blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s02e09 – Wax Patrol

So “Doom Patrol” didn’t just have to cut an episode off season two because of the Covid-19 and wrap it up here, they also don’t have their season three renewal in yet… so essentially Wax Patrol is playing chicken with the network.

Going to be a bummer if they don’t get renewed.

The episode, which has the gang teaming up like superheroes for once to go and save Abi Monterey and Timothy Dalton—without understanding what they’re getting into—and having to work through some of their personal issues from the season. For Joivan Wade, the personal issue comes in the form of Phil Morris, who both is and isn’t playing his regular role as Wade’s dad. Morris hasn’t been around much this season but he’s real good here. Real good.

Meanwhile, April Bowlby works through her stuff with a personification of her childhood ideals, which doesn’t work out. Donna Jay Fulks’s voice work is fine as the CGI friend, but it means Bowlby doesn’t get to act opposite anyone, just do effects sequences with—presumably—a tennis ball placeholder or whatever they use now.

Robotman (Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan) gets the funniest nemesis—Jesus (Joshua Mikel)—and if the characterization is from the Grant Morrison Doom Patrol comic it means DC let him do a foulmouthed bro thug Jesus while not letting do Rick Veitch do a wholesome magician Jesus. Which gets the eyebrows twitching until the funny starts. It’s still bullshit if they let Morrison do it, but whatever; DC Comics and Warner Bros. are long past the saturation point of bullshit.

Except this show, obviously. They should definitely renew this show.

Diane Guerrero gets a big arc with a flashback reveal to what Samantha Marie Ware was up to in the seventies before the Guerrero persona started playing the Guerrero part. They really should go back to last season’s handling of Guerrero’s “parts” but anyway, lots of reveals, lots of really unfortunate acting, particularly from Carter Jenkins as her beau. I mean, I get they didn’t want to get anyone who would so obviously outact Guerrero, but they should’ve gotten someone who could keep up.

Or maybe it’s Chris Manley’s directing.

But the whole Guerrero and Jenkins is really manipulatively done and kind of the ickiest the show’s gotten with Guerrero this season. Not sure why they thought it was a “save of the best for last” thing.

Matt Bomer gets moved aside fast to make room for Monterey, who’s got a pretty darn cool arc for barely being in the episode.

“Doom Patrol”’s second season has been outstanding—this artificially truncated episode is probably the weakest of the season and for obvious, external reasons—but playing chicken with a renewal (on two giant cliffhangers) isn’t cool in 2020. It hasn’t been cool since like 1994 and even then only because the shows came back.

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