Saturday, May 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Doom Patrol' - Silas Works with the Team to Save Vic from the Bureau of Normalcy in 'Cyborg Patrol'

DC Universe's Doom Patrol - Episode 1.12 "Cyborg Patrol"

With Vic captured by the Bureau of Normalcy and being held at the Ant Farm, his father, Silas Stone, hatches a plan to break him out with the rest of the Doom Patrol. As you can imagine, not everything goes according to plan.

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.

"Cyborg Patrol" was written by Robert Berens & Shoshana Sachi and directed by Carol Banker

The effectiveness of this hour may depend on how the audience responds to the two central twists. Does the viewer believe that Silas has betrayed the Doom Patrol in order to rescue his son from the Bureau of Normalcy? Does the viewer think that Vic has genuinely killed his father in a blind rage after the images he has just been shown? The former always seemed inevitable to be revealed as an elaborate ruse to get into the Ant Farm. It's a plan that still forces Larry, Cliff and Jane to get tortured. Some of them are more brutal and dangerous than others. Jane is mostly just waiting for her guy to finally get to hacking her apart instead of just teasing it. Meanwhile, Larry reunites with the doctor who experimented on him the first time he was held captive in this facility. The most effective moment of this entire hour may be the brief beat where Larry has to decide if he wishes to escape with the spirit. The Bureau has managed to split the two of them apart without compromising either of them. They want to experiment on both and apply their findings to new weapons and technology. That's the point of this entire place. When Rita makes her grand entrance to break everyone free, Larry is presented with that choice. He has become much more heroic over the course of the season even though he's not flying into danger as frequently as the spirit is. He was fully onboard with this daring rescue mission though. He understood the importance of saving Vic from this torture. He didn't want to endure it again but he didn't want his friend to be trapped there forever either. As such, the Doom Patrol is unified in this mission. It's just manipulative to believe that Silas has turned them all into the Bureau. It's built around the idea that Silas has shifty loyalties. He has long proclaimed that he's doing whatever is in his son's best interest. However, he has prioritized Cyborg over Vic. That is a thin distinction that is growing even smaller but it's still very significant. Vic wants a father he can trust. The audience understands that Silas is baffled by the idea of the nanotechnology developing a mind of its own. The viewer sees that Vic is becoming two-thirds Cyborg. The nanotech isn't just healing damaged cells anymore. It is attacking and converting healthy parts of the body as well because of the perception that it would provide Vic with more strength. That is the core and resolute objective. It seems so simple but it's causing Vic a ton of pain. It means once again he fears that he isn't in control of his own body. Someone else is operating inside of him. It's terrifying. Silas genuinely wants to help. He doesn't know the full context of what's going on. He is reaching out as a concerned parent. Instead, Vic kills his father because he believes it's just the latest example of him lying and being deceitful. He doesn't trust that there is a plan and his friends are coming to rescue him. It is a powerful moment that may fulfill Jane's fear that Cyborg will eventually kill the entire Doom Patrol. But it's also just one big manipulation by Mr. Nobody because the team has kept searching for him and Niles. It continues to prove just how omnipresent and powerful Nobody really is as a villain. The Bureau may be cartoonish and one-note in comparison. Sure, they have to be taken seriously as threats too. But they are undone by a swarm of feral butts here. That's ridiculous. Meanwhile, Nobody manipulates Vic to the point where his anger allows him to kill his father. That will only further add to Vic's tragic backstory and make it difficult for him to be an effective member of the team.