Sound Of The Underground
Out of all the shows I’ve covered on a weekly basis over the past year or so, the one that’s really stood out to me is Doom Patrol. Even after 9 episodes, this superhero show constantly subverts expectations, presenting its themes in a consistently creative way making this one of the more interesting and profound superhero shows out there.
After last week’s cliffhanger ending with Karen falling into the void, Doom Patrol returns with Karen being pulled into the underground. This labyrinth of Jane’s manifested personalities and memories is thrown into anarchy when Jane refuses to head back to the surface. As the other personalities band together and lock up Karen for taking control, Jane is forced to go back up top by the other personalities. As she boards a train heading back to the surface, she discusses her options with Driver 8. She tells Jane that the emergency stop could be used to stop the train indefinitely so she sabotages her route back.
Meanwhile, back on the surface Cliff and the others bring Jane to the lab and try to come up with a plan. A magic school bus joke is just the fuel Negative Man needs, as the ghostly essence grabs Cliff and Jane’s head, bridging the two together and allowing Cliff to climb inside The Underground. As Cliff walks the eerie corridors, he comes across the broken down train where Driver 8 is sat patiently waiting. After some pleasantries with the Driver are shared, Hammerhead shows up and grabs Cliff, promptly throwing him into a jail cell right next to a bloody Karen.
As Cliff and Karen get acquainted once more, Jane goes to see the sisters after a brief moment of tranquil peace in Penny Farthing’s memory. The sisters tell her she needs to go to the well which Penny swiftly pleads with Jane not to follow through with. While Cliff breaks out of his jail cell and catches up with Jane, Penny Farthing leads him down Jane’s darkest memories, through a classroom with one of the “Primary” personalities called Miranda. With most of the personalities tight-lipped over her whereabouts, Cliff eventually winds up face to face with Jane herself.
After a few heartfelt moments and sharing of memories, both Cliff and Jane both face the harsh realities of their situation. As Cliff peels off the layers of skin to reveal his cold, steely frame, Jane heads to the well and braces herself for the worst. From a whirlwind cloud of dust appears her Father, who eerily repeats “Sweet baby girl” over and over again to her. This could be linked to abuse in Jane’s past at the hands of her Father but for now, that’s one dark road we’re not travelling down. Instead, Jane faces up to the giant and tells him she’s not afraid anymore. The episode then ends with Jane returning to the surface, seemingly cured for now.
Quite where Doom Patrol goes from here is anyone’s guess but given the slight tease given at the end over the commotion in the lab while Cliff and Jane were busy facing their demons, I’d imagine next week will tackle what happened here. Either way, Doom Patrol continues to surprise and this was a very good episode indeed. It seems to be a growing trend with this show and it’s something I hope continues through to the finale.