Doom Patrol: Done Patrol
November 9, 2023 5:04 PM - Season 4, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The Doom Patrol takes on the apocalypse. But what will they do if they emerge victorious?
posted by kittens for breakfast (4 comments total)
This was very much what I had hoped for: less a finale to a season that -- let's be honest -- made the show seem aimless and out of gas, and more a finale to the whole series, which was on balance very special.

Would I have liked a happier ending for Cliff? While one was dramatically possible -- Vic and his dad could have built Cliff a realistically human body, probably, and there's also at least one god in the secondary cast -- I'm not sure it would have been satisfying the same way Jane and Larry's respective endings were. What Cliff wanted wasn't more life for himself, but the experience of knowing his grandson. I liked that Rory was as imperfect as Cliff had been, and that Cliff seemed unbothered by that. Would Rory have grown up to be a different, better man if his grandfather had been there? Honestly, probably not; but Rory didn't seem like a bad man, anyway. He loved his mom, even if he was a piece of shit. It was a strange, sobering place to end the series, but I think it's a thematically fitting one for a show about flawed, but ultimately lovable, and loving, humans.

My only note? Well, I sure would have liked to see Dorothy, but I guess you can't have everything, right? Her absence seems odd enough that I presume the actress was working on something else. Ah well.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:25 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]

Cliff's ending was sad, especially seeing Rory make the same mistakes as Cliff.

I'm not sure what actually happened with Larry. Everything was suddenly okay. I guess as long as they're in space together their respective conditions can't hurt anybody. Or something. But he's happy, so that's finally nice.

Rita got a good ending, although it's depressing that her friends didn't know her well enough to give her tokens that mean more to her.

Part of me would have like to have seen Jane take a real sublet, just to try to have a normal life for a bit. She seems owed a bit of peace and happiness. That might have been a good thing to for her space-faring friend.

Vic couldn't really have any other kind of ending. It's nice that Rouge had the opportunity to do a bit of damage to the place that damaged her and so many.

I really have no idea what was going on with the butts musical production, but that's fine. Getting them out of the way quickly needed to happen.

The old-age makeup on this show has been so terrible. I can't understand why they couldn't have done a better job.

Overall, however, I think I'm satisfied the way they wrapped things up. I wish we hadn't had the half-season break because it really seemed to break up the narrative flow, and it certainly didn't help my recollection of what was happening. I would have enjoyed a longer build up to the ending rather than a handful of episodes before the show was no more.

Generally, it was quite an experiment and I think, despite many, many rough patches, it succeeded in being a different kind of superhero show, which is a pretty good legacy for a bunch of misfits.
posted by sardonyx at 3:07 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]

I thought this was a great end to the series. It’s a funny and apt close for a show that always did the opposite of what’s expected—instead of the usual lesson of “The real Doom Patrol was the friends we made along the way,” the way for them to find happiness was to get as far away from each other as possible. (Also loved Larry’s observation that most of the problems they solved were ones they’d created in the first place.)

Rita’s funeral was great, both funny and touching. Her friends focusing on her drinking and her vanity was understandable—it’s not that they didn’t know her, those were just such a big part of her! But hen Vic offering honey because “she loved bees, I think” was a hilarious callback.

All the Doom Patrol finding peace or love or purpose felt organic and earned, except for Jane shacking up with Space Case. That pairing was, as far as I recall, introduced in a musical number and never really developed after? But sure, why not, though maybe don’t get a cat in a tiny space capsule that recirculates the air.

Mr. 104 actually being the shape of a lead ingot was the best. I thought he was going to be a metal statue of himself at the bottom of the ocean, making himself so inconspicuous was very humble and considerate.

The sequence of Cliff experiencing Rory’s life from the POV of a hanging mirror ornament was a tour de force, perhaps one of the best sequences in the show’s run. Cliff dying—or choosing to die—right after was so sad and lovely. We know there’s an afterlife, so Cliff is probably in a better place, but his death meaning the death of the show felt good and right.

I started watching Doom Patrol during the earliest part of the pandemic lockdown, when I was most isolated and most afraid of how things might get worse. The show’s message of “It could always be worse, but at least it will be funny” was a balm for my troubled soul. I look forward to rewatching the series from the start some day.
posted by ejs at 9:38 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]

This was very much what I had hoped for: less a finale to a season that -- let's be honest -- made the show seem aimless and out of gas, and more a finale to the whole series, which was on balance very special.

Would I have liked a happier ending for Cliff? While one was dramatically possible...

Cliff's narrative works even better as a series finale. Season 1, Episode 1 begins with 3 or 4 minutes of Mr. Nobody providing his backstory, then he brings us to Florida in the 80's, Cliff's infidelity, fucking up his life, and Niles putting his brain to the robot body. So Cliff's story nicely bookends the whole series.
posted by mikelieman at 5:22 PM on November 18 [3 favorites]

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