REVIEW – Doom Patrol Season 1 Episode 5 – “Paw Patrol”

(WARNING!  SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 1 EPISODE 5 OF DOOM PATROL!)

Everything happens for a reason.  Have you ever been told that?  Did you believe it?  Last week, I talked about how I did not know why Doom Patrol would take this detour from it's main story to suddenly have to deal with the end of the world.  Little did I know at the time, that reason would very much be part of said story.  As a dad of a toddler, I'm used to watching Paw Patrol, but not like this.  So, let's stop the end of the world AND get back on track, shall we?

The De-Creator is starting to do it's best Thanos impression, and it doesn't look like there is any way to stop it.  This doesn't sit well with a certain villain who was set on taking the world for himself.  Mr. Nobody sees what is happening, and decides that it needs to stop.  Not only that, but Chief has talked him into letting him assist.  They conjure up a plan, and it involves a bit of time travel.  Let's deal with the time travel aspect first.

We go back to 1977 where Jane is in a mental institution.  This adds a lot of depth to Jane's backstory, as we get to see just how rough it was for her in there.  She was abused, badly, both physically and mentally.  As if you needed any more confirmation, Diane Guerrero is absolutely incredible.  I don't just mean having to manage all of these personalities.  I'm talking about how each portrayal is so intense and feels so real.  It's hard enough being able to play one of these roles well, she conquers each and every one with ease.  It turns out that Jane is the key to this whole thing.  We get to meet Dr. Harrison, who has the power to persuade people to do as she suggests.  The plan?  To fight a cult with another one!

Dr. Harrison starts to spread the word of the Re-Creator at the request of Mr. Nobody.  Since all of this is happening in the 70s, they plan to have decades of loyal followers and a book of their own to reverse the effects of the De-Creator.  We do get a few twists to the original, but it's hard to argue with bringing in a dog.  I mean, we had a donkey, why not a dog?  It turns out the dog is the book that needs to be read, but can only be read once a certain bell is rung at just the right time.  So back to the present.

Chief re-appears at the house like nothing has happened, and everyone is pretty shaken by it.  Kipling is the only one keeping things business as usual, and he's ready to get to work on this plan that he isn't exactly confident in.  The one having the most trouble with this is Cyborg (shocking, I know.)  He seems to be more hung up on Chief working with the bad guys than anything else.  I get it, he thinks he's the ultimate good guy.  I really thought that Chief would set him right in this episode, but alas, Cyborg remains his prickish, holier-than-thou self.  Chief does end up helping Larry, giving him advice on how to deal with the energy trapped inside of him.  He also helps him see that the way he sees himself might be part of the problem.  Chief returning, even temporarily, was just what was needed for this shaky team.  It shows how important he is to the group, and helping them see the best in themselves.  They also needed a win, let's see if they get one.

They summon the unicorn again to point them into the direction of the book to bring about the Re-Creator.  While Kipling and what's left of the team are on that track, remember we still have Cliff and Jane stuck in Nurnheim.  Well...it turns out that it's more like a snow globe.  Cliff and Jane both learned some harsh truths about themselves, but Cliff certainly does not hide the fact that he cares for Jane a great deal.  He definitely sees her has a daughter, but I really don't feel that father/daughter vibe just yet.  The fact that every personality of Jane's is rejecting that might have something to do with it.  In an interesting twist, the bell that needs to be rung just happens to be in Nurnheim.  Back in 1977, Harrison gave one of her followers a task, and she went to great lengths to complete it.  She visits Nurnheim to remind the good doctor that she must ring the bell.  Even with the clown and her minions, this is met with little resistance.  With that the words appear, the snow globe shatters and it appears that all is right with the world again.

The only problem with this is that Chief's freedom was only temporary.  Mr. Nobody is ready to drag him back, and Chief is trying to say his goodbyes.  Cyborg wants to battle to keep him from having to return, but that backfires both literally and figuratively.  Time is slowed by Mr. Nobody, which also freezes a charging sonic cannon on Cyborg's arm.  It explodes and leaves Cyborg with a horrible injury.  He rejects all help, because he doesn't want his father to know that he can't handle himself.  Cliff makes that decision for him, and saves Cyborg from himself.  This will either make Cyborg appreciate his new team more, or it will make him even more distant in his already tense relationship with a group of people he doesn't respect.  Either way, something needs to move forward with Cyborg.  He was already very unlikable, but now he is starting to become a liability in a group that really doesn't need one.  He either needs to accept that he needs this team or strike out on his own.  I want to like Cyborg, I really do, but it's becoming more and more difficult with each passing episode.

After what I thought was an unnecessary distraction, this 5th episode really served as a catalyst for the team to push forward in their ultimate goal.  Not only did they get to see that Chief was alive, they each got a reminder of how much he means to all of them.  This is the motivation that Cyborg could not provide, so now we might finally see things all come together.  Jane getting to see Chief was also a very emotional moment, especially after seeing how he saved her back at the asylum.  Question is, will Jane now be forced to play both sides as well after the twist of Mr. Nobody getting into her head?

Loving this show is so easy for so many reasons.  Things like having a dance party in the middle of the end of the world, and having it make perfect sense in the story, is exactly how much hilarious detail goes into every episode.  Getting bits of backstory at just the right time also gives each episode utmost importance.  Now that things are back on track, I don't think I will ever lose faith in the direction of this show again.  What did you think of this week's episode?

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