Doom Patrol: Nostalgia Patrol
December 15, 2022 5:46 PM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Vic reunites with old friends (not the Titans; his really old friends), Rita goes to the movies, and Jane has a very unexpected experience.
posted by kittens for breakfast (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Random Notes:

*I found Jane's Orgasm, as a plot point, kind of oblique; if The Fog made her cum, um...what? I'm trying to remember if there was some particular tension between Jane and The Fog, but I really can't. I presume this was actually Dr. Janus, stealing Jane' Since it was the same fog effect that sucked everybody into Secret Rendezvous.

*Dr. Janus first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #81 (August 1963), and never appeared again. He was a dude in that comic, and a Nazi, so probably not that much like the TV version. That Dr. Janus also cast illusions, but they didn't work on Cliff, whose brain was protected by his metal skull, which evidently acts as a tinfoil hat against telepathy; and so it was that Dr. Janus got his ass kicked. Our Cliff is clearly not so protected, presumably because TV Dr. Janus operates by emitting tendrils of fog that can snake their way into a metal skull, and can also provide clitoral stimulation, and...well...what can't a psychic tendril of fog do, really?

*I was a little surprised that Vic's friends, all of them about thirty years old, went along with the plan to steal their Laser Tag title back from a group of middle school kids. Truly this is a contest where there may or may not be a winner, but there will, no matter what, be a loser.

*Although she seemed to be dressed for Barbarella, Rita's science fiction movie sure looked a lot like the set of Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires to me. Appropriate, I guess, since Dr. Janus is some kind of psychic vampire. I can't remember when Rita was supposed to have made her last film; she certainly had a disco era look.

*Mr. 104 first appeared in Doom Patrol #98 (September 1965; as one might have guessed, the My Greatest Adventure series is eventually retitled "Doom Patrol," but keeps the same numbering; hence, the first issue of Doom Patrol as such is #86, cover dated March 1964), where he is actually Mr. 103. He can change his body into any element on the periodic table. In 1965, there were 103; when he returned a little later, there were 104, and thus the name change. There are more than that now! But apparently our Mr. 104 has been trapped in an alternate dimension for many years, and so he probably doesn't know that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:40 PM on December 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh! I forgot to mention: it seems likelier than ever to me that this is the last season of this show, and not just because these episodes have felt...frugal. The incoming James Gunn regime is (in my opinion) a welcome breath of fresh air -- I can't believe the plan for the DCEU was seriously to rebuild the Snyderverse around The Rock playing an unlikeable antihero no normal person has ever heard of* -- but a show that's been on since 2019 might be in trouble. Even if Gunn, et al, look fondly upon Our Heroes, there is also the matter of Brendan Fraser probably being nominated for, and quite possibly winning, the Best Actor Oscar in honor of The Whale. I feel like other opportunities could pull him away, you know? Doom Patrol could soldier on without Cliff, I guess, but it's a dreary thought. We Shall See.

*I, obviously, am not a normal person.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:27 PM on December 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

All three episodes of this season have felt very... hollow to me. Maybe it's because I found S3 weak and a bit tedious (Oh god were the Sisters of Dada the most annoying thing ever), but everything here seems like the show is treading water and rehashing old ideas without a lot of energy or depth or emotional investment. It just doesn't have the pull of the first 2 seasons, and I'm not sure why that is.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

They could be running low on ideas, or maybe production was still limited by COVID, but I think the big problem is that they obviously have no budget. I remember being stunned in the first season that so much money was obviously being thrown at a niche project (at that time, the show wasn't on HBO but was literally just on the DC Universe app, which I highly doubt had anything like even half a million subscribers) -- how was this financially possible? It was apparently not financially possible at all.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:25 PM on December 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

I miss Timothy Dalton....
posted by Pendragon at 11:38 AM on December 19, 2022

Short version of what I think changed: The first two seasons were weird fun built on top of tragedy, but last season (and this one so far) are more tragedy built on top of weirdness (with much less fun).

Still loving the show, though less than I used to.
posted by ejs at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

I loved Rita's sci-fi hair and make-up. I also was really taken with Mr. 104's very period-appropriate line delivery in the gazebo scene.

I have no idea where they're heading with the Larry and Klieg (sp?) plot. The callbacks this season (this time, as mentioned above it's the orgasmic fog) seem like they're really reaching for things that weren't that memorable in the first place, but again, I don't know if that's a failure on the part of the TV team or an us the viewers. I was thinking it was a failure of my memory, but since it seems I'm not the only one, I'll have to put it down to a misstep on their end.
posted by sardonyx at 8:03 PM on December 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

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