We’re All Just A Bunch Of Venn Diagrams – Doom Patrol S2 E2 & 3 Review
Doom Patrol S2 E2 & 3 Review
Episode 2: Tyme Patrol
Director: Harry Jierjian
Writers: April Fitzsommons and Neil Reynolds
Full Episode Cast
Episode 3: Pain Patrol
Director: Samira Radsi
Writers: Tamara Becher-Wilkinson and Tom Farrell
Full Episode Cast
Spoilers To Follow…
Doom Patrol is back for its second season. This time it’s being broadcast on two different streaming services at once, DC Universe and HBO Max. New episodes are added every Thursday. I’m reviewing these two episodes together because they premiered together. Although not a traditional two-parter, the plots of these two episodes are connected. This formatting of episodes was common in the first season. The writers do a great job of telling a complete in-episode story that also connects to a larger story across the next episode(s). There are two other hallmarks of this season, flashbacks and split narratives. These two episodes don’t have as many flashbacks as some have, but they each have well written split narratives.
The first episode set up the overall plot of the second season. Chief (Timothy Dalton) has finally been reunited with his daughter Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro). Unfortunately, he had to trade the mystic talisman that’s been keeping him from aging in order to restore the team to their normal size. This season, the Doom Patrol will have to help Chief find the key to immortality, or else without her father to keep her calm, Dorothy will inadvertently unleash an apocalypse upon the world. Considering they’re each the result of Chief’s failed experimentations with immortality, the members of the Doom Patrol are understandably reluctant to help him. Yet the possibility of the world ending at the hands of Dorothy’s imaginary friends spurs them to do their part to help Chief achieve immortality.
The team’s first lead in their search for the solution to immortality comes in episode 2. Robot Man (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan), Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Elasti-Girl (April Bowlby) confront Dr. Tyme (Brandon Perea) in an attempt to capture a space mineral known as continuinium. Dr. Tyme keeps this mineral in his helmet and it allows him to manipulate time. Meanwhile, Negative Man (Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk) attends his youngest son’s funeral. After confronting his past, Negative Man is engulfed by a swarm of butterflies and seemingly disappears. The end of episode 2 ties directly into the beginning of episode 3. Crazy Jane accompanies Robot Man across country as he travels to finally talk with his daughter. After they leave, Chief receives a strange invitation to a dinner party. The invitation also happens to be a ransom note. Chief soon learns that an old adversary named Red Jack has abducted Negative Man and is using him as bait to lure Chief to his dimension. Elasti-Girl reluctantly agrees to come along, and the two set out to save Negative Man.
Over the course of both episodes, Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Crazy Jane have been dealing with their respective traumas. Cyborg joins a trauma support group and meets veteran Roni Evers (Karen Obilom). Damaged both mentally and physically, just like Cyborg, Roni quickly becomes the hero’s love interest. Back at Doom Manor, Crazy Jane has been dealing with her other sixty-three personalities. The other personalities believe that Jane’s involvement with the Doom Patrol is putting Kay, their host body and original personality at risk. Jane is struggling to remain the primary personality. If she loses control over Kay’s body she’ll not only have to give up her autonomy but her friendship with the Doom Patrol as well. One thing I need to say before I continue with this review: If you’ve only seen them once, right after they aired, go back and watch the last three episodes of season 1. A large portion of the dialogue and drama in the first three episodes of season 2 build on the revelations from the first season. These episodes make a lot more sense if the previous events are fresh in your mind. Now onto the subject of this review, episodes 2 and 3…
Long time readers of the Doom Patrol comic will be excited to see two of their greatest foes featured in these episodes. Dr. Tyme is a wacky villain and Red Jack is terrifying. The members of the Doom Patrol all give powerful performances, but the stand out in these two episodes is Brendan Frazer. Seriously though, throughout this series, Frazer has been doing the best acting of his career. This is especially impressive considering he’s just Robot Man’s voice, with Riley Shanahan playing the physical character. The two work together in tandem to produce amazing character work. One thing I wasn’t as impressed with in these episodes was Cyborg’s plotline. A romantic subplot just doesn’t fit with the tone of this series. Plus, their relationship doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any of the season’s major plotlines either. It just comes across like the writers had no idea what to do with Cyborg, so they’ve stooped to a standard TV romance trope. Put him on Titans or just graduate him to the Justice League. He’s been out of place in Doom Patrol since the beginning. The fact that he’s currently off on his own instead of helping the team with their main mission just adds to the character’s disconnection from the series.
Since season 2 of Doom Patrol has become a part of the launch of HBO Max, this season obviously had received a larger production budget. Although the special effects in the first season were good, the effects in this season have been incredible. The most prominent example of this has been the imaginary friends Dorothy is able to summon into the real world. The villain’s costumes are also impressive. They’re realistic interpretations of how the characters look in the comic books. The special effects and costuming are just the icing on the cake. Doom Patrol continues to be an all around awesome show. Solid acting, compelling drama, exciting storylines, and the aforementioned special effects all culminate into a TV show of the highest quality.
Doom Patrol S2 E2 & 3 Review