Doom Patrol Gets Dumb

“Dumb Patrol” has a few of the team members getting really stupid after they open up a crate they shouldn’t have and release a swarm of microscopic creatures called Scants that feed on bad ideas. Meanwhile, Rita confront the memory of her horrible mother, a new personality named Miranda takes over Crazy Jane, Cliff angrily makes his way home, and the Chief has to figure out what to do with Dorothy.

I’ll hand to to Doom Patrol. Even with silly episodes like this they manage to advance the story and keep viewers interested. I wouldn’t call “Dumb Patrol” especially good or even as wonderfully weird as previous installments, but I will give it credit that it coasts by on the immutable charm of its cast having what looks like a ball with the material that they’re given.

I’m still not a fan of Cyborg and Roni’s story, but I will say that this episode made them both more entertaining that I’ve ever seen them be. Negative Man and Flit was a pretty fun combination as well and seeing Kipling fall victim to the dumbening as well was a fun twist.

Seeing the return of Beard Hunter and a clever meta reference to Mr. Nobody being busy with an animated show (Harley Quinn) was great. I even got a kick out of seeing the Teen Titans Go rendition of Beast Boy on Beard Hunter’s underwear.

The Scants were also a blast and probably the weirdest thing in the entire episode. I love how there was not even an attempt to make them look realistic or gritty, but rather as cartoony as possible.

The Rita side-story was well-written, though I really hope that this isn’t the end of her personal journey as I have enjoyed seeing her become a more well-rounded character every week as we see where her personality comes from.

Cliff… Cliff is always great. I could watch an entire hour of Brendan Fraser screaming and cursing as he marches down the road. Special points to the influencer trading help for social media shoutouts.

I kind of hate the Chief right now and I think that’s the point. He’s just such a back-stabbing, double-dealing scumwad, but you also get the very real feeling that he doesn’t have much of a choice in what he’s doing so I’m waiting with baited breath to see where this story goes as well.

Amazingly, given that this episode was about microscopic sea monkeys that make people stupid so that they can feed on bad ideas, this episode of Doom Patrol was actually pretty tame compared to others which is a testament to how wonked out this series actually is.

Even in its most light-hearted and nonsensical, the show never forgets to advance its plot or characters so even episodes like this that may stink of filler still propels everything forward and become essential viewing later.

This show is just so good.

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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