Photo courtesy DC Universe
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Doom Patrol season 2: Fear and loathing

13 mins read

Remember the time when the summer would be filled to the brim with various block-busters? In many ways it feels so long ago — the concept of going to a theater, taking in the atmosphere, was a sight to behold.

This article contains potential spoilers for Doom Patrol

Essentially the good old days were before the streaming wars began, and the birth of various networks, supported by pay walls, were implemented. It is honestly an interesting time to be alive right now, but the thing I’m trying to convey is that we, as fans and viewers, are in the golden age of comic book media.

Stargirl‘ and the youthful nature juxtaposed with the dark tone shadowing the narrative, or the emotional ride of character development with a rag team of experiments who went awry include such highlights. 

However that premise is all a smoke screen because the closer you invest you learn it’s a show predicated on the value of empathy. It goes to show that Warner Bros has a different perspective on the longevity of the established lore of DC Comics going forth in the future. 

Photo courtesy WarnerMedia

On June 25, 2020 a light was finally found at the end of the dark tunnel plaguing the landscape of networks from the month of May to about now. The long awaited arrival of Doom Patrol, DC’s D- Listers, has officially arrived on two fronts of watchability. DC Universe still holds stake in the property as does the newcomer in the river of streaming services, HBO Max.

Now for those who don’t know, Doom Patrol is a show of unlike any other proportions from the vision of DC Comics. However that’s where the creativity comes into play.

On the surface Doom Patrol can feel random, zany, wacky and out of touch with reality but that presumption couldn’t be more wrong. The main takeaway of season one could have been it felt like a journey for each character featuring the numerous challenges they had to endure.

Of course the occasional thought of salvation for these broken toys of personalities would drip into the subconscious of the viewer. It is truly sad to see these misfits of reality — forgotten in the mold of the world and cast aside because of their ailments holding them back from the “perfect life” and the hypocrisy of the phrase. 

Photo courtesy DC Universe

Having screened the first three episodes I can say the mentality of the show could have shifted gears and could have gone in the direction of utter nonsense, but it didn’t.

That couldn’t have missed the mark even more due to the hubris of the writers and the narrative. Season two perfectly paints a deep picture of how messed up these icons are. Let’s break down the team, shall we?

The Doom Patrol is composed of Larry Trainor, Rita Farr, Jane, Victor Stone, Cliff Steele, Niles Caulder and Dorothy.

Doom Patrol’s Negative Man (Matt Bomer). Photo courtesy DC Universe

Trainor, aka Negative Man, was a pilot who had a couple kids and a caring wife. But his true feelings of accepting his love were always hidden and shielded from within his pilot closest.

Larry’s arc so far in season two is very reminiscent of being lost and forgotten from the script of time. Season two, episode one, “Fun-Size patrol” has Trainor feeling distant from his family making him deal with the situation they are in paternally due to the events at the end of season one. 

I will say that episodes two and three are true highlights of the journey that the writers are coursing Larry on. Larry gets a semblance of closure and learns that one of his kids has passed away. When he goes to the funeral he sees the patrimony he left behind.

Larry feels a sense of guilt and remorse after being dragged to the depths of life. The world moved on without him. The scene of him witnessing the legacy of his kids, and seeing the letters left from his late son, truly is a tear jerker. The concept of immortality is one that always comes at a penance. 

The elegant Rita Farr (April Bowlby). Photo courtesy DC Universe

Next down the list of pain and suffering is the sensational Rita Farr. Rita’s arc is very complex because, for once, she feels like she is breaking out of her shell of insecurity and honestly, it shows.

The once droopy nature of her facial fixture and the expression of shame can be slowly seen leaving the troubled soul. However the former actress, as a character, feels very different from the others.

She is now confessing to Cyborg about the extent of her powers of elasticity drastically improving and expresses how much she wants to be a hero. The further she treads into season two the more Rita gets a dose of reality with the past coming back to attack her. 

