Doom Patrol has been the biggest surprise of 2019. Clever writing, solid plotting and some pretty creative characterisation combine to make Doom Patrol, at least after the first 3 episodes, one of the best shows of the year. Of course, as I said before this is a bold prediction to make given how early we are in the run time for this one, but if Doom Patrol can keep this up it’ll be a tough one to beat.
After the dramatic events in last week’s episode, we pick up with the dysfunctional group at Doom Manor, trying desperately to figure out a way to find the Chief. Jane has an idea to put up posters around town while Robotman and Rita decide to check the basement. Once there, a strange photo of the infamous donkey leads the group to Paraguay where they predict the Chief may well be.
Cyborg takes the reigns of the operation but finds his plans stalled when Star Labs refuse to fund his expedition. Exasperated, he finds the next best thing to transport the group to Paraguay. A grey minibus. Inevitably, things don’t go to plan and after an unconventional montage of stops and driving shenanigans along the way, they arrive at a motel off the beaten track thanks to another incident involving Larry and the entity living inside him.
As things appear bleak and get more desperate, Jane takes matters into her own hands and, with the help of one of her personalities, transports herself, Robotman and Larry to Paraguay. After a short bus ride, the trio find themselves in the Nazi-run facility used to create Mr Nobody. Through an amusing puppet show, the group learn about the history of the facility and just how Mr Nobody came to be.
Determined to dig deeper, Jane uncovers a dark secret and with it, a chaotic fight that results in numerous casualties and one big question mark hanging over the series. It also ends things on quite the cliffhanger too, as a figure steps forward out of the flaming wreckage of the facility.
It’s really Larry who’s the star here though and through some well placed flashbacks we learn more about his past and just why the stakes are as high as they are. It’s a nice touch and a recurring theme throughout the season as a whole, as DC seem intent on fleshing out these characters in a believable and methodically paced way. Given the exclusivity awarded to a few of the heroes thus far on this front, I’d imagine we’ll see more stepping forward for their turn in flashbacks.
Doom Patrol should not be as good as it is and for the last 2 weeks I’ve sat watching this one and wondering whether DC’s good-will bubble will burst and revert this show to the familiar pattern of other superhero shows yet it doesn’t. It’s such a breath of fresh air too and this unpredictability is something that continues to make this such an appealing and unpredictable series. If Doom Patrol can keep this up throughout the whole series, we’ll be on to a real winner, one that’ll certainly be tough to beat throughout the year.