For “Doom Patrol,” there’s before Therapy Patrol and after Therapy Patrol. It doesn’t just have an exceptional reveal at the end, which informs the entire episode–Therapy is fragmented, following each character as they prepare for a morning’s team briefing—and the reveal doesn’t just explain the whole thing, director Rob Hardy and writer Neil Reynolds manage to package it in just the right way for optimum success.
But the episode’s also got great April Bowlby, who gets this awesome combination of comedic, dramatic, and special effects sequence. And Matt Bomer’s character is finally, finally, finally paying off. It’s episode seven, so it’s a tad delayed, but the show finally addresses all of the awkward flashbacks to Bomer’s past—a closeted Air Force flier trying to prove he’s got the right stuff—and turns out to be an amazing resolution. Or development. Especially once you start realizing what’s going on and the show just keeps at it until it’s the right moment.
The rest of the episode is pretty much the same way. Great Robotman stuff from Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan, great Joivan Wade stuff.
Wade’s performance is a little looser than it could be—especially given how great Bowlby and Bomer get—but it’s an exceptionally affecting subplot, which has Wade getting back onto social media for the first time since his accident four years before.
Meanwhile, Robotman is fixating on his former mechanic (I think) who was sleeping with his dead wife (who Robotman killed in a car accident) adopting his daughter. The showdown with the mechanic, played by Alan Heckner, figures into a couple of the other character threads. Including the big finish.
Diane Guerrero has some stuff too, which I’d been dreading, but it’s nowhere near as bad as I feared. It’s quick, in fact. They hurry through Guerrero’s stuff because there still needs to be time for the team to try talk therapy. So after doing all this great character subplots, the episode brings it all together and lets them talk amongst themselves….
Which might not be a great idea given their temperaments.
It’s a fantastic hour of television. Like I said… before Therapy Patrol, after Therapy Patrol. My expectations for the show have gone way up.
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