blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s01e14 – Penultimate Patrol

It’s a superb episode. Lots and lots of content—including some surprising devices to extend the narrative, which seems iffy at first but ends up working out great. Although you see the budget when it comes to a Groundhog Day-esque montage and the exact same footage keeps getting reused. “Doom Patrol” is even more impressive when you take them being on the cheap into account.

This episode indeed does have more Devan Long, but nowhere near as much as I was expecting. It’s fine, the episode’s so good they didn’t “need” him like they do when, you know, Diane Guerrero’s supposed to be holding her own. And while I missed him, they do die him a great scene.

Also surprising is Joivan Wade’s participation in the episode; they’d given him permission to skip “Doom Patrol Duty” to hang out with Phil Morris. Turns out even though that bonding time goes somewhat awry thanks to some real talk—Morris is so good, just so devastatingly good; his performance ought to be taught—Wade’s not really with the team by choice. Because it’s time for a big reveal.

And not one of the many reveals we’ve been promised—okay, there are maybe two outstanding mega-reveals (though this episode does raise some questions when it flashes back to everyone right before they become, quite unfortunately, “super”)—it’s an out of nowhere reveal. There’s some foreshadowing for a reveal of some kind, a truth divulgence and so on, but the stakes aren’t really established. And the show’s able to kick-off an entirely different take thanks to it. Penultimate Patrol doesn’t feel like an abridged two-partner so much as a “giant-size” episode, even though it’s only one of the forty-four minute ones.

Possibly because of the great script, courtesy Chris Dingess—who wrote the comic “Manifest Destiny,” which I read for a while—great script, great direction from Rebecca Rodriguez; I don’t blame anyone for the montage editing except Warner for not giving the show more money. Though with more money you probably wouldn’t have the same cast and, Penultimate confirms, everyone else makes up for Guerrero. I mean, Brendan Fraser’s voice acting is along far enough, Bowlby delivers greatness every episode, Bomer’s working out, Timothy Dalton….

I mean, Alan Tudyk isn’t doing what they seem to think he’s doing but he’s a lot closer than Guerrero, who actually gets some sympathy here when she’s just so incapable of doing the part. It’s almost mean they made her.

Great music—I thought for sure it’d be some Clint Mansell, but Kevin Kiner’s solo on this episode. Mansell and Kiner have done some great scoring this season.

The cliffhanger’s just right too.

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