The Home Stretch
Doom Patrol returns this week with an episode reminding us we’re into the home stretch now. The episode itself begins with a brief introduction to another hero, Flex Mentallo, before cutting back to the Ant Farm. The butts are still on the loose and as the authorities start to regroup and gain control of the situation, Cliff begs Jane to teleport everyone out of the facility.
Before she does though, Flex suddenly shows up thanks to the being inside Larry finding him and leading him to the others. After some back and forth arguing, Jane eventually teleports them back to Doom Manor at the last minute before the guards can imprison them again. There’s no time to rest on their laurels though and once there, Jane teleports Cyborg and Rita to the hospital before trying to talk some sense into Flex. They try numerous different tactics to try and make him remember who he is, including destroying the TV and cutting his hair, to no avail.
Eventually, we do see what happened to Flex in a flashback, with him tied up to a chair in the Ant Farm with multiple wires leading out of him. He tries to plead with the being inside Larry (who he calls Sparky) but before they can formulate a plan and escape together, Flex is shown a video of his captured wife.
Back at Doom Manor, Jane rescues Dolores and brings her to the Manor, along with a returning Jane who informs them that Vic and his Dad are both in hospital. Despite Flex getting his memories back, Dolores disintegrates in his arms. While he mourns, Larry stumbles into the room, bleeding from the mouth thanks to being separated from the being. Pleading with it to leave him to his inevitable fate, it spins and twirls in the air before having a change of heart and saving Larry.
With our characters now on a united front and ready to tackle the final battle, Mr Negative shows up again after pausing the screen. Dressed in Doom Patrol merchandise and breaking the fourth wall, he laments the 13 episode character-driven material we’ve had, burning the Doom Patrol poster and grinning maniacally as the episode ends with the promise of a big fight to come.
Once again Doom Patrol delivers a solid episode and although this doesn’t have the same time-bending shenanigans or neat little twists some of the other episodes have had, it does lead things nicely into the home stretch. With some deep characterisation and a much better understanding of the stakes these characters face, Doom Patrol looks set to end with a bang in what’s been a thoroughly enjoyable watch over the past 3 months.