Doom Patrol: Ezekiel Patrol
May 25, 2019 12:29 AM - Season 1, Episode 15 - Subscribe

In the season one finale, the team confronts both Mr. Nobody and their own pasts.

As ever, there was a lot going on here:

* Larry and Rita are platonic life partners to the end.
* Niles and Joshua both worked at the Ant Farm on Project Immortus, a desperate attempt by Niles to outlive his daughter, Dorothy Spinner. Dorothy had been staying with Danny the Street for safekeeping. (This diverges considerably with her comics origin as I understand it, but I've only read a little of the run.)
* Jane took the meta-dampening drug. It's unclear if there will be any long term repercussions down the line.
* Cliff was totally busy... when he wasn't trying to make sure Jane ate, that is. But he was busy near a food truck, and it isn't like he can eat anyway.
* Flex is still around, but hasn't kept in touch with the team. This tracks well enough.
* Left to his own devices, Vic would be going after international money laundering. In this dark age of 2019, I'd rather have him than Batman.
* The Beard Hunter is still a beard addict, but at least we didn't have to watch.
* Admiral Whiskers and Ezekiel got rid of Mr. Nobody at the first chance they got, displaying uncommon sense for supervillains.
posted by mordax (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
And I guess I hit post too soon. I'm still mulling over how I feel about this. Some additional thoughts:

- This was another uncomfortable watch.

Once, long ago, I watched Antichrist with a friend. She decided that the film was 'daring us to finish it.' Doom Patrol is a little like that too, except that it doesn't feel exploitative or gratuitous, it just... feels like Doom Patrol. It'll be hard to get my SO through it though, as she is wildly phobic of bugs and Ezekiel would give her fits.

- I've been reading up on the chances of S2.

Screen Rant's take.

Den of Geek's take.

The tl;dr on the whole thing is that renewal seems likely given the fantastic reviews Doom Patrol S1 got, and the fact that Titans already has S2 confirmed. However, Warner Brothers is starting up a streaming service, and may be delaying renewal with the hope of folding all the DCU content into that to better compete with Disney.

So... waiting. (I suppose this was a decent series finale if it comes to it, but I really will be disappointed.)

Oh, and here's an interview with Jeremy Carver that touches on some thoughts about everything.
posted by mordax at 12:45 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]


A show featuring a giant, sentient cockroach with a penchant for world destruction putting the moves on a giant sentient rat (who has a taste for revenge) while a robot man makes his way from the internal organs of one of the participants in the make-out session into the internal organs of the other is typically is not the sort of programming that I tend to watch. Nothing against that happening, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Doom Patrol, however, just keeps drawing me in due to the wonderful characters and the strong acting. If this were any other kind of genre, Tudyk would be up for an Emmy with his performance this episode and April Bowlby has been absolutely flawless as Rita. The voice and physical actors who combine their talents to portray Cliff and Larry (especially Larry) have really done a fabulous job blending their skills to produce very real characters with very real emotions.

There are people I know who, I suspect, would really appreciate a lot of what this show does, but sadly I don't think they could get past the overall weirdness, and there is no way I'd be able to honestly suggest they watch it. That said, I'm glad I've been able to share the first season with you guys. It's been nice knowing there was someplace I could go to express my feelings about this show with people who understand where I'm coming from.
posted by sardonyx at 8:25 AM on May 25 [7 favorites]


Looking up how to spell April Bowlby's name, I pulled up her IMDB profile. I never recognized her as the actress who played Alan's second wife on Two and a Half Men.* That bit of information just bumped my estimation of her and her talents way, way up. This is one very skilled actress. She's also a bit of a chameleon as physically I woudn't have suspected they were the same person, even though thinking about it now, I can obviously see it.


* Certain relatives watched it and I ended up seeing way, way, way more episodes than would have been my personal preference.
posted by sardonyx at 8:36 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]


For the record, "spread me like the plague, daddy" is where I lost what was left of my mind.

