blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Doom Patrol (2019) s04e06 – Hope Patrol

This episode picks up some hours after last episode’s “all the characters are probably babies now” cliffhanger. While fixing up a car (with some great Riley Shanahan bodywork), Brendan Fraser explains to Diane Guerrero he’s had an epiphany, and they’re all about to die, so they better get their houses in order. Guerrero wanted to fight the bad guys (whoever they may be) and expected buddy Fraser to be all set to go.

Instead, he shrugs her off, and she’s left on her own. Heading down to the Underground to consult the other personalities, she also finds them unwilling to help. The conflict gives Guerrero some great material, and she does really well. This season might be the one where she becomes consistently good.

But not having Fraser (and Shanahan) to hang out with means Guerrero doesn’t get to pair off with anyone, while the rest of the episode’s spent on duos.

Matt Bomer (and Matthew Zuk) and new friend Sendhil Ramamurthy get trapped in the big bad’s alternate dimension. Well, not exactly trapped because Ramamurthy can open portals, but Bomer’s not sure what’s going on. Especially not when the omnipresent stooges are walking around with giant scissors, ready to cut off heads.

Bomer and Ramamurthy have an excellent episode “together,” to the point I got curious about how they shoot the scenes. Does Zuk read Bomer’s lines? Do they have them played back? Is Ramamurthy just vamping? Regardless, great work and some excellent character development from Bomer, who’s usually working through old emotional shit instead of getting new stuff to navigate.

Speaking of new and old stuff to navigate, April Bowlby and Michelle Gomez are still paired off. Their reconciliation from last episode—made under extreme circumstances—is holding; right up until they find out they need to break into the Ant Farm, which is the Bureau of Normalcy’s headquarters and full of terrible memories for both–like Bowlby’s boyfriend getting murdered by Gomez’s stooge, again played by Daniel Annone.

It’s a good arc for the two of them, but it’s not as much about character development as exposition and figuring out how the season’s big bad ties into past events on the show. It’s very nice to have Bowlby and Gomez pals again, though. They’re excellent together.

The final dynamic duo is Joivan Wade and Elijah R. Reed. We got to see a kid version of Wade show up at Reed’s door last episode, but we missed the (occasionally mentioned) baby version, whose diapers Reed had to change.

It’s a solid friendship arc, even as it backtracks over Reed’s previous appearance when he told Wade it was too late for them to save the friendship. Given Wade’s continued reluctance to talk to anyone about getting rid of his superpowers and Reed just being a regular guy, their scenes end up making Reed the protagonist. It works out, but if there’s anyone the show doesn’t seem to know what to do with this season, it’s Wade.

Doesn’t he have an ex-girlfriend turned terrorist out there still?

Anyway, another excellent episode. It’s the mid-season finale, so it’ll be a while for the cliffhangers to resolve, but the show manages to get most of the team together for the last scene.

Some outstanding music from Kevin Kiner and Clint Mansell, particularly during Fraser’s second epiphany scene. Fraser (and Shanahan), as usual, do fantastic work.

It’s going to be a long wait for next episode.

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