas shouldn't have lied, and shouldn't have kept it up all this time. But from his perspective, Vic was a teenager who'd just caused an accident that he'd seen mortally injure his mom, he was adjusting to a very different body than he'd ever lived in before, and it was horrible, but maybe Silas didn't think the kid also needed to hear that his mom actually could have survived so, j/k, you still killed her, but twice. (Like, that's obviously a super harsh interpretation, but one I could imagine Vic making.) But goddamn, I can't imagine how angry and betrayed Vic must feel, and he's got every right. The way Silas burst into tears really got me. But if we find out that Niles was responsible for the accident too, they won't need to worry about a superhero fight, Silas is just going to nuke him from orbit.

-I thought I was going to die of joy when Flex offered to flex everyone into the gutters of My Greatest Adventure and then, oh, gosh, I so hope everyone on that set had as much fun as humanly possible there. Why is this show making an effort to be an endurance test, and why am I kind of into it?

-(Seriously, though, what is it with that comic.)

-How on earth did Beard Hunter get here from where we left him? I don't actually need to know that right now, I just really enjoy what it suggests about how much of this world we haven't seen yet.

-Aaaaand "You stole a watch from an alligator" adds another jewel to the magnificent crown of Brendan Fraser's What The Fucks (Non-Verbal Division).

-I think Larry’s understood for a long time what he did to his marriage, and that his wife deserved a chance at something different (though in that quick shot he looked so so happy to be holding one of his kids again.) But choosing to leave John to the life he knows John lived, and go on with his own, felt like a character moment we watched him earn.

-I. goddamn. LOVED. Rita the narrator. That's right Gertrude, drive it like you stole it.

-Jane brought a Hannibal Lecter to a Brotherhood of Evil fight <3

-Ironic booyah was funny. That Vic still does not in fact say booyah, and that was in fact just Nobody being a dick, was REALLY funny.

-All of them in DP red and white, but Rita’s dress!! And I'm glad they ran that loop a few times, because Vic's face when Cliff calls him Hawkman is a joy to behold.


(No, but how I love that Cliff still tries making friends first. Plus he speaks robot, you guys!)

-Between "everybody have a soul-shattering orgasm" and "everybody run for your lives from the giant robot", I'm getting pretty jealous of these extras.

-Ahhhh I've been so curious if they were going to go this way with Niles! But I also, now, buy that he really does care for the people he takes in, in his own way (whatever way that is, since like four episodes ago he was still telling Mr. Nobody they could all fuck off and die if he got to keep his girlfriend's whereabouts to himself.)

The devotion the DP have for Niles is one of the few parts of this show that's rung a little false for me. Partly that's because I think of Niles Caulder as a bad dude, if not technically a Bad Guy, and it felt like something they REALLY WANTED to keep reminding us of so this reveal would eventually land the way it did. But mainly, the show has never convinced me that all these people would be that receptive (I want to say ‘susceptible’) to "Chief's" kind of benevolent paternalism, or that it sits that easily with everything else we know about them as characters. But I'm glad the show finally got here, and I'm glad it wasn't the season-ending cliffhanger, and I'm excited for where it'll go next, and I really really hope we get a season two.

tldr: yeah no just shoot that Detective Comics Comics bullshit straight into my veins.

And, also, DC Universe has the pilot up for free on YouTube all week, if you know anybody who's been wanting to give it a shot.
posted by jameaterblues at 3:14 PM on May 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

You go narrator Rita! Way to sport those team colours!

Jameaterblues pretty much summed up everything I was thinking of saying and then some, but I still have a couple of questions.

The first is I could see how Niles arranged the accidents involving Larry, Rita, Cliff and Vic, but I'm a bit stumped on how he could arrange for Jane to experience the abuse she did.

The second is I have no idea why Cliff calls Vic Hawkeye. If it's a one-eyed reference I'd think a pirate nickname would be better. It doesn't seem to be a MASH call back or an Avengers one, or even one harkening back to the Katar Hol/Cater Hall version.
posted by sardonyx at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I should add that I absolutely love the fact that Rita's uniform dress looks like it was supposed to have been knitted. That's a nice nod to the styles of her era and to her own knitting hobby.
posted by sardonyx at 3:20 PM on May 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm a little disappointed - that there are only a couple more episodes left for the season.

Cliff pretending an orgasm was funny; but I'd have preferred that he did get one and it was all in his brain.
posted by porpoise at 5:25 PM on May 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

The first is I could see how Niles arranged the accidents involving Larry, Rita, Cliff and Vic, but I'm a bit stumped on how he could arrange for Jane to experience the abuse she did.

I assume he didn't arrange any of their personal tragedies, but chose them for them instead.

The second is I have no idea why Cliff calls Vic Hawkeye.

