Doom Patrol: 1917 Patrol
October 15, 2021 8:22 AM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Rita goes back in time, and everyone else has an epiphany, except for Cliff, who thinks he's having an epiphany, but is just addicted to video poker.
posted by kittens for breakfast (16 comments total)
I'm halfway through the episode, but I wonder how much Cliff is paying that obvious camgirl who is just there to hang out with him and watch him play his weird squirrel game.

I hope Cliff does not find any Facebook memes and become radicalized because that seems like the next step now that he's a grandpa.

I'm really, really enjoying this season and the high point so far was probably "It's just vomit!!" as they escaped from the afterlife.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2021 [4 favorites]

I guess Rita is doing one of those time loop things where she does the actions that lead her to starting the time loop etc etc.

Cliff's arc is quite a bummer so far; he chugged the dopamine pills and now his brain is choosing to mainline dopamine from the computer, which is relatable. The early episodes gave a good idea of what it's like to be Cliff, lacking so much sensory input and not entirely in control of one's body. To have the brain start going as well is truly terrifying.

I feel like the gang has spent precious little time together this season other than the time that they were all zombies. Cutting between 5 different storylines gives me whiplash.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel about these dada people. Taking drugs and doing a chicken dance may have been all the rage in 1917 but it doesn't feel like it's built a lot of character.
posted by tjgrathwell at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2021

I loved this.
posted by bleep at 10:48 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I think what I love most about this show is that given the set ups we got & what we know about the characters, everyone is doing exactly what they would be doing, in my experience. I really love watching Jane use her experiences in the afterlife to help Kay free herself, I just love this direction. It reminds me of the story I heard that's like a man finds a raft and it helps him cross a river. But he can't carry it around with him forever, nor does he have to. He can let it go.

Re: The Dada sisterhood, it seems to me that somewhere between 1917 & 2020 there was a falling out between them & Missy Laura De Mille probably over them wanting to do something with their lives & Laura not agreeing.
posted by bleep at 12:14 PM on October 15, 2021

I did not like this! I think these last two episodes have been the nadir of the show so far. As mentioned above, splitting the episode into five different stories robs it of the thrill of the characters interacting. (The group spending all their time together in a rundown resort was the high point of this season for me so far.)

The Jane, Vic, and Larry storylines seem more like wistful codas to "Dead Patrol" than new threads, though obviously they're setting up future developments (at least for Vic and Jane, Larry's seems like a retread of well-travelled ground). Cliff's storyline seemed like it was contrived just to get him to somehow sell the plans for his body to the unknown buyer for some reason. And selling his roommates' shit on eBay seems like a dick move even for him and his doped-up brain.

Rita is my favorite character but I think she's ill-served by the Sisterhood of Dada storyline, which somehow makes Dada boring and cringe (if I may use that word as an old). Even the Bureau of Normalcy is dull here, and the plotline of Bendy facing up to discrimination against metas is ham-handed and devoid of the show's usual subversion and wit. The scene of the misunderstood misfits partying had none of the cathartic joy of Larry taking the stage in Danny's cabaret.

I too am assuming that this is leading to a schism between Laura and Bendy, but mainly because that's the simplest explanation for why Laura would show up at the resort, shapeshift into Rita, and prevent her from escaping her death.

I'm hoping that this episode is setting up something awesome that will make it retroactively better, but I was hoping that about last episode too. Anyway, despite my grousing, Doom Patrol is my favorite show on TV and watching even a disappointing episode is still a great use of an hour! Maybe I need to watch the two episodes again in a different state of mind to see what you all saw.

Three things I liked: Rita's paramour having a birdcage for a heart. The return of Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. The way that time travel causes amnesia. That's a great Philip K. Dick-style paradox prevention premise, which will doubtless be pivotal in how this all shakes out.
posted by ejs at 5:42 PM on October 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

He was sensory deprived for 30 years and then got a sudden extreme dopamine hit so now he's addicted to dopamine hits which are expensive so he figures out how to make money. It's your choice not to like it but it's not contrived, it's a pretty realistic series of events.
posted by bleep at 6:04 PM on October 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I felt like this was a return to form after some distressingly wobbly episodes, but even here it felt like the show doesn't really know what to do with most of the characters. For instance, I like the Jane story, but I still think conflicts between her and her other selves are ultimately...I mean...they're all her, this is basically a person yelling at herself, even the Miranda story still pretty much proved to be Jane yelling at herself (I think) internecine bickering the only possible storyline for a person with MPD? I tend to think it isn't...

...But I also think that at the end of the day, Jane's story has to be one of healing and reintegration, and if you do that, that's the end of the character. And that's true for Cliff, and Vic, and Larry, even Dorothy and Rita, and I feel like what we may be starting to see is the show realizing it can't fully advance these arcs without simply bringing the show to an end. I may be wrong -- I hope I'm wrong -- but increasingly I feel like the show is spinning its wheels because it can't advance, not that it doesn't want to, or know how to.

