Doom Patrol is one of those shows that you never knew you needed until you experience it. On a narrative level, the show is about a group of misfits who meet in an unlikely fashion and deal with it the best way they can. On a thematic level, it’s about finding a place in this world and putting yourself there and saying “I don’t care what you think, I belong here”. Its messaging is precisely what’s needed right now. It feels like coming home watching these three episodes, ‘Fun-Size Patrol’, ‘Tyme Patrol’, and ‘Pain Patrol’. Doom Patrol season 2 has cleaned up the plot and the visual effects. But more importantly, it never makes you stop caring about the characters.
One thing Doom Patrol has always done well is character development. Season 1 was phenomenal at prioritizing characters above all else, which makes it interesting that Doom Patrol season 2 leans more into its plot. After all, this season lasts nine episodes as opposed to fifteen like the previous season. While a shorter episode count can cause some character-based shows to struggle, the writers of Doom Patrol never let their characters fall by the wayside. We get looks back into their history, which keeps us learning new things.
The main cast from season one is back, along with some new additions. Among them are Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), the super-powered daughter of The Chief, and Roni Evers (Karen Obilom), a military veteran who interacts with Victor Stone/Cyborg. Those seem to be the main cast additions that will be in more than one episode. Shapiro is absolutely brilliant and adorable as Dorothy. She’s an intriguing character who gets a chance to explore more than Danny for the first time in her life. Her powers aren’t quite developed as I would like from a story perspective, but that’s really my only qualm. On a side note, Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) is one of the few characters from season one that is sorely missed.
Let’s take a quick overview of each episode, and I’ll give my rating for each episode individually.
Doom Patrol Season 2 Episode 1 – ‘Fun-Size Patrol’:
‘Fun-Size Patrol’ is a great opening episode. The series picks up close to where the first season left off. The team is tiny, and it’s a blast to see them try to get out of it. Seeing Mark Sheppard return as Willoughby Kipling is one of the episode’s highlights. This episode slows down for its plot more than is necessary. Still, ‘Fun-Size Patrol’ aims to reunite you with the characters and plant seeds for the rest of the season. All of these characters I can strongly relate to in some sort of way, but Cliff Steele is my favorite. Brendan Fraser is the perfect voice for him.
Doom Patrol Season 2 Episode 2 – ‘Tyme Patrol’:
After the strong first impression that ‘Fun-Size Patrol’ makes, it’s a shame that ‘Tyme Patrol’ does not maintain that level of quality. Most of all, one can credit that to the weak characterization of Dr. Tyme. This is a simple villain who could have been great, but the writing does not do that character justice. Not only that, but this episode separates Cyborg from the team, and as always, I will complain about the team splitting up failing the idea of a team show. I get it, and I can see his subplot make sense in future episodes moving forward in development. Nevertheless, this episode only serves to really water the plot seeds laid in ‘Fun-Size Patrol’. But while the focus is gaining time, Tyme is wasted for the season only having a single-digit episode count.
Doom Patrol Season 2 Episode 3 – ‘Pain Patrol’:
Now this episode… this episode was haunting! Roger Floyd as Red Jack is scary. More importantly, the utilization of butterflies in this episode showcases one of the great themes of Doom Patrol: new beginnings. And it’s here that most of the cast find their new beginnings, combined with an acceptance of where they’re at. We do find something out about Victor that I had never thought about. Looking back, it actually is a little bit important for Victor and his relationships. Dorothy is learning the limits of the real world, but I do want that to move a bit faster. Despite that, this episode allows for some roots to grow in what looks to be the overall plot. My only desire is for this villain of the week to come back because I could use more of Red Jack.
What did you think of the first three episodes of Doom Patrol season 2? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for more review of the show! – Katie Gilstrap
Doom Patrol season 2 episode 4 ‘Sex Patrol’ will premiere on HBO Max and DC Universe on July 2, 2020.
The show stars Timothy Dalton, Diane Guerrero, Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, and Abigail Shapiro.