This Doom Patrol review contains spoilers.
Doom Patrol Episode 15
Here we are, the end of Doom Patrol Season 1, with a finale that manages to end the adventure on an even weirder, largely satisfying, note than it began – and with both Cypress Hill playing us out after a giant cockroach and rat swap spit.
This show has always been more about characters than plot, and there have been quite a few episodes that balance the bizarre with the authentically emotional. It has made Doom Patrol consistently compelling. What is interesting with “Ezekiel Patrol” is how it’s almost two episodes, one half heavy on character work, with the second half being all about an adventure.
Following Mr. Nobody forcing the Chief to admit he caused Larry, Rita, and Cliff’s accidents, we flash forward six months, and no one is really happy. Larry and the negative spirit are working together, and Rita is making a go of it as a high school drama teacher (who gets bullied by her students), while Vic is a recluse, Cliff seems only intent on looking after Jane – who enters the superhero equivalent of an opium haze.
Speaking of which, that green-hued sequence is gorgeous, and eerie, as all of Jane’s alters lay down in the grass, while the primary persona Kay is still called by the haunting voice of her monster of a father.
And Mr. Nobody learns the satisfaction of winning as a bad guy, having broken down Niles Caulder, wears off. As for Niles, we have a few disjointed scenes from his past, as he goes from a man on a mission to unlock immortality to the Chief who actually cares about his creations.
One incredibly potent scene is the dressing down Silas Stone gives Niles. Silas isn’t the touchy-feely type, but it has come to light how misunderstood he is. Meanwhile it is Niles who is the hypocrite. It seems the team comes around pretty fast to forgiving Niles, or at least being willing to help him, but this scene between Dr. Stone and Dr. Caulder is needed, and satisfying. And it is commendable acting by Phil Morros.
But let’s get to the good stuff because there is a lot of zany treats that rewards viewers for their investment in the show. Once again, I am convinced Alan Tudyk may be a damn genius to pull off a scene on a toilet in the White Space while reading bad reviews of the show he’s in, and acting opposite a CG cockroach (voiced by the excellent Curtis Armstrong), and Admiral Whiskers.
Like many villains, Mr. Nobody is undone by his own hubris. He gets so caught up to narrating his comeback story (thanks to Rita, in a brief but tasty scene), he fails to notice how trapped he is. But it was a good choice to give Tudyk more to do for the finale. Even if he doesn’t join the side of the angels, his narrative riffing to stoke a romance between Ezekiel and Admiral Whiskers was great stuff.
It should be noted how much of a thing I have about cockroaches. They really get to me, and the giant Ezekiel roach movements was a little too convincing for me, and will no doubt stir up some nightmares. So let’s be done with him, with all due respect to Mr. Armstrong.
Also, I admit to being a sucker for a plot about a team coming together, and it was fun to see the Doom Patrol feel like a family. As Cyborg said, after everything they’ve seen, they are the perfect group to tackle Mr. Nobody. And Rita has stepped up the most as the leader of this band of misfits.
It was nice to see Danny the Street again, but I am disappointed Flex didn’t return for the final episode. And the introduction of Dorothy Spinner as the Chief’s daughter is an interesting twist that I hope pays off in Season Two (if there is a Season Two).
The season finale of Doom Patrol brought the story home in an uneven, but immensely enjoyable episode that reminded me of all the way this show is so good.
If we don’t get more of the series, I will remain happy with what we did get. The missteps were minor, and infrequent compared to the emotional payoffs, and character development. Doom Patrol hasn’t only been a fantastic, tender, bawdy show about freaks learning to love themselves (with a helluva cast that each delivered), it’s also the most openly, proudly queer superhero series yet.