Reconnecting with Them and Surviving Them, Dads take the center stage on Doom Patrol’s “Dad Patrol”

Dads are usually a mixed bag in superhero shows as they are usually absent, dead, about to be dead, or evil. Doom Patrol uses some of these tropes, but it’s the heartfelt ones that really elevate this episode to something special.

“Dad Patrol,” obviously, is all about being a dad in some form or another. Cliff reconnecting with his daughter, The Chief trying to spend one last day with Dorothy before sending her away with Kipling, Cyborg being a reluctant mentor to Rita, and Jane dealing with the trauma dealt to Kay and the rest of her personalities.

First of all, after two seasons of seeing Cliff angry at everyone and everything, it is so darned great to see him happy and ecstatic. Brendan Fraser is so enjoyable in this role and brings such amazing energy to Cliff using nothing but his voice.

I’ve spoken about how I don’t think that Cyborg belongs on this show and would be better suited to Titans, but with this episode, I’ve discovered that he works best when he’s used as the straight man in contrast to all of the weirdness that transpires on this series. Here, not only is he finally acknowledged as a legitimate superheroe, but he’s treated as a source of knowledge. Rita wants to be what he is and, if this show gets a 3rd season (which it deserves), I wouldn’t mind seeing Cyborg fall into the teacher/mentor role because it suits him.

Jane’s story has been stronger with the last few episodes than it has been since the show started and, with the well sequence, turned into art… heartbreaking, dramatic art.

Finally, I’ve raved and raved about Abigail Shapiro and she continues to be amazing. The interplay between her and Timothy Dalton was so nuanced and multilayered that you could see the themes dancing behind every word they exchanged. Dorothy is such a great character, played well with equal parts menace and innocence.

Doom Patrol continues to be the best superhero show on television.

Written by Jason Gaston

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

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