After summoning the Candlemaker and accidentally killing Baby Doll and leaving Jane in a coma, Dorothy runs away into space with a spaceship because this is Doom Patrol and we’ve come to expect that kind of thing on this show. Meanwhile, three astronauts return to Earth and Negative Man discovers an unexpected connection to one of them. Also meanwhile, Cyborg and his new girlfriend look at each other’s parts… cybernetic parts, I mean. Don’t be gross.
A lot less somber and scary than last week’s episode, “Space Patrol” returns to the wacky random roots that this show is known for. Rather than having a dominant A story, this episode feels more like a series of loosely-fitted vignettes. and, for Doom Patrol at least, it works out rather well.
I’m just gonna say it right out of the gate… I don’t much care for Cyborg’s story. Honestly, I don’t much care for Cyborg on this show at all. Nothing against the guy as I genuinely like this incarnation of the character and the actor who plays him, but Cyborg is better suited for an actual superhero show and, as much as I loathe the Titans series, he belongs there. I honestly feel like the only reason Cyborg is on the Doom Patrol is because the show-runners felt like they needed a recognizable name in the lineup as the Doom Patrol is rather obscure. The dude just doesn’t belong here, though, and his stories seem more like useless sidequests than anything else. Cyborg should honestly disappear from this show for weeks at a time and I don’t think I would notice.
It was neat to see Doom Patrol break out Negative Woman this soon. I liked the way that she was used as a foil for Larry, a way to show him everything that he could be following an episode that dealt him a very serious and personal blow. I like seeing characters grow and evolve and to see Negative Man, literally one of the most negative people on the show, end this episode with an almost supernaturally positive outlook on the road ahead, no matter how hard it’s going to be, was very uplifting. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Negative Woman.
I also have to add that, after an episode of homoerotic shenanigans between the other two astronauts, Specs and Zip, the revelation of what was really going on and why they were back on Earth was actually very heartbreaking. There was something so phenomenally sad, watching the two guys in the grave at the end.
The Jane subplot was a lot more heavy than anything else and I enjoyed the philosophical musings of what it means to kill a personality in a person with split personalities. To see the Underground in such disarray and confusion, the strong personalities like Hammerhead honest to goodness unsure how to move on, was very sobering. Miranda’s appearance struck me as the arrival of a cult leader and I’m very anxious to see where this new leadership goes.
Finally, the actual space patrol in “Space Patrol.” Robotman and the Chief go into space to bring Dorothy home. This segment was the most magical… a whimsical, silly, and delightful story that makes no logical or scientific sense, but was nonetheless just so much fun to watch. While I’ve praised Abigail Shapiro for her portrayal of Dorothy the last couple of weeks, I have to give special recognition to Brenden Fraiser for his work as Cliff. He’s bringing so much heart and soul to the part of Robotman latey and he’s just been a delight to watch this entire series. I’m so happy that this man is working again.
It’s all the more shocking, then, when this subplot ends with an unimaginable betrayal by the Chief who, in his selfishness and cruelty, robs Robotman of all the hope and promises he made to him. I honestly do not understand how anything can go back to normal after this… if Doom Patrol has a normal.
Aside from the drab Cyborg story, this was another totally whacked episode of Doom Patrol that mostly sets up dominoes for later episodes, but it did it in a great way. I do so enjoy the randomness of this show.