There's a bunch of stuff I'm thinking about, but overall I think I was pretty happy with this. I wonder how satisfying this was for people who've never heard of Dorothy Spinner; I have and it's still a weird direction. But I can totally believe that this Niles Caulder ruined the lives of many people trying to live long enough to manage the life of his daughter because he considers her both vulnerable and dangerous. It puts some context around what he did to the others, but if this show goes on, I don't want everybody to just move back in with him like nothing happened. The more I think about it the more fucked up it gets.

I think of Cyborg as an action-y science-y character in the comics, but I really like the idea that he decides street-brawling is for chumps and his time is better spent on organized cybercrime. I would love to see more to Rita and Larry's dynamic than usually makes it on screen, but the fact that they decide to get a cute little house in the suburbs together and make a go of it is pretty sweet. Jane sure seemed to have plenty of injection paraphernalia already lying around, though because of the other flashbacks I didn't realize right away that that was happening in the 2010s and not the 1970s. She seemed to have the hardest landing, and I wish we'd spent a little more time on what was going on for her.

I liked Rita talking Mr. Nobody into being the narrator again and, while I could see the other point, the idea that 1) the first thing he could come up with was the giant cockroach and the giant rat falling in love, and 2) he kind of forgot to ask what would happen to him when Larry did the radiation thing, seems pretty on point for this dude. (Also, omg, please, please, somebody find something less cringey than making Matt Bomer yell "Negative Spirit, release!" every time, omg.)

One thing I'm confused by is what exactly Niles is looking for between when he goes back to the Bureau of Oddities in the early 1900s, and when he (apparently) stops taking on test subjects after Cliff. (Having seen the episode, I think the Stones' accident really was an accident and Niles' involvement was pushing Silas to choose Vic over Elinore, which sounds awful for everyone involved, and possibly still self-interested on Niles' part, but not inherently super evil or unrealistic, although in context Silas went pretty easy on him. I'm also tentatively willing to believe he didn't set out to make Gar Logan immortal, though no way was the whole "and now he's a tiger" thing a total surprise.) Okay, Niles wants to live forever or close to it. Why is he crashing Cliff's car in 1988 when he already looks exactly the same as he did during World War I, and still looks in 2019, for that matter?

sardonyx, I totally get what you mean about how this is not a show I'd recommend to everyone. I really like it and I like to think it's got its niche in the superhero boom, but I know people who loved Titans and tried this and just couldn't get over the weirdness. Takes all kinds, I guess.

mordax, thank you for those links, and for making the episode posts, I looked forward to it every week.

It's been super fun watching this with y'all, I'm so glad I had cool people to enjoy it with!
posted by jameaterblues at 9:22 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


I'm still mulling this whole thing over. In a good way: Doom Patrol really has been my favorite thing on TV for the duration of its airing, and I'm already sad it's over for now.

There are people I know who, I suspect, would really appreciate a lot of what this show does, but sadly I don't think they could get past the overall weirdness, and there is no way I'd be able to honestly suggest they watch it. That said, I'm glad I've been able to share the first season with you guys. It's been nice knowing there was someplace I could go to express my feelings about this show with people who understand where I'm coming from.

:)

You all are awesome and a huge part of my fun when watching stuff like this is being able to come to Fanfare and talk this out with you. I learn stuff here, and I appreciate that a great deal. :)

I have had some luck talking some people into trying the show, but my target market has been people who liked both Deadpool and The Good Place, as it is my view this show occupies some weird portion of the Venn Diagram between those two properties.

Okay, Niles wants to live forever or close to it. Why is he crashing Cliff's car in 1988 when he already looks exactly the same as he did during World War I, and still looks in 2019, for that matter?

This is really the biggest hole in S1, IMO.

This is one very skilled actress.

Yeah, she's amazing. She really does seem displaced in time in a way nobody else manages.

I liked Rita talking Mr. Nobody into being the narrator again

Same. I appreciated that in the end, the only way to defeat Mr. Nobody was on his terms: he's the narrator, so convince him to change the story. It was very old school, like beating Rumpelstiltskin or Mxyzptlk. You can't punch something like that, you have to trick that kind of menace, probably by leaning on its own hubris.
posted by mordax at 2:24 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Darnit, meant to add:

mordax, thank you for those links, and for making the episode posts, I looked forward to it every week.

