Doom Patrol Review: The Team Gets Dumber (Than Usual) in Dumb Patrol

This season of Doom Patrol seems to be speeding right on by. "Dumb Patrol" is the 7th episode which means only two more episodes for the second season, though it still feels like a leisurely stroll despite all the subplots chugging along with the big arc of the threat of the Candlemaker and the Chief's (Timothy Dalton) impending death looming closer and closer. It feels less urgent but still funny and entertaining as hell, so it's not exactly unwelcome.

Doom Patrol: The Team Gets Dumb(er Than Usual) in
Doom Patrol: "Dumb Patrol", Warners

Cliff (Brendan Fraser's voice, Riley Shanahan's body) is pissed off at The Chief betraying him yet again and has to walk all the way back to the mansion from wherever he ended up. Then he ends up paralyzed on the side of the road due to some kind of mechanical – or possibly psychosomatic – glitch. Even that doesn't improve his mood as he swears to kill The Chief and rage at the world, including his daughter for rejecting him when he told her the truth about being her father. The Chief lands their spaceship in the frozen North and leaves Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro) asleep while he tries to communicate with her mother in a shamanic nether realm. Rita (April Bowlby) is still grappling with her issues about her mother while doubling down on the community theatre play, even if she only has literally one line.

Meanwhile, Vic (Jovian Wade) brings his girlfriend Roni (Karen Obilom) to the mansion to question the Chief about his role in the metals that are poisoning her body, only to find The Chief is away. They, Larry (Matt Bomer's voice, Matthew Zuk's body) and Jane (Diane Guerrero) – or rather, the new primary personality Miranda – get infected by tiny parasites called the Stants, which take over their brains and makes them think every dumb decision they can think of is a good idea. Larry tries to visit his grandson at the hospital when his family hates him and armed feds from the Bureau of Normalcy are lying in wait for him. Vic decides to operate on Roni to take out her implants and she agrees to it. Only Miranda is immune to the stants but her attempts at playing Captain Sensible fall on deaf ears. John Constantine-in-all-but-name Willoughby Kipling (Mark Shepherd) shows up and calls them all idiots for getting infected and purports to save the day, only to get infected too.

"Dumb Patrol": When Making Dumb Decisions Becomes the Whole Plot of a Doom Patrol Episode

Doom Patrol is a show about characters who have made absolutely terrible decisions in their lives – and had terrible things done to them – and having to live with the consequences. It's also a comedy, so it's not so surprising that there would finally be an episode about characters getting drugged into making dumb decisions and squeezing laughs out of it. The Painting That Ate Paris returns and so does a season one character, used even funnier than ever before. This is probably the most thematically consistent show on television. The writers really lean in on the main themes of traumatized, broken people trying to heal and move forward who keeps messing up, taking several steps backward but one hopeful step forward. Let's hope the season doesn't end on a cliffhanger.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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