blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s01e05 – Paw Patrol

Is Diane Guerrero’s core identity—“Doctor Harrison,” who’s got ice-blue eyes like she’s from the “Star Trek: TOS” Shatner pilot or maybe someone in X-Men—supposed to be the far and away best performance Guerrero gives on the show or is it unintentional? But also the best character for her to play? Because Dr. Harrison doesn’t play well with the rest of the cast—there’s also no explanation for the lack of aging between the present and the late seventies because no on in “Doom Patrol” ages.

I wonder if there’s a note about that decision. “Doom Patrol” makes a lot of little (and big) decisions and it’d be interesting to know how they reached them. In a good way. Because “Doom Patrol” never feels over-produced. There’s a particularly nice fluidity to this episode, which concludes a two-parter about the end of the world—an all-seeing eye is going to wink everything out of existence with a resolution–if comics accurate—is either Grant Morrison trying to make fun of Alan Moore or so desperately try to rip him off Alan Moore has to say his name or think about him or something.

And if it’s just the show… I mean, it’s from Swamp Thing Annual. Like. Come on.

Back to the compliments. The show just brings Alan Tudyk and Timothy Dalton back without any fanfare—Shoshana Sachi is probably the best writer the show’s got—and beautifully integrates them into the already running plot. See, Tudyk and Dalton can’t just let the world end if they’re going to destroy the world in their rivalry to… be rivals.

Dalton’s really good. He’s not as good with Joivan Wade as one would hope—did they not audition Wade from this episode, they should have—but having him back, as literally shoehorned as it may be, is just what the show needs to kick the character development into gear.

Much better performance from Mark Sheppard but it’s only because Sachi doesn’t goof around with the stupid magic stuff they did last episode. It helps immensely.

Brendan Fraser’s getting a little too one note. Especially with the constant cameos. It’s hard to miss him when he won’t go.

And it’s a bummer we’re not going to get Guerrero’s best performance full-time. The end of the episode even double-downs on what we’re in for.

Finally, nice work on April Bowlby. She’s had iffy material for a while, she’s getting better grounding here.

Like I said, “Doom Patrol” is going to be bumpy. This episode’s a bump up.

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