blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s01e08 – Danny Patrol

I just ran a find on this episode’s cast list because I couldn’t remember who did the voice of the new character, Danny the Street. Only to remember Danny only ever talks in text messages. Not, like, SMS messages, but text they’re able to arrange on the… well, not on the street because they’re the Street. But like marquees and store windows and, I don’t know, leaves in the breeze. Danny the Street’s clearly able to communicate because it really hadn’t occurred to me they didn’t speak.

Though maybe there’s some personified speaking in a daydream sequence.

Hopefully that paragraph will make more sense in a bit.

So Danny the Street is a sentient, gender-queer, teleporting street—like city street—and they’re in trouble. Jon Briddell’s a government agent—with the Bureau of Normalcy, which turns out to have some history with Matt Bomer and his alien ghost spirit laser electricity thing—and he’ll stop at nothing to destroy the street. Even though he doesn’t know what he’s trying to destroy—or who—including his former partner, Alan Mingo Jr. (sorry, in 2020 watching the old White cop, Black cop best buddies thing just seems forced and fake as opposed to admirably working class). Mingo had some significant self-discovery thanks to Danny the Street and gets to embody some of the tension. The obscurity is about the spoilers. Director Dermott Downs and writer Tom Farrell do some really neat things with Mingo’s character development and they’d cooler to see unfold, if only to appreciate the craft.

Bomer and Joivan Wade pair off to investigate the Danny the Street thing while April Bowlby and Robotman (voiced by Brendan Fraser and performed by Riley Shanahan, who apparently doesn’t have any dance training, which comes as surprise after this episode) have to try to save Diane Guerrero from one of her personalities who wants to live in the perfect nineties romantic comedy and turns out to be able to do it. Some good comic material for Bowlby, the aforementioned great dancing from Shanahan, and Guerrero’s at least supposed to be annoying this persona.

That subplot’s got nothing on the Danny the Street one—which gets Bomer closer to standout acting than I thought possible and again elevates the show’s potential; it’s an excellent episode.

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