Ghosts Of Doom Manor Past
After saving the world last week, Doom Patrol returns with a somewhat reflective opening with Rita. Here, we see her involved with a movie producer in 1956, at the end of her star-studded career. After pushing her over the edge, Rita transforms and inadvertently kills the man in the process. As she reflects on her period of weakness, Robotman deliberates over his daughter.
After trying to connect with Jane, he discovers his birth daughter on the internet and tries to view her profile. Failing to understand how to do this, he turns to Cyborg for help who refuses under ethical reasons to help him hack into her profile.
Meanwhile, Jane springs into life, telling the group about her talk with Mr Nobody and her mission to find the Doom Patrol. Apparently, they were a group of superheroes from the 50s with it soon revealed that Rita was romantically involved with one of them.
After some back and forth, Jane grabs Larry and Rita, promptly teleporting them back in time to 1950. Cyborg’s Dad then shows up to reboot his son and repair the damage done from the blast at the end of last week’s episode. With Cyborg on stand by, Robotman talks with his father, asking him to ease up on his son and reflects on what a brave thing Cyborg did to try to save the group.
Back in the 50s, everyone is looking for Miles as Jane struggles to work out exactly why she was brought back to Doom Manor in this time period. As they meet the real Doom Patrol, a reunion between Jane and Stephen (going by the superhero name Mento) brings back old feelings. As the two get acquainted, Larry and Jane have their own revelatory moments involving Doom Manor and the residents within it.
It turns out the Doom Patrol fought Mr Nobody and allegedly won, but as Rita probes Mento further he lashes out and descends the Manor into chaos. It turns out he has mind control powers and conjures up scenarios for each of the three heroes to overcome. As Jane outruns a sea of puzzle pieces and Larry confronts his past, Rita finds herself up against her own ghosts.
In true superhero fashion, one of the three stops Mento and the visions dissipate to reveal the true nature of the mansion. Mento is in a wheelchair, aged and broken from the fight with Mr Nobody. It turns out the heroes lost, mainly thanks to Mr Nobody using their own fears against them, leading to the trio realizing the reason they were brought there in the first place – to break their spirit before the inevitable fight with him.
Doom Patrol continues to outdo itself and this week is no exception. In many ways, the episode feels like a rehash of some of the themes already explored in previous weeks but the way this one is told is really quite impressive. Seeing the juxtaposing optimism of the current heroes with the pessimistic, self-loathing demeanor of the old really puts into perspective the power of this antagonist. It’s something a lot of shows fail to really nail down but Doom Patrol continues to do this every week.
It certainly helps add some extra dimension to our characters too and more importantly, show off just how dangerous Mr Nobody is. Quite where this will lead come the end of the season is anyone’s guess but DC have something very special here that could arguably be one of the best superhero shows on TV right now.