After last week’s calm before the storm, Doom Patrol returns for a somewhat underwhelming and disappointing season finale. With no word on a third season yet and nothing really resolved at the end, Doom Patrol’s fate hangs in the balance going forward.
While still enjoyable, there’s an undeniable feel that this season just hasn’t had the same allure and charisma the first season had in abundance. While still funny and boasting some memorable moments, this season has paled by comparison.
We begin the season 2 finale of Doom Patrol with Jane trapped in the well and floating lifelessly around. High above The Underground, Cliff learns that Miranda is in control.
With Clara getting married, Cliff has issues picking out an outfit for the wedding. After asking where Jane is, he eventually comes round to Miranda’s way of thinking thanks to her smart dress choices.
With the Candle Maker wreaking havoc, both Niles and Dorothy’s life hangs in the balance. Despite initially refusing to go, Rita convinces him to help save the world. The woes of a superhero once again come back to haunt Cliff, as he leaves a voicemail explaining how he may not be able to make the wedding.
Wax covers the fairground as the Doom Patrol arrive to try and save Dorothy. A battered and bruised Kipling tells them to leave. It turns out Candle Maker has hijacked Dorothy’s imagination and used that to conjure forth imaginary beings to attack. Right on cue, a Punch & Judy puppet arrives and drags him away.
In true Doom Patrol fashion, all our characters are separated and confront their imaginary friends. This, in turn, feeds back into their own issues this season. Rita is up on stage dancing while Dr Cowboy tells Vic he has relationship problems. In true Cliff format, his imaginary friend happens to be Jesus – because of course it is.
As these conflicts crescendo, the different characters all face the truth around why they’ve been conjured forth. Rita has always needed a “role” to fill because she’s too afraid to embrace herself. Cliff’s Daddy issues manifest the same fear he had growing up and projected onto his daughter.
Vic meanwhile comes to terms with what’s happened with Roni. However, they’re all duped by the Candle Maker who turns every single one to wax. In Cliff’s case, he’s smashed to bits and remnants of his body lay scattered like metal confetti on the ground.
Miranda’s arrival in the fairground sparks a rebellion in the Underground as she’s pulled back down to explain her actions. While she does, memories of the past come flooding back as Jane awakens with the words “I promise,” echoing in her mind. Seeing a light, she starts swimming toward it.
Interestingly, around all of this we see more of Miranda’s past before Jane took control. Her whirlwind romance with a man outside a diner ultimately ends in disaster. She moves in with him, telling the Underground she’s moving them forward, before having her heart broken.
All of this crescendos with a sex party that sees Miranda throwing herself into the well and allowing Jane to take control.
Across the wax-covered floor, Niles desperately calls out for Dorothy. He tells her not to look and promises they can still fix the problems they’ve caused. As he crawls forward, Slava suddenly appears and tells Dorothy they can’t wait any longer.
Outstretching her hand, she eventually realizes what she has to do and faces the Candle Maker. Conjuring a weapon in her hand, she steps forward as the monstrous being grabs her and pulls the girl into the flames where she’ll “meet her fate.”
The Episode Review
Surely we’ll get confirmation of a season 3 sooner rather than later but the season 2 finale of Doom Patrol is undoubtedly disappointing. Vic has been under-utilized for much of the season and his romance with Roni has felt half-baked and lacked the necessary emotion that should have come with last week’s episode.
By comparison, Rita and Larry do get some decent arcs that level themselves out nicely here but the low blow ending with them all turning to wax leaves a big question mark over everyone’s fate. Even worse, Cliff’s narrative has essentially been undone in this episode as he turns away once more from his daughter.
Personally, I would have liked it if he forsook the others, arrived at Clara’s wedding and learned off-hand about the wax through Kipling (who perhaps managed to escape). That may have given him a vested interest in being the hero next season and saving the others.
Alas, that’s not what we get here. Instead, we get a lot of ifs, buts and maybes but no conclusive results. Hopefully going forward we get confirmation of a third season but it’s hard not to feel disappointed by the way this one ends.