Doom Patrol (2019) s01e11 – Frances Patrol

I remember opining “Doom Patrol” might give Matt Bomer a great part, but it was the pilot (I think) and they managed to simultaneously ignore his character development while also doing the peculiar flashbacks to the 1950s and Bomer’s closeted affair with Kyle Clements. Then it got better a few episodes ago, then Bomer took the last two episodes off, now we get his episode, resolving most of the things with Clements.

There’s some weirdness to the whole “sixty years” thing—when Grant Morrison wrote the comic, it had been thirty years since the characters—Bomer and April Bowlby (who’s all support this episode but absolutely wonderful, save a single moment aside for herself)–were in their heydays. It just works better. When Bomer’s talking about sitting around doing nothing for sixty years, including any personal growth… though given his subplot has gone from being sensational about the closeted affair, this episode deepens it. Bomer’s stuff this episode is absolutely fantastic. Maybe not a new bar for the show to clear going forward, but definitely a high one.

The other plots have Bowlby going down to Florida with Robotman (voice of Brendan Fraser, body performance of Riley Shanahan; Shananhan’s profoundly good this episode, Fraser is… not) to crash his daughter’s memorial for her adoptive father. It could go better, it could go worse, it ends up being something of a shrug; more like the show itself, rather than writer April Fitzsimmons, decided just to give up on it for now and deal with it later. It’d be frustrating if it weren’t so predictable and if the Bomer story weren’t so good.

And the Joivan Wade and Diane Guerrero one so eh.

Guerrero and Wade acting opposite each other—at the beginning of the episode, it seems for like three minutes Guerrero has magically improved; spoiler, she hasn’t. Anyway, they’re not good together and putting them on mission… doesn’t work. Also all of a sudden Marc Pattavina’s editing is bad on some of their talking heads stuff—Wade’s got news about the future of his cybernetics (they’re increasing whether he likes it or not) and the scene where he talks about it to Guerrero….

Should be good.

Isn’t.

Guerrero.

But also Wade a little (not much) and the editing. Is the editing bad because there wasn’t enough coverage or was the scene really bad as shot. Based on Gurrero and Wade’s driftwood chemistry and director Wayne Yip’s otherwise competent direction, I’m thinking the latter. The cutting room floor on Guerrero’s performance has got to be something.

It’s incredible the show can overcome her, yet it does. Even with a perplexing—as in, am I watching “Doom Patrol” out of order—cliffhanger reveal.

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