Thursday, October 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'Doom Patrol' - The Doom Patrol Must Feel Secure in Their Identities in Order to Face Their New Foe in 'Dada Patrol'

HBO Max's Doom Patrol - Episode 3.05 "Dada Patrol"

Madame Rouge enlists the Doom Patrol's help after learning about her unsettling past. While the rest of the team works to infiltrate the target, Rita stays behind and finds a surprising connection with their mysterious friend.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 HBO Max's Doom Patrol.

"Dada Patrol" was written by Shoshana Sachi and directed by Kristin Windell

If the Doom Patrol isn't a team, then what are they exactly? That has been the existential question that has plagued each of them for years now. They are frequently asked to be heroes. They are called upon when weird things start happening. It's not something they are excited to do. They don't serve out of some sense of higher purpose. Crazy stuff just continually lingers around them. Larry remarks on that. He doesn't want to be seen as powerless with the Negative Spirit no longer within him. He still embarks on the missions with the rest of the team. However, he is left behind to stay with the bus. That seems like the smart strategy. Of course, he is still the one left to deal with a personal attack as a result of the Fog. Everything in the woods is perceived to be a heightened state created by one member of the Sisterhood of Dada. That organization offers Laura some sense of purpose. She believes she was sent back in time for this specific moment because of the devastation they are preparing to create. They were freed when the Doom Patrol attacked the Ant Farm. That's a consequence they now have to deal with. That continues to be the pattern of their lives. They are loyal to each other. They only agree to partake in Laura's plan because it will get her out of their lives sooner. But it also serves as a meditative question about who they are and what their standing is in this world. It's all an artful manipulation. It's seductive to some. It's hypnotic to others. It's mostly just a puzzle. One that is yet to fully reveal itself. It all seems based around the idea of creating global devastation. This isn't the first time the Doom Patrol has faced off with that particular threat. They don't really use the lessons of the past to ensure that same fate doesn't happen once more. They want to embrace the easy understanding of who they are. This new antagonist refuses to allow them that freedom. That's incredibly scary. It propels many to put their walls up. The function of Kay's various personalities is to keep her safe no matter what. At first, it seems like progress is being made with Kay striving to be in control once more. That freedom is enviable. Jane wants to make it happen. But the wants and needs of each identity clash. The Fog can see that dichotomy. She reaches out to Jane for that specific purpose. She sees a powerful entity not living up to her full potential. Jane knows to be skeptical of the reality around her. Kay enjoys the ice cream. It's a combative discussion. It's one that places Kay in direct harm. Jane is taken aback by that reveal. Moreover, it appears as if the other personalities are fighting harder for her than Jane is. That's a significant change of pace. One where Jane is saddled with the idea that her path should take priority over everything else happening within the Underground. That's a scary thought. Letting Kay grow up is ominous too. No one knows how all of that will develop or the consequences involved for the various identities. It's constrictive to keep her in a room. That keeps her safe though. And yet, rebellion is common for those yearning for their purpose. Laura believes she has stumbled upon her mission. All it takes is analyzing the details around Doom Manor. She doesn't engage in this mission into the Fog though. Instead, she questions herself based on the report Niles once wrote about her. She experiences the yearning to embrace those dark sensibilities. And yet, she doesn't believe that's the entirety of her being. Rita can reassure her that Niles isn't the ultimate judge of one's character. However, Rita too is waiting for fate to hit her and give her purpose. She tried being an actress and a hero. Those paths failed for her. And now, she believes she has confirmation of being a world-renowned time traveler. It's a fanciful story she needs to believe. Laura eventually laughs in her face. That propels Rita into action. That too many carry a ton of consequences. Rita is playing with elements she doesn't entirely understand. It's all in service to something greater. She needs to believe that. It's just like Cliff believing the handful of pills works instantly and Vic championing himself as a hero because it's the programmed backstory. These decisions may not make up the totality of who these people are. After three seasons though, they are still aimless. That miraculously still has purpose with the show providing new insight every step of the way. Not everything may make sense. Strange things happen. The Doom Patrol just goes along with all of it. They are united in that way. They have each other. That yearning for more is constantly felt too. They need purpose. They aren't lost because Niles is dead. They struggled before that. They are simply trying new coping measures to break out and be the people they are suppose to be. That too carries weight that may doom the people around them. They still may not be able to handle that emotional baggage. It takes action to determine that though. That's exactly what's happening - on top of another threat of global destruction and a time-traveling shapeshifter who doesn't remember much of herself either.