Thank you for your very thoughtful observations about the show. I've enjoyed all of them. :)
posted by mordax at 2:25 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Be still my beating heart.  That was as wholly satisfying an ending as I could hope. I've adored this show's whole run—it's spent fifteen episodes gleefully running so far off the rails I think the metaphorical train did a barrel roll and landed on them again.  And throughout the run, it was a joy to watch what seems like a master class in character development.  I am so very, very pleased I stumbled across this.

While I very much hope it gets a second season, this one was so satisfying I'm content for it to exist, if it must, as a sui generis event the likes of which has never been seen before.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:35 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


I honestly feel like this show only exists due to the benign neglect of DCU. If the service takes off -- or is folded into a larger one -- surely a greater oversight would damage it. My hope is that it's gotten such good reviews that the powers that be choose to step aside and let the producers keep doing whatever amazing thing this is they're doing
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:14 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I screenshotted the "plague, daddy" line for anyone who needs it.

This was my favorite show this season. I don't know who I would recommend it too, but it's mostly because of the barrier of entry with paying for another streaming service. The questionable site I used to watch requires some adblock hijinks to not have it overwhelm your PC but when it works it's great, so unless I'm sitting there and playing it for a friend I don't know if anyone could follow my instructions.

I really hope we get a season 2.
posted by numaner at 12:43 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Oh, another gag that about killed me: the Trinity reference in White Space. I guess this makes:

* Admiral Whiskers == Batman. He did, after all, defeat a giant indestructible robot that could squish him effortlessly via wits and stealth.

* Mr. Nobody == Superman. He's cosmically, absurdly powerful, but also easily rendered helpless.

* Ezekiel == Wonder Woman. Obvious religious connection and ordained purpose.

(My viewing pal for this doesn't read comics or know much of anything about DC, so that was a fun explanation.)
posted by mordax at 6:09 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Okay, Niles wants to live forever or close to it. Why is he crashing Cliff's car in 1988 when he already looks exactly the same as he did during World War I, and still looks in 2019, for that matter?

My read on that was that Niles built Robotman as a proof-of-concept that he could make a working brain-in-a-robot. He seems like the kind of guy who would plan for contingencies.

Mind you in the comic, he ends up as a detatched head in a bucket of ice, so....
posted by kokaku at 7:09 PM on June 1


What I didn't really catch was why/how Mr. Nobody lost control of Ezekiel and Admiral Whiskers.
posted by kokaku at 7:11 PM on June 1


Dorothy turned them giant, that may not be per se why they rebelled though.

I've enjoyed this show in general, I can't help feel like The Umbrella Academy was written by someone who didn't think they'd be able to get Doom Patrol made.
posted by Iteki at 11:15 AM on June 2


Umbrella Academy was written by Gerard Way who also wrote the most recent iteration of the Doom Patrol comic. I'm curious what folks think of that if they've read it. To me, it feels like it really wants to be Morrison-era DP but it's trying too hard.
posted by kokaku at 4:34 PM on June 2


ThAt was the most banana-pants hour of TV I think I have ever seen.

It was brilliant, if icky.
posted by Faintdreams at 11:33 AM on July 4


Guys! It got renewed! Season 2 coming in 2020, to DC Universe and HBO's new Max streaming service.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:43 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


When I was reading Doom Patrol 20-odd years ago, I could not have imagined a TV rendition this awesome. Timothy Dalton AKA James Bond as Niles Calder? Brendan Fraser as Cliff? Clint Mansell of PWEI doing the soundtrack?!?

And it's even better than that, because fantastic people I didn't know about back then are also in the show. I've loved April Bowlby since Drop Dead Diva, and it's great to see her play something very different. Matt Bomer is as usual fantastic. Alan Tudyk...his first true bad guy role was Dollhouse, right? It's given him a whole alternate career. And then there's Jane and Cyborg; I'd never seen either of them before but I'm so impressed.

Can't wait for S2.
posted by rednikki at 1:18 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


V.V. late, but kokaku - I thought Umbrella Academy had a ton of promise and good production, but skewed to appeal to a lot younger demographic than Doom Patrol. It definitely isn't as weird a DP, but iirc, the banter is similar in snark and quality.
posted by porpoise at 7:48 PM on December 4


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