Doom Patrol: Dada Patrol
October 7, 2021 6:31 AM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Armed with slightly greater understanding of what's going on than they had at this time last week, our heroes set out to infiltrate a group of art terrorists or something, a vague mission that leads to decidedly tangible results.
posted by kittens for breakfast (9 comments total)
Random Notes:

*The Doom Patrol first encountered these villains (?) as the Brotherhood of Dada, in a storyline by Grant Morrison and Richard Case (beginning in Doom Patrol Volume 2, #26, September 1989). It's been an awfully long time since I read these comics; I revisited them probably fifteen years ago, at which time I was horrified by the dialect of Frenzy (the artist who speaks to Cyborg), which in the 21st century seems (in this reader's opinion) unintentionally quite problematic. Grant Morrison is a white man from Scotland who apparently based a character on Flavor Flav in 1989 (while also making him Jamaican for some reason?), with all the best intentions and cringe-y results that implies. This version of the character seems to be both a course correction and perhaps a meta-commentary on the original, which is exactly the kind of stuff that makes this show so good. I should also note that the Brotherhood of Dada was led (insomuch as any Siblinghood of Dada can truly have a leader) by...well, that's spoiling it, but suffice it to say that maybe this will be relevant on the show and maybe it won't.

*Will this season end with Kay and Jane merging? It certainly seems like it could be heading that way. I don't know whether Jane integrating all her personalities would be personal it even necessary? Jane is extremely neurodivergent, but I don't think she's dysfunctional. Could the part of her that is Kay become more assertive without costing her all the good parts of her various selves -- more to the point, can she be a single personality without massive self-sacrifice? And would it be worth it?

*Surprisingly, I'm finding the Madame Rogue story to be a little tiresome. It kinda feels like the writers just wrote "Michelle Gomez -- go nuts!!!" on a piece of paper and figured that was all they really needed. I mean, maybe they were right, but...

*Back to the Sisterhood, I like them already. I'm especially taken with Tilda Sw--umm, The Fog. It should be fun to see the Doom Patrol fight actual supervillains for once. I love that the Sisterhood just knew they could effortlessly kick our heroes' asses with self-doubt; clearly, they have been watching this show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:15 AM on October 7, 2021

I felt lost the whole first 30 minutes and ended up stopping. I'll have to re-watch at a later date when I can focus more. It's symptomatic of my feelings towards this season as a whole; I know the names and places, and I vaguely remember most of the events (but not necessarily their details or when they occurred in relation to one another), but not why I should care about what's happening now, which for its part hasn't really been enthralling. Humble opinions and such caveats. I want to like it. Or maybe, I want to want to like it. But it feels like the passion's gone out.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:15 PM on October 7, 2021

I knew I had seen and heard Tilda-, er, The Fog before. Turns out she was Whitney Frost in season 2 of Agent Carter.

This season isn't quite jelling for me like the last two did. I'm still enjoying it, but... Maybe my expectations are just too high.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:41 AM on October 8, 2021

Yeah. By the end of the first half, I was beginning to wonder if this show had been cancelled. But I think it picks up dramatically after the Sisterhood shows up. Maybe they just really have no idea what to do with Michelle Gomez's character?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:03 AM on October 8, 2021

I didn't realize that was the same actress who played Whitney Frost.

This episode felt like the writers said to themselves: let's show the viewers just how smart and clever and avant-garde we can be, and I find when those kinds of impulses hit, the result is rarely any good. I think it's the act of trying to prove something that makes it fail.

Much like a Saturday Night Live sketch, I suspect this could have worked much better if it had been dramatically edited and cut down for time.

I know the character is officially referred to as Madame Rouge in places like IMDB, but has that name ever been applied to her onscreen? If it has, I must have missed it.

Doom Patrol is one of those D.C. properties that I never bothered with, so the characters and story lines are mostly unfamiliar to me. I really thought, just given the casting, that there would eventually be some sort of familial tie between Rita and the time traveler, as they have (at least in this show) a look (or a physicality) in common.
posted by sardonyx at 7:29 AM on October 8, 2021

I know the character is officially referred to as Madame Rouge in places like IMDB, but has that name ever been applied to her onscreen?

I don't think it's been in spoken dialogue but the subtitles started identifying her as "MADAME ROUGE:" with this episode.
posted by jordemort at 12:18 PM on October 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought we were calling her Shannon?

This episode left me cold for the same reasons as listed above. It seemed like a lot happened but very little progressed. Despite explicitly name-checking Dada, this episode felt more conventional than the average.

I also haven’t been loving Madame Rouge so far. I thought she was going to replace Niles narratively as the one who gives direction to the rudderless and confused Doom Patrol, but her character is even more rudderless and even more confused, yet infused with unearned smug superiority. Could just be that knowing Michelle Gomez only from Doctor Who and the Flight Attendant, I have mentally typecast her as the only one who knows what’s going on and is always one step ahead.

Rita grasping for the mantle of “world famous time traveler” in the midst of her identity crisis was hit or miss for me, but I look forward to her time travel adventures!
posted by ejs at 9:52 PM on October 8, 2021

I recognized Shelley Byron / The Fog from somewhere too, but I think it was from a very different role on Teenage Bounty Hunters, which is worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet.

I feel like this season still needs to get started, which is a kinda sucky place to be in episode 5. This episode felt particularly pointless.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 4:11 PM on October 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Did I miss some important information or development in a previous episode? Madame Rouge says, "Hey, there's the Sisterhood of Dada, they are involved with some Eternal Flag-a-something-or-other, it's bad. Go pretend to join up with them." And then the gang... drives the bus out into the woods, says, "Hey, is this where we join up?", hallucinates, and drives home that same day? Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention but I feel like almost everything happening this season so far is just thrown in at random.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:26 PM on October 15, 2021

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