Saturday, March 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Doom Patrol' - The Team Works with a Magician to Prevent the End of the World in 'Cult Patrol'

DC Universe's Doom Patrol - Episode 1.04 "Cult Patrol"

As the team recovers from the fight at Fuchtopia, Willoughby Kipling, a magician and an old friend of Niles Caulder's, unexpectedly conscripts the Doom Patrol into helping him avert the end of the world by stopping a nihilistic cult. Unfortunately though, the Doom Patrol fails and the Apocalypse begins!

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of DC Universe's Doom Patrol.

"Cult Patrol" was written by Marcus Dalzine & Chris Dingess and directed by Stefan Pleszczynski

The end of the world is upon the Doom Patrol. And yet, it has absolutely nothing to do with Nobody and their ongoing search for The Chief. That's weird. It continues to prove that this is a world full of existential threats that could lead to the end of all civilization. This is a show where an entire town was swallowed into another dimension by a donkey. Here, Vic even states that there are 37 dimensions that could possibly be where Nobody has taken the Chief. Despite all of this though, the show is much more interested in the Doom Patrol coming together as a team beyond having a unique set of goals. Vic is prone to call them a team because they all want to rescue The Chief. Jane and Rita don't like that term because it also implies that they are heroes. They don't feel very heroic though. In fact, everyone returns from Paraguay as a different person. Sure, it's lame that Jane actually has to spell out to Cliff the trauma that is currently going on in his mind. That may further prove that he is slow mentally but incredibly strong physically. Plus, him seeing Jane as a stand-in for his daughter may not be all that deep either. It could be the simple explanation for the bond that they have formed quickly over the years. They care about each other and want to protect the other in this crazy world. However, they are also trapped in a new inter-dimensional prison because Jane has another one of her violent outbursts. There is still so much internalized drama that these characters are carrying around with them. At times, they feel comfortable sharing their past experiences with the other people at Doom Manor. However, there are so many traumas that are left to be explored. The Chief only wanted to push them as far as they were willing to go. Even when he forced Larry to relive his past relationships over and over again, he was doing so to get a better understanding of the energy that resides within him. That creature continues to create a fair number of problems. However, Larry is still trying to learn more even though it doesn't trust what the energy is trying to say because he is continuing to avoid many of his past shortcomings. He doesn't want to watch the past footage of The Chief pressuring him to talk about Cheryl and John. But the energy isn't trying to get him to realize the mistakes he made previously. Instead, it wants Larry to listen to the one word that it was able to communicate in the past. Now, "torture" could mean any number of things. This energy could possibly remain alive because it's continually torturing Larry's body. Or it could be torture that it is forever connected to Larry and there is no way for the two to communicate with one another. The Chief only sees the energy come out during times of duress. That continues to be the case here with Doom Manor coming under attack by the followers of this doomsday cult. These villains succeed in their ultimate mission as well. The Unmaker has risen and is bound to destroy all of reality. The show ends on a cliffhanger here which may prove that this was nothing more than an hour that set up a new conflict and story. It means no progress is made on the search for The Chief. But it's also still a solid character study as everyone is figuring out how to be a hero - especially when they are faced with the end of the world and the uncertainty of whether they are powerful enough to stop it.