Could've sworn he called Vic 'Hawkman.' (I may have watched the Rog clip on Youtube several times after. #TEAMROG.)

I'm a little disappointed - that there are only a couple more episodes left for the season.

Just the one, then our little band will have to find something else that's too good for this sinful Earth. :(

(I really hope this gets renewed. DC hasn't wowed me this much in... ever. But it hasn't even come close in an age either.)
posted by mordax at 5:47 PM on May 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

After I posted, I tried to remember if it was Hawkman or Hawkeye. I think it was Hawkman, but whether it's eye or man, it doesn't make sense to me.
posted by sardonyx at 6:42 PM on May 19, 2019

Oh, it was Cliff being a dick - he keeps making Justice League references at Vic, as Vic wanted to be on the team but didn't make it. (See also, in Puppet Patrol: "I bet Aquaman never loses his keys.")

In this case, he was making fun of Vic going for a morning jog, pretty sure.
posted by mordax at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

That mostly makes sense, although I don't equate jogging with Hakwman. Flash, sure, not Katar.
posted by sardonyx at 7:20 PM on May 19, 2019

To be fair, I doubt Aquaman owns a bus either. :)
posted by mordax at 7:22 PM on May 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

For a brief moment, I got genuinely excited when I thought they might just subvert the whole superhero show genre entirely and wrap up Mr Nobody in this penultimate episode in one swift, funny bang.  Had they done so it would have made an excellent season-long troll.

Alas, they did not and my anticipation of an entire final episode written around the characters of all them together doing nothing in particular vanished.  Oh well.  This was still quite fun, and I'm sure I'll get a kick out of next week's regardless.  And I got to see a giant robot kicking ass, so it's all good.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:33 PM on May 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

Re: causing their accidents, while Mr. Nobody had Jane in the mental hospital, she said something about it being the day she got the spike in her neck (which I think we kind of saw at some point, with that creepy doctor?) I don't think I'd understood before that's when her powers kicked off, but I took that as what Niles means he caused.

I rewatched the pilot and the Titans crossover last night. Amid all the stuff with Vic's false memory of his mom, I forgot that the reason Cliff spends decades believing he'd killed his daughter in the car accident was that that's what Niles told him. (I also totally forgot the bit in Titans where Niles performs medical tests on Raven while she's restrained and begging him to stop, and shoots Gar with a tranquilizer gun when he tries to intervene.) He's a scary dude.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:18 PM on May 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

Man, now I gotta see me some Titans after all.
posted by mordax at 10:40 PM on May 19, 2019

Titans wasn’t my jam, but a lot of people like it. (Also, whoops, I should’ve put a spoiler warning on that, my fault.) But the Doom Patrol episode is an odd little prequel that’s worth seeing on its own for what they were trying out with the characters and what they clearly decided to ditch. And, without spoiling further, you get a feel for how odd the DP’s world is to walk into even for other superheroes.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:59 PM on May 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

In addition, it's worth reiterating that they've become what they are after decades of stasis because Niles disappeared - he's actually been limiting them, not supporting them. I actually don't see what he made them for, except as pets. The only one who was capable of action was Vic because he wasn't under Niles' direct influence. While it's fairly obvious that Niles isn't the good guy we've been assuming (to put it mildly), is it also possible that Mr Nobody isn't quite the villain? (Though I must admit I can't support that possibility with reference to the actual series). How much of what we know about Mr Nobody and his evil comes from stories that Niles has told us?

Re Cliff's JLA jokes: let's remember (though it seems mean to mention it) that Cliff isn't very bright, which is why it's ironic that he is, at this point, just a brain in a box. It's totally in character for him to continuously crack jokes that don't really work.

I'm still impressed by how well they've captured the spirit of the Grant Morrison originals in this though I've not read it in a few years and can't remember how far they've deviated in the actual detail of what's happened. I live in hope that the same care has been taken with the upcoming Swamp Thing series, channelling Alan Moore's run. The thing that the DC movies have generally failed to do (that the Marvel movies have been more successful at) is to capture the spirit of the originals, and that seems to be the key to making a good adaptation.

Oddly, one thread that's held this together for me is the wonderful classic Hollywood accent that April Bowlby has maintained over the whole series. I don't know why. Also - has there only been one point so far when Rita actually manifested her power in a way we'd recognise as being a superhero (her arm stretching out to pin someone to the wall)?

I do hope the series escapes the DC walled garden so that more people can see it.
posted by Grangousier at 6:04 AM on May 20, 2019 [8 favorites]

Okay, but where is Flex? Did he not enter with them? I guess that makes sense if cyborg got in, but how are they supposed to get out then?
posted by gryftir at 9:06 PM on May 20, 2019

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