Doom Patrol: Bird Patrol
October 21, 2021 7:02 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The Sisterhood strikes.
posted by kittens for breakfast (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tho' there were a few places where I might have tapped the Skip Monologue button if I had one, I think this is the strongest episode since the first couple of the season. (I'm sure the Dead Boy Detectives show will be fine and all, but devoting a good 10-20% of this season's real estate to their stealth pilot may not have been great for this show.) The scene where the Sisterhood earnestly discussed -- and discarded -- the idea that their art made any real impact on the world hit me pretty hard.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:09 AM on October 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

Yes!! After two episodes that I considered lackluster, things are in motion again! The Sisterhood being so bitter and sour in 1949 redeemed the silliness of the chicken dancing in 1917 for setting up the contrast. And it's good to have a few answers about what's going on with Rita, Laura, and the Sisterhood, even if the answers spawn even more questions.

I loved the scene where the DP bewilderedly reenact Laura's betrayal, intercut with the actual scene in 1949. Laura branding every member of the DP "weapon" was extremely ominous for the DP's future. I also liked how their forced dance was a cracked mirror version of the "Forever Young" dance in "Vacay Patrol."

Did the Rita who showed up in that scene evince any knowledge of who the DP were? Has that Rita been waging war for the Bureau of Normalcy since 1949, unaware that her past self spent the same decades languishing in Calder's mansion? When the new recruit killed Malcolm, I was hoping she would rampage like she accidentally did in Cloverton in the first episode.

Last week bleep said "Re: The Dada sisterhood, it seems to me that somewhere between 1917 & 2020 there was a falling out between them & Laura De Mille probably over them wanting to do something with their lives & Laura not agreeing." It was such a great twist of the knife that Laura was actually sheltering them from having to do something with their lives, but then forced them into doing the absolute last thing they wanted to do with their lives.

I hadn't loved the Vic/Roni relationship since it turned out she was a meta too, but this episode brought it back and used it wonderfully. Vic's characterization of a guy who is all in on the idea of being a superhero without ever really interrogating it has been great, and Roni making him confront the ramifications was excellent. I also loved the "love theme" version of the main theme that played during this scene.

Larry giving birth to a giant gross grub, trying to abandon it, and not being able to abandon it entirely is a hilarious way to show character development for him. I really was expecting him to come back into the house with the grub in his arms. (By the way, Larry's response "I don't know, the front door?" to Laura's "How'd you get in?" was perfect Larry. Also when Laura was yelling at him about what to do with a space parasite and he said "Give it a name?" I love that morose goofy moron.)

Last week kittens for breakfast aptly described the Jane storyline as "someone yelling at herself," but I think the yelling is getting interesting! We've already seen a revolt against Jane, but Kay revolting against the whole idea of the Underground could go someplace fascinating. And as an aside, I absolutely love the character design of Pretty Polly. When I rewatch the series I'm going to have to take note of whether she ever blinks or closes her eyes at all.

Very excited for next week's episodes, but I hope those Dada-Malcolm-birds that zooped them all away are zooping them to the same place. I'd rather not another episode where each member of the DP has their own little adventure/epiphany.
posted by ejs at 5:15 PM on October 21, 2021 [6 favorites]

This show is so brilliant and has so much to say on so many things and it all resonates with me very strongly. As well as consistently making me laugh.
posted by bleep at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

This season's been kind of uneven for me but I really, really liked that. I guess I won't know for a couple weeks but I have a sense the season might hold together better on rewatch.

Now that we've properly met Wally Sage I wonder if the BoN regarded Flex Mentallo not so much an oddity to be suppressed as their escaped intellectual property. I'm not sure if it's dumb or extremely on brand or both that when the Bureau get a metahuman they really can use as a weapon, they apparently just give him a uniform and a gun and drop him in line with everybody else. I also wonder if the treatment Flex and Larry got by the 60s was a result of how things went down with the Sisterhood, or even Laura's direct doing.

Larry has had legit character growth but I laughed pretty hard at him dumping his space parasite in the woods and seeing the fog and going "That looks bad" and then just walking away.

I rarely know exactly what to make of the Underground or how to talk about it, but I wonder how much the current conflict is an expression of what Kay's going through, or a consequence of it, or if the cohering principle of Protect Kay is breaking down somehow independent of Kay herself.

I legit thought it was a joke when Rita started going on about being a world-renowned time traveler but I really like giving her this time and experience in the Sisterhood. (I also wonder if Rita Farr is out there somewhere becoming a movie start by 1949?)

I have no idea whether this stuff with Roni is heading anywhere in particular, but I think Vic's arc this season is super interesting even without a ton of plot incident and I want to see where it goes.

It was agonizing to see if Cliff was going to use his daughter's credit card but selling Jane's records is pretty bad. Like non-zero chance he's been selling all their stuff to Monsieur Mallah, but even if it's just eBay randos, yikes. But if I were Jane I'd be pissed I had to cough up an entire tea towel and Cliff just got a new shirt.

Also, I know I'm overthinking of it and will happily let it go, but extremely slow aging seems to be pretty common among metahumans regardless of their other abilities, so I'm not totally sure what Niles' experiments on the Doom Patrol to prolong his life were meant to do. Was he trying to induce powers in the hope that immortality would come with them, and then he could just do it to himself? Considering you have to wait at least some time to find out if someone's aging, was there a reason that seemed more promising than just studying metahumans who were definitely already immortal to figure out why? Was there a reason to think meta immortality would work better than the amulet or whatever kept him young the whole time? Or is all of that part of why by the time of Cliff and Vic's accidents he'd moved on to robotics?
posted by jameaterblues at 9:55 PM on October 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'd been starting to wonder if Rita and Laura were the same person, with Rita's Bendy powers having been refined over time to allow her to match other people's faces. She's had decades in the Bureau to get really good at it now. (but I guess Madame Rouge is a whole other person in the comics).
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:02 AM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

Also, I know I'm overthinking of it and will happily let it go, but extremely slow aging seems to be pretty common among metahumans regardless of their other abilities, so I'm not totally sure what Niles' experiments on the Doom Patrol to prolong his life were meant to do.

Yeah, I was thinking that myself! If the Bureau of Normalcy had such a surfeit of immortal metahumans that they're being assigned to custodial duties by 1917, why would Niles have to induce the accidents that made Rita, Larry, and Cliff meta? Why not just recruit the Sisterhood of Dada to watch over Dorothy after his death?
posted by ejs at 12:00 PM on October 24, 2021

He was out exploring around 1917 wasn't he? And Laura showed up at the mansion asking who he was. They must have never met. Plus Niles was chaotic neutral/good rather than lawful good so his experiments seemed to have no purpose at all given that none of it helped him when his life was actually ending. I think that's just an element of his complicated character that was constantly being called out by Vic's dad - the way he was always crying compassion while ruining other people's lives for his own secret purposes. My theory now is that he was a fucked up guy playing sorcerer's apprentice with the universe. To me he represents the blind, stupid brutality of English colonialism.
posted by bleep at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

Which, I'm thinking, he literally was a sorcerer's apprentice / at least that was the relationship I gleaned from them, I got the sense that Niles was the student of the wizard guy who's name I can't remember because I maintain a head canon that he's doctor who that hasn't fallen apart yet
posted by bleep at 5:37 PM on October 28, 2021

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