REVIEW – Doom Patrol Season 1 Episode 3 – “Puppet Patrol”

(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 1 EPISODE 3 OF DOOM PATROL!)

The Chief is still missing, and the mission to find him begins now! Now that Cyborg has joined in, it should be easy right? Well...not exactly. So let's find out what happens when things go from donkeys to puppets on Doom Patrol.

Cyborg is trying to organize the team, but we quickly find out that there are two things wrong with that. The first is that, he's dealing with a group that has no idea how to function as one. Just because they were all sheltered together, doesn't mean they are a cohesive unit. Everyone is on a very singular path, and we get more evidence of that in this episode. Cliff gets distracted while looking for where Chief may have gone when he finds his daughter's phone number. Larry is still focused on controlling and/or separating himself from what is inside of him. Rita is scared to death and Jane is hiding her lack of identity. Not only does Cyborg not seem to realize this, Cliff is constantly on his case. Problem is, he might have a point.

It turns out that Cyborg is a terrible leader. If that isn't bad enough, he apparently has anger issues. We saw what happened between him and his mother, and why he thinks it was his fault. He gets angry at his mother, like kids do sometimes, but in lashing out ends up causing the explosion that kills her. He even tries to analyze the footage to see if it was doctored. It wasn't. Dad may not exactly be helpful, but Vic might need to look in the mirror here. He thinks he is better than the rest of the team.  It shows and the rest of them know it as well. So where do we go from here?  The team finds out who Mr. Nobody is and where they might be able to find out more.  So off they go to Paraguay, well...some of them anyway.

What was supposed to be a weeks long bus trip ends up breaking down thanks to Larry's energy friend. Jane uses one of her personalities to teleport Larry and Cliff to their destination, but does not take Cyborg or Rita.  I wish we could have seen more of the hilarious moments from the bus ride, but we did get a little bit at least. The three end up at a lab that can grant people metahuman abilities. It's run by Von Fuchs, who is very familiar with Chief. If you believe the Nazi, Chief was responsible for what happened to Mr. Nobody and why his procedure didn't go as planned. Speaking of not going as planned, this trio doesn't exactly get to stay long. Von Fuchs sends his mind controlled minions to kill the team after Jane reveals that they know Chief. This is our first real chance to see Cliff in action, and it was unhinged. He was an unstoppable force, as was Jane, who ends up killing Von Fuchs in the process. So where is Larry during all of this?

Larry does end up in one of the chambers, and thinks he may have finally freed himself from what has been inside of him. We also get to see a lot more about Larry's backstory and being torn between two lives. He loves his family, but he also loves the man who wants to spend the rest of his life with him.  That choice was in part made for him, but he suffered a lot of loss in that aftermath. There is a real parallel here of past and present. Larry is also trying to figure out who he wants to be now. Does he want to be free of what's inside of him or free of it entirely? The answer seems obvious based on how he's acting, but there is a reason that the power wouldn't let him leave. Maybe the choice was never really his in either case?

Things seem pretty deep, right? You also have Cliff wondering how he was suddenly able to tear people's limbs off and Jane having to face her identity crisis. Rita also helps Cyborg realize that he may need to lighten up. There was still plenty of humor in this episode, but it was pretty heavy overall.  Did I mention we get a super weird new metahuman in the process?  I mean, who wouldn't want to be half dinosaur and half veggie tray? Things are also a bit open ended, because we are really left not knowing where the team goes from here. Do all of these realizations actually help them move forward or drive them apart?  It's almost like they don't even realize that they are just as much of a support group as they are a team. This fragile alliance is in for a real test in the next episode.

What did you think of this week's episode?

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