Doom Patrol: Space Patrol
July 16, 2020 7:27 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Traumatized by her confrontation with Baby Doll, Dorothy runs as far away from home as she can get. Meanwhile, Larry meets someone with an unexpected insight into his plight.
posted by kittens for breakfast (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Random Notes:

*Valentina Vostok (AKA Negative Woman) is a character first introduced in an incarnation of the Doom Patrol comics from the late '70s, well before the Grant Morrison run of the early '90s (the main inspiration for the TV show), where I don't believe she appears at all. A different version of the same character (presumably) also appeared more recently on the CW TV series, Legends of Tomorrow. Valentina's original comics backstory diverges significantly from what we've seen here and is probably not very relevant to the show at hand.

*The Pioneers of the Uncharted appear to be a parody of another DC property, the Challengers of the Unknown (much as Willoughby Kipling is a parody of DC character John Constantine).

*I'm enjoying this season, but it feels oddly structured, given that we're two thirds of the way through it. It's a little late in the game to be introducing plot threads like Silas and Niles apparently collaborating with an off-screen metahuman black ops group. That seems like it should be a big deal, but we don't have much time to do anything with it. I'm also not...really sure why we care about it? I actually don't care, but I think I'm supposed to. It sounds like a story for one of those other superhero shows, the ones I don't watch.

*Similarly, the idea of Jane battling for control over her body sounds cool, but do we really have time for this? Can we make it work without bringing the rest of the team into Jane's brain again? Ultimately, this is Jane sort of yelling at herself otherwise, which is hard for me to get fully invested in. Because Jane's right -- Baby Doll and Flaming Katy (and Miranda, for that matter) can't really die, because they're just aspects of Kay. So it's like, nothing that happens as a result of the selves' internal squabbles is anything that Kay doesn't want to have happen, because they're all the same person. Miranda couldn't take over, finally, without Jane's consent, because Jane is Miranda...oh God. Is this the script Charlie Kaufman's brother was writing in Adaptation?

*Niles is a pretty bad dad.

*I loved Rita just barely maintaining her composure. Literally.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:07 PM on July 16, 2020 [5 favorites]

Yeah, last week I said that episode felt low-key and inconsequential, and that continues into this episode. I think a big part of it is that in season one there was always the dynamic and hilarious Mr. Nobody scheming to make life miserable for our heroes, whereas the main antagonist for this season is... a sad and lonely little girl.

[Incidentally, I finally looked up the actress who plays Dorothy on IMDb, and it turns out she’s 20 years old! Mind blown.]

The Pioneers of the Uncharted (I caught that reference!) subplot was a long way to go to kick Larry while he’s down, though I liked the weirdness of Zip and Specs ending with their shuddering bodies in a shallow grave. “If a plant bearing fruit grows here, don’t eat it.” Ha!

(True Blood fans will remember the actress who plays Valentina from the most wonderfully awful sex scene ever committed to cable.)

Isobel Feathers explaining the inner life of the Blob Lady to Rita was the high point of the episode. Chances that Rita has a meltdown during the opening night performance are 100%, right?

I agree that Cyborg’s discovery of Star Lab’s involvement in Roni’s enhancements seems like a go-nowhere subplot, but Vic and Roni are so charming together, I don’t mind if they ten minutes of every remaining episode are reserved for their pillow talk.

Somehow I knew that when Niles asked Cliff to stow Dorothy’s helmet, Cliff was getting flushed out of the airlock. It was made doubly obvious when it turned out Cliff had found a level of acceptance and peace—of course something had to happen to turn him back into the profane rage robot we all love. I have no idea why Niles booted Cliff from the goat-powered space capsule but I can’t imagine Dorothy will be too happy about it?
posted by ejs at 6:03 PM on July 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

These two episodes - presumably originally intended to be adrift in the middle of a longer season - remind me of season 2 of Twin Peaks, after Leland Palmer is exposed and dies. That probably seems to be a harsh criticism, but I realised after a while that that stretch of Twin Peaks was a perfectly entertaining, goofy series on its own, it just didn't quite compare to what came before (and after) it. I've long had a suspicion that there are teams of writers you can call in to fill your series with generic TV in the style of the more significant episodes - old-style 26-episode seasons were full of it, but I don't know if it fits with modern, shorter, more novelistic series.

On the other hand, that is kind of how comic books are written, or were, so it's sort of true to the source. Think of it as if Grant Morrison ingested a bad sigil and had to spend a few weeks in bed, so Marty Pasko sat in.
posted by Grangousier at 3:00 AM on July 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

From what I've read, it sounds like this season was originally meant to be ten episodes and wound up at nine because of the pandemic, but this episode does feel like the wheel-spinning in the middle of a season designed to be much longer. I think it's significantly better than late-in-the-game Twin Peaks, which the years have rendered nearly unwatchable to me (Windom Earle is dire), but it is drifting along with a similar sense of killing time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:21 AM on July 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Extremely rude to fling Cliff into space.

But then, it’s extremely rude to murder someone, kill their wife, lie about the death of their daughter, and put their brain in a robot body that you never bother thinking about upgrading for 40 years.

Niles is the absolute worst.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:17 AM on September 23, 2020 [4 favorites]

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