Family and Fatalities: It’s just another episode of Doom Patrol.

Last week’s episode was totally bananas, so it was expected that the craziness would be dialed back just a little for this outing. That being said, on a scale of 0 to 10, last week was an 11 and this week was a 7. Still pretty crazy.

The Chief decides to introduce Dorothy to Baby Doll, one of Crazy Jane’s personalities and a potential playmate. While the two get along rather well at first, Dorothy grows tired of Baby Doll’s incessant immaturity and it only gets worse when Baby hurts one of Dorothy’s imaginary friends’ feelings.

While this is going on, Larry attempts to reconnect with his surviving son after the suicide of his other son and Cliff and Cyborg do some bro-bonding when Cliff tries to convince Cyborg’s dad to help him get an overhaul and Cyborg entrusts Cliff about the relationship he messed up.

While this episode did dial back the nuttery, it did give us several wonderful moments of characterization that, sadly, often take a back burner on this show in favor of the random kookiness. Cliff’s speech about how he was forgetting the sensation of what touch felt like was both well written and devastatingly delivered by Brendon Fraiser. We often forget, because the character is so funny and so seemingly indestructible, that Cliff is a very vulnerable and hurt person who has been through something incredibly traumatic. It further goes to solidify that he and Victor would be a perfect team up that ran the gamut of being very heartfelt to silly as I fully expect from this series.

Larry’s story was also very well done. It’s great to see the guy not only try to rejoin the life he left behind, a rejoining that is, frankly, impossible as so many years have passed, but also attempt to reconcile some of his mistakes and wrongdoings. You get a sense that he is genuinely trying his hardest and, when things don’t go well as they did in this episode, you really feel his hurt. Larry can’t go home again. It’s impossible, yet it still hurts to see him fail.

I’m also really enjoying his friendship with Rita and her own personal journey to regain a semblance of control over a life and body that she lost a long time ago.

Last week I gave some recognition to Abigail Shapiro who play’s Dorothy, not only for being a 20 year old who can play a little girl so convincingly through a layer of latex makeup, but also for making Dorothy a character you genuinely like which, with children in science fiction, is no small task. This week, though, Shapiro gave Dorothy a whole new dimension… she was terrifying. Genuinely scary. This is a little girl with unimaginable powers and an evil voice constantly whispering in her ear and, when she gives into that voice as she did at the end, chilling things happen.

The ending of the episode was a shocker, a horrifying note as to what is coming because, if the one character who could retreat into a place that was supposed to be safe can’t escape Dorothy’s wrath, what hope does anyone actually have?

Gosh, I just love this show.

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