“Doom Patrol” starts off answering the outstanding question—who is Chief Timothy Dalton’s daughter? Her name’s Dorothy, which could be perfect but I don’t want to get ahead of myself hopefulness-wise with the character. She’s half-twentieth century human, half-20,000 century BCE human. Abigail Shapiro—who’s not in the opening title credit roll—plays the part, in makeup a little bit less than, say, Kim Hunter in the original Planet of the Apes.
Oh. Right. The episode opens with Shapiro in a cage in a 1927 London circus with the ringmaster taunting her as an “ape girl” and torturing her conjured reindeer-bear monster. Then the bigger monsters come out. We don’t get to see them unfortunately, but we do get to see Dalton and Shapiro reunite.
Fast forward ninety years and she’s still basically a tween. A young, energetic one.
Except the team is all in a bad mood because they’re still tiny from last season finale—they’re living in a campground on the miniature train table—though it’s for racing electric cars because it’s TV and electric cars work on TV–and Shapiro exhausts them. Well, most of them.
Shapiro gets along with April Bowlby for the most part, but she’s more drawn to Diane Guerrero and Robotman (Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan, who I wasn’t sure was back the movement’s so different). And Guerrero and Fraser have no time for Shapiro. They’re both mad about Dalton experimenting on them. No one’s particularly happy about it but Bowlby and Matt Bomer are a little more laissez-faire, presumably because they’re older.
Meanwhile, Joivan Wade just wants to be big again so he can leave. Bowlby wants him to stay—and wants him to train her to be a superhero—but Wade’s not buying it. Even though Wade’s not quite good enough, the show’s use of him as the “traditional” superhero works out and his relationship with Bowlby always has great energy.
Good script from Jeremy Carver and Shoshana Sachi; it’s a good refresh on the cast after the season finale and nice setup for the second season, with some forecasting on the upcoming perils.
Really good Timothy Dalton. Guerrero’s… not better. Shapiro seems to be a good addition. Excellent music from Clint Mansell and Kevin Kiner. Though the special effects seem off.
Oh, and Mark Sheppard is better than last time with his cameo here. He’s not a goof anymore.
Sadly Fraser’s in-person flashback cameo is probably his worst work on the show so far, like his experience voicing Robotman has led to him later making bad acting decisions.
But it’s a good episode and a successful launch for the season.