blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s01e12 – Cyborg Patrol

The episode opens with Cyborg (Joivan Wade) imprisoned by the U.S. government—led by Jon Briddell, who is still nowhere near good enough for his part and they also don’t explain how they went from him being missing two episodes ago to the main villain in this one—only Wade has turned off “Grid,” his cybernetics’ operating system so he’s powerless. Sort of? Eventually Wade gets to do the “try and escape from my obviously escape-proof cell, which has a lot of vents” thing but it’s after he does a whole whiney thing about not being a superhero anymore.

It’s awful in a few ways.

But once Wade meets next-door neighbor, a very amusing Devan Long, who apparently hasn’t shaved or cut his hair in sixty years, the episode gets on a little surer footing; Long sits around and watches soap operas; he tells Wade to chill.

Meanwhile, back at Doom Manor (yep), Diane Guerrero is mad because no one’s paying attention to her wanting to call her first team meeting. Eventually everyone gets there and they decide not to tell Wade’s dad, Phil Morris, about the kidnapping. They’re going to handle it on their own. It’s an interesting scene because Guerrero and April Bowlby have a lot more information about Wade’s current problems than Matt Bomer or Robotman (Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan). It seems like it might go somewhere.

It doesn’t because Morris shows up immediately, demanding to see Wade, and they immediately change their minds and tell him. Only then Morris decides he’s going to lead the mission himself and it takes some convincing to get the team to go along with him.

The episode’s that adventure, which has its ups and downs, what must be comic book guest cameo and what one only hopes can be (hashtag beware the butts), and a fairly effective—albeit obvious and predictable—conclusion. There’s some good acting from the regular cast in their action episode, plus great acting from Morris, who really isn’t going to get the credit for the dramatic he deserves; Alicia Ying’s a wonderful guest star.

Mac Wells is so bad you wish Guerrero would kill him to get their scene over with. And when it does finally turn into Guerrero’s scene… they kind of punt as far as having her execute it. “Doom Patrol”’s way too comfortable asking for a pass on Guerrero’s performance.

Good script—Robert Berens and Shoshana Sachi—good performances, not super-impressed sets.

The secret underground lab looks less impressive than the one in Return of Swamp Thing, complete with some Brazil homage. Still doesn’t look particularly good.

And Briddell’s a real drag.

But otherwise….

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