blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s02e03 – Pain Patrol

Samira Radsi directs a positively unnerving episode here, doing both social awkwardness in the extremes and then, you know, traditional inter-dimensional evil who was Jack the Ripper—is Red Jack (Roger Floyd, who looks like a cross-between Hellraiser and Stanley Kubrick’s Phantom of the Opera) a Redjac from “Star Trek” reference? Cute. The most likable thing Grant Morrison’s done.


While Timothy Dalton and April Bowlby are trying to rescue Matt Bomer from Floyd—the way the episode picks up from the previous episode’s cliffhanger, which itself had been a C plot throughout, is really smooth. “Doom Patrol: Season Two” has a very nice assuredness about it. This episode’s script—Tamara Becher and Tom Farrell—is excellent as well. Things have come together quite reliably.

Okay, except Diane Guerrero, who has an intervention subplot with the other personas and it’s terrible because the acting is so bad but it’s just the show. Like. It’s worth waiting through the bad for the good.

Enough about her. Well, in a second—she’s on the bus with Cliff the Robotman (Brendan Fraser voicing, Riley Shanahan moving) and Fraser has gone to confront his daughter Bethany Anne Lind. See, the episode opens with Dalton having to tell Fraser to stop swearing in front of Dalton’s daughter, Abi Monterey, which sets Fraser off. Guerrero’s asleep on the bus. Done.

So Fraser’s trying to work up the courage to talk to Lind but doesn’t have Guerrero around to consult and it’s going to turn out he really, really needed to consult someone. It’s an excellent Robotman episode in terms of character development and sort of exploration—yeah; Fraser’s arc this episode is a character study. It’s real good.

Is it as good as the Dalton and Bowlby have to save Bomer, who’s Floyd got hanging over a bunch of people dying from Bomer’s exposed radiation? Maybe? But the action horror movie plotting—interspersed with wholesome (well, eventually) flashbacks to Bowlby and Bomer first becoming friends—really works.

Of course, I haven’t even gotten to Joivan Wade, whose still in Detroit trying to do things on his own. This time it means hooking up with Karen Obilom and discovering she’s full of surprises and secrets. Obilom doesn’t exactly carry the scenes, but she’s good enough—even when Wade’s faltering—the scenes get through. Though the timeline on Wade is really confusing at this point as far as his initial recovery and time superheroing.

There’s even a Nick Cave song at the end. It’s all so good.

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