The villainous Doctor Tyme tells her that she was a failure from birth and always will be. A topic to be shelved for later in the article. 

The metal man with all the nasty words, Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser). Photo Courtesy DC Universe

As you can see the narrative is riddled with pain and we’re only halfway through the roster. I feel next could be Robotman, Cliff Steele. Cliff is always, for some reason, playing the realist of the group and the surrogate father to those who are lost within the grip of fear. 

Season two has a lot of memorable father figure scenes, including the relationship between him and Crazy Jane, and even now the newest member of the Doom Patrol, Dorothy Spinner, aka Niles Caulder or “The Chief’s” daughter. 

The multiple personality type, Jane (Diane Guerrero) from Doom Patrol. Photo courtesy DC Universe

Now we get onto the most fragile of the bunch, Crazy Jane. In truth I don’t want to dive into her tale too much because I felt her path is one of the strongest and most cohesive on the show. You really should watch it unfold.

One memorable scene I will pluck from season two so far is the image of a rat eating its runt with Jane having a breakdown. It illustrates a foreshadowing image of her role going forward over this sophomore season. 

The omnipresent Cyborg (Joivan Wade) as he appears on Doom Patrol. Photo courtesy DC Universe

Almost to the end of the ranking is Justice League alumni, Cyborg. I have to say that Cyborg on “Doom Patrol” featuring a more realistic esthetic compared to the CGI-esque environment of the DC Extended Universe (Played eloquently by Ray Fisher) is surprisingly stronger as an arc in my opinion.

The thesis of the show feels that each character is trying to overcome a form of pain or grief which achingly latched onto them. The icon of fear could have a blueprint of Niles Caulder all over him.

However in all truth the writers have concealed and sewed up any theory or thought that could rise in our mind. The breadcrumbs have been dropped and Season two is one for the ages and it’s a crazy ride right now.

One final segment that I will dive into is the execution of villains. The series “Doom Patrol” has always been a little mysterious in plot or story direction and the sophomore season is doing the same.

The foes we encountered so far have been the candlemaker, who is shackled to the misery of the Niles’s daughter Dorthoy, Doctor Tyme and Red Jack.

TikTok has nothing on Doctor Tyme (Brandon Perea). Photo courtesy DC Universe

I feel next we could dive into the eccentric Doctor Tyme and the zany imagery of being a “goldmember wannabe from the austin power films.” He lives in a pocket of time, found in a stitch of the multiverse and clings to various cultures from different era’s of time.  

Finally, in episode three we have a manifestation of fear itself, Red Jack. Another villain I don’t know too much about, but he can be found in the pages of Doom Patrol comics. I will say he did come off as intimidating and very pennywise like in many aspects. 

The ever present, Red Jack (Roger Floyd). Photo courtesy DC Universe

Doom Patrol made the wise choice of showing us the depravity of how weakened these characters really are at the core of the series. Season two has laid out a full blueprint and path regarding what will happen to these D-listers over the span of a short, yet cohesive, nine episodes. 

Three down and only six remain. Many thoughts are running through my mind. As fans we need to understand that the only way to find refuge for our rampant questions is to tune in every Thursday and jump back into the wonderful world of Cloverton.

Official synopsis for Doom Patrol Season 2

DC’s strangest group of heroes — Cliff Steele aka Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Larry Trainor aka Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Rita Farr aka Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Jane aka Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Victor Stone aka Cyborg (Joivan Wade) — are back again to save the world. That is, if they can find a way to grow up…both figuratively and literally. Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the members of the Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder aka The Chief (Timothy Dalton), while confronting their own personal baggage. And as each member faces the challenge of growing beyond their own past traumatic experiences, they must come together to embrace and protect the newest member of the family: Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), Niles’ daughter, whose powers remain a mysterious but real threat to bringing on the end of the world.

Doom Patrol Season 2 is available to stream on HBO Max and DC Universe.

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