Downer, right? But on the other hand! I liked this episode a lot, liked the Sisterhood a lot, wasn't crazy about the chicken dance or "Pokerface" but that is Okay.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2021

I never know what you guys are talking about.
posted by bleep at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I feel like what we may be starting to see is the show realizing it can't fully advance these arcs without simply bringing the show to an end. I may be wrong -- I hope I'm wrong -- but increasingly I feel like the show is spinning its wheels because it can't advance, not that it doesn't want to, or know how to.

This is just such a weird way of enjoying fiction. I mean, ok, so the characters might resolve their various issues! That's great! In what way is the show not advancing? It's just telling a story about 5 people. If you don't like the way they're telling it then why watch it?
posted by bleep at 11:57 AM on October 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Good news!! Doom Patrol has been renewed for season 4.
posted by ejs at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

Good news for who!
posted by bleep at 1:49 PM on October 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

I like the show, but I feel like it's been lacking in momentum the last few weeks. Liking the show doesn't mean that I unconditionally love the show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:43 PM on October 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

He was sensory deprived for 30 years and then got a sudden extreme dopamine hit so now he's addicted to dopamine hits which are expensive so he figures out how to make money.

Oh yeah, I’m totally down with the dopamine thing! I think that’s an interesting and intriguing development in his narrative journey, which has greater implications in that his robot body was supposed to keep him immortal, but Niles apparently overlooked (or was not able to solve) neurological diseases.

The part that’s weird is Cliff running out of money, and that being the inciting factor for selling the plans to his body, when finances have never been touched on at all in the series. Cliff has been legally dead for 30 years, during which he never held a job, so how does he have any money? I was fine with the show glossing over money issues, since it’s easy to assume Niles is super wealthy from various unethical schemes over his very long life, and lets the DP use his accounts. (Those slot car racing sets cost a lot!) But it’s weird now, after three years of ignoring money entirely, to bring it up not as a plot development in itself (“the crew suddenly has to get jobs or they’ll be evicted from the mansion!”), but as a step to get to “Cliff sells his body to a mysterious stranger.”

But don’t worry bleep, I love this show, and when I have criticisms they come from a place of love. Feel free to check out every single previous Doom Patrol FanFare post in which I gush about it (except last week’s). Like the comment box says, we’re all fans here!
posted by ejs at 4:15 PM on October 16, 2021

Time travel swiss-cheesing your brain was a Quantum Leap thing, wasn't it?

Metafilter: This is just such a weird way of enjoying fiction.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:51 PM on October 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

I had a lot of fun with this, I like this take on the Sisterhood so far. April Bowlby does a nice job of keeping Rita recognizably herself, but still different from the person who left 2021 in meaningful ways. I don't know that we need to get back to their masterpiece at the party, or to have any real connection to the Brotherhood of Evil, but that sure looked like a blank canvas and somebody had to make that painting they went through to find Danny a while back.

I do think it would help to get some more time with the cast together, ideally not as zombies. I don't mind them all having their own plots, but they feel pretty separate, and are working to varying degrees. Some of that is the characters all finding their own footing without Niles as a center point, and that's legit, but a lot of season 2 felt this way too, not always to its benefit, and it would be nice to make more time for the main characters to interact with each other.

I thought the speech about the baseball game was rather lovely and felt like it could've come from a real person's life. There could be a solid story in all this with Larry and his kid and the BoN to wind up with them literally bumping into each other in the Dada fog, but it needs more time and attention than just everyone coming out and saying exactly what they mean and think and why and then moving on, and there's more interesting stuff happening elsewhere on the show anyway, so this whole storyline might just end up being kind of be a dud, which is a shame. Also it kinds of feels like this all happened already, except maybe this was all teeing up him getting another shot with a replacement lightning ghost baby, who even knows.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:14 PM on October 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Parkinsos - L-DOPA - pathological gambling is a known issue and it's a little bit more complicated than simply a "dopamine hit." The molecular mechanisms are complex, and the epidemiology suggests ancillary genetic predisposition.

In a normal brain, the biggest "reward" is when the dopaminergic neurons fire in a coordinated manner, and that happens best when winning something at about a 66% odds. With L-DOPA supplementation, the reward from winning increases regardless of odds and the punishment for not winning is less potent.

I doubt the writers gave any thought to this, but it's fitting that Cliff, who doesn't really learn from his mistakes, is predisposed to being a gaming junky and L-DOPA knocks him off the cliff.

Acute overdose of L-DOPA (tens to hundreds of grams) in Parkinsonians can temporarily relieve all symptoms and lead to brief mania-like symptoms, followed by a massive crash in blood pressure and then a really bad time - during which amnesia is not uncommon.

Since Cliff doesn't have a body to die from, I suspect that the truly heroic amounts of L-DOPA would give him brief mania, then a massive downregulation of synaptic dopamine receptors, or excitatory death of dopamine receiving neurons leading to even more severe Parkinsonian symptoms.

Despite not having a body, non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons include pain, memory and cognitive deficits, depression, and at severe levels, hallucinations and delusions. Not a great way to go if you have a body that can't die.
posted by porpoise at 9:29 PM on December 7, 2021

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