After several episodes of apocalyptic drama, Doom Patrol slows down this week for a more methodical examination of our heroes. Cliff has had enough. The Doom Patrol need to band together to stop Mr Nobody otherwise he’s going to use their weaknesses against them. In order to do that, they need to confront their fears together.
From here we cut back in time to the events of that morning, beginning with Rita. She’s struggling with keeping her form intact and after falling down a ventilation shaft, she sees a crib which brings back memories of her childhood. This also flares up repressed memories of her parents pushing her to pursue superstardom on the big screen.
We then cut to Larry who has problems of his own. Having struggled to connect to the ethereal being inside him, it concocts up a fragile memory from the past to try and connect with its host. Several failed attempts later, Larry finally sees a breakthrough and the two appear to now be on the same page.
Much like Cliff, Vic’s metallic form is a constant hindrance on him living a normal life. Deciding to give normality a shot, he turns off the parental filters and is immediately met by a flurry of social media notifications and potential dating partners. After filtering out most of the candidates, Vic appears to hit it off with a prospective match but after seeing his true form, things take a turn for the worst.
Jane’s story is largely the same as it was several episodes ago but her personality changing conundrum sees her torn over the best way to approach the situation regarding the Chief.
At this point we finally cut back to Cliff and see him lamenting the past and his lack of involvement in Clara’s upbringing. This brings up unresolved feelings which send him into a fit of rage. Unable to properly express these thanks to his metallic form, Cliff begins hallucinating as ghosts from the past invade his psyche.
All of these unresolved issues result in Cliff finally bringing it together long enough to decide the team need an impromptu group therapy session. As they all begin sharing their pent up feelings, Cliff completely loses his grip on reality and appears to have a seizure. After collapsing in a heap on the group, a rat pops out of his mouth and we cut back to one final recap and the most surprising moment of all.
It turns out the rat is called Admiral Whiskers and 6 episodes ago Robotman ran over his Mum as they drove the bus into town. Accompanied by narration from Mr Nobody himself, the rat vows to avenge his Mother and sets his sights on Robotman, entering his body through a hole in his arm.
It’s quite the surprising end to a really solid episode of character building. After 7 episodes you really feel for this group and their intricate problems and multi-dimensional personalities really help to accentuate this. It’s character writing at its finest and although the episode does retread familiar ground, there’s enough originality to avoid this one feeling too similar. Another week and another solid episode, Doom Patrol continues to impress, making it one of the best shows of